Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Shockwave Fusion Tank
3” Scale
by: Hasbro
$14.99 at most retailers

Shockwave has always been one of the cool transformers. He’s got that crazy, robotic voice and you’re never really sure what he’s up to thanks to his single glowing eye. Add to that his gun-for-a-hand and you’ve got a recipe for awesomeness that can’t be beat! It certainly didn’t hurt that, in his first appearance in the classic comic books, Shockwave kills just about all of the Autobots single-handedly and then hands Megatron his ass.

Despite thinking he was the cat’s pajamas I never owned a Shockwave as a kid and have still never picked up a vintage one for myself. When the TF3 figures first showed up I pounced on the first Voyager Shockwave I found even though I’m not a huge fan of the movie style. I figure a wacked out pointy metal Shockwave is better than no Shockwave at all and he’s a pretty cool looking robot despite his alt-mode basically being a folded up robot.

So yesterday, whilst out with my wife between lunch and a movie, I stumbled on to this Cyberverse Deluxe set of Shockwave with a big gun and “Double the Price Action” and couldn’t leave it on the shelf. I’ve been pretty pleased with my Cyberverse purchases so far but you’ll have to click inside to find out if Shockwave broke the trend.

Packaging:
Shockwave came home in the same window box that holds all of the other similar Cyberverse Deluxe sets. It has a nice panorama view that shows clearly both pieces included in the set. There’s even a nice, clear panel over the top of the toy so you can see it from a different angle which is a really nice touch.


The box opens up easily enough once you slice the tape and you can easily pull out the plastic tray that holds Shockwave and his Price Increase Gun. The toys are secured with the paper twist ties that I’ve come to love and they pop free with ease once those are out of the way.


The interior of the box can be converted into a backdrop for your Cyberverse figures with a little folding and tabbing. Shockwave’s backdrop is a burning city, I assume Chicago from the climax of Transformers 3, and looks nice enough. I’ll be throwing mine away in all likelihood but it’s a nice little extra for Hasbro to throw in.


The back of the box shows Shockwave in his 3 different modes (we’ll get into those shortly) while the bottom gives some pics of another set of Ratchet. Interestingly, the pictures do not show Ratchet in robot mode.

Sculpt, Paint, Looks:
Shockwave looks decidedly like he did in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. All of the most important stuff is present including the giant cannon, red eye and his arm blade which are all similar to his Voyager version. He even has the neat hose that runs from his cannon to his back! There’s a ton of detail on this tiny robot that really impressed me like the “rib cage” that covers his torso the silver treads with individually sculpted gears in them.


The robot mode of Shockwave is an absolute home run for me, it looks just it should, but the alt-mode is completely terrible. Just like his bigger version, Cyberverse Shockwave’s “vehicle” mode is something the designers labeled as a “Fusion Tank”. I guess it qualifies as a tank in there are treads and a giant gun, but it’s really more of a folded up robot than anything else.


It’s not really fair to be too upset by the alt-mode, though, since Shockwave never transformed into anything at all in TF3. I’d have loved it if he was a ray gun like the vintage figure but apparently Hasbro is worried about parents flipping out. We get a tank because that’s just a gun with wheels.


Shockwave’s extra item, the thing that makes this a Deluxe set, is a large missile launcher that can function as a weapons platform, an attachment for his vehicle form as well as some kind of goofy mech suit or armor. It’s a bit silly to think that someone like Shockwave, a robot with a giant cannon on his arm, would need to weapons emplacement for anything at all and the mech armor eliminates all of Shockwave’s articulation entirely. When plugged in to the back of the Fusion Tank the extra part definitely makes it looks more like an actual alien vehicle even if it does resemble the aliens from “Species”.


Shockwave and his gear don’t have a lot of paint on them, most of the color comes from the plastic itself, but there are some solid gold details that add some contrast nicely. There’s a little slop on my figure that’s not terribly noticeable and most of it is on the piece destined for the parts bin so I’m not complaining.

Articulation:
Thanks to his transformation Shockwave has a pretty nice compliment of joints to get him into all kinds of cool positions. He’s got a swivel head and biceps as well as ball jointed shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. It’s not the amount of articulation I’m used to on my Joes and/or MU figures but it gets the job done without making the toy too fiddly to be played with and he balances easily and stands up nicely on his own.


Speaking of the transformation, it’s about standard when dealing with the Cyberverse Commander figures. It’s a little annoying to get the hang of but not because it’s complicated, it’s because the alt-mode is so abstract that you really don’t what you’re trying to build out of the robot. Transforming a robot into a car or a jet is a lot easier than some kind of alien technology that you’ve never seen before.


Accessories:
Shockwave comes with his removable arm cannon and blade, both of which plug in to small ports on his arms. They each have a lot of the detail I associate with the movie style and they look nice both on Shockwave and attached to his silly weapons platform. I really like the bendy, rubber hose that runs from the gun to Shocky’s back because it doesn’t inhibit his movement the way the one of the Voyager figure does.


Value:
If this Shockwave was available as a single carded Cyberverse Commander he’d retail for right around $8 which is a solid price for just the robot and his weapons. Unfortunately, the only way to get your hands on this figure right now is to pile on an extra $7 for a mostly useless giant missile launcher.


It’s tough to justify the cost for this guy for anyone that’s not a huge fan of the character. Even though he’s a great looking and solidly made transformer the money you have to spend doesn’t balance with the good stuff. I was willing to pay the extra cash to get a scale trailer for Optimus Prime, at least that’s something most fans would want to have in their collection!

The value might balance out for a kid who would actually enjoy the different modes and the missile launcher so you can’t fully rule that out.

Summary:
It’s hard to give a fair evaluation of this figure and the set it comes in. The fact is it’s overpriced and padded out with a lot of junk plastic that most people who read this review won’t have any interest in. But the thing is, it’s the only way (for now) to get your hands on a fan favorite character and a really neat version of him at that!


The biggest downer for me is that this set is a huge missed opportunity for Hasbro to release Shockwave with his “pet” Driller from the movie. The giant, terrifying machine was always around Shockwave in “Dark of the Moon” and it would’ve taken this set from just a bit hard to justify the cost of to an absolute must-have!


So I don’t know how to wrap this all up! I love the Shockwave Cyberverse Commander figure, he looks really great, and I think most people would feel the same way. I guess it all boils down to whether or not you’re willing to wait a little while to see if Hasbro will release him without the extra parts. I snagged him the first time I saw him (at Target) and I don’t regret it, especially since late releases of movie toys are notoriously tough to track down. You’ll have to decide for yourself just how much you’re willing to shell out for a tiny, purple robot!

2 Responses to Figure Review: Transformers DOTM Shockwave

  • wesitron says:

    Dang. I hadn't seen this guy in stores yet and I figured being a commander set he'd have the big metal hentai monster from the movie. Still looks cool though. I like the voyager bot mode but the altmode is pretty weak. Maybe an artillery cannon would have made him more interesting, something similar to G1 Galvatron, even.

    Nice review, man. I totally dig the look of this guy even if he's a bit on the expensive side.

  • Anthony says:

    picked this guy up at a traget today for $10 on sale. Great shockwave, bad pack-in. Also apparently they will release a repainted commander shockwave in the regular commander waves with a Commander Warpath (Possible guzzler repaint with new head)

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