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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Decepticon Cybertron Commander - Shockwave/Laserwave!

Takara finally gave their fans what they've wanted - more Decepticons! After a steady diet of autobots... Ironhide, Ultra Magnus, Wheeljack, Rodimus, Bumblebee, etc, we get the first new mold official Decepticon since Soundwave and his Cassetticons (from 2014!). Masterpiece Shockwave is well worth that wait. A vibrant purple, giant floating "Vulcan Cannon," Shockwave is one of the more peculiar looking Decepticons. Emotionless, his pulsing yellow eye eerily reminds you of 2001 A Space Oddessey. 

Cannon mode is very G1 toy, and perhaps rather weak. He has a lot of obvious screw holes, some gaps, and overall unambitious. Unlike Ironhide or Optimus Prime, where they took the G1 alternate mode and really fixed a lot of the issues, with Shockwave, they just basically ported over a 30 year design with minimal changes. It's closest comparison is mp08 Grimlock. That being said, the designers did add an ingenious way to handle the muzzle kibble. Third party versions of shockwave folded the muzzle inside out to create Shockwave's backpack, but this amounts to partsforming... Something some masterpiece fans abhor. Takara went a slightly unique route. The muzzle is still the backpack, but they added a swinging diecast lever that connects the muzzle to the back. An optional display stand for gun mode clips over the muzzle, and seals the deal (still partsforming, but optional).
Best of all, the tube that feeds from Shockwave's nuclear reactor to his hand laser is a funky, slinky-like metal spring. It feels weird, but works fantastically, and won't suffer the rubber-rot of g1 and third party tubes.

Biggest issues I've read online are scale and shade of purple. Those I cannot review, it's all in the eye of the particular buyer.  Further causing issues is the fact that the type of light affects the shade of purple. Warm, 60W will give a nice, almost Quakewave hue, full spectrum will give you the colder, bluish tint seen here. As a reference, I took a pic of other common purple Decepticons. Hopefully it will help.
Shockwave is definitely a worthwhile purchase, I do think his design fits well with the other official and third party mp-level transformers. If you have a third party shockwave already, I would recommend picking this guy up anyway, because he is a fun toy to transform, and the mini-Vulcan Cannon is an awesome accessory, and the tube design is a wonder to behold. Hopefully Fanstoys and Cloud 9 can offer a copy to their Quake____ buyers.






Ps... I'm not a fan of Lightpiping, so all my pics of Shockwave were taken after the light panel was painted purple and the eye yellow. Decepticon stickers are provided with Shockwave. I prefer waterslide transfers, and used the Ocean silver reflective Decepticon transfers.

Bulletpoints!

PRO
  • Mini-Shockwave gun is adorable!
  • Metal spring for arm canon is really a great idea.
  • Handles the transformation from gun barrel to backpack logically.

CON

  • Lavender purple really doesn't scream "evil logical genius".
  • Gun mode has several gaps in it.
  • No G1 sound effects, just lights.
  • Lightpiping. Ick.

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