Energon Toy Reviews: Tidal Wave

in 2003, Action Figure Review, Combiner / Gestalt, Decepticon, Energon, Superlink


General Information:
Release Year: November 2003
Retailer: General Release (Toys 'R' Us, Kay Bee, Wal-Mart etc.)
Price: $25.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Transformation Difficulty Level: 4`
Accessories: Missiles x 2, Ramjet Mini-Con


One of the best ways to keep some continuity going from one series to the next is to carry over some characters. Energon has done this with several characters including Optimus Prime and Hot Shot. On the Decepticon side, Tidal Wave has returned. While he didn't get to do much in Armada, he's a primary character in Energon, so despite being a redeco of the Armada toy, he is not as limited as Ultra Magnus or Treadbolt

This review will focus on the changes made to this toy for this release. For a more detailed look at the toy itself, please read Armada Tidal Wave's review. And for another look at the toy, check out Micron Legend Shockwave's review.


Ramjet's color scheme has been changed to match up with Tidal Wave's new scheme. So instead of purple and orange, he is now mostly two shades of gray and a blue-gray color. The cockpit is painted orange, showing some hints of his former self. In jet mode, most of what shows is the light gray color. But in robot mode, his legs are a darker shade of gray, and his upper legs and lower arms are blue-gray. The upper body is light gray, but with gold painted on the upper body. It's a rather muted, dull color scheme - but considering what it has to match up to, it makes perfect sense.

Tidal Wave

Vehicle Mode:
Tidal Wave's new colors totally depart from the last two color schemes given to this mold. This time around, his primary colors are white, gray and translucent green. This color scheme is meant to integrate into the "Terrorcon" subgroup, which in many cases has a combination of white and translucent green parts. In his combined vehicle form, the plastic color distribution works out as follows:

  • Front: The aircraft carrier section is dark gray with translucent green plastic used for the underside in the front and the sides of the gunboat.
  • Center: The central body is cast mostly in white, with the central tower being dark gray. The four primary gun batteries are light gray with dark gray barrels.
  • Rear: The aft section of Tidal Wave is mostly white with the pieces that form the robot feet done in light gray. The thrusters at the very back are dark gray.

Of course, the basic mold isn't all there is to a new deco. A lot of paint applications went into this toy, and they're some of the nicest yet to be found on this sculpt. The most noticable of these is the gold lightning pattern that appears at the front and back sections. On the television show, this is meant to reflect Tidal Wave's surge of power upon coming into contact with an Energon Star. Here, it looks nice on the dark gray of the carrier section
and the black painted onto the sides of the gunboat section. Towards the rear this can be found against the dark metallic blue sections that become the robot legs.

Gold is also used on a lot of other details, and it works well against the primary gray and white colors. A lot of small parts like mechanical details on and near the wings are painted in gold, which keeps the wonderful sculpted detail in those sections from becoming lost in a sea of white.

One of the nicest paint applications on this toy is found towards the middle, where the parts that form Tidal Wave's legs and feet connect to the central gunboat section. A really nice, black spray op was applied here that makes Tidal Wave look like he's burned off some fuel in the area, or perhaps was attacked and charred in that section. Either way you look at it, its really well done, especially against the white plastic where it fades so naturally into the white plastic.

All of Tidal Wave's functionality in this form is intact. You can attach a Mini-Con to the central Mini-Con peg and push it forward to make the eight cannons on the central section move. Each individual unit also retains its functionality. The aircraft carrier still has a slot (now translucent green) where you can fold up Ramjet and lower him in for safe keeping. The transport section still folds open to reveal four seats for Mini-Cons, but the seats are now translucent green, which looks really nice, and the ground of the transport is painted gold.

For those curious, Tidal Wave's individual components still attach to Armada Megatron and Galvatron just fine. There does not appear to have been any mold degradation in that respect.

Robot Mode:
What's really cool about Tidal Wave's new colors is that it really sets him apart from his predecessors. He simply doesn't look like "just" a redeco, he looks almost like a whole new toy. A lot of this can be credited to the translucent green plastic, which forms the lower arms, shoulders and robot head here. The white is of course a big contributor to the "new" feel of the toy since it departs so much from the original.

The robot head is the main "new" part shown in this form (the other being the upper legs). The face is painted dark gray with yellow eyes. His brow and crest are painted gold with the three circles on the crest painted orange, probably one of the few "hints" of his previous color scheme.

In Armada, Tidal Wave was built to allow several Mini-Cons to Powerlink with him in robot mode, making him a walking arsenal. Now in Energon, there's a new level of play. Since some Energon weapons have Powerlinx points that allow them to attach to Mini-Con pegs, you can use those weapons with Tidal Wave in either mode. In robot mode, this allows him to mount weapons onto his lower arms, which is very cool.

It should be mentioned here that the designers tried to address the "missiles in his armpits" problem where the missiles would launch if you moved the arms against the central body too tightly in robot mode. Whereas there was a small indentation before on the central body to accomodate the missile trigger, there is now a full blown notch there, much larger than the one that was there before. This allows the triggers to rest against the central body without launching his missiles. Oddly, this works great for the right side, but not for the left.

There's a good chance you already own Tidal Wave or Shockwave. If you do, then you may not want to shell out another $25-30 at retail for this guy unless you're a completist or want every character who appears on the show. Personally, I think it's well worth getting this guy even if you have him already. Highly recommended.