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. 

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