Release Date: Q2 2021
Price Point: $10.00 (depending on location)
Retailer: Alternative Channels (Amazon, Family Dollar, Walgreens etc.)
The Authentics line started in 2018 and continued into 2021. The new "Alpha" (7 in/17.78 cm) series figure is Shockwave! This figure became available in early 2021 and continued to appear on shelves sporadically as the year went along, shipping with some of the older figures including Optimus Prime and Grimlock.
The "Alpha" series of Authentics figures are packaged on blister cards with the plastic shaped like the figure inside. There is actually some "evergreen" design package art in the corner and the familiar vertical Transformers logo is off to the right. The insert in the packaging shows the vehicle's alt-mode (sort of, more on that in a bit). It's very simple packaging but for $10 USD a figure, I'm not expecting anything extravagent.
Shockwave's robot mode is mostly based on what appears to be his "evergreen" design (which you can see here on the Transformers Wiki). It also appears to borrow some inspiration from the Fall of Cybertron Shockwave. He has all the familiar Shockwave features including the single eye with ear "flaps" on the sides of his head, the distinctiv chest design, a tube running from his arm to h is back, legs with sides that look like grips on a weapon and of course one of his forearms has a blaster instead of a fist at the end. In addition, Shockwave has two wings on his back. I really dig how they exaggerated proportions on this figure, especially the way the mid-body is very narrow while the shoulders and lower legs/feet are wide. It gives him a very stylized appearance that I like.
Shockwave is made up of purple, dark grey and light grey plastic. There is a lot of deco on this figure if you consider it is priced at $10 USD. The most heavily used color is a bright pink color. You'll find this everywhere from the head to the chest to the arms. Silver is also used to paint details on the chest and legs. The eye is painted yellow and the finishing touch is a white and purple tampographed Decepticon symbol on the chest.
Not counting the wings, Shockwave has sixteen points of articulation, which is quite impressive for a "simple" figure. This includes four in each arm and three in each leg. Surprisingly he also has waist articulation! Even better, all his joints are nice and tight. I know that sounds like an odd statement, but in this day and age many mainline figures such as those in Generations come with Q/C issues including loose joints, so this was great to see.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Straighten out the arms and legs.
- Point the feet down.
- Swing the fist and "gun hand" into the forearms.
- Detach the rubber wire from the forearm.
- Swing the chest panel forward, swing the head down into the chest comaprtment then push the chest panel back into place.
- Rotate the lower legs and connect them together.
- Rotate the lower body around.
- Swing the panels attached to the lower legs up to cover the thighs.
- Rotate the arms so they point back and push them in against the sides of the chest section.
- Attach the rubber wire piece to the small peg on the hip area.
- Rotate the wings around, pushing the pegs on them into the corresponding ports on the back of the chest section.
Shockwave's vehicle mode looks like some type of Cybertronian aerial attack vehicle. The front section formed by the legs is vaguely reminscent of a cockpit/nosecone section while the back section has wings with blasters on the ends. In between the wings is a section that looks inspired by Shockwave's G1 weapon mode barrel. The knee armor also angles in such a way that it looks almost aerodynamic. From the perspective of an "alien fighter" this looks cool, and it is of course a way to work around the difficulties in creating a toy gun in the United States. Amusingly, the official photo on the packaging has this mode flipped upside down
All the same colors used in the robot mode appear here, but we get to see the bold strokes of pink color on the wings. We also get to see silver detailing on the front of the vehicle that is a bit hidden in vehicle mode.
For a $10 figure, you get a lot with Shockwave. He looks really cool in robot mode, paying homage to various versions of the character. The vehicle mode is sort of a throwaway, but it serves its purpose and looks good. If you're into these lower priced figures at all, this one is highly recommended!
- Really cool looking sculpt.
- Great and surprising deco.
- Good articulation (and all joints are nice and tight).
- Very cheap price point for what you get.
- Some fans may not like the hollow parts.
- The vehicle mode does not represent any real vehicle or Shockwave's traditional gun form, so some fans may not like that.