Shokaract. Not since the days of the Dark God, Unicron, has the universe felt such a presence of evil. Once a lowly Predacon warrior, Shokaract stumbled upon the life force of the Dark God during a failed recon mission. Fashioning a housing for this Dark Essence, Shokaract called it his Decepticon Matrix of Conquest. Serving as a mockery of the Autobot Matrix of Leadership, the vessel that destroyed Unicron in 2005, the mere mention of this Matrix of Conquest would instill fear into the Spark of every Transformer for centuries to come. Shokaract's goal is frighteningly simple--the subjugation of the entire universe. His only opposition is
pockets of resistance spread throughout the galaxy, attacking his Herald-led armies at every opportunity. With the Matrix of Conquest in his possession, Shokaract has no weaknesses.
Shokaract comes in an Ultra-sized box done in the tradition of G1 Japanese style packaging. A huge CGI portrait of Shokaract appears on the right, with lightning in the background, and on the left are pictures of his crab, tank, and robot modes. Instructions for transforming him into robot mode are on the back, but there's none for transforming him into tank mode. So unless you already have Rampage, you're going to need some help. Overall, this is a nice box, though not nearly as impressive as the ones for Sandstorm and Antagony. His stats are all 10's, except for a speed of 9.
A huge Transmetal crab that measures about a foot from the tips of its claws to its rump. While I had my doubts upon first hearing what Shokaract's colours were, I was pleasantly surprised in the end. Indeed, the actual colour scheme differs considerably from the photos shown on the box. Shokaract's main colours are metallic light brown and blue-green, with black claws and antennae, and dark blue vac metal for the shell. Yellow, blue, and silver complement the form. I have to say that I really like this scheme. More so than that of Rampage. It looks attractive, yet has a sinister feel
to it. Appropriate for the bearer of the Matrix of Conquest.
I'm not certain just what sort of crab Shokaract is. He's not a king crab as far as I can tell. Rather, he's a generic species, and a mean looking one at that. I do wish that his eyes were on stalks though. Most of his bulk is centered around his claws, which are simply enormous. It takes little imagination to see how frightful such weaponry would be in combat. His three missiles and laser rifle can be stored within the inner halves of his claws. His crab mouth looks quite fearsome, with sharp teeth lining his mouth. The head halves appear to have a slight tendency to separate.
Shokaract has quite a bit of articulation about him. His claws open and close, and his arms are jointed in several locations. Interestingly, some of his joints appear to be rachet ones, something that my Rampage toy does not have. His lower jaw opens and closes, and his antennae are one ball joints. Four of his six legs have two ball joints each. His last two have a lesser range of movement, since they help form the tank's treads. Shokaract ends up belly flopping for the most part, but numerous Transfans have reported being able to get the Rampage toy to stand on its legs with a little adjustment. I
haven't been successful with Shokaract thus far. Come to think of it, I never succeeded with Rampage either. Oh well.
Be it Rampage or Shokaract, this is by far the coolest vehicle
mode of any Transmetal, bar none. Converting Shokaract into tank mode can be a real toughie if you've never owned Rampage though. The tri-barrel cannon on his belly rotates forward, and his legs and claws convert to accommodate
tank treads. The gray rubber treads are stored in the large outer claw halves. Be sure to line up the posts on his arms and shell with the holes in the sides of his claws. His inner claw halves become barrier busters.
Getting him to roll can be quite a challenge. I recommend rotating his robot legs and hips out from under his shell, which will allow the treads to touch the ground more easily. Even then, I can't always get them to work. His cannon firing gimmick works nicely though. Push him forward, and the
wheel on the bottom of the cannon causes the barrel to spin, launching the three missiles in rapid succession for about a meter or so. Ultra gear!
Transforming Shokaract into robot mode is fairly complex for
an Ultra. His claws end up hanging down over his back, giving the biggest backpack of them all. His rub symbol is located on the interior of his shell, underneath the robot head.
Standing 18 cm (7.1 inches) high, Shokaract's robot form looks every bit as fearsome as his other two. In addition to retaining all his crab mode colours, his head, torso, arms, and legs all have dark brown. Very nice touch indeed. His eyes are light green, and he has metallic silver detailing which matches that of Rampage on the TV show. He looks a whole
helluva lot more evil than old Crab Cake ever did. Poor Depth Charge would have a spark attack if he ever laid eyes on this sucker! Shokaract's head, shoulders, elbows (hinge and swivel), hips, knees, and feet all move. His feet, though small, do a fine job of keeping him erect. Unfortunately, the crab legs hanging off his arms, and the huge claws on his
back inhibit poseability somewhat. He can't really assume any good action poses without falling over backwards.
Shokaract comes with two firearms. The first is his laser rifle,
modelled to resemble a shotgun. It's quite tiny, and doesn't really befit an awesome figure like him. His other weapon, the tri-barrel cannon, is another story. It's without a doubt the coolest gun to ever come with a Transformer, at least IMO. The firing mechanism still works in this mode by rotating the
wheel with your finger.
Overall, Suspsy Sez
While I had my doubts at first about a recoloured Rampage, I've really become crazy over this exclusive item. Rampage was already a great toy, but Shokaract's improved colour scheme makes him even better. It's too bad that 3H couldn't have included a Matrix of Conquest accessory, but I'm not complaining. All three modes look cool and lethal, with a neat missile firing gimmick. I highly recommend Shokaract to anyone, even with the high price tag.
|Date||October 27th 2001 |
|Score|| (10 out of 10) |