"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Shockwave

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Generations, Leader, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: December 2018
Price Point: $49.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: "LV Gamma-Disruptor Launcher" weapons x 2, "LV Duo-Pulse Radiograph weapon" accessories x 2, Blaster cover/back pack

Shockwave

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
The WFC-S14 Shockwave figure features story-inspired battle-worn deco and is equipped with a LV-1 Thermal Range Neuron Beam weapon arm, 2 LV Duo-Pulse Radiograph weapon accessories and 2 LV Gamma-Disruptor Launcher weapon accessories. Multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapons ports in bot and vehicle modes allow fans to attach weapons to figure in custom weapon configurations.

Customizable Weapons Loadout - The twisted Decepticon scientist, Shockwave, gears up for battle with the customizable C.O.M.B.A.T. System. The Leader Class WFC-S14 Shockwave figure is equipped with 5 weapon and armor accessories so fans can convert figure to C.O.M.B.A.T. READY mode. Multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapon and armor ports allow fans to attach weapons and armor to figure and enables custom weapon configurations in bot and vehicle modes.

Shockwave has played a significant part in his various incarnations over the years. In G1 he ran Cybertron in Megatron's absence. Meanwhile in the comic book he was an ambitious Decepticon who defeated Megatron in battle! As the years have rolled along, this character has not been forgotten. He has popped up again and again in the Transformers toy line. Some key Shockwave figures include:

Packaging:
Taking a cue from "Studio Series", the Deluxe figures in "Siege" are packaged in boxes instead of the traditional bubble card used for Deluxe Class figures. These boxes are beautiful featuring an unusual shape with one flat side and one angled side. While elements of previous packaging are still found on the boxes (ex: the vertical Transformers logo, the "Generations" logo, a largely black background etc.) there is a lot more added on. First, the background is not solid black. There are designs on it that look like sparks or perhaps embers from flames On the angled side is the character's package art. In this case it shows Astrotrain running into battle. The figure itself is in robot mode behind a clear plastic window. To the left is a chevron with the character name. Below that is the "War for Cybertron: Siege" logo.

The back of the box features Shockwave in his three primary configurations: robot mode with armor, vehicle mode and Shockwave riding his "hovercraft". The vehicle to robot transformation is listed as having 28 steps. His cosell is Ultra Magnus.

In a fun extra, shining a black light on the packaging will reveal Cybertronian glyphs. Input them on Hasbro's "Teletraan-1" web site and you get a translation. In Shockwave's case it is "TARN", referring to the city on Cybertron ruled by Shockwave before the Great War. Enter that into the Teletraan-1 site and it reveals his function (Decepticon Scientist) and location (Tarn) along with the following location data: "Loyal Decepticon zone. One of the first cities conquered by the Decepticons. Location is secured, fortified, has withstood heavy fire."

Accessories:
Shockwave is really a Voyager Class figure with a lot of extra parts to "add up" to the mass of something approaching a traditional Leader Class figure (well, close to it anyhow). Here's a rundown of what comes with this figure:

LV Gamma-Disruptor Launcher
These accessories look like Shockwave's "blaster arm" with shoulder armor based on his leg designs mashed up into one piece (with a couple fins slapped on to look aerodynamic). In vehicle mode these form parts of the vehicle's back section. These pieces each feature three 5mm pegs and a 5mm port on the bottom of the arms. The arms themselves feature four points of articulation (I am counting the ability of the "blaster hand" to rotate). These are mainly intended to be attached to Shockwave's shoulders but the 5mm pegs allow for a variety of possibilities. This piece is mostly made up of a dark indigo plastic (much darker than the purple used on other Shockwave toys) and the blaster end is mauve plastic. Silver paint applications are used on the side. A dark wash is brushed onto the sides to resemble "battle damage" and in this case I think it looks great since it accentuates details instead of overwhelming them

LV Duo-Pulse Radiograph weapon
These accessories look like weapon pods with two large blasters at the end. Each features a 5mm peg on top and two 5mm ports on the bottom. The ends of the cannons can accomodate Blast Effects. A small wing can swing out to the side or swing in when you attach this to Shockwave as a pair of "boots". This piece is mostly indigo plastic with silver painted at the ends.

"Back pack"
I am using the term "Back Pack" loosely here but this is not really a weapon but rather an additional accessory that helps to "bulk up" the figure in its alt modes. This piece looks like a "cap" of sorts that goes over the front of the figure in vehicle mode to make it larger looking, but it still just looks like a giant space gun barrel. The sides add some armor with small cannons on the sides. The front end has a large circle where you can attach Blast Effects. The sides have 5mm ports. This piece is made up of indigo and clear plastic. Indigo makes up most of it and the clear plastic is in the front. Silver is used to paint the cannons on the sides.

Shockwave's accessories can be assembled to form a hovercraft (or hover sled if you prefer). Interestingly, this is shown in official photography by Hasbro, but it is not in the instructions. Here's how you put it together:

  1. Straighten out the sides of the "back pack" piece and swing the small cannons in.
  2. Attach each of the LV Duo-Pulse Radiograph weapons to the pegs on the side panels of the "back pack" then push them together.
  3. Swing the arms in on each LV Gamma-Disruptor Launcher.
  4. Attach each of the Gamma-Disruptors to the sides.

The end result is a hovercraft that is reminiscent of the vehicles seen used by the Decepticons in Dark of the Moon. What's fun is that you can use this vehicle two ways. If you have the "Duo-Pulse Radiograph Weapons" facing up, you can attach Shockwave to the pegs to make it a hovercraft for him. If you flip the vehicle over, swap the Gamma-Disruptor Launchers and swing the side cannons up it can serve as a vehicle for a smaller figure! This may not be in the instructions, but I consider this play pattern a key part of this figure's appeal.

I am going to go into the realm of speculation now. Two of the weapon/accessory types included with this figure have names beginning with the letters "LV". That does not mean much in terms of Shockwave the character however it could be a reference to a fun factoid about G1 Shockwave's toy. In the 1986 feature film "Aliens", there is a key scene where two main characters are trapped in a room. Part of the set appears to have been made out of two Shockwave figures! You can see the screenshot here. So why is this important? Well, the name of the planet these characters are on is LV-426! Of course, I could be completely off base here, but if true it is a fun Easter Egg for fans of both the "Aliens" and "Transformers" franchises. Another fun note: in 1986, "Aliens" and "Transformers: The Movie" were in theaters at the same time!

Robot Mode:
Siege has redefined the Leader Class as a Voyager Class figure with extra accessories (a move which definitely has pros and cons). In the case of Shockwave, he is a roughly Voyager Class in size measuring around 6.5 inches (about 16.51 cm) tall. That makes him about the same height as Siege Megatron, but that figure is a bit more wide and bulky. However, toys are not just about height. Shockwave weighs in at 7.6 oz (all weapons included). In contrast, Siege Megatron is 6.6 oz while Siege Ultra Magnus is 12.3 oz. So Shockwave winds up floating in an odd middle ground between the two (much like Astrotrain but lighter).

Shockwave's sculpt takes the classic G1 design and adds lots of extra greeble details on top. For the most part this figure looks like a more modern and slightly streamlined version of G1 Shockwave. The design elements carried over from G1 Shockwave include:

  • The head design features his iconic single "eye" and "ear panels" set vertically on the sides.
  • Part of the alt-mode forms a rectangular "back pack" on the back.
  • The left forearm has a blaster at the end instead of a fist.
  • The left arm has a soft plastic cable running from the arm to the "back pack".
  • The chest has a clear six-sided panel in front.
  • The top of the chest features some raised, curved sections that flank the head.
  • The mid-body features a series of horizontal lines running down the middle.
  • Each leg features raised, curved sections on the sides that call back to the gun grips on the original Shockwave toy.

Shockwave is made up of indigo, silver and mauve plastic. Indigo makes up most of the figure. Silver is found on parts like the thighs. Mauve is used for smaller parts like the fist and "blaster hand". Paint colors include silver and dark grey (used for "battle damage" on parts like the feet). Each forearm has a purple and silver Decepticon symbol on it. The eye is made up of translucent yellow plastic with light piping on the top of the head. The chest has a clear purple panel featuring lots of mechanical detailing. Overall his deco look great and true to the character.

There are twenty four points of articulation on this figure. This includes six in each arm and five in each leg. His hip and knee joints are ratchet joints, allowing him extra support for his weight when you attach his accessories to him. There are ten 5mm ports on this figure to attach his own accessories or other weapons with 5mm pegs. Three of these ports are on his "back pack", five are on the arms and two are on the legs. Shockwave also has five attachment points for Blast Effects to make it look like he is being hit by weapons fire. Each shoulder has one, there is one on the mid-body and each leg has one in the front.

One note: the rubbery/soft plastic tube going from the arm to the back pack is likely to be delicate as time marches forward. These pieces traditionally wear down over the years so keep an eye on it. There are some web pages out there that talk about preserving these by putting oils or other liquids on them. I have not tried any of these methods so I cannot endorse any particular approach. I would recommend doing research on this if it concerns you.

To "bulk up" this figure worthy of the term "Leader Class", the accessories included with the figure can be attached to various points. Here's a rundown:

  • The LV Gamma-Disruptor Launcher weapons are meant to be attached to the shoulders. You can either attach them using the pegs on the sides or the peg on the inside of the accessory to make the shoulder armor look wider.
  • The LV Duo-Pulse Radiograph weapons can attach to the bottom of Shockwave's feet, basically forming shoes with blasters in front. They can also attach to other attachment points such as those on the sides of the legs.
  • The "Back Pack" accessory attaches to...well, Shockwave's back pack. Put it on top then swing the sides down to hold it in place.

This combined form definitely helps bulk the figure up. If you use the configuration where the Gamma-Disruptors are on the shoulders, he reminds me of the Hindu Deity Ganesha or perhaps even Vishnu thanks to the four arms. Themeatically however Shockwave's cruel and destructive ways are a far cry from the themes representied by those deities. This is purely an aesthetic parallel. This form also adds a couple attachmemt points for Blast Effects such as the pegs on the shoulder armor. If you have weapons with 5mm ports, you can attach those to the armor as well, and the back pack offers additional 5mm ports for weapons storage.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach all accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Disconnect the cable from the forearm and leave it detached for now.
  4. Swing the chest open and swing the head back, then swing the chest back into place.
  5. Swing the arms up. Position the forearms so the 5mm ports on them face out to the sides.
  6. Swing the back pack out, and swing up the panels.
  7. Swing the back pack forward and between the arms, them move the arms to sit against the interior of the back pack, then swing the panel back down.
  8. Rotate the lower body around.
  9. Swing out the side panels on both lower legs.
  10. Rotate the lower legs in.
  11. Swing each lower leg up over the thighs.
  12. Push the lower legs together.
  13. Connect the leg panels and swing it forward to form the ship's central tower.
  14. Take the "back pack" accessory and connect it to the front section, then attach the side panels to the arms. Towards the front of each side panel is a 5mm peg. That fits into the 5mm ports on the forearms. Then the back pieces have tabs that connect to slots on the shoulders. Then swing in the panels with the two small dual-barreled cannons on them and push them together.
  15. Connect the tube to the 5mm port on the side of the "back pack armor".
  16. On each LV Gamma-Disruptor Launcher weapons, swing the arms up. Then attach them to the sides of the vehicle at the back.
  17. On each LV Duo-Pulse Radiograph, swing the small wing out from the bottom, then attach them to the LV Gamma-Disruptor Launcher weapons to form the "wings" of the vehicle.
  18. Swing out the small skid on the bottom of the vehicle's front end.

Vehicle Mode:
Shockwave's vehicle mode is a really cool looking ship. No, really! The front is inspired by the cannon barrel of the G1 Shockwave's weapon mode. The central tower has a similar design to Shockwave's head at the top, complete with a single eye. He also has a ton of weaponry including the small cannons in front, the larger ones on the sides and even rocket pods towards the back. This design looks formidable and it also reminds me of ships that would have come out of Anime shows in the 80's.

All the colors from the robot mode come together here, with the indigo being the main color. Silver is used on smaller parts along with some of the mauve on the LV Gamma-Disruptor Launcher weapons.

This form has ten 5mm ports you can use to attach additional weapons. These include two on each side on the front, two on the central tower, two on the bottom and two on the sides. You can attach Blast Effects to the very front of the ship, the blasters on the "wings" and the rear thrusters. If you load up enough Weaponizer parts, Blast Effects and Weaponizer parts, the ship looks amazing.

For those who prefer Shockwave being a giant space gun in his alt-mode, you're in luck! Just detach the parts on the sides and the "back pack" accessory (or you can leave it on) and flip the ship upside down and you have G1 Shockwave's "space gun" form! Sure the handle could be a bit bigger and he does not have a targeting scope, but it's close enough given all the restrictions the designers have to work under nowadays.

Final Thoughts:
Shockwave is a very cool toy. He looks great in both modes, the accessories are cool and I think the hovercraft is a neat extra. I also love that you can kind of fudge a G1 inspired gun mode! All that said, I have a hard time endorsing spending $50 USD on this figure (unless you are reading this years after I wrote this and it is only available on the aftermarket). Compared to both Astrotrain and Ultra Magnus there simply is not as much plastic (never mind the design). I would say at most this figure should be $45 USD. Ideally the price should be somewhere between $35-40 USD. I would try to hold out for a sale if you can, but I do really like this figure.

Pros:

  • Fantastic sculpt that pays homage to G1 Shockwave very well.
  • Beautiful deco.
  • Fun play value.

Cons:

  • There is not as much plastic included with this set as other Leader Class Siege figures, making it less of a value.