"Studio Series" Shockwave (Core Class) Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: February 2022
Price Point: $9.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Arm cannon

Official images and product description in italics below are from Amazon:

  • STUDIO SERIES CORE CLASS: Core Class figures are 3.5-inch collectible action figures that allow fans to collect mini versions of iconic characters from the movie universe
  • 3.5-INCH SCALE SHOCKWAVE: Figure features vivid, movie-inspired deco, is highly articulated for posability, and comes with a blaster accessory
  • 2 ICONIC MODES: Figure features classic conversion between robot and Cybertronian hovercraft modes in 13 steps. Perfect for fans looking for a more advanced converting figure. For kids and adults ages 8 and up
  • NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN ALT MODE : This Shockwave figure features a never-before-seen alt mode, specially designed for Studio Series!

Studio Series has always allowed fans to reach past the big screen and build the ultimate Transformers collection inspired by iconic movie scenes from the Transformers movie universe. Now, the Studio Series line is expanding to include the epic moments and characters from the classic 1986 The Transformers: The Movie, bringing fans a whole new series of screen-inspired figures to collect! (Each sold separately. Subject to availability.) This Studio Series Core Class Transformers: Bumblebee -inspired Shockwave figure stands at 3.5 inches and converts from robot to Cybertronian hovercraft mode in 13 steps. Comes with a blaster accessory that attaches to the figure in vehicle mode. This Shockwave figure features a never-before-seen alt mode, specially designed for Studio Series! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

The opening of the Bumblebee Movie featured a fast paced battle scene on Cybertron. This scene featured the Cybertronian versions of many characters based on fan favorite G1 characters. One of these was Shockwave who appeared to be leading the Decepticon forces against the Autobots.

Shockwave was actually first introduced to the live action movie universe on the big screen in Dark of the Moon, and there were many toys made of him including a "Cyberverse" figure, Voyager Class and more recently, a Studio Series Leader Class figure in 2019. However, this appearance brought the character much more in line with his G1 counterpart's appearance. The scene embedded above goes by fast. If you want a better look at this version of Shockwave, check out the "turnaround" video released as part of the promotion campaign for the Bumblebee movie in 2019.

In 2022, Hasbro began to take larger strides towards packaging that would be (mostly) recyclable. That means eliminating as much plastic as possible. One of the earliest examples of this was last year's Origin Bumblebee release. The Studio Series Core Class figures continue this design philosophy. Instead of being on a bubble card like Soundwave, this figure is inside a cardboard box with an open window showing the upper half of the figure and a bit of the legs. The figure is tied down inside the box and you would have to work pretty hard to tear it out of there (and the weapon is also pretty buried in there). The box itself retains a lot of the Studio Series design including the black background, the title of the movie he appeared in (in this form, at least) and the blue Studio Series logo. The box has a flap at the top with Shockwave's package art and a hook to hang the box on pegs.

The back of the packaging uses the red background seen on other Studio Series figures along with the name "Shockwave". The box back also calls out the 13 step transformation and features the figure in both modes. Under that is a wall of text in various languages. Overall the packaging is a good compromise between the old "bubble/card" design and something more eco-friendly.

Shockwave includes one accessory: his arm cannon. The film's CG model takes inspiration from G1 including his right arm having a weapons barrel at the end instead of a hand. This accessory replicates the look of his forearm and weapons barrel from the film. The proportions of this weapon are a bit different in the CG model, shrinking down some areas while expanding the size of others. Still, the core design elements are there including two angled panels that sweep back, a panel in between them that overlaps with machinery-like details and even circles on the sides that look like either side of a hinge. The cannon itself has one large barrel with a smaller one attached underneath. This is a very nicely detailed accessory, especially given the size class.

This weapon is made up of purple plastic with a silver handle. Silver paint is used on the middle area and the weapons barrel. This attaches to Shockwave using the handle. You can either have the peg on it pointing down for Shockwave to hold in his hand (and thus look like he has a "blaster arm") or in vehicle mode you can attach it in the middle to form the tank turret.

Robot Mode:
Instead of the almost skeletal looking form Shockwave had in Dark of the Moon, the Bumblebee movie version of the character used the G1 version of the character as inspiration for this design. As a result, several design elements both call back to G1 Shockwave and differ from his Dark of the Moon counterpart. These include:

  • The head design is pretty much the G1 head with extra detailing. It has a very wide shape too, looking a bit out of proportion with the rest of the body (this was the case in the film as well). He also has the "ear flaps" on the sides. The head has a single eye with no nose or mouth. This is quite different from the Dark of the Moon Shockwave whose head was more rounded and did have a mouth.
  • The chest area has the ame distinctive shape as G1 Shockwave's chest including having a vertical line in the center where the two halves meet. The top of the chest, closer to the shoulders also features two small raised areas that resemble the raised, pointed bits that flanked his head in the G1 toy and Marvel character model.
  • Behind the chest are two panels that sweep backward. These appear based on two small panels that peeked out from the back behind the robot head on the G1 action figure.
  • The leg designs feature smooth panel designs in front and to the side before leading to mechanical details and tread details in the back. However, the shape of the legs still have some suggestion of G1 Shockwave's design, especially the knee armor which sticks out a bit and the treads kind of replacing the general shape of G1 Shockwave's gun grips which wound up on his legs in robot mode.

Some bits of this figure are distinctive to this Shockwave's design. For instance, his upper arms are curved and have thin armor pieces that rise up above the shoulders a bit. The forearms are thick and powerful looking with treads attached and his feet have two small points at the end resembling toes. Overall the sculpt on this little figure is fantastic.

Shockwave is made up of purple and grey plastic. There are a lot of nice paint applications, many of which are in silver and gunmetal grey. The chest is painted a brighter purple than the plastic, making it look like a window (similar to the G1 toy). His eye is painted yellow, which really helps it pop against the purple plastic. The colors look great, and if the figure had some "wear" detailing it would look like it jumped off the big screen onto your desk!

There are fifteen points of articulation on this figure. That includes four on each arm and three on each leg. You can attach the weapon to either hand and it covers up the forearms, creating the illusion that he has a "gun arm" instead of a regular forearm with a fist at the end. The weapon is designed to accommodate Blast Effects, adding a bit of additional play value.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessory and set it aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Point the robot feet down.
  4. Swing the legs out to the sides.
  5. Swing the chest piece forward, setting it in between the legs. Then swing the mid-body panel up.
  6. Move the legs inward. There is a peg on the chest section that attaches to a corresponding port near the robot knees.
  7. Swing the section with the robot head on it up.
  8. Turn the robot head around.
  9. On each robot arm, bend it at the elbow, then rotate the forearms around so the elbow armor tabs into the slots on the upper arms. This winds up having the treads attached to the forearms now in contact with the ground.
  10. There are tabs on the robot thighs that slot into the openings on the upper arms.
  11. On the cannon, swing the handle down so the peg is pointing back. Attach this to the back of Shockwave's head.

Vehicle Mode:
While Shockwave did not transform in the Bumblebee movie, his alt-mode was established years ago in the Dark of the Moon toy line. Shockwave transforms into a scifi style "H" tank. This vehicle mode looks fantastic. The shapes of the robot arms and legs gives it a rather alien look with the curved shapes and mechanical bits. There are some cool tiny details including bits that look like headlights on the robot feet (which wind up in the front of the vehicle) and the tank treads are really nicely sculpted.

The colors all carry over from the robot mode, mostly being purple and grey. The silver on the turret looks great.

The tank does not have any wheels so it cannot roll. However, much to my surprise the turret can turn! This is thanks to the turret being attached to the robot head.

Final Thoughts:
Many fans have expressed reservations about this figure since they expected Shockwave to be a Voyager Class (at the very least), and I totally get that. If that's what you're looking for in your collection, then I would hold off on this figure. However, if you want a fun "pocket sized" Shockwave this will fit the bill. Recommended!


  • Excellent sculpt in both modes.
  • Good deco.
  • Good articulation.
  • Intuitive transformation.


  • The tabs that are meant to hold the arms and legs together in tank mode can sometimes come loose during play.

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