Transformers Animated: Shockwave by Hasbro

Thanks to some great deals at Ross and Marshalls, I’m continuing to delve into the Transformers Animated figures. I picked up two new Voyagers this week so today we’re going to take a look at Shockwave. I haven’t finished muscling my way through watching the TFAseries. I’m almost done with Season 2, but I still haven’t met Shockwave yet. I’m guessing he’s got a Sideways/Punch-Counterpunch vibe going on what with him being a faction-changing spy, but I don’t really need to know anything about this incarnation of the character to check out the toy.

Shockwave comes in the typical TFA Voyager box. And hey, Hasbro finally got the rights to the name Shockwave back. Yay, no more Shockblasts! Overall, I enjoy the style of this packaging. It’s bright and eyecatching, and I suppose if you were really careful, you could preserve it and return the figure to the box for display. I am growing weary of the angled edges on the Transformers boxes. It just makes them more of a pain to open and it can’t be good for collectors who like to keep the package in good shape. Anyway, Shockwave comes packaged in his tank mode and the front of the box exclaims “4 Modes!” and oh, that can’t be good, can it? It almost never is. The back of the package shows off the toy in it’s various alt modes and has some info about the character. Oh yeah, notice the package declares Shockwave is a Level 3 Advanced Conversion. Really, Hasbro? I think not.

Ok, so Shockwave does indeed have four modes. The good news is that the two robot modes and two vehicle modes are just slight variations on each other, so we aren’t dealing with a figure that totally sucks because of the multi-changer gimmick. On the other hand, apart from the heads, the differences between the Autobot and Decepticon robot forms is pretty arbitrary, so without consulting the box or the instructions, it’s hard to know what to do for each mode. Personally, I plan on forgetting the Autobot mode exists, but we’ll look at it here for the purpose of the review.

But before we get to that, let’s start out with the mode that Shockwave is packaged in… the tank! The tank mode is ok, but it’s pretty obvious that it’s just the robot lying face down with some adjustments made to his arms and legs. I am a little surprised at how well everything pegs together and he does hold this mode pretty well. It’s sort of reminiscent of Armada Megatron/Galvatron, only not nearly as cool or fun. I do like the design of the cannon, though, and the nice Decepticon insignia on the barrel.

Converting him to his crane mode is ridiculously easy. You just bend the treads to make stubby little legs and fold the cannon barrel into the crane. That’s it. It’s about on par with some of the hidden fan modes people come up with for regular figures. It’s also not a very fun or exciting mode because the boom doesn’t extend very far and the hook doesn’t raise or lower.

Moving on to the bot modes… We’ll start with the Autobot. First off, the faction emblem on his chest is supposed to flip between the Autobot and Decepticon emblems. It is so hard to do this, I needed to push it with a screwdriver with all my might just to get it to change once. I am not changing it again for this review, so just imagine him with an Autobot insignia, mm’kay? I don’t think there are a lot of surprises in this mode. Again, it’s vaguely reminscent of Armada Megatron/Galvatron. His articulation is decent and his cannon/crane stores on his back.

Converting him from Autobot to Decepticon is simple. Flipping his head is the most clever thing about this conversion. You can make his Con head have white eyes, but I prefer to leave it black and make him a cyclops like his G1 namesake. You flip the panels on his shoulder, you turn his lower legs around, and you flip his claws out. Oh yeah, don’t forget to change his faction insignia… good luck. This robot form is basically the same with just a few tweaks. Again, he can wear his cannon on his back or he can hold it as a huge weapon.

In case you haven’t guessed I’m really not all that impressed with this figure. He doesn’t have the complexity that I’ve come to expect from a Voyager Class, even with all four of his modes. He’s not terrible, I don’t hate him, but if I hadn’t found him on sale he would have been an easy pass for me. He doesn’t do the character justice at all and just falls flat. He’s definitely not worth hunting down, but if you’re a big collector of the Animated figures and you can find him on clearance, I suppose you could do worse.

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