Siege Shockwave Gallery and Review!

Emitting lethal beams of energy in the Allspark Studios today is cold, brutal and scientific Siege Shockwave!  Will emotional thinking ruin his clarity of thought, or will he give in to the feels and adopt a Littlest Pet Shop puppy for a shelf companion?  Tune after the break to find out!

G1 Shockwave was one of my holiest of grails, alongside Jetfire.  I remember being on the playground in 2nd or 3rd grade when the rich kid in our school pulled out both to show off.  Shockwave mesmerized me due to the powerful look of the laser gun mode, and the fact that this toy resembled the character on the cartoon, unlike Megatron.  I had to have him…but don’t remember actually ever seeing him in a store.   I do remember a weekend trip to Pensacola, Florida that led us by a Radio Shack where I once saw the grey “Shackwave”, who was one of the first G1 figures I bought on eBay back in 2000.  I would not get the real Shockwave until Botcon 2005, and that one sits in his original packaging to this day.  He has been joined by a minty Shockwave I display, as well as numerous iterations, minus one of my current white whales, the Botcon 2012 customization class figure.  All of this to say, I am a bit illogically obsessed with the logical oriented character.

Siege Shockwave appeared to be a dream come true.  Initial pictures showed he had all the best design cues from the original figure, loads of articulation, and a neat set of armor to throw into the mix.  I was so excited that I began to worry if Shockwave would be able to live up to my expectations.  Let’s give the toy and look and see how it measure up!

Spaceship/Gun/Destroyer Mode
The spaceship mode for Shockwave is an upside-down gun.  It’s not going to do any G1 fans pining for a real blaster any good, however, because at the current size, this laser gun would only fit a toddler’s hand.  I imagine this could be one of the figures targeted by the KO industry for an upsize, as the most common complaints I see online are related to the size of the leader class figures.  But I digress…

Resemblance to a weapon aside, spaceship mode fits with quite a few of Shockwave’s legacy forms, such as the most recent Walgreen’s exclusive, Combiner Wars Shockwave, and the FOC Shockwave.  I love the idea of Shockwave becoming a battleship.  In my fanon, he designs full size battleships based on his current alt-mode, because logically he chooses the most powerful forms, and these ships are his personal battalion.  It’s silly, but I love to display his vehicle modes, and it gives me a reason.  😀

While I am not a huge fan of the overloaded surface details of the Siege line, it does look good on Shockwave’s vehicle modes, even if I would have preferred smoother panels.  Other neat details include incorporating the hose from robot mode into the spaceship, as well as a uni-eye at the front of what I imagine is the bridge from the tower.  Another cool piece is the “gun” barrel as the front of the ship.  They could have really gone out of their way to make this appear less like a blaster muzzle, but they didn’t, and I love it.  I can imagine Autobots seeing this battleship and turning their own around, not willing to risk a fight with a flying cannon.

You can take this mode into overkill and really make an impressive battleship by incorporating the armor.  Doing so beefs up the front end of the ship, adds more engines, and additional cannons just behind the bow and to the sides of the new engines.  If an Autobot ship were afraid of the regular spaceship mode, this cruiser is frightening enough to make an entire fleet turn tail and run.  This is the best Decepticon battleship yet created, and I must admit I am so enamored with it that I want to have an extra to leave in this mode at all times.  Fortunately, the cold logic of my empty wallet has silenced the impulse…for now.

Robot Mode
Where do I start?  Siege Shockwave is 96% the Shockwave of my dreams.  Why only 96%?  What happened to the other 4%?  Well, I am taking off 4 points due to a few minor issues I have with the toy.  Let’s cover those now and get back to the absurd lovefest.  I am deducting 1 percentage point of love for the following issues:

  • The purple, while reminiscent of the G1 figure, has way too much blue and not enough red. Simply put, he’s not the right shade of purple.
  • His neck has some articulation, but I expected more. I think the worst part of this is that the hinge that holds his backpack is the biggest limiting factor in the movement.  He should be able to move his head around with greater range, and neck articulation continues to be an issue for the current design team.  I see improvements here and in the Siege line, but I want consistency across figures.
  • The details are overly busy. I get that they wanted more detail than the smooth panels of the G1 figure, however this is overload, and unnecessary.  I wish they had come to a middle ground before finishing this mold.
  • He is too small. I feel like this is mostly due to increased parts and joints for the mold, and I cannot completely fault them for that…but that makes him less for me by 1%.  I would say the same applies to Ultra Magnus.  I think most people, myself included, expect a larger figure for the cost of Leader Class.

All negatives aside, this is a glorious rendition of Shockwave in robot mode.  He has the right build and proportions.  He has an actual rubber(ish) hose.  He has some of the best damn light-piping ever seen in a Transformer.  Beyond his backpack, he has no hollow spaces, which while I was never bothered by them, they were the bane of some fans’ existence.  Shockwave also comes PACKED with articulation!  He has:

  • ankle tilts
  • ratcheting knees
  • lateral thigh articulation
  • double rotary hips
  • rotating waist
  • double rotary shoulders
  • lateral bicep articulation
  • rotating elbows
  • rotating wrists
  • ball jointed neck with some limitation in backwards and forwards movement

This figure can get into basically any of the classic Shockwave poses.  My favorite is the pose from the cover to Marvel Comic’s “The Transformers” #5.

Hover Mode/Armored Mode
Personally, I love the hovercraft mode most out of these configurations.  I can see Shockwave using this to loom over his enemies and his subordinates, as well as providing a tactical advantage in battle while remaining in robot mode.  It is an ingenious use of armor parts, and I hope we get more of this in the future.

The armored mode answers the question; do I need a Shockwave with more gun arm?  The answer is yes.  Yes, you do.  And now you get a Shockwave with 3-gun arms, two laser feet, and a bulked up backpack which must hold a larger power source.  If regular Shockwave was not firepower overkill, this mode definitively is.  While I must admit it is fun, mine won’t be staying in this mode.  I much prefer G1 Shockwave riding in on his hover platform, and that is how he will be displayed.

I give Siege Shockwave 9.6 multiples of 10 on the logic scale!  He hits all the right stops, looks like the ultimate update to G1 Shockwave, comes with more than enough articulation, and the C.O.M.B.A.T. system armor adds tons of playability and 3 additional modes to this nuclear powerhouse of a figure.  While I did not cover transformation in detail, I am pleased to find he is not super difficult yet contains a few neat steps that add fun to the process, like the formation of the “muzzle” and spaceship tower.  Kids will like him.  Older fans will LOVE him, and that is something Shockwave would dismiss as he has no time for expressions of emotion.

Don’t let that stop you!  Siege Shockwave is beginning to really hit stores in force now, so get out there and add to your Decepticon army!