Transformers Review: Shockwave (Animated Voyager)


Intro:
            Shockwave – a name that would strike fear in the sparks of many Autobots – is one of the most memorable Transformers from the G1 era. Apart from Optimus Prime and Megatron, Shockwave, along with Soundwave and Starscream are probably the 3 other most recognizable Transformers.
Although Shockwave is more remembered for his original G1 animated series portrayal as Megatron’s most loyal and trustworthy servant (and also for Cory Burton’s memorable raspy voice and his unique one-dot-for-a-face look), the comics gave an even better characterization – that of a calculating, and meticulous strategist that would rival even that of Megatron’s. He relies solely on his logic calculation, and portrays a very cold demeanor. In fact, thanks to these qualities, he even defeated Megatron and assumes the leadership of the Decepticons, and Megatron could not do anything to prevent it.
After G1, the name Shockwave have been reused in the Energon/Superlink series; the Dark of the Moon movie; and also the Transformers: Animated series, all portraying him with that trademarked one-dot-for-a-face look.
            The Animated portrayal of the character is probably the best amongst all of his reincarnations, as he is now portrayed as an infiltration & espionage expert, due to his abilities to morph his looks and deceive others. Here, his abilities resemble that of the G1 Punch/ Counterpunch and Masterforce’s Doubledealer. All of these characters have both an Autobot and a Decepticon mode, with each mode having their very own alternate mode. I already have a knockoff version of the Doubledealer figure, and a very good knockoff at that (I would probably do a review on him sometime in the near future), but didn’t have the privilege to own a Punch/Counterpunch figure. So having a Shockwave/ Longarm Prime figure would have be consolatory.
            So, let’s go on with the review.

Alternate Mode (Longarm Prime):
 
            This is truly an innocent looking alternate mode – a futuristic hoist crane mode. However, I really don’t see the logic or relevance of an Intelligence officer having a crane as an alternate mode. I would expect an alternate mode of maybe a supercomputer, a manmade satellite, oh heck, anything other than a measly crane.
             Having said that, the crane ain’t all that bad, even though it may be a bit inappropriate due to his job function. 
             Also, this mode is riddled with kibbles underneath. By flipping him over, it is as if Longarm Prime, with Shockwave’s face, sitting on the floor and looking at you. 
            The crane is that of a fixed-type, since it has no wheels at all. 
            Overall, it’s only an averagely okay alternate mode.

Alternate Mode (Shockwave):
            This has probably been mentioned way too often by other reviewers before, but I’m gonna mention it again in my review nonetheless – Shockwave’s alternate mode resembles Armada Megatron’s H-shaped tank. 
            Transforming him to crane mode to tank is quite simple – generally you would only need to flatten the guy; reconfigure the turret piece, and voila, you’ll have your tank mode really and loaded. 
            Of course, when you look at him from an intended angle, the tank mode looks pretty fine. However, once you turn him topsy-turvy, he is just riddled with kibbles. Just take a look at the photos of the tank’s underside. It is as if Longarm Prime is doing monkey squat, and lying face-down on the floor. 
 
            Still, if you can get past the horrible kibbles on the underside, Shockwave is just fine. Oh, by the way, the tank rolls quite nicely, just in case if you’re wondering about that.
            The body of the turret, being a totally separate piece from the body, attaches to the main body via a peg and slot, thus providing it with a 360° rotational range. The turret itself moves up and down. The turret is formed by pulling a dial on the hoist crane, which pulls in the crane and releases an extended turret piece underneath it.
            Overall, a very neat tank mode, if you can get past the kibbles underneath.

Robot Mode (Longarm Prime):
            Longarm Prime, one of the latest additions to the long list of Primes in history. In the animated series, he basically holds Intelligence Officer Portfolio, and his rank is on par with that of Sentinel Prime and Optimus Prime. 
            The robot mode is kinda stout. Standing at 7-inches tall, he doesn’t look like your typical Autobot warrior. Even without watching the animated series, I kinda envisioned him to be more about brains than brawn – your typical 9-5, office working staffs.
            Anyways, ramblings aside, I kinda dig the robot mode’s look, but in order to make both robot modes look significantly and convincingly different, sacrifices had to be made – at the expense of its articulations.
            Points of articulations are as follows: the head has no articulations at all; the shoulders rotate and move up and down; rotatable and bendable elbows; ball-jointed hands, which can be scarily tight; the hips have a slight movement, which is almost to nothing really; the legs can also flip outward to an awkwardly degree; bendable and rotatable knees; and that’s about it.
            Not the most amazing of articulations combinations, but his gimmicks more than make it up for it. Also, the head sculpt is quite nice, with that red dot on this forehead that could be a potential third, or maybe it could concealed something more sinister?
            Another point to comment on is the exposed Decepticon insignia on the top of the back-mounted hoist crane. Hence, some of you fans out there might even consider to cover-paint the insignia portion, just to make the double-agent gimmick more convincing.
            Oh darn, did I mention that he is a double agent? Oh well, I guess the cat is out of the bag…

Robot Mode (Shockwave):
            Arguably, this is exactly why we bought this figure for. Despite having two names, Longarm Prime is nothing more than a charade. Shockwave is the real deal. 
 
            What amazes is how different Longarm Prime and Shockwave looks compared to each other. Compared to Prime, Shockwave stands at 8 ¾-inches tall. He looks lanky, high-shouldered and armed with a humongous blaster.
 
            And of course, who can ever forget that iconic face that is normally associated with all Shockwave reincarnations – that one dot against a black backdrop. What makes it even better is that the red dot contains a really good light piping. 
            Articulation-wise, Shockwave has many points of articulations that Longarm Prime didn’t: the head has all around motions due to containing various types of articulation joints; inner shoulder joints move up and down, while the outer shoulder joints provide rotational movements; the elbows rotate and bend (what’s unique is that Shockwave has 2 different elbow joints, depending on how you would position the hands); individually articulated claws; the hips have all around motions; knees rotate and bend; and finally, the toe pieces move up and down.
First Elbow Joint
Second Elbow Joint
           This robot mode is quite excellent, and it’s a joy transforming him from Autobot to Decepticon’s robot mode. 
From Left: Animated Deluxe Megatron, Voyager Shockwave, Deluxe Optimus
Overall:
            Shockwave/ Longarm Prime comes in 2 different variants. The first one, which is reviewed here, is the more show-accurate version, which is predominantly grey and black in color. The second one, which attempts to invoke its G1 namesake, tends to be more predominantly purple.
            The question is not really about whether or not you should get this figure, because you should, due to its uniqueness and the offer of four modes on the plate. The true question is really which versions to pick. Personally, I obviously prefer the animation-accurate version.
            This figure is definitely recommended to all Transformers fans, and especially to those Animated fans and fans of Shockwave themselves.
            Highly recommended.

            Final verdict: 9/10.

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