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Allegiance: Decepticons
Series: Armada
Category: Custom Ultra
Year: 2010

Megatron never had any reason to complain about the terrible fire power or awesome strength of Tidal Wave, his strongest warrior. The same could not be said, however, for Tidal Wave's lack of skill and dexterity, which made him completely useless for any task requiring even the slightest amount of finesse. Never one to accept any shortcomings, Megatron had Tidal Wave undergo an extensive refit to make the lumbering giant more agile and less apt to break anything he touched. While this project did little to increase Tidal Wave's smarts, it did make him a more effective warrior and gave the Autobots yet one more reason to flee from this giant Decepticon.

Prelude: This particular custom here is basically the same Tidal Wave I’ve just done a long review of, so I’m just gonna look at the changes Limey made here. You should read the review of the unchanged figure, though. Go! Read it now! Then come back here and read the rest.

Robot Mode: Limewire based his custom on the Armada version of the Tidal Wave mold, but gave it a thorough repaint in the colors (more or less) of Micron Legend Shockwave. Not much I can say about that except that Limewire did his usual great job of applying colors to bring out the details. Top notch.

Now to the structural changes, though. As I wrote in the review mentioned above, Tidal Wave has just one big flaw: his lack of knees. Well, he does have knees, but they only bend sideways, a transformation requirement. The funny thing is, though, that the legs (or at least thighs and knee joints) of Movie Jetstorm (or any other variant of that figure) seem to be custom made for Tidal Wave. According to Limewire it took some work, but now they fit perfectly, don’t impede the transformation in any way, and finally, finally give Tidal Wave the one power he has lacked so far: the power of the bending knee.

Apart from this big thing, the only other tiny flaw Tidal Wave had was his lack of proper hands. Now the bow of the aircraft carrier could be reshaped into something resembling fingers and thumb, but it was still a far cry from proper hands. So Limewire simply removed those and gave Tidal Wave the hands of Primus. They are a surprisingly good fit (in robot mode at least) and work out well for Tidal Wave, who can finally grab stuff now.

Finally, Limewire added a joint to Tidal Wave's head to make it posable as well. Now he can look in other directions but straight ahead, too. Not a strictly necessary change in my mind, but a nice add-on. So all in all, three changes that improve the robot mode of Tidal Wave by leaps and bounds.

Vehicle Mode: I’ll only be talking about the combined alternate mode here, not about each individual component. The new colors are in evidence here as well, of course, and look just as good. No room for complaint. The new knee joints, as mentioned above, don’t impact the alternate mode in any way, so there is no visible change here. The head, because of the new joint mentioned above, has to be removed, though. Not a perfect solution, but once gone it doesn't impact the alternate mode in any way, either.

Now for the new hands. Well, the truth is they don’t really fit here. You can either extend the fingers straight ahead, bend them, or make a complete fist, but you still have an aircraft carrier (or battleship) with very visible robot hands right at the bow. Now I have no idea how one could have gone about hiding the hands here short of unplugging them completely, but it doesn’t change the facts. While the robot mode has benefited tremendously from the new hands, the alternate mode suffers for them.

Conclusion: It’s hard for me to come to a final rating here, because the changes to the robot mode are awesome, but one of them drags down the alternate mode(s) somewhat. Overall I’d say that the improvements far outweigh the downside, but personally I’d have preferred it if Limewire had restricted himself to just new colors and the knees, leaving the hands and head as they are. Because then this would be a near-perfect Tidal Wave.

Rating: B-


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