Friday, July 1, 2011

Dark of the Display Case: DotM Voyager Shockwave

Dreads aren't the only threat the Autobots must face this time around. There's also the looming presence of the Decepticon assassin known as Shockwave. Shockwave has been making more of an impact in Transformers media, his most recent appearance being in Transformers: Animated. Now he finally makes his debut in the movie universe and he's no laughing matter. Neither is his figure, which may be one of the best figures of the year....

Vehicle Mode:

Shockwave transforms into a Cybertronian assault tank colored in a really nice combination of grey, silver and purple. Unlike Megatron's tank mode, this one is much more streamlined and solid. The cannon barrel itself is placed on the right side of the tank body while the left side has a mounted blade. The front of the tank also has extra wheels mounted to a cow-catcher looking piece. The tank itself looks pretty good. It's not all segmented and sharp-looking. You can definitely tell what it is at first sight. Because he's a Voyager class tank he automatically won't scale all that well with figures like Leader Sentinel Prime or Voyager Bumblebee. However, he will look pretty nice with figures like the Voyager Primes, Megatron and even deluxe Ratchet and Ironhide. Overall, while some may not care for it, the tank mode gets a pass.


Transforming Shockwave is fun, simple and satisfying. Everything clips together firmly with an ear-pleasing "snap" sound. Nothing feels like it's pegging together in a flimsy manner. I love the way the legs unfold to form the knee cap, foot and heel. The way the back treads fold up behind the rib cage to form the chest is also pretty cool. Everything is is fairly straight forward.

Robot Mode:

Shockwave's robot mode is very intimidating. It looks bulky and powerful, as it should. His chest design is fantastic with the molded ribs forming around the flattened tank treads. His headsculpt is great and he may possess one of, if not THE best light-piping of any Transformers toyline. Even in a dark room his eye will find a way to glow an evil, menacing red. It's almost as if he's staring into your soul! More transformers should definitely take this into account. Either that or painted eyes. Unfortunately, he does suffer from two small issues. Shockwave is one of the select figures to suffer from "Barbell Arms", which makes posing a bit difficult. What's baffling is how they didn't think of using a ball and socket joint as opposed to a hinge. Even more baffling is that his hand is rotated on the back of the box, which means they may have considered using a ball and socket joint and changed it due to breakage risks. The other small issue is his stance. Nowadays Transformers are designed either with ball jointed feet or angled soles to allow for a more natural, solid stance. That is awesome. Unfortunately for Shockwave his stance is done in such a way that trying to pose him walking or in a dynamic action stance is somewhat difficult. This also could have been avoided by adding a ball joint to the foot and making the heel rounded. Other then these little things, Shockwave succeeds as a good-looking and fun robot.


Shockwave's MechTech is a unique case. Mainly because it's designed to be used only with him. His main weapon is an Astro Mag cannon designed to form along with his right arm, hence why other figures will have a difficult time using it. The cannon looks great and blends in almost seamlessly with the rest of his right arm. He also comes with a hose piece that attaches from the cannon itself to the backpack in an homage to the original G1 character. The hose is nice, but a bit too short, hindering the articulation. Because of this I plug it into the arm instead. Lastly, he comes with a blade that's meant to be mounted on his left arm, but can also be mounted on any other MechTech port such as the one on his gun, creating a bayonet of sorts. His cannon's secondary mode can be locked into place like all other Voyager and Leader class weapons. Push the tab up on the butt of the cannon and the two exhaust pipes on the sides will fold forward and become two extra barrels. This mode looks very good, especially in tank mode. There is a slight issue, though. Depending on how strong the spring is inside, one or both of the extra barrels could end up recoiling back slightly, pointing upwards instead of straight. This makes the super cannon mode look very weird. Overall the Astro Mag cannon and arm blade definitely help complete Shockwave's overall look.


It's quite possible that this may be the only large scaled version of movie Shockwave we may see in the DotM line and if it is then Hasbro did a good job. Shockwave is just as good as he looks. His design is striking, his articulation is wonderful and his accessories help tie the whole package together. If you want a good Shockwave toy, or are even considering picking him up to repurpose as a Classics Shockwave, I'd say go for it. You'll definitely get your money's worth.

Two more days to go in DotM week. The movie review is right around the corner, so how about we prepare with a bit of game time. Dark of the Moon game time that is.

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