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Old 2016-04-02, 01:14 PM   #1
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Canada, Land of Ice and Snow
Default Shockwave G1 Review

Name: Shockwave
Allegiance: Decepitcon
Accessories: Gun Barrel
Function: Military Commander
Quote: "Clarity of thought before rashness of action."
First US Cartoon Appearance: More Than Meets the Eye, Part 1
First US Comic Appearance: The Last Stand

Shockwave is one of those characters who really should've turned himself on the writers of the G1 material when it was being written, since he's Twoface in a sense. Since depending on which continuality you follow, he was either a humble servant, or someone who is what Starscream aspires to be.

In the cartoon series he's seen as the ever loyal solider to Megatron. I mean who else guard's a planet for a few million years, and the second the old boss shows up is as loyal as ever. He's portrayed as having minimal independent thought, I mean wouldn't it have made sense to keep an eye on the boss and his motley crew as they went off to fight the enemy? Instead it seems like he tried to reach out to Megatron every so often and that was it, that was all. I mean for booting up cold (to quote a certain rodent) he couldn't even take over Cyberton in the countless millions of years he had. He wasn't shown to be the brightest bulb in the display.

Now in 1984 Megatron and his crew are up and running again, along with the Autobots (thank you Starscream) what does Shockwave do once contact is made again? He does nothing except ask for more energon! Hmmm, that was part of the problem a few million years ago. Real good job there sport, you'd think maybe he'd have an idea or two? Maybe try to send Megs some new warriors (or ask for some of the old ones?) Once it's clear Earth is the new battleground, what does Shockwave do? Oh wait nothing, but run Cybertron like he did before Megatron returned where he waits loyally for his next command from Megatron. The only time he seems to take any independent action is when there is an obvious threat nearby. No wonder he was discarded for season #3, when a combiner character show's more personality than he did it's only logical he takes his leave.

Now in the Marvel G1 comic that ran alongside the cartoon, but was a different continuality, Shockwave had a more . . . brutal nature, and a completely different history. In the comics he actually planned the attack on the Ark, and stayed on the Nemesis as back up. Once he saw the Ark go right down Earth's gravity well, he attempted to follow it down only to end up in The Savage Land. The Ark still having some power dispatched five heroic Autobot warriors to confront him and stop his slaughter of the creatures inhabiting this place. During this battle they managed to knock him into a tar pit (along with themselves) and yup, here's to a 4 million year nap gang.

Once again we fast forward to 1984, the Autobots sent some probes to find their missing comrades, and the fight against the Decepticons isn't going so well. As anyone who gambles knows, you don't always get what you expect when you hunt for things. They accidently found Shockwave and gave him enough of a boost so he could get himself online, and fully functional again.

The real sad part here, instead of being grateful for the Autobots saving him, he actually slaughtered them after they had just used the last of their fuel up fighting off the remaining Decepticons. Once again here we see how different the comic's Shockwave is from the cartoon one. Since once he revives the fallen Decepticons he actually tells Megatron what is precisely on his mind, and who will be running the show from now on. Trust me it takes Megatron a while to regain his position as leader, including getting beating up by Shockwave, a battle that damaged a nearby town.

After these events Shockwave will either be in the center seat, close to it, or plotting for it for the run of the comic series. You can't be a fan of G1 without knowing the other Decepticon looking to run the show is Starscream. I've got to give some credit here to Shockwave, he's not a sore loser, turning over leadership willingly if he felt he failed the cause. While he might not win every battle, he did rack up some serious wins during the Marvel G1 run which explains why he pushed for power because he wanted to expand the scope of his victories to the whole Decepitcon cause.

Here is his box bio, "Cold, brutal, scientific approach to war. Seeks to overthrow Megatron as leader of Decepticons because he believes logic says he would be better. As laser gun, can emit lethal beams of energy from anywhere on the electromagnetic spectrum: gamma rays, X-rays, visible light, infrared rays, radio waves, etc.. Flies in laser gun or robot Mode. High fuel use, but can be powered by nuclear sources. Often confounded by initiative, emotional thinking."

Alternative Mode

Shockwave does come out of his box in his alternative mode which is a ray gun. Don't ask me what kind of ray gun, he's a good purple generic ray gun. One of those written Hasbro rules, if you are a jet, a gun, or odds are you're a Decepticon - at least in the first wave of The Transformers back in the 1980s. When it comes to how big he is, well he measures in at a foot long. Go to Subway, order a foot long, and you'll get an idea of how long he is. This was a toy as a kid you used both hands to play with, and an adult I can easily handle his grip and point at things before pulling his half trigger.

Shockwave is one of those rare Transformer toys that uses batteries (in his case a 9 volt) for added light and sound play features. He alternates between a rapid pulse sound, and a longer pulse with a higher pitch. Both are accompanied by a purple LED flash. It's not just my ears that found both sounds shrill my poor dog gave me one of those looks that this guy should have his battery pulled.

He's got a nice targeting sight, but I wouldn't count on its accuracy given how his barrel isn't locked in place. He fires no real rounds, so why complain about it? While the adult in me loves it because of how big it is, a kid might not like the fact that it's so big.

Just like he has a big targeting sight, he also has a big trigger, I can easily see a child using both hands to pull it, or an adult causally pulling it one finger like they would with a real gun. I don't see the trigger ever being broken unless insane force is applied to it. I press mine and release it all the time, and it appears very durable.

Before I wrap this up, I do want to note that he has two weak spots in this mode. First, the part that holds the battery in can sometimes pull the cable that runs power to his front end, so you might have to reset it to keep it in. Second, swinging him up and down will cause his arms to drop or raise as they don't lock into place.

Robot Mode

As an early Transformer, he's easy to transform. Pull the gun barrel off, and separate the arms while rotating them 180 degrees. Pull his grip out next and flip the feet out from the bottom of them. Spread the legs out nice and wide at the hip. Finally, flip his ears up along with the speaker in the back where his legs were plugged in.

I'll give him top marks for show/comic accuracy, since as a robot you don't require any imagination when you see him in this mode. He looks great, and anyone looking at the figure as a restoration project will find him easy to work with. When you press his trigger in this mode, the gun barrel on his left arm lights up. The sound effects are also activated, so you can imagine him blasting away those pesky Autobots, or turning Megatron into a pile of scrap for not heading his warnings.

Let's do a top to bottom tear down of him, shall we? His head can do a full 360, something rare on a G1 bot. It's a feature missing in many modern era toys (as of 2016). Let's look at the arms now. Both arms can only really do 180 degrees of movement both up and down, and aiming the lower arm front to back, via either joint built into the elbow. I will gladly note that doing this kind of movement shouldn't risk breaking the cable, but care should be taken. Both his lower and upper legs can move about 45 degrees, but the problem is he can't really hold a pose short of them being straight down.

What kills Shockwave as a toy for me is his lack of articulation. I can think of two poses I'd put him in for a collection standpoint; either looking straight ahead with his barrel aimed straight at you, or aiming that barrel to the side to blast some bot. I can't see how a kid would really have fun with him as a robot when compared to his contemporaries of the day. The likes of his fellow Decepticons Starscream, Megatron, Soundwave, had a better range of motion. I admit I am confused why the designers put articulation into the legs given how they can't be used. You can't even get a good kick out of them, or standing over a destroyed Autobot.

Final Call

Transformation Design: 5/10 As much as he requires a manual, he's not that hard to transform. A great entry level Transformer to introduce people into the concept.

Durability: 1/10 Over the years, some toys gain a certain reputation, and issues around Shockwave's durability can't be ignored. Typical problems are rubber rot, and the battery connection being broken. The big problem I found with him was the connection from his body to his arm. Even when I swapped out the battery I almost pulled that wire out, and if you use his left arm incorrectly you have a good chance on breaking that wire.

Fun: 7/10 I wish I could break this score up, since as a robot Shockwave sucks. I mean I hate to play spoiler here, but the reality is he has no real articulation that makes him fun to play with. Add to that his durability problem, yeah he's toast. Meanwhile as a ray gun I could see a kid playing with him for hours. To be candid here, playing with him in this mode made me choose to lose some weight so I could get some future photos.

Aesthetics: 10/10 Every toy that appears in the show or the comics is held up against those examples to see how it measures up. Shockwave looks dead on in both cases.

Articulation: 3/10 I know the score is a killer, but hear me out here. I own a load of G1 toys here, and while the gun mode doesn't require any articulation, the fact is that the robot mode does. I think of him as a plastic brick in robot mode. He might look pretty, but he can't really move.

Value: 1/10 I got lucky, and got him as part of a package deal for $400 which included several bots. The reality is that he regularly sells online for $150-$400+. What you will pay depends on the condition - specifically the electronics and rubber hose. What kills him value wise is I couldn't see me giving this to a child as a toy to play with. Let's pretend I had a DeLorean went back to 1986, bought him off fresh from the toy shelf for $30 or so, the fact he breaks so easily wouldn't make him worth the price being asked for him.

Overall : 4/10. In a word - Ouch! I always try to see a toy from two sides of a coin, a kid's view point, and a collector's. A kid would have a blast with him in a ray gun mode, and to be frank a $5 gun from the dollar store covers the same range of fun. While as a collector I understand his rarity is what might drive you to get him, he's not worth the prices people charge for him unless you really love the character.

Strength: 10
Intelligence: 10
Speed: 7
Endurance: 7
Rank: 9
Courage: 9
Firepower: 9
Skill: 9
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Last edited by HotShot81; 2017-01-05 at 04:27 AM. Reason: Returning to authors original vision for this work
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