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Numbat's Review: Justittoys WST Shockwave

Name: Shockwave [Military Operations Commander] (World’s Smallest Transformers – Justitoys 2010)
Alligiance: Decepticon

Quote: “Clarity of thought before rashness of action."

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 electomagnetic 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 initiave, emotional thinking.

[Bio lifted from US G1 release. Tech specs presented as bars, with no numbers given.]

Takara produced a short line of blind-packaged tiny versions of G1 figures – World’s Smallest Transformers (WST) – which unfortunately finished production in 2005. This line provided collectors with the opportunity to own quite brilliantly engineered tiny replicas of popular G1 figures, and it was very disappointing when the line ended. Fortunately, Justitoys saw an opportunity to make some money by continuing the line with unlicensed WST versions of the G1 Dinobots. Unlike the Takara figures, which were all plastic, Justitoys used diecast metal parts and produced the Dinobots to be in scale with the other WST figures – meaning they were a little larger. Between 2006 and 2008 Snarl, Slag, Grimlock, Sludge and Swoop were all produced, rounding off the WST Dinobots line. The standards were high (although the stickers were very poor – Reprolabels provided the solution thankfully!), and quality improved through the line, although Swoop required a degree of modification out of the box which was slightly disappointing. However, at least they all work (although one of my Grimlock’s hips has since sheered off).

After finishing the WST Dinobots, Justitoys hinted at future WST releases, but it was not until 2010 that WST versions of Shockwave and Blaster were released together, continuing the line. I was very excited about these releases (I’d always wanted a Shockwave, while Blaster would make a nice companion piece to WST Soundwave – in fact, they both would!), although was unable to pick them up at the time due to employment uncertainty. However, I finally got my hands on them recently.

What can I say? Well, they have put me off buying anything made by Justitoys ever again... On the positive side, at least they’ve given up on stickers (Reprolables did produce them though, and are as high quality as ever).

Alternate Mode:

Shockwave transforms into a futuristic laser pistol. Measuring 3 ¼” (8.5cm) long, he’s a perfect replica of the G1 toy, and packed with detail. He’s moulded in dark blue-purple plastic, with bits of metallic grey on the handle and barrel (sadly he lacks any chrome). You can flip up the sight, which is transparent purple, and the gun barrel has clear purple light piping which works very effectively. WST Shockwave wouldn’t be complete without the rubber power cable running across the top. All in all, the mould is impressive.

Shame about the production quality... The plastic is incredibly brittle, and feels very fragile, while the robot arm joints are so loose the cannon sags with the rubber cable. You’ll also notice that Shockwave is very very light – he lacks any diecast parts, despite the product descriptions (be aware!). Although I am not too bothered about diecast, I am bothered about such an expensive figure being produced with such low-quality plastic. However, the issues in alternate mode are comparatively minor when compared with those during transformation or robot mode...

Robot Mode:

First of all, during transformation I emplore you to ignore the instructions! You need to have the gun sight folded down to transform Shockwave to robot (not up as indicated by the instructions!). Also, be extremely careful when transforming him – the plastic quality is awful, and there are massive quality control issues to boot. For example, my first WST Shockwave sheared off at the shoulder instead of transforming, without any excessive force – even afterwards, the shoulder joint gave no indication that it would ever budge. Thankfully TFSource provided me with a replacement, which functions... acceptably... The legs are very stiff when it comes to sliding them apart, and the waistpiece very loose, and I fully expect these will snap someday, no matter how careful I am. As with the G1 original, the gun barrel is a separate piece that is not used in robot mode, so be careful not to lose it. His joints are also ridiculously loose, meaning it is challenge enough to get him to stand (albeit lopsidedly) – any poses are completely out of the question.

All that aside, the robot mode shares the high level of detail with the laser gun mode, and is a fantastic miniature version of the G1 figure, although his eye has been painted red rather than gold. He’s largely dark blue-purple, with a metallic grey parts and transparent purple hand and cannon.

Standing 2 ¼” (6cm) tall – if you can get him to stand – Shockwave is slightly taller than WST Soundwave and Megatron.

Unfortunately, due to the loose joints, Shockwave stands with his left arm pushed out by the rubber cable, and his right arm dangling like a wet sock. His head also tends to slump into his chest, as the spring mechanism is not taught enough.

As a bonus, Shockwave comes with a new fist for G1 Bruticus, which allows the combiner to hold Shockwave in gun in the G1 cartoon. Alas, I do not have a G1 Bruticus, but now possess two of these fists...

All in all, WST Shockwave is an utter disappointment. He’s made of alarmingly poor quality plastic, has shocking quality control issues, and is utterly unposeable. He’s an expensive waste of money, that I would whole-heartedly urge you not to buy.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 3 – Shockwave’s transformation is very simple, and involves a mass of kibble on his back and removing the gun barrel. It’s not rocket-science.
Durability: 1 – Shockwave will break. Thanks to quality control issues, this may happen straight away with a breath of air, or may take a bit longer, but the plastic is so fragile I can’t see him lasting long... There’s also the risk of losing the gun barrel piece, or his arms which have very loose joints.
Fun: 2 – Shockwave would be great fun – if it weren’t for how poorly made he was, the rubbish plastic and the incredibly loose joints. He escapes being a ‘1’ because of his inherent Shockwave coolness factor.
Aesthetics: 9 – WST Shockwave looks just like a tiny version of his G1 original in both modes, and is very well detailed, with great light piping in laser gun mode. Coupled with a Justitoys Decepticon logo (the one that comes with WST Blaster’s sticker sheet is perfect), you can’t fault the look. It’s just such a shame he’s so poorly made, and has such loose joints.
Articulation: 1 – Shockwave is theoretically well articulated - it's just a shame all the joints are so ridiculously loose as to make them less than worthless.
Value/Price: 1 – Priced at $15.95 (the same as a WST Dinobot which is larger, better made and has diecast parts) this figure is a total rip-off. The quality is shocking – barely worth $1.
Overall: 1 – WST Shockwave is awful – all the more so because you can see the potential there. The mould is good – he’s been very well engineered. However, the quality did not carry through to production, resulting in massive quality control issues, extremely fragile plastic and ridiculously loose joints. I would strongly urge anyone considering buying this figure [/i]not to[/i] – WST Shockwave brings nothing but bitter disappointment and a lighter wallet.
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