Transformers Review: Laserwave/ Shockwave (Masterpiece)

Intro:
            Greetings Cybertronians, welcome back to another Transformers Reviews. First of all, I’d like to apologize for my long absence. I know that it has been awhile since I reviewed anything, but it couldn’t be helped, as I’ve had so much things in hand, i.e. work, events, personal stuffs etc., that I didn’t have time for any reviews at all. However, I will try to squeeze in some reviews whenever and wherever I can. So don’t worry, NEW PLANET CYBERTRON BLOG is still well alive and kicking.
            Anyways, let’s get on to the review proper. Laserwave, or should I say Shockwave, as this character is more popularly known as in the English-speaking world, is one of the most highly-anticipated Masterpiece releases. Since the original G1 release, Shockwave hasn’t been receiving much love from the powers that be. Yes, there have been other releases such as the Generations Shockwave and Superlink Laserwave, but they are guns! Just like how the real Megatron will always be a gun (at least in my case), Shockwave is too.
            Fans have been waiting for an updated Shockwave figure for a long time, and we’ve been made to wait for quite a long time. When Fan Toys (a third party company) decided to release a version of their Shockwave called Quakewave, as their 1st stand-alone action figure, fans were ecstatic! It was the definitive Shockwave action figure that could go well with the other Masterpiece releases. Some fans were frustrated that Takara-Tomy hadn’t announced any plans for a Masterpiece Shockwave at that time, and were left to wonder, what was the hold-up? I’ve to admit, Quakewave was very appealing. I was tempted to buy him on numerous occasions, but having been on a third-party cold-turkey for almost four to five years, I wasn’t prepared to abandon that run. So when Takara-Tomy finally announced its plan to release their own Shockwave, I knew I had to get it, but there was one major hurdle – price.
            In recent years, prices of Transformers figures have escalated exponentially, and long-time fans such as myself have found it really difficult to cope with the price increase. So it was luck on my part, that a hobby-shop here in Kuala Lumpur decided to have its 10th year Anniversary Sale, and MP Shockwave was on the menu at an affordable price – and that was an ample invitation for me.
            Shockwave’s characterization differs vastly between its cartoon and comic depiction. In the original cartoon series, Shockwave is the ever faithful soldier that follows Megatron’s orders to the letter. In fact, Megatron trusted only him, to let him take lead of the Decepticon forces on Cybertron in his absence.
            In the comics however, Shockwave is a very cold and calculative character devoid of any compassion. He acts and reacts based solely on what his logics dictates, and was willing to usurp power and dethrone Megatron, as long as logics dictates it.
            Yeah, that’s scary.
            Shockwave is numbered as MP-29, and given the title “Destron Military Operations Commander”, and is packaged in the signature Masterpiece packaging.  

Alternate Mode:
            Well, in case you haven’t been paying attention, Shockave transforms into a futuristic space-gun. And unlike MP-05 Megatron’s gun mode, which was made to fit in the hands of WWE Superstar Big Show, Shockwave is made to fit in our hands.

            Shockwave is pretty darn bulky; at 1-foot length, it’s a pretty darn long gun, complete with a targeting sight and a stand to display Shockwave in his gun mode.

            The kibbles aren’t very obvious, thanks to the fact that it is a “futuristic” gun. As far as I am concerned, Shockwave look pretty darn accurate, down to the “tube” that connects the body of the gun to its barrel. The tube isn’t exactly a tube by the way, but is a spring.

            The gun does come with a light feature gimmick – activated by pressing down the trigger. There are 2 options – selectable via a button of the right hand side of the gun’s body.
            Option 1: the light at the tip of the gun flashes on and off like pulses after you push the trigger.
            Option 2: the light will light up each time you press on the trigger.  
Light action select button
            The gun mode isn’t all perfect though. There is a gaping hole near the tip of the handle, which is kind of awkward. I wish there was some way that they could’ve covered the hole.
            Overall, I really like the overall look of the gun mode and I do think that it managed to capture the essence of the original Shockwave quite well.

Robot Mode:
            If you think the gun mode was awesome, the robot mode is even better! At first glance, it looks exactly how it supposed to, which is quite similar to the original cartoon series. Proportions of the robot are absolutely fantastic and the transformation is very intuitive.

            Standing at 8 ¾” tall, Shockwave is kinda short compared to MP Soundwave. I always thought that Shockwave was supposed to be bigger than Soundwave, but I guess it’s okay.
            Despite of the size, this is exactly how Shockwave should look like. Most likely because of that 1 dot face, Shockwave really looks like a robot without emotion – cold and compassionless.
            The entire sculpt looks smooth and detailed. The articulation is absolutely amazing, and probably one of the best in recent memories.
            The green-light-piped head is on a lovely ball joint; the shoulders are on not 1, not 2, but 3 deliciously-tight ratcheting joints, which allows all range of movements; the elbows are on tight ratcheting joints; arms swivel at the elbows; the right hand is on a ball joint; the upper body has a ratcheting abs crunch; the waist turns; the hips swing outward; the hips also swing to the front on a tight ratchet; the legs rotate slightly below the hips; the knees are on ratcheting joints; the feet also on joints tht ratchet forward and back, as well as tilt inward.
            The combination of all these wonderful articulations result in an almost perfect action figure that provide an almost endless array of posing options.
            Aside from the articulations, there are other aspects of the figure and simple adds to the magic. The tube on the left arms – there are 2 ways to display this, depending on how you like it. You can either have the tube at the back of the arm, or in the front. Either way, the robot would still look good.
Another option to display the tube
            The robot also comes with a backpack, formed by his gun barrel. However, you can also choose to have the barrel looks more comic accurate, by taking the gun display stand provided, and have it engulfing the original backpack. I’m really impressed that someone actually thought of that up – brilliant.


With his gun display stand adding as extra bulk to his backpack
            With the extra accessories provided, you have even wider options of play value to the set.
            Absolutely fantastic.

Accessories:
            The set comes with Shockwave’s signature tube; a smaller gun version of himself, fit to be wielded by other similar sized Masterpiece releases; one clear and white colored salute hands each; one clear right fist; one white left fist; and one clear blaster. The extra hands and fist are of course additional to the existing white right fist and one white blaster.
Iconic Salute
Shockwave... err... holding himself
            As with most Masterpiece releases, it also comes with a commemorative coin.


            Last, but definitely not the least is the gun stand, which as I mentioned earlier, can also be used as a backpack.

Overall:
On a personal note, Shockwave has been one of those characters that I have been hoping to receive a Masterpiece treatment for a long time, and I have to say, the long wait have been totally worth it.
This is definitely a must for collectors of Masterpiece, G1 and Shockwave.
Highly recommended.


            Final verdict: 9.5/10. 

Marvel Review – Apocalypse (Marvel Legends BAF)

Intro:
            Welcome back to another edition of Marvel Review. By the time this review is published, it would’ve been a week since the highly-anticipated X-Men Apocalypse was shown on the big screen – well, at least it was in the Malaysian cinemas. I have to say, it was yet another great addition to a wonderful franchise. It has to be said that since X-Men: First Class, Fox has done considerably well with the X-Men franchise. First Class; Days of Future Past; and now, Apocalypse have all been such pleasant watch – at least for me it was.
            Anyways, since this is X-Men Apocalypse season, there’s no better time than this for me to review one of the most highly sought after Marvel figure out there – the Built-A-Figure (BAF) Apocalypse.
            The BAF Apocalypse was released in 2005, under the Marvel Legends Apocalypse Series. In order to get Apocalypse, you’d have to collect his body parts, packed together with the following characters: Regular Bishop or his bald-headed variant; Iron Fist (regular/ red costume); Sasquatch (regular/ white); Wolverine (regular/ unmasked); X-23 (black costume/ purple costume); and Maestro.
            Collect all of these and you will end up with En Sabah Nur himself – the world’s first mutant.
            I’m a rather late-starter when it comes to Marvel action figure collecting, and I do limit myself to only 3 ¾” scale action figures, and I most definitely do not collect the Marvel Legends line, past or present. Having said all that: if certain figures are made to be in scale with the rest of the Marvel Universe line that I am collecting, then I’d definitely be on the lookout. BAF Apocalypse definitely qualifies into that category, due to his ability to increase his physical size, he definitely fits into that scale.
            So, how good is this BAF Apocalypse? Is he worth the effort for me looking highs and lows, trying to hunt down for this antique action figure? Read on to find out…

Figure:
            Unlike all other recent BAF figures, Apocalypse comes from a time when BAF figures were huge and bulky.
            Apocalypse himself stands at about 14-inches tall, and he feels very solid and hefty in your hands.

            He looks absolutely fantastic – looking exactly how remember it from his first appearance in the comics, as well as his on-screen debut in the original X-Men cartoon series.
That intimidating face
            The huge initial “A” on his suit – belt buckle and collar is almost like his trademark. No one displays the letter “A” better than Apocalypse. Just like in the comics, there are tubes running from the small of his back, all the way to his elbows.
Front Row from Left: Marvel Universe Apocalypse & ToyBiz Apocalypse
            Despite his humongous size, Apocalypse actually has a very good combination of articulations: the head seems to be on some sort of a universal joint that allows all range of motions; the shoulders also have a great range of motion (although on mine, the left shoulder is a bit too tight); the arms rotate slightly below the shoulders; the elbows have a 1-point ratcheting joint; the wrists bend inward; each fingers, except for the thumbs have individual digit joint; the upper torso comes with a lovely, heavily-ratcheted joint; the waist rotate 360°; the hips are on soft ratcheting universal joints; the legs rotate slightly below the hips; double-jointed soft-ratcheting knees joints; the ankles are on soft-ratcheting joints that allow front and back feet-tilting; the feet also tilt inwards; and finally, toe-joints.
Standing side-by-side BAF Onslaught
            The amount of articulations on this figure is tremendous. On mine, however, the left ankle and knee joints are a bit loose, compared to the right; as such, you have to carefully pose him, or else he will just collapse on his own weight and crushes all the other action figures around him. I don’t consider this as a fault in the mold, because it might be just an isolated case, but what do irk me are his hands/ fist.
            The hands clench into to fists, and despite having individually-articulated digits; his hands only looks good by clenching into a fist. The problem is that each finger is designed to look like clenched fists. I really think that it’s a missed opportunity for the designers to make what is already-considered as a great action figure, into a perfect one. Why Marvel? Why?!
Flawed Design, in my opinion
            Anyways, you can really have a field day posing him along with the rest of you Marvel Universe figures, pretending as if Apocalypse turned himself big, and trying to destroy all X-Men who opposed him; and if you have all of his Four Horsemen around – perfect!   
With his Four Horseman, based on the X-Men Apocalypse

Summary:
            BAF Apocalypse is truly a wonderful action figure, and a rare one at that. It’s really not that easy for you to actually come across one, and even when you do, you’re looking at paying at a premium price for it. I was lucky that a fellow collector was looking to unload his Apocalypse at a very reasonable price.
            I really can’t recommend this figure enough, and if you’re really lucky to find this figure, grab it while you can.
It’s definitely a must-have for X-Men fans.
            Highly recommended.

            Final verdict, 9.5/10.


Coming Soon - ACT 2016

Hello there my fellow Cybertronians,

Heads up! June 26, 2016, make sure that you clear your schedule on those days. Come on down to ACT 2016!

The event will no longer be held at Cheras Sentral Mall. Instead it will be held at Evolve Concept Mall at Pacific Place Ara Damansara,

ACT - Aware and Care Together - is the newest ACG event in town. ACT is trying to raise funds for various charities, not only in terms of monetary, but other miscellaneous items as well, such as foods, clothes, toys, pet's stuff and many more. Why not do some charity, while we're having fun, right?


OFFICIAL MALL
As with any other ACG events out there, there are loads of fun and activities that awaits you. There will be Cosplay and Singing Competitions, Gaming Contest, The Saber Making Workshop, Auctions, and of course, hobby exhibition and sales.

As such, we at NEW PLANET CYBERTRON BLOG are honored to announce our participation in this marvelous event.

Other confirmed participants in this event (at the time of this writing) includes Digi-Destined Malaysia, Mecha Skirmish Game, Gundam Fans Malaysia, Brickgasm, Force Arts Stunt Team, Rebel and Legion Malaysian Outpost.




So ladies and gentlemen, and children or all ages, mark the dates in your calendar, come and join us at ACT 2016. Let us all have fun and do some good in this world. Entrance to the event is free, but you are welcome to contribute willingly to the donation funds.

ACT is made possible by the efforts and diligence of the following notable ACG organizers:


Not to forget, the support of the following parties:
Official Sponsor
Official Photographer
 Official Partners


This event is also made possible by the following Charity Organisations:



For information, kindly log on to the followings:

Official Website: http://www.actcharity.asia/

Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/actcharityfoundation/

Official Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/226635977692418/

Event Venue: EVOLVE CONCEPT MALL, Pacific Place@Ara Damansara, Jalan PJU 1A/4, Ara Damansara, 47301, Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan.

Event Date: 26 June 2016

Event Times: Sunday (10:00am to 9:00pm)