Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Transformers Cyberverse: Shockwave

In between holding interviews today for work, I ran into a Target that I rarely visit and much to my surprise I found a few of the new Warrior (deluxe) class Transformers Cyberverse toys hanging on the pegs. I don't know what the official release date of this series is, but I really didn't expect to find them already.

To be honest I really haven't paid that much attention to this series to know much about it, only that it's the line for the next forth coming animated television show. I watch Ben's Collectibles video review of the Warrior class Optimus and wasn't impressed. Photos of Starscream weren't that impressive either, but when I was able to hold Shockwave in my hand I thought he looked much better than his wave mates. Even though I told myself I was going to steer clear of this line, here I stand with Shockwave.

The packaging is well laid out, with vibrant artwork of the character right at the top of the blister, along with that character's faction symbol. The right side of the packaging has a bright yellow strip with the Transformers logo using same block letters from the past few years, this time in black instead of red. The packaging does feature 4 different languages so I don't anticipate the packaging changing for the international market.

The thin cardboard insert inside the blister bubble features another small piece of art of the character. In larger letters you have, in this case, Wave Cannon, which is Shockwave's gimmick. Why do toys have to have a gimmick? I know this line isn't aimed at my demographic, but even my almost 9 year old daughter thought the gimmick was silly.

One side of the cardboard insert features artwork of Megatron, Starscream and a new female character, Shadow Striker. If I hadn't already seen some of the other toys, this artwork may have gotten me a little more excited about what's to come, but alas I don't think this is a line I'll be able to get behind.

Not that it's of great importance, but I noticed while taking the figure out of the blister bubble that it wasn't held in place by any of the little plastic bands. It was just wedged into the form fitting bubble. The very simple instructions sheet was folded up at the bottom of the bubble.

Out of the package I have to say my first impression was "not that bad". Before I say anymore, let me go on the record saying the toy features a much darker shade of purple. My camera shows his purple has being a softer color, but it's much closer to previous versions of the character. Not quite G1 purple, but darker than you see here.

Now that is said, I really had low expectations going on based on what I have seen and heard, but Shockwave's robot mode felt pretty solid. Yes, he has some hollow sections on the back of his arms and legs, but that is expected these days. With the cost of oil and thus plastic going up, I'm OK with this cost cutting moves.

Right off the bat you'll probably notice the "backpack" on the right side of his back. This is part of his new alt mode, but thankfully doesn't really get in the way while in robot mode. It can be lifted straight up over his head, but why would you want to do that?

There is no mistake who this character is supposed to be. From the classic sculpted head to the single eye, this is Shockwave. By the way, he does have his little gray "ears", however while editing the photos they kind of disappeared...oops.

Shockwave has some decent heft to him for a modern deluxe size figure. His articulation is limited and I know for some that is an immediate bust. You can rotate his arm at the shoulder a full 360 degrees, lifting his arms up and down on a hinge joint. His forearm is attached via a ball joint and that allows for a good range of motion. His head is not movable and this is due to his transformation. Legs are attached via ball joints, swivel at the thigh and a hinge joint at the knee. No ankle pivot however.

If I'm not mistaken, Shockwave's alt mode was sort of reminds me of his Transformers Animated alt mode, just with a gun placement instead of a crane arm. I'm really not sure how I feel about it at this time. The gun isn't able to be moved or posed as it's in a fixed position. You can move his arms and legs around or I suppose have him move like a crab. 

Transformation from robot to alt mode is very simple. Shockwave is basically a contortionist here. You flip his arms up and forward at the elbow, twisting the forearms around. Flip up his chest piece over his head, twist his legs backwards at the thighs, then bending at the knees. Take the gun/backpack piece and flip it up on it's side and you're done.

I did notice fiddling around with the figure this evening that you can adjust the over height of the gun platform as you please by moving the arms and legs around. No matter how I arranged the limbs however, I can only see Shockwave doing yoga! On the side of the gun is a spring loaded tab. When you pull this back, a pink blast effect folds out as part of his gimmick. This I could have done without, but I'm sure some kid somewhere will find this to add more fun to the play pattern.

If this figure hangs around in my collection, rest assured it'll be in robot mode. I do like however that if you look carefully at the side of his legs, it does resemble the handle of a gun.

Coming off the success of the Robots in Disguise series, I wanted to see how he compared to an RID toy and Starscream just happened to be the closet figure I could grab. While Cyberverse has a different feel and aesthetic, I don't like Shockwave looks too much out of place. I do feel as if Shockwave is "chunkier" than his fellow Decepticon, and this is something that I like.

Overall I'm on the fence about this toy. I didn't like way the robots of Optimus, Bumblebee or Starscream looked, but Shockwave stood out to me. I'm really enjoying his robot mode. I love his classic look, but I also like the subtle changes made to the character as well. I'm not sure why his eye is partially covered...is the sun in his eye? With this price point staying at $14.99 USD it's getting harder and harder to recommend a figure unless it's a grand slam. Shockwave isn't horrible, but I don't care for his alt mode. For this reason I'll say your mileage may vary. He certainly appears to be the best in the debut wave of Warrior class figures...but that isn't saying much.

1 comment:

  1. The original Shockwave was one of my first big Transformers I owned. Good times.