Cyber Battalion Shockwave Gallery and Review
With cold, calculating precision, Cyber Battalion Shockwave touches down in the Allspark Studios today for photographic documentation and thorough analysis.
While the Cyber Series is of mixed opinion among adult collectors, it’s only logical that Shockwave would prove to be the most sought after in the line. Shockwave is one of those characters that has long been in need of a classics-style update; sure, we’ve gotten Shockwave toys pretty regularly, but no release has suitably scratched the itch for many fans. We’ve gotten voyager class toys in Animated, Dark of the Moon, Prime Beast Hunters, and even a Whirl re-deco in Cloud, but the only releases in the Generations line have been the FoC deluxe and the legends class release in Combiner Wars. Despite its cartoon styling and MP scale, some might find the 2016 MP release a suitable toy even in a classics lineup , but it’s still a pricey option that’s unlikely to ever be available at US retail.
So whether it be due to incorrect scale or not wanting to repurpose a toy from another continuity, many fans still desired a new version of the character to appear in the Generations line in the voyager or leader class.
Enter Cyber Battalion Shockwave.
Cyber Battalion is a line designed for what Hasbro calls “emerging markets”—big, chunky toys featuring prominent characters with a lower parts count and simplified transformation and articulation that are intended to be a cheaper entry point to the franchise than the main lines. While it seems this line was largely meant for distribution in countries outside North America, the pharmacy/convenience store Walgreens has opted to distribute this line in their stores, much like how the Heroes of Cybertron line was largely exclusive to them in the early 2000’s.
The parameters of the line mean most Cyber Battalion toys wind up roughly voyager size; while this means characters such Bumblebee and Prowl wind up being too large to work well in a classics lineup, characters such as Starscream and Shockwave have proved far more desirable to collectors as they fill a slot the main lines have not. With large Megatron toys being readily available, and Starscream only finally receiving a voyager toy in PotP, Shockwave has been the one major omission in the classic Decepticon upper echelon rendered in a larger scale. But enough background, let’s get to the toy itself.
Admittedly, it’s pretty hard to make a G1 styled Shockwave not look cool, but this toy absolutely nails ol’ one eye’s look. For a simplified “value” toy, nothing about the sculpting looks cheap, this is an exquisitely rendered Shockwave sculpt, easily on par with sculpting found in the main lines. The deco likewise feels very complete, and while Shockwave has always had a rather simple color scheme, many details are painted that easily could have been omitted. For example, he features metallic lavender details on his arms and legs, and a nice eye-catching yellow paint app on his chest, paint apps that easily could have been left unpainted purple. This feels like a case where they could have easily gotten away with minimal deco, yet someone spent the time to give him a very realized deco with many small flourishes that bring life to the toy.
Unfortunately where this toy really falls short is the articulation department. While its articulation is fairly high for the standards of the line, it falls short when compared to main line toys. Shockwave features universal articulation at each shoulder, universal hips, a bend at each elbow, neck rotation, swivel rotation at each knee, and forward and back ankle tilt (largely due to transformation). While that’s a fairly decent amount of articulation, there’s two major omissions: no bicep swivel and no bend at the knees. If these two areas of articulation were present this could easily feel like a toy of equivalent quality of a mainline release.
Comparison with Legends (Combiner Wars mold) Shockwave
The conversion to alt mode is fairly simple:
- The right hand folds away and the left arm’s blaster folds in alongside the arm
- Each arm folds back to create a sort of thruster
- Wings fold out from the back
- The feet fold in and the legs join together to create the barrel/fuselage
- Panels that were folded along the insides of the lower legs fold back to cover the robot mode thighs
- The head rotates 180 degrees and folds away, revealing a faux head for vehicle mode
- The chest and head rotates down to face forward for vehicle mode
- An optional landing skid can be deployed by separating the legs and unfolding it.
This is where Shockwave’s design deviates most from his typical G1 appearance. Due to US safety laws making gun toys problematic, Hasbro has opted to make Shockwave a Cybertronian jet much like the FoC and ConstructBot toys released prior to this one. Like those designs, his jet mode is very much a flying sci-fi gun similar to his G1 form with added wings and no gun handle. It may not be much to write home about, but it’s a mode that clearly favors utility over appearance, which is fitting enough for a Decepticon who never saw a need to disguise himself on Earth. It’s certainly no sillier than his typical depiction as a giant flying space gun, and this form at least looks suited for flight. My biggest complaint about this mode is the fact that the eye on the faux head is unpainted, but since none of the parts cast in the lighter purple plastic have paint, it may due to being cast in a plastic Hasbro considers unpaintable.
With Power of the Primes voyager Grimlock
For its $16.99 price point, Cyber Battalion goes for the same price a PotP deluxe now sells for at most US retailers, but is much more on par with a PotP voyager class toy in size. The catch of course being that it’s comparatively simple, and lacking in some very basic and essential articulation. Are it’s limitations so damning to make it something to avoid? Absolutely not. I would highly recommend picking up Shockwave if you can manage to find one. It’s still a gorgeous toy and a lot of fun despite its limitations. It will look excellent in any classics display, and you can get some decent poses out of it despite the lack of proper knee articulation. If you can find one at retail price you should absolutely add one to your collection, after all, it’s only logical.