"Cyberverse" Ultra Class Shadow Striker Toy Review
Release Date: October 2018
Price Point: $19.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
*Images and text below from Hasbro.com:
A vengeful warrior, Shadow Striker and the evil Decepticons embark on a mission to destroy Earth.
Convert and attack with Transformers Cyberverse Action Attackers! Change figure from robot to vehicle mode in 6 steps. The last step of conversion automatically activates Shadow Striker figure’s signature Stealth Sniper Shot Action Attack move! Once converted, attack move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps
Look for other Action Attackers figures, each sold separately, to discover the signature attack moves of favorite Cyberverse characters!
- Includes Shadow Striker figure and instructions.
- Ultra Class Shadow Striker figure inspired by the Cyberverse animated series
- Each Action Attackers figure performs a signature character attack move
- Convert Shadow Striker to activate Stealth Sniper Shot Action Attack move
- Once converted, attack move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps
- Changes from robot to sports car mode in 6 steps
- Figure scale: 7.5 inches
- Ages 6 and up
- Warning: Choking Hazard -- Small parts may be generated. Not for children under 3 years.
In late 2017 it was revealed that a new Transformers cartoon would be replacing "Robots in Disguise". The series focuses on Bumblebee with partial amnesia attempting to regain his memories. A blend of G1 and modern characters combined with a more kid-friendly animation style results in a show that leans more towards a younger audience than even "Robots in Disguise", something which is reflected in the toy line. The toy line was released in countries outside the United States such as Australia around late June 2018. A few weeks later it would be released in North America.
As the seasons changed in 2018 the second wave of "Cyberverse" figures was released. This included a second assortment of "Ultra" Class figures. Among these figures was one of the featured Decepticons in the series: Shadow Striker. For those thinking the name sounds familiar, the character of Shadow Striker was introduced to the Transformers universe way back in 2003 in a Botcon boxed set featuring her and her sister Roulette. Unlike that character however, this one is hardly a conflicted Decepticon. Instead she is a dedicated Decepticon warrior!
Shadow Striker is packaged in an open box, tied to a bubble. The front features Shadow Striker's artwork in the left corner. On the right side is a vertical Transformers logo with an Decepticon symbol above it. The front section that goes over the legs features Shadow Striker in vehicle mode firing her "Stealth Sniper Shot" (which looks more like a giant cannon, but okay). Next to that is the "Transformers Cyberverse" logo with her name under it. This packaging features distinctive colors including black, grey, light blue and yellow which really helps it stand out on shelves.
The back of the packaging focuses on the yellow and blue colors from the front. It features Shadow Striker's name and function: "Vengeful Warrior". She is shown in both modes with a callout for a 6 step transformation. The upper right hand corner shows her using her "Stealth Sniper Shot". Towards the bottom are cosells featuring Bumblebee and Shockwave.
The "Cyberverse" Ultra Class figures are simplified designs, but even given that it is quite a challenge for any size class to create an animation accurate Shadow Striker figure that transforms into a boxy/rectangular car. In the cartoon, Shadow Striker has a rather lithe form, complete with a narrow waist, thin arms and rounded shoulders. However, there is little evidence of her car mode outside of wheels on her back and legs. When she transforms most of the car panels just kind of appear out of nowhere. With a toy however the car parts have to go somewhere so on this design much of those parts wind up on his back and behind the legs.
All that said, Shadow Striker does feature many of the design elements of her animated counterpart. This includes the oval shaped head with a circle on a center crest. One eye looks like a monocle for targeting. Interestingly, the head is sculpted with a mouthplate instead of the mouth she features in the "Cyberverse" cartoon. The chest features angled panels that lead to a narrow waist and hip area. Her shoulders are round leading to thin arms. The waist area has a "belt" like section with a "buckle" section in the middle. The legs have knee armor on them shaped like the top of the Decepticon symbol and the wheels are attached to the sides of the legs. She also features the back of her front wheels behind the shoulders, similar to the animation model.
Take these two design choices together and the result is basically a pretty cartoon accurate Shadow Striker body with a car on her back. For some fans that's going to be an instant turn off, and I totally get that. However, given the class of figure and its "simplified" nature, I understand the design compromise.
Shadow Striker is cast in metallic purple and black plastic. There are a surprising number of paint applications on this figure. That includes a light metallic blue on the face, the arms, torso and lower legs. Frankly I'm amazed just how much of this paint there is and it looks great. There is a dull red used on the head, the wheels behind the shoulders and the middle of the "belt buckle". The finishing touch is a tampographed Decepticon symbol in the middle of the chest. I really am impressed by the deco on this figure. It looks fantastic.
There are four points of articulation on this figure, but only two are particularly meaningful: the arms. The legs can swing out to the sides to a bit, but that does not mean much. I really do wish these figures could swing the legs forward and back. Each of the hands can accommodate 5mm peg weapons.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Straighten out the arms.
- Push the legs together.
- Push the arms down, then in.
- Push the panels with the front wheels on them in.
- Swing the hood piece over the robot head.
Shadow Striker's vehicle mode is a scifi looking car, complete with lots of sharp angles and lines. The rear even his a spoiler with pointed ends. The back has giant thrusters. Not much of Shadow Striker's vehicle mode has appeared in the "Cyberverse" cartoon thus far, only shots of the front and middle but this does look a lot like the vehicle seen in the show. This is a very cool design and I like it a lot.
This mode uses all the same colors as the robot mode. Most of the car is purple with the windows painted light blue. The thrusters in the back are painted silver. Surprisingly, the rear lights are painted red. I would have thought a "simplified" figure would skimp on the paint in vehicle mode, but I am glad to see that is not the case.
Shadow Striker has a cool action feature in this mode. Hold the vehicle down and press the front of the vehicle in. This will cause the thrusters in the back to swing up and forward, revealing her "Stealth Sniper Shot". It is kind of hilarious to see such a giant weapon being sold as a "Stealth Sniper Shot" when it is a giant weapon that is hard to miss! Still, it is a fun action feature and I think it's very cool.
Shadow Striker is a fun toy for a very specific audience, namely younger fans who may just be starting out with Transformers as a brand or maybe kids "graduating" from "Rescue Bots". I appreciate Hasbro's willingness to add female characters into the line (something that seemed near impossible once upon a time) and she has a cool action feature to boot! Recommended for the target audience, but older fans may want to put their $20 towards a Deluxe Class figure from "Generations" instead.
- Fairly show accurate robot mode (minus the "car on my back")
- Really impressive deco for a figure of this class.
- Great to see more female characters worked into various assortments.
- Action feature is very fun and works very well.
- She has a car on her back.
- Limited articulation.