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Series: Cyberverse
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Warrior
Function: Twisted Scientist
Year: 2018

Prelude: He is Shockwave, the mean purple machine, he of the angry eye. And if you’re staffing a series almost exclusively with evergreen G1-based Transformers, then Shockwave naturally has to be included. For he is Shockwave, he of the gun hand and (mostly) crappy alternate modes. He who... high-fived Bumblebee at a gladiatorial bout? Really? Well... uh... yeah, Shockwave! Here we go!

Robot Mode: Let’s get the most important thing out of the way first: Shockwave has knee joints. Now that really shouldn’t be a noteworthy thing in current-day Transformers figures, but given the Cyberverse lines simplified designs and clear focus on being kids toys, not collector items, it does make him stand out. Most Cyberverse figures don’t have knee joints, but Shockwave has. So Shockwave already stands a head taller than most of his peers. Figuratively speaking, of course. He is actually rather small.

Which leads us directly to my major grip with this figure, he should be bigger. Cyberverse doesn’t have Voyager-class figures as such and we do have a Shockwave in Ultra-Class, too, but it’s still a bit weird for me to see Shockwave standing at similar height to Bumblebee. That’s just a hang-up of mine, though, and no slight to this figure.

The robot itself is pretty cool. Articulation is nice and the figure captures the G1 Shockwave look pretty perfectly. The detail-work is pretty cool with brighter-purple lines along his arms and torso giving the figure more depth. I also love that they gave him an angry eye. It’s not easy to make a one-eyed, otherwise feature-less robot face look angry, but they managed. Like most Cyberverse figures he comes with a gimmick, in his case a second gun (he does come with his trademark gun hand, naturally) on his back, which can flip forward. A spring-loaded blasting effect rounds out the simple but effective gimmick, nicely done.

So bottom line for the robot mode: very nice. Certainly not a Masterpiece-level figure or anything, but very nice given the size and price point.

Alternate Mode: It’s kind of an old tradition that Shockwave has strange and/or ridiculous alternate modes. The original Shockwave was a laser gun, of course, and pretty much every Shockwave since has tried to replicate that look without actually making him a gun (cue submarine joke!). Cyberverse Shockwave kind of tries to go the Megatron route and have him become a tank instead of a gun, but it’s a so-called spider tank, meaning a tank on legs. But while a figure like Cybertron Scrapmetal manages a great spider tank mode, Cyberverse Shockwave… well, not so much.

The spider tank is basically Shockwave going down on all fours and sliding his chest plate over his head. His bigger gun from the robot mode now serves as the tank gun. Due to how the gun is situated, the shooting gimmick only works half-way here, the second half the blasting effect being stuck. So... yeah, what more can I say? Cyberverse Shockwave continues the tradition of every non-gun Shockwave having a really, really bad alternate mode. Best to leave him in robot mode.

Remarks: I have only seen a few episodes of Cyberverse so far, so I only know that Shockwave is the Decepticons’ resident evil scientist (big surprise) and that he worked with Wheeljack before the war (which is new). He was also either a pre-war friend to Bumblebee or just a very enthusiastic follower of the gladiatorial games who high-fived whoever sat next to him. Either way it sounds weird for Shockwave.

As for the figure itself, I’m a bit torn. The robot mode is quite good, if a bit small. The alternate mode is really bad, but that isn’t something new when it comes to Shockwave figures. Shockwave is definitely one of the better figures from Cyberverse so far (if for no other reason than having knee joints), but can’t really disguise the fact that he is more a kid’s toy than a collector’s item. He’s meant to be a toy, of course, so that’s okay. So bottom line here: if you want to get a figure from Cyberverse, either for your kids or for your own collection, Shockwave should definitely top the list. Just don’t expect him to be more than he is meant to be.

Rating: B-
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