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Voyager Shockwave - Transformers Prime Beast Hunters - Figure

Height: 17cm head height.

Articulation: 21 points overall - swivel neck; 5 points in right arm: double joint shoulder, upper arm swivel; hinged elbow, ball-joint wrist; 5 points in left arm: double joint shoulder, upper arm swivel, hinged elbow, post-elbow swivel; 5 points per leg: universal joint hips, thigh swivel, hinged knee, post-knee swivel.

Colors: Molded purple, light gray, gunmetal, red, and clear red. Painted light brown, silver, purple, and green.

Accessories: Beast Armor.

Release Data: Released February 2013 at an MSRP of $19.99.

Author: RAC

The cunning and brutal Decepticon scientist Shockwave plans to clone an unstoppable Predacon army!

One nice thing about Beast Hunters- and as a toyline there are a lot of nice things about Beast Hunters -is that they're making an effort to get us characters from the previous seasons of Prime that hadn't yet been produced, be it in the Cyberverse line or the main line. Shockwave kind of falls into this category- while he had been seen before in Season 2, he's coming to a greater prominence in Beast Hunters as the Mad Scientist who cloned the Predacons and cloned/revived Predaking. We've already got one Aligned Shockwave in the form of Fall of Cybertron Shockwave, but he's kinda short being a 2012 Deluxe, and not at all in the same style as your other Prime figures. (Not to mention that you may even be using him as a G1 Shockwave. Don't worry- I won't sic the TFWiki Canon Police on you.) So, bring on the Prime Voyager version of Shockwave!


Robot Mode

As was true of Smokescreen, all the elements that make Shockwave specifically a Beast Hunters toy are fully removable, keeping the default figure close to the on-screen model. This is a much-appreciated feature, and since this is the only Shockwave we're likely to get, I'm happy to see that taken into consideration once again.

Shockwave is pretty well on-model, in fact! Moreso than any of his Prime compatriots, he's a riff on his G1 character design given a Prime makeover. He's unmistakably Shockwave: single eye, chest window, gun for a left hand. But the styling is very much Prime with its layered armor plates. There's even a wee bit of movie Shockwave influence in the form of a design on his back very reminiscent of a spinal column. No kibble to speak of except for a modest-sized backpack that's a lot squarer than anything else on the figure. The design elected to turn G1 Shockwave's trademark "ears" into swept-back fins, and tie these into fins elsewhere on the design such as the backpack and cannon. The lower legs echo this design too, giving Shockwave a pretty nice and cohesive look. The only misstep in the design is the head: it's like they're trying to do G1 Shockwave's head shape and Animated Shockwave's head shape at the same time in the same space, and the shapes don't really work together at all. His eye, which is red in the animation, is rendered with a more pinkish plastic here, as it was on Fall of Cybertron Shockwave. I have absolutely no idea why they keep giving Shockwave a pink monoeye. The other mystery design choice is why Shockwave's kneecaps and cannon trim are a dark, beigeish color. This matches neither the dark gunmetal color on some parts of the toy, and neither does it match the lighter silver color. It seems like it should be the gunmetal color, or at least a dark gray. But not beige. There are also places where the purple paint doesn't really match the purple plastic, which here is a slightly lighter tone than the deep purple on FoC Shockwave, which was pretty close to the original toy. This is closer to Energon Shockblast.

I'd say no Shockwave was complete without a gun hand, but Animated Shockwave did just fine. While the original Shockwave had a very modest, nicely-scaled gun on his left wrist (or rather, where his left wrist should be), modern interpretations have upped its size and power. Energon Shockblast had a tremendous and awful lump of green plastic replacing his left arm below the shoulder, and I'm happy to say that Beast Hunters strikes a happy medium between those approaches. It's big but it starts below the elbow here, which is an improvement. It's also designed to swivel into any position you want. The barrel's very square which I suspect is a nod to the shape of G1 Shockwave's gun mode barrel. One of the tank treads on Shockwave's backpack detaches at one end to form the power cable that plugs into the gun. It's long and flexible enough that it's only minimally restrictive- more than G1 Shockwave could say -and it's a really nice touch. They even made the two halves of the backpack separate pieces, which serves no other purpose than to allow the backpack and cable to move with the arm. The action feature is a simple one: pressing the plunger causes the barrel of the gun to spin, which makes the springloaded halves of the barrel open up, revealing the more G1-ish inner barrel of the gun along with an energy-effect piece with some nicely-molded twisting effects molded in. It's a neat effect overall, and I like it, but that's kind of odd since it looks very much like it should be a firing missile and it's definitely not. The downside is that the barrel doesn't lock into a default position as firmly as I'd like. I also wish there were a way to lock the barrel open, but mainly because I have to figure out a way to photograph it for you guys.

Articulation is about on par with the other Beast Hunters Voyagers I've gotten so far. Shockwave's head is a swivel- and if you turn it around you can see what looks like the data jack he used in "Out of the Past." Good attention to detail there! Both arms have great shoulder movement, and there's a hinged piece in the shoulder armor to help with that. It's also been springloaded to help it return to the correct position- odd choice, but not bad. The right arm has good range of articulation at all points, and I particularly like the hand, which has been sculpted very nicely in an attractive pose. Well, attractive in a evil-claws kind of way. And it even has a 5mm socket that's hidden almost perfectly in the sculpt! Very nice. The articulation on the cannon arm is the same at the shoulder, and by necessity the elbow is slightly more restricted. There's still an upper arm swivel though, as well as a swivel for the cannon itself. The arm swivel's a problem on mine as it keeps pushing the cannon off of the arm, but I fully expect that to be unique to my figure. No waist because of the transformation scheme. The hips are odd: most ratcheting hips do so on the forward axis, but this one clicks on lateral movement: when you move Shockwave's legs out to the sides you can only do so into a fairly broad, preset position. Which means that unless you want him to bend at the knees, He has to stand straight up in a pretty lifeless, unnatural position. At least his broad feet are up to angling the legs if you so desire. The knees work well enough that Shockwave can kneel if you fudge the angle just a bit.




Transformation

Pretty simple, particularly considering the size. The legs fold around to become the front legs of the tank, Shockwave's chest unfolds to form the front... windshield, I guess?, and one arm locks down in front and the other in back. torso bits fold down to widen tank mode, backpack becomes rear treads. You turn the head around to hide the fact that it's just sort of sitting out there. The only remotely tricky part is where the chest tabs into the thighs to hopefully lock down the front half of the tank. It's a little fidgety, but not fatally so. Once you've done it once, it's not going to throw you.




Vehicle Mode

Shockwave is what fans have taken to calling an H-tank, since that's what the body looks like from above. He's slightly different from previous H-tank Transformers in that he's much more rounded and alien looking, unlike Armada Megatron and Generations Warpath who are meant to look like almost sort-of Earth tanks. Also, the rear treads aren't formed from the arms, as is the usual (kinda lazy) transformation pattern for those. (Not my first choice for a body type, though Warpath is an otherwise amazing Transformer.) His gun arm forms the turret, and so he's not quite symmetrical because of the one shoulder sticking up. It looks okay, though it doesn't roll all too smoothly and the turret is completely fixed. No rotation, no elevation. That's a pretty vulnerable tank! The armor actually looks better in this mode, making him look like a big robotic scorpionlike thing as much as anything. (Let us not forget that, going by Fall of Cybertron, Shockwave is responsible for the creation of the Insecticons as well.) I'm kind of undecided whether I prefer the tank with the bug face or the chest panel, but it's nice to have options.

I think we're all pretty well resigned to the fact that Shockwave will never be an incredibly loud noisemaking space gun again, but I'm not especially happy with this alt mode. It does look kind of neat with the armor, but it's not an especially nifty tank, and the turret not moving is an annoyance. (There's also definitely no way to mistransform it and pretend it's a gun.) I'd almost prefer another type of jet like from Fall of Cybertron. On the other hand, it's kind of neat and amusing that Megatron and Shockwave have swapped alt-forms since the war, when Megatron was a tank and Shockwave a jet.


Accessories

Shockwave's accessories are identified on the package simply as "Beast Armor." Not exactly as poetic as "Shadow Quill Armor" or "Thunder Talon" or any of the other fanciful Beast Hunters gear. What it is in practical terms is a breastplate that looks like a bug face (with multiple eyes but one large, centered one- thematic!) and two spiked pieces that look like clawed hands of some sort. They definitely don't look like insect claws, but I'm not sure how much that matters to you. Rankles a bit for me. They're a slightly rusty red, so they pop pretty well on Shockwave's purples and grays and silvers. They're also soft, rubbery plastic and smell like new bicycle tires, which may well be my favorite thing about them. The armor attaches to both modes just fine, and looks pretty good. I think it does more for the tank mode, but that may be because I don't have any preconceived notions about how I want the tank to look, where covering Shockwave's chest panel just doesn't seem worth it to me. The best accessories, in my opinion, are those which add something significant to the figure if you use them, but don't leave the figure incomplete if you don't. How much this adds to Shockwave is extremely subjective, but it doesn't take a thing away. And it looks a lot better in either mode than Smokescreen's does.




Closing Remarks

Shockwave is a strong Good on the Figurereviews.com Non-Numeric Rating Scale. Nothing is executed poorly, but I feel as though the vehicle mode is weak at the design level. If you're only interested in a decent Voyager Shockwave that looks good in robot mode, you'll get that, but you may not be thrilled with the rest. If you like what you see of the tank and/or the armor, then the figure is definitely for you.



ReviewerRAC  
DateMarch 22nd 2013  
Score 7 stars (7 out of 10)  
Reads9796
LinkBeast Hunters Shockwave Gallery  


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