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Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Year: 1985

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.

My Review:

Prelude: In a way I've written a Shockwave review before, as I've acquired the grey "Shaqwave" variant some years ago. A while ago, though, I managed to get my hands on an original Shockwave, the purple one, and he deserves a full review of his own. So here we go.

Robot Mode: Shockwave is not only among the biggest of the early G1 Transformers, he also might just be the most posable G1 figure period. He has full arm articulation, right down to a twisting wrist, and he's got knees that bend in the right direction and can even turn his head and bend his legs forward at the hips. Might not sound like much from today's standpoint, but for his day, he was extremely bendy. He's also very solidly built, including lots of metal parts, giving him a very heavy, powerful feel.

Shockwave's look is pretty much a classic. Cyclops eye, a gun for his left hand, there is no mistaking him. Did I mention he's huge? Along with Jetfire he was the biggest Transformer up to that point (slightly bigger than Devastator even). Soundwave also incorporates light and sound effects. In robot mode his gun hand lights up and he does a shooting sound.

Bottom line: One of the best G1 robots ever. 'Nuff said.

Alternate Mode: Shockwave transforms into a so-called 'space gun', a futuristic ray gun that wouldn't look out of place in an 80s Science Fiction movie. The gun is actual size, meaning it fits easily into an adult hand. Push the trigger and you get the light & sound effects. The gun even has a scope and the barrel is the one part you can easily lose (which is about ten parts less than your average G1 toy). While I'm not usually a big fan of gun mode Transformers, Shockwave looks pretty good in this mode and his futuristic design ensures that he can still be sold these days without getting airport security in an uproar. Thumbs up.

Remarks: Shockwave was definitely one of the coolest Decepticons of all time. Okay, he was a pretty useless yes-man in the G1 cartoon series, but in the comics and just about every other incarnation of G1, he was a bad-ass war machine. He even replaced Megatron as leader of the Decepticons numerous times and usually did a much better job. He even came close to wiping out the Autobots at one time and conquered Cybertron in the Dreamwave comics.

As a toy Shockwave towers above most other G1 toys both figuratively and literally. He might not be perfect, but he's damn close and the toy gets a lot of bonus points for portraying one of the coolest Transformers characters of all time. Everyone needs a Shockwave. It's only logical.

Rating: A

And for a second opinion, a review by Tobias H.:

Prelude: Even as a little kid I was impressed by Shockwave"s uniqueness. Not only does he look a lot different than the other Decepticons did, he also acted very differently.

Unlike his fellow comrades Shockwave was never about acquiring power for its own sake. Shockwave did what he did out of pure determination, his actions dictated by cold logic.

Logic was also Shockwave"s main characteristic. One can easily imagine that Shockwave was designed as a kind of "evil Mr. Spock", seeing as he not only possesses the logic that characterized the Vulcan scientist from Star Trek, he also has those pointed ears.

Not too long ago this extraordinary Decepticon made a huge comeback in the pages of an IDW Comics Spotlight, where he single-handedly faced all five Dinobots and finished them all off rather quickly. Here, too, he remained true to his original character.

In terms of smarts, strength, and fire power Shockwave was easily a match for any other Decepticon. Despite all that Megatron never had anything to fear from him, at least in the cartoon series. Here Shockwave never had any ambitions to take over the Decepticons. If he had, I can imagine that he might have been the only Decepticon who had what it took to dethrone Megatron.

The comic books showed a different picture, though. Here Shockwave did have ambitions of his own. But even in the cartoon it was Shockwave who managed to take over and control Cybertron during a 4-million-year-long energy famine. Not too shabby, ain"t it?

Robot Mode: Shockwave"s robot mode is unique in several different ways. Most obvious being his size, he was pretty big for his time. Shockwave is about the same size as a small Leader-class robot from modern times. Not unusual by today"s standards, but back then Shockwave was by far the tallest Transformer of them all (Note by Phil: Besides Jetfire and Omega Supreme). Only Galvatron and the city robots finally managed to tower over him (I"m not counting the combiner robots, seeing as they consist of multiple figures).

Second is his posability. For those who don"t know, most of the early Generation 1 Transformers couldn"t do much more than turn their arms at the shoulders. Only very few figures offered more than that. Shockwave is an exception to that rule. Both his arms and his legs are fully posable. No ball joints to be found, okay, but I don"t recall any Transformer from the 1980s who had those.

Another aspect is the unique design of the figure. Shockwave doesn"t resemble other Transformers all that much. It starts with the head, which doesn"t have a face in the classical sense. Shockwave doesn"t have a mouth, nor eyes, only a single optical sensor in the middle of his "face". He also features a pair of pointy "Mr. Spock" ears, which add character to the figure.

Shockwave"s left arm is also a unique feature. Instead of a hand he has a laser gun, connected to his back via a thick black cable. The laser gun can be made to glow, another novel feature at the time Shockwave came out.

Shockwave"s colour scheme is dominated by a rich purple with some pink / violet clear plastic parts and some grey highlights. His legs are mostly metal, pretty standard back then, pretty unusual by today"s point of view.

What else can I say about this robot mode? For his time Shockwave was a very well-designed Transformer. Granted, that design might have taken some getting used to, maybe not for everyone. I like him much better, though, than most of the other early Transformers. I must admit, of course, that I"m not a hundred percent objective here, seeing as Shockwave is probably my favourite Transformer of them all.

Alternate Mode: By way of a beautifully simple yet very effective transformation Shockwave becomes a laser gun. It looks like a kind of futuristic sidearm, but it"s really meant to be a big cannon. Neither the series nor the comic books ever showed Shockwave shrinking down when transforming, meaning his alternate mode is much too big to be wielded by any Transformer, much less a human being. The gun/cannon was also shown to be flight-capable. Shockwave had jets in his "handle" in the comic books.

You can"t find any trace of the robot mode in this mode. The gun / cannon looks very futuristic and could just as easily be a requisite from an episode of Star Trek. The gun lights up here, too, of course. The only drawback of the gun is that it depends on an extra piece that isn"t integrated into the robot mode. Meaning: It"s very easy to lose. It"s the barrel of the gun, or emitter. Lighting up is Shockwave"s only gimmick, though.

In closing I can say that I really like Shockwave"s alternate mode. Still, today you"d probably get him something different to transform into.

Conclusion: Shockwave is my favourite Transformer. Because of which I"m finding it kind of hard to objectively judge him. His robot mode is very well done. Both his looks and his high degree of posability elevate him a good deal above most of the other early G1 Transformers.

His alternate mode is not too shabby, either, but probably not for everyone. Shockwave is a weapon, nothing more, nothing less. He does a very good job here, as good as a toy from the 80s possibly can. Kids from back then probably had lots of fun running around and firing imaginary laser beams with Shockwave. But I expect that today"s kids will probably be bored pretty quickly with it. Then again, this figure wasn"t designed with today"s kids in mind.

Rating: After extensive consideration I award Shockwave a (probably somewhat exaggerated) A-
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