Never once did I expect that one day I would own an official Masterpiece Shockwave. Now that I have him, I believe anything is possible. The character selection in the MP line has gotten quite extensive and has branched far out from G1. We’ve actually gotten a Transformers Masterpiece release every month so far this year. It’s been quite a ride and there is still much more to come. Characters like Shockwave and Star Saber are great surprises, but coming later this year we will actually be getting MP Beast Wars! It’s a great time to be a Transformer collector … or an even better time to hop in! I really only collect Masterpiece, but there is some really great stuff out there in all of the Transformer toy lines.
I’m glad I wasn’t the only one! A lot of people were under the assumption that a Masterpiece Shockwave would probably never happen. Fans Toys Quakewave was the only game in town for many years (and was my first third-party purchase so it holds a special place in my heart). So it would be very easy for me to turn this review into a comparison piece with Quakewave. However, I don’t think that is fair to this figure. Shockwave should be able to stand alone to his own scrutiny, so for this review I will just focus on what I think about Takara’s official figure. Then I’ll get into comparisons a little later.
Shockwave, otherwise known as “Laserwave” officially, comes packaged in his gun form. He includes seven total hands which plug right into nubs at the end of his arms. In the solid colors we have a left and right fist, saluting hand, and a left arm cannon. Translucent hands and an arm cannon are also included. Both cannons work with the arm’s light up features, but the translucent one looks so good, especially in the dark! In addition to the hands there is also a mini Shockwave gun that he can hold, as well as a backpack. The backpack actually serves three different functions. It can be used as an extra large backpack in robot mode, a display stand when Shockwave is in gun mode, or a place to store all of those extra hands.
If you compare the MP Shockwave to the G1 cartoon it becomes pretty obvious they went with a more pastel purple than the cartoon’s darker shade. I don’t have a huge issue with it, but I’m sure it’s a visual choice that will take a period of adjustment for some people out there.
Shockwave has two light-up areas, his left arm in bot mode and the barrel of his gun in blaster mode. The gun barrel requires two AAA batteries that are placed inside of his back. The gun’s trigger sets off the barrel’s light effects, so it’s a little harder to fire when he’s in bot mode since the trigger hides behind a siding panel in his abdomen. The light has two effects depending on the position of the switch at his waist, it can either just light up while the trigger is pressed or it fades in and out a few times. The arm has the fading effect as well, and I believe that is the only option there. His arm requires two LR-44 batteries, and you can grab them off Amazon ahead of time if need be.
As a side note, I appreciate that the screw-holes have an arrow pointing which way to turn in order to open the panel. I’ve stripped many a screw because I didn’t remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey” in my day. Shout out to Takara for taking care of the idiots out there like me!
The last gun, Megatron, in the Masterpiece line was horrible to transform. It wasn’t fun. It was long, convoluted, and scary. Shockwave is none of the above. He has a very simple transformation that I was able to commit to memory after one try. The gun mode looks great and the robot mode looks fantastic, and the journey between both is pretty fun. I’m especially impressed with how the legs split in half to form the gun’s handle. Mine seems to have a bit of an issue with right calf, as it does not plug in as flush as I’d like. I found that if a push the foot back and get my finger inside the leg I can tighten it up a bit so that it holds together. That calf tab is pretty important since it basically keeps the entire leg together.
Shockwave’s head is another part that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, it does not light up. He does have light piping, but I was surprised that they did not try to feed one of the wires into his head. Especially since there is a decent enough amount of open space in the chest for some additional wiring. Besides the lack of lighting I’ve also found that the base of his neck doesn’t click into anything, so it just kind of floats. It’s similar to Tracks where the base of the neck doesn’t have a tab to anchor it, so everything ends up moving along with the head. I’ve messed around with it quite a bit at this point, so if anyone else has had better luck I’d love to know. I prefer to have that part locked in when in bot mode.
Masterpiece Shockwave was just released in Japan about a week or two back now. I’m going to write a separate piece comparing him to Fans Toys’ Quakewave, but the verdict is that I like the aesthetic of the official Shockwave much better. He’s by no means a perfect figure, but he’s really well executed and does justice to the high standard the MP line is held to. Both of his modes look great and are easy to transform, the sculpt is beautiful, and it’s friggin MP Shockwave! I look forward to the eventual redeco.
Oh, and there are no Decepticon emblems on the figure, but they are included on a sticker sheet. Mine will go naked until I can get in touch with a friend to apply them. I’m horrifically bad with stickers.
If you are in the US and looking to get him domestically, you can always check out your usual spots as well as Amazon. You will probably save a bit importing though, so I wouldn’t hesitate to go that route if you have a favorite store. Either way, I would grab him now. I sincerely doubt there will be a Toys ‘R’ Us release any time soon for this guy.