"Cyberverse" Warrior Class Shockwave Toy Review
Release Date: July 2018
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Target, Walmart, Amazon etc.)
*Images and text below from BigBadToyStore.com and Amazon.com:
“Picture this: me, on Earth, still cooler than everyone this side of Optimus Prime, but I’ve got zero memories. Now I’m on a mission to recover my memories and discover all of my awesome powers. I’ll have to battle Decepticons, outrun an explosion or two, and be heroic- basically, I’m in for one epic ride across the Cyberverse.” -Bumblebee Shockwave is a truly twisted scientist who invents devious weapons for the evil Decepticons. Convert and attack with Transformers Cyberverse Action Attackers! Change figure from beast to robot mode in 9 steps. The last step of conversion automatically activates Shockwave figure’s signature Wave Cannon Action Attack move! Once converted, attack move can be repeated through easy reactivation steps. Look for other Action Attackers figures, each sold separately, to discover the signature attack moves of favorite Cyberverse characters! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.
Function: Twisted Scientist “Shockwave is devious, brilliant, and totally mad! Stay away from his creepy laboratory, unless you want to become a warped science experiment. Plus, he’s always inventing evil weapons for the Decepticons that make my job way harder. I’m not scared of much, but this guy gives me the heebie-jeebies.” - Bumblebee
In late 2017 it was revealed that a new Transformers cartoon would be replacing "Robots in Disguise". The series focuses on Bumblebee with partial amnesia attempting to regain his memories. A blend of G1 and modern characters combined with a more kid-friendly animation style results in a show that leans more towards a younger audience than even "Robots in Disguise", something which is reflected in the toy line. The toy line was released in countries outside the United States such as Australia around late June 2018. A few weeks later it would be released in North America.
Among the first waves of figures released were the Warrior Class figures. The Warrior Class was first introduced in "Robots in Disguise" as a sort of compromise between the more complex Deluxe Class figures from "Generations" and the simpler figures offered throughout the rest of the "Robots in Disguise" line. This "new" Warrior Class assortment however is not a continuation of that Class of figure despite sharing the same name. Instead, these figures are more akin to the "Power Attackers" from "Age of Extinction" such as Vehicon and Galvatron focusing on a single action feature or gimmick with some detail that you would have expected from a past Warrior Class figure.
Warrior Class "Cyberverse" figures are packaged on bubble cards. The cards have a new design which takes cues from more recent Transformers packaging. There is still a vertical "Transformers" logo on the right side, above it is a symbol (Autobot or Decepticon based on the character) and the character art is at the top of the packaging with the "Cyberverse" logo under it. Perhaps the most distinctive part of the packaging design are the colors, which utilize yellow and light blue helping them stand out against the black and red colors used for "Generations" packaging on shelves. The back of the packaging features the figure with its action feature called out. In Shockwave's case it is his "Wave Cannon" feature. The packaging also calls out his cosells (Optimus Prime, Starscream and Shockwave) and his transformation is listed as 9 steps.
The insert on the packaging notes a recommended age of "6+" which is important to keep in mind with this Class of figure. Contrast that with a "Generations" Deluxe (such as Jazz or Sunstreaker) which have recommended ages of 8+. This age recommendation is more along the lines of "Robots in Disguise" Legion Class figures such as Bisk. The insert also features Shockwave's artwork, while the side has the term "Action Attackers" on it (above the words "Warrior Class") along with artwork featuring Megatron, Shadow Striker and Starscream.
If there is one thing I have to give "Cyberverse" credit for it is their character designs. Many of these designs are based on classic G1 designs with some variation. In Shockwave's case he has many of G1 Shockwave's design elements including the six sided, flat head with "ears" on the sides, angled shoulder armor, a six sided chest that reflects the shape of his head and a blaster in place of his left hand. He also has some other designs on the mid-body area and the sides of his legs which echo his G1 counterpart in those areas. Even the back has designs from G1 Shockwave, looking like the "back pack" formed by the rear section of G1 Shockwave's gun mode (down to a faux "hinge").
However, the designers then took things a step further adding in a lot of extra details to this figure. There is a honeycomb like pattern in the "chest window", the forearms have grooves sculpted into them (including one that looks like Shockwave's head on the left forearm) and there is an additional crest on his head which makes his single eye look just a tad meaner.
Shockwave is cast in purple, silver and pink plastic. The purple is the dominant color of course, while silver is used on smaller parts like his "ears", thighs and feet. The pink is used for the "Wave Cannon". Pink and silver paint are used for most of the detailing. The pink is found on the chest, forearms, legs and Wave Cannon. The sides of the legs are painted silver (a callback to the grips on G1 Shockwave's gun mode). There is also some silver and black right under the chest that adds an unexpected but welcome touch. His eye is painted yellow, another callback ot G1 Shockwave. From a visual standpoint I really dig the look of this figure.
However, it is important to keep in mind the value proposition with this figure. Shockwave measures at about 5.25 inches tall (about 13.3 centimeters) making him slightly smaller than say, "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class Optimus Prime who measures about 5.3 inches (roughly 13.4 centimeters) tall. Also, this figure weighs in at about 2.4 ounces, while "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Optimus Prime weighs in at about 3.2 ounces (without his weapon). On average, this figure is priced at $14.99, which is about the same price as the Warrior Class figures from "Robots in Disguise". As I wrote this review, I checked on HasbroToyShop and their average price for a "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class figure was still $14.99. So from a pure "How much plastic am I paying for?" perspective, there is an issue of value here that is only somewhat mitigated by having a gimmick.
Shockwave's gimmick is perhaps one of the least "gimmicky" play patterns I've seen in the "Cyberverse" figures so far. Push the Wave Cannon up from the back and it slides forward. As it does so, pink "blasts" swing out from it. I think this is a fun gimmick and it works very well. It also does not detract from the rest of the figure in any way, but instead adds to it.
There are fourteen points of articulation on this figure, which brings it much more in line with the "Robots in Disguise" era of Warrior Class figures. Even better, the elbows are ball joints and the hips hinge outward and can swing back and forth, giving Shockwave a good range of articulation. The hip hinge that goes outward is more loose than I would prefer, but he can pose fine. Sadly, the head does not move. I think this was a deliberate choice because the Wave Cannon has to swing up over the shoulder and sits right next to the head, and they probably worried about people not lining up the head just right and possibly breaking the cannon by accident. Shockwave's right fist features a 5mm port, which is to be expected but I was very pleasantly surprised to find the designers put a 5mm port on his left forearm! This allows him to hold two weapons despite only having one hand.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Swing the blaster "hand" into the forearm.
- Push each robot foot back into the lower legs.
- Swing the chest panel up over the head.
- Swing the robot arms forward, then rotate the forearms around.
- Rotate the lower legs around, then swing them down to align with the front legs (formed by the robot forearms).
- Swing the Wave Cannon up.
With "gun modes" being generally taboo for Transformers nowadays, Shockwave instead transforms into a "Spider Tank", basically a walking weapons platform (akin to the Think Tank from "Ghost in the Shell"). This type of design has been used in Transformers toy lines before. Scrapmetal from "Cybertron" is one example. Shockwave has also been a tank before in other lore including "Dark of the Moon" and "Transformers Prime" so this just continues the tradition. It also plays on the idea that Shockwave is creepy by giving him a "creepy" vehicle mode.
For the most part, the tank mode is just a variant on the robot mode, with the limbs of the robot mode serving as the limbs of the "spider". I do appreciate the way the cannon swings up on top to make it more prominent.
The Wave Cannon can be used in this form as well, but only half of the "blast" swings out. Push the trigger on the right side back and the pink "blast" piece swings out while the blaster turret pulls inward. It is a fun little gimmick and it does not adversely affect the rest of the figure.
Shockwave is the best of the "Warrior Class" figures so far. He has a gimmick, but it does not interfere with the rest of the figure. I appreciate the designers adding on an additional 5mm port on the left forearm, showing that they were trying to keep a certain level of play factor in the figure aside from the gimmick. He also has good articulation and a great aesthetic. This figure pretty much skirts the edge of being worth the $14.99 price point, but I do recommend it.
- Great design that incorporates G1 Shockwave design elements with some new details.
- Good articulation.
- Fun gimmick.
- Lighter than previous "Warrior Class" figures, so you are not getting as much toy for our dollar as before.
- No head articulation.