"Generations" Combiner Wars Shockwave Toy Review

in 2015, Action Figure Review, Combiner Wars, Decepticon, Generation One, Generations, Legends

Generations

Shockwave General Information:
Release Date: July 2015
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: Spoiler/Axe

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
Pummeling Autobots is just the mission for this Decepticon warrior! This Shockwave figure is a hardcore robot fighter and he’ll be a match for any Autobot who tries to take him on! He converts fast from robot mode to massive cannon mode – and he combines with Onslaught (sold separately) to form Bruticus, a robot-tank Decepticon scientist! Keep converting him back and forth so he can handle whatever his foes dish out! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

Shockwave is one of those characters that has been with "Transformers" since the beginning. In both the G1 cartoon and comic book he made very early appearances, cementing him as a classic character in "Transformers" history. During the "Unicron Trilogy" he appeared as Laserwave/Shockblast. Years later he would be a feature character in "Dark of the Moon". In more recent time he received the "Generations" treatment as a Deluxe Class figure. Now he gets a new sculpt on a different scale as a Legends Class figure as part of "Combiner Wars".

Packaging:
Shockwave is packaged in a blister set against a rectangular backing card. The card features a large segment of Shockwave's package art in the front with a black bar and the modern "Transformers" logo over the black bar. This is new artwork based on this figure, not a reuse of artwork from the "Transformers Legends" mobile app. The "Combiner Wars" logo is in smaller letters at the top. The back features multiple languages and a brief bio of the character with photos of the toy in both modes. Included in the packaging (set behind the figure) is a collector card featuring a full view of Shockwave's packaging art. Similar in style to the first wave of "Combiner Wars" Deluxe figures, this card has no bio information on the back but rather a segment of the Autobot symbol.

Robot Mode:
Shockwave's new design is a true "Generations" update, taking elements of his classic design but adding new elements into the sculpt. Here are some of the features that Shockwave carries over from his G1 design:

  • The head design is pure G1 including a hexagon shape in front with a single "eye" in the center. The top of his head as a small notch and the sides have flat "ear" pieces that are swept back slightly.
  • On the top of the chest section there are two tube-like sections on either side of the head.
  • The chest panel is wide with a translucent section in front.
  • The shoulder sections of his arms have a part that extends out slightly to the sides.
  • His left hand is a blaster instead of a fist.
  • The center of his waist area has a piece that is shaped like the trigger from the G1 figure.
  • His knee armor comes up over the thighs slightly.
  • The sides of his lower legs have thin, oval shaped sections that resemble the handle grips from his blaster mode in the G1 figure.

All that said, he's not a replica of G1 Shockwave. There are a lot of modern design flourishes mostly in the form of raised surfaces and shapes along with a wide variety of mechanical greebles. The figure doesn't look busy however, it just adds to the overall texture and it looks great.

Shockwave is cast in purple, silver and translucent purple plastic. The dark purple plastic makes up most of the figure, with silver making up parts like the thighs, back and feet. The translucent purple is used on key parts like his hands, lower legs and chest. I like the way the translucent plastic is distributed. It gives him the appearance of having "glowing" segments on his body.

Paint detail is mostly done in silver. You'll find it on his mid-section and waist as well as the "ears" on his head. Purple paint is used on his lower legs which matches up really nicely with the purple plastic on the rest of the figure. This is impressive since often time trying to match paint to plastic is tough and often the color differences are very noticeable. Rounding out the details are yellow on his eye and a Decepticon symbol tampographed on the chest. Shockwave hits all the deco points I expect of a Shockwave figure and he looks great.

There are thirteen points of articulation on this figure. That includes two on each arm and four on each leg. Two doesn't sound like a lot for the arms, but they are ball joints so he has a really good range of articulation. His right fist has a 5mm port in it, allowing him to hold weapons from other figures.

Transformation to Weapon Mode:

  1. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  2. Swing up the feet.
  3. Swing the back pack forward. This will push the head into the chest and reveal the weapon handle.
  4. On each arm, swing the hinged elbow piece back.
  5. Swing the arms together, connecting them together using the tabs in the middle.
  6. Push the legs down at the hip joints.
  7. Rotate the lower legs so the hollow parts face outward.
  8. Swing the lower legs together and tab them together.

Weapon Mode:
Unlike the Generation One era, there are all sorts of laws and rules surrounding how a toy can be marketed now if it resembles a weapon. The "Classics" Megatron is one recent example of a figure that was a challenge to get onto the market and Shockwave is no different. The designers wanted to make sure his sculpt could still be used as a blaster but also get past any potential issues from a legal perspective. Given that the toy has hit the market, I believe they succeeded but it involved some creative flourishes.

First let's look at how this mode is similar to G1 Shockwave's weapon mode:

  • The general shape of the weapon is similar, with a large, wide barrel in front leading to a middle section with a scope on it and then a shorter back section.
  • The front of the barrel has an eight sided design that echoes the shape of Shockwave's robot mode head.
  • The scope in the middle is also shaped like Shockwave's head and it has a targeting reticle in the center that calls back to G1 Shockwave's design.
  • On either side of the middle section there is a raised, oval section that looks similar to the same area on G1 Shockwave where the robot shoulders connected to the torso.
  • On the back section of the weapon, you will see a row of four indentations on the sides. There were also four indented lines on G1 Shockwave in the same area.
  • On the top of the weapon's rear section you'll see raised details forming a circle. This is reminiscent of the same section on G1 Shockwave where several lines formed a circle where you would hear the sound effects from the toy as you pressed the trigger. There's no such functionality on this figure, but it's cool to see this paid homage to.

To distinguish him from just being a blaster, several design elements were added on to this mode to make it look more like a ship of some sort. The heel pieces from the robot mode form horizontal fins on the sides of the weapon. On the back there are two triangular vertical fins and right behind those are what look like small rocket boosters. What I appreciate is that these details are not intrusive at all and they look more like modern design elements on the weapon that flow nicely with the design.

This mode shows off all the same colors as the robot mode. The only "new" detail is a Decepticon symbol on the top of the weapon. The targeting scope and the weapon handle are both cast in silver. Once again there was no great need to go nuts with deco on this form as it stays very true to G1 Shockwave and looks cool.

Shockwave's main functionality in this mode revolves around the conceit that he is both a spaceship and weapon. The handle has a 5mm peg allowing other Transformers to hold it as a weapon (he is intended to go with Bruticus where he can be attached to his back pack or used as a weapon). If you want him in "Spaceship Mode", just swing the handle up and the form is streamlined. It's a pretty nifty way of selling the "Spaceship Mode" without going to nuts on the design.

Final Thoughts:
Shockwave is an excellent Legends Class figure. I also appreciate that the figure's ability to be used as a weapon by Bruticus echoes his scenes with the giant in "The Revenge of Bruticus"! Highly recommended!