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Fall Of Cybertron Shockwave

Transformers Generations
by yo go re

Where are some Pym particles when you need them?

Shockwave may appear to be loyal to Megatron, but in reality he serves only one master - pure logic. Behind his emotionless face rests the mind of a brilliant strategist and mathematician. He calculates constantly, and enforces his solutions through the precise application of the vast power of his laser cannon.

Shockwave, like Megatron, is a character who's struggled to find an identity after the end of Generation 1. The problem is the altmode: he started as a gun, but today that won't fly. So they keep trying to find something new for him to be, but it all comes in second to the gun. His personality has remained consistent, however - he's always the cold logician, a Spock who ended up leaning toward evil instead of good.

The robot has the classic features you expect from a Shockwave: a large, flat shelf of a chest with a stretched hexagon on the front, super-spindly legs, and a hexagonal head with two antenna ears and a single, baleful eye in the center of his face. The eye is lightpiped, and glows with an unholy fury with even the slightest light behind it.

Since this is technically a War For/Fall Of Cybertron toy, Shockwave's got all sorts of unusual design elements, like the wings on his back or the superfluous flared points on the outsides of his shins. There are some really nice sculptural elements, such as the thin panel lines that can be found all over his body, or what appears to be a visible spinal column running down his back. Artculation is good enough, with a plain swivel neck (to best preserve the lightpiping), swivels and hinges at the shoulders, balljointed elbows and hips, swivel thighs and hinged knees. He is a bit small, though: the wings come up just a bit over 5½" tall.

Shockwave has a blaster with a few display options. Obviously, he can hold it in either hand - it's got a peg sized for his fist, it's what guns do. But since this is Shockwave, you can also fold his hand away and plug the gun onto his wrist as though it were an integral part of his arm. Additionally, there's a Y-shaped cap on the end of the gun which can be removed (or more likely, it'll just fall off) to reveal three separate barrels. If you choose to display him without the cap on the gun, it can be plugged into his back.

Converting Shockwave is fairly easy, once you learn how his arms are supposed to go. The gun ends up held between his ankles, and the entire torso flips over to expose the underside (though there's some faux-kibble there, meant to look like the robot's head tucked away).

Shockwave's altmode is a piece of "Cybertronian Mobile Artillery," which is a charitable way of saying he changes into "a thing." It's not quite a tank, it's not quite a plane... it's some kind of flying gun. Since, you know, he's supposed to turn into a gun. But since he can't turn into a gun, he has to turn into a thing.

The thing is 6¼" long, 2" tall and 2¼" wide. It could really use some landing gear or a flight stand or something. It's like Brawl, who was supposed to be a hover tank but sat flat on the ground. The design of the thing is actually very cool, with forward-sweeping hooks that look like they'd allow him to cut through anything he crashed into. It's an aggressive design befitting a Decepticon commander.

The only problem with this Shockwave is the size. The first time you see him, it's striking how short the robot mode is - but this is still the best Shockwave toy released in... well, weeks, if we're counting the HISS tank, but if we've talking real, transforming Transformers, this is the best non-gun Shockwave Hasbro's ever come up with. Forget the shortness - Shockwave's really good!

-- 09/18/12

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