I got all three of the first wave of the 2012 Transformers: Generations figures a few weeks ago. Though I missed out on the distribution, I was able to get a set from one of the awesome guys at Cybertron Philippines. It's a good thing, too since apparently, Shockwave is already pretty popular.
It's easy to see why it would be so. The Shockwave figure from the movie, while cool-looking, didn't really feel like the guy us old fogeys remember from the Generation 1 era. Back then, he was Megatron's second in command: the guy he left back on Cybertron to make sure that no one went and clogged the toilets or broke any of the fine china. Next to Soundwave, he was probably the best of the Decepticons because like Megs, he transformed into a gun, but he also lit up and made pew pew pew noises.
While this new Shockwave doesn't really transform into anything better than the Dark of the Moon version, the robot mode looks far closer to the original model.
It's based on the computer model for the video game, War for Cybertron. I think they did a fair job of it, though he does look a little on the thin side.
The package is the same format as the package for Fall of Cybertron Jazz: red card, big portrait shot, succinct info dump on the front (name, faction, and alternate mode, manufacturer, toy line, and sub-line). Plus the big, clear window to allow you to see the figure.
The back of the card features some nice product photography with the figure in a natural looking pose, standing behind a shot of the vehicle (or whatever) mode of the figure. Again, the toy line's logo is nice and legible, as is the Fall of Cybertron tag. They've also gone and included tech specs for the character that hearken back to the G1 days when the toys came with a red cellophane "decoder". Oh, and the blurb about him being a Vulcan on loan from the Star Trek universe. All in all, it's a good effort and presents a nice little package if you're a mint-on-card kind of collector.
Out of the box, the first thing that strikes you about Shockwave is how small he is. The Hasbro Deluxe Class figures have really been downgraded and the cutbacks are apparent from his size to the quality of the plastic which looks more translucent than that of previous lines. The rub is that we're still paying the same.
Thank said, we still have the cheapest price tag for Deluxe figures in the region (Php 700.00 or about $15.50 US), so you know, bright side.
Shockwave comes with a single accessory: his blaster cannon. Back in the days of Generation 1, Shockwave's weapon was a part of him. He was sort of the pirate amputee who replaces his hand with a hook. Only it was a laser gun, not a hook. Pew pew pew.
This version doesn't have the built in laser cannon. he's got two proper arms and hands with the standard 5mm socket for the standard Transformers weapons with 5mm posts. But the thing is, the gun he comes with can be held by him several different ways:
Not only that, but you can also remove the silver/purple portion upfront and he can have a 3-barreled blaster ready to mow right through those tough Autobots.
What's more is that if you look closely at the gun, you'll see that it has a distinctly odd shape to it. That's because it was designed to fit over his forearm and snap into place, effectively mimicking his G1 "hook"! All you need to do is fold his fist back in and snap the rectangular tab into the recess at the back of his arm and you're in business.
I thought it was retarded looking right up until the point I discovered that. When I did, I went bonkers and had a geekgasm.
Articulation on the figure is pretty nice, better than the Fall of Cybertron Jazz'. A number of ball joints really gives him an excellent range for almost all of his limbs. I do wish he had some ankle articulation, but remember: cost cutting.
We're probably going to be seeing a lot more of this in the years to come, as Transformers probably have a much higher parts per figure count than say, G.I. Joe or Marvel Universe. They do sell more, though, so hopefully we don't see any price hikes anytime soon.
Transforming him is another thing that's kind of disappointing. It's a relatively simple process of swinging his arms out and pulling his head and chest backwards. Then you swing his arms back in, and straighten out his legs, placing his weapon between them and plugging it into his butt.
Not very satisfying at all.
It doesn't help that the vehicle looks nothing like the G1 era Shockwave. It's supposed to be a mobile Cybertronian artillery platform but doesn't really look anything like a gun. I guess it looks like a spaceship if you've got some imagination. For some reason, it reminds me of Battleship Yamato.
Personally, I like doing this instead:
At least he looks useful like this. Even if it does look like he's got a gun coming out of his butt.
All in all, this is a pretty good figure, and I'm glad I got it. The articulation and the sculpting of the toy win out over the weak alternate mode, smaller size, and the cheaper feel of the materials. I like it well enough that I will likely get Autobot Fireflight (a re-tooled version of the toy with a new head, chest, and accessories) when it arrives.
And hey, at the very least, this is another G1 inspired figure you can add to your Decepticon line up. Lord knows we've got enough Bumblebees.