Shockwaveshockwaveshockwave...ugh. The word lost meaning. "Shock" doesn't even look like it's spelled right anymore. So hey; you wana see how many versions of Shockwave I've managed to shovel into my shtunning shpile of trashformer shoup? SHHHHHHH
No sherioushly...ah ga BUH I mean seriously, I love Shockwave. It doesn't take much to impress me when you're a robot, but a monoeye and an arm cannon can go a long way. Also if you turn into a gun, but lets get this outta the way: I never got the original Shockwave (though I'd like to at some point). I found out about him after the fact when I got back into Transformers around the time of Energon (around 2004). Energon brought many translucent weapons, which in turn perked my head up like a meerkat sensing trouble. It also brought my first version of Shockwave, though the main event for this sectional piece is the newest version of him:
We'll hit him last, though. As our size comparison, I figured I'd invite everyone's favorite one-of-the-Techno-Vipers to provide horrified reactions to the awesome power of Shockwave...s.
Before we get into it though - A little info on Shockwave:
Shockwave came into the Transformers toyline back-in-the-day, as in the 80's. He turned into a gun! I'm told it was cool. I'd have to agree; looking at the pictures. I would have LOVED that monster! Not only did he turn into a gun, but one of his arms was a gun as well! The love just didn't stop! Top that all off with an emotionless monoeye and you've got the makings of a badass that rivals Megatron.
In fact, he DID rival Megatron, depending on your choice of fiction. I won't delve into it, but he's been a bit different depending on the show or the comic. For the original guy, he was either Megatron's most loyal (in the cartoon) or the guy who kicked Megatron to the curb and took over for a bit (the comics). I've gleened all this from the Transformers Wiki (linked above), so go on and get yerself sum learnin' from there if you want the whole story. I didn't watch much of the cartoon, and my only knowledge of the comic came from the very first issue mysteriously sitting in my Dad's old boxes of mostly DC comics. SOOO...goes without saying that most of my interest comes from my love of action figures.
One way or another, Shockwave is known most of the time as cold and logical - as you might expect just from looking at him. I like that, but as I said, my interests come from the cold and logical visual facts: most of his toys look awesome and are awesome. Even his original figure sported more articulation than your average 80's Transformer! You just can't go wrong with Shockwave if you want some cool toy robot action *cough* unless you're transforming him, but it's not always bad. I'll get to that.
Now lets move on to our first guy and my first Shockwave...er...Shockblast.
Shockblast (Energon, 2004)
If you are an avid collector of toys, then perhaps you've run across the situation where a toy company loses the trademark on a name. Hasbro lost the trademark on Shockwave for a bit there, so he had to be Shockblast for the duration of Energon (and a tiny bit afterward). Not like it matters anyway; this is a different dude from a different universe. This Shockwave sounds like a violent nutball.
He looks the part as well! Shockwave is usually kinda big in the torso, but this one is built like a football player all around. AND DAT GUN! Whew! Other Shockwaves can get some basic things done, but this one has to rely on one giant claw hand with an obtrusive shield (also with guns) and one massive chunky tumor of an arm cannon. Of course I love it.
Shockblast is made for wrecking the place. I don't think he can help it. It's also my favorite part about him - just the pure look of WAR about him. The only hand he has is pretty much just for crushing, and covering it is a nice shield with two smaller cannons on either side. Something tells me those cannons alone are more powerful than most hand-held rifles that other Transformers carry around. Then, if his size, ability to crush, and his big cannons don't take down the enemy...well...
...then there's big papa lefty! Obviously there's no articulation in that arm outside the shoulder, 'cause that sucker holds all the action features. One: You push that slider forward and it fires a missile. Two: it also opens up parts on the gun. Three: IT MAKES NOISE. And neat noise as well! There's this garbled electronic noise when you push it mostly forward, and then a big BOOSSHHEEEWWW when you push it all the way! It's actually pretty dang cool, and you can keep pushing it forward for multiple blasts. You know, in case you need to reduce the whole battlefield to glass.
This figure marks one of those few times where noises and and action feature make me overlook the lack of an elbow joint. The gun just works with his massive size and imposing nature. Plus, true to the Energon toyline: Translucent parts!
They glow real nice in a blacklight, but it appears they don't photograph so well under the same light. In any case, I think translucent green is one of my favorites, and it works well here. Shockwave is normally a shades-of-purple kinda bot, and this one uses that idea and rolls with some grey and adds this green to make 'em POP. Also you'll notice a sort of gold solar panel look inside the open panels on the gun...we'll get to that.
Naturally though, we should get to what he Transforms into.
This is sort of an unintentional running gag, 'cause it seems Hasbro just can not figure out what the heck Shockwave should turn in to! Megatron has had various planes and tanks (and a truck, more recently) and somehow it always works. You need to work in a big gun, and they always manage (though Energon Megatron is curiously wielding a smaller version of his own tank form from the previous toyline...yeah, so like I said: they find a way to work it in.) One way or another, Megatron doesn't do the gun thing anymore, and Shockwave sure as heck can't either. I don't know why...'cause Megatron turned into a real gun and Shockwave turned into a spacey ray gun thing...but I'm sure they've got reasons.
Of course it's not like this is terrible! It's a real long and skinny tank-like thing, but it's still kinda neat. Like one of those railway cannons. On tank treads. Still, it's the first of a long line of only tank-like things that Shockwave gets to turn into.
This particular Shockwave however, is a triple changer! I'm proud to say that I Transformed this all by myself without the directions (wherever those are) and I'm fairly sure it's correct.
Well okay, I think the tank treads might be in the wrong place, but sue me it looks like a satellite of some sort. Good enough. Oh, that's what he's supposed to be, by the way. A satellite. Or an orbital railgun. So yeah, I'd say that's pretty cool! If the tank doesn't get you, anyway. An orbital cannon might not be exciting for play, but it sure as heck is a neat idea.
So that's Shockblast! I'd say he's one of my favorites. The whole setup works well: he's large and imposing, carries heavy firepower (no choice in that area), well articulated, sports fun noises and action features, and at least has somewhat interesting alternate modes. This is a good one to track down for toy fans! Not so much if you're looking for a definitive Shockwave.
Now, my next Shockwave is another big favorite. In fact, until the most current one he was my TOP favorite.
Shockwave (Animated, 2008)
Indeed, Techno-Viper. What gives? This isn't a Shockwave. Why...it's Longarm! And an Autobot to boot - look at the insignia! No...no no, none of this adds up at all!
Yes folks, Shockwave in the Animated continuity is a spy! He can transform between the Autobot Longarm and his good 'ol scary-ass self. I hope I don't need to explain why this is a top favorite; LOOK AT HIM. Tall, lanky, claw hands, unsettlingly long face still only sporting the single eye.
There is absolutely nothing I dislike about this figure. When I originally got him I was in the middle of collecting Sigma 6 figures, so I was delighted to find that he lines up with them in size.
So he covers a lot of bases! He's just an all-around freaky robot toy, and any toy that can be used in multiple settings instantly becomes a favorite. The impressive part is how much he works for his own setting of Animated. I mean GEEZE. He turns into two different characters! Believably! If you got the Longarm figure and didn't mess with him too much you might not even know he was Shockwave. It's a toy that's a REAL SPY! Not even any snap-on parts to help him along. Maybe it doesn't impress you, but it should! I can't think of many toys that pull off this same feat.
Now as if that weren't enough, he of course has alternate modes for both characters, though they are much simpler.
Shockwaves turns into possibly the most believable tank out of all of them.
And then if you shift the treads and transform the gun, you get Longarm's pansy-ass hook thing.
So this makes Animated Shockwave a quadruple changer! Four toys for the price of one (and I suppose it also costs you the time it takes to switch between them, but it ain't much). I don't care what kinda fan you are: You gotta get this figure at some point. It's so much fun. He's exaggerated, but that just makes him more terrifying. You don't even know you have a Shockwave when he's Longarm! Plus you add extra height as he changes to Shockwave, and you can just imagine him shifting and rising up behind you as his eye glows *shudder* JUST AWESOME. Drop what you're doing now and find one somewhere.
Now since I'm going in order of when I got these figures, next we're going back in time...
Shockwave (Action Master, 1990)
Yes! It's a Joe-sized Shockwave. And Joe-style articulation in the legs to boot! "WHAAAAT?!" you scream wildly while waving your arms and spitting crumbs of Fritos. To that I respond: Ew, dude. And pass the Fritos. Also: You ever heard of Action Masters?
It was an ingenious toyline. Get this: Transformers...that don't transform. Now now now hear me out! There won't be a lack of transformations! No, it's just that the Transformers won't transform! Their weapons and vehicles will! But not into robots. Just armor and stuff for them.
I know what you're thinking, and yes, of course I love the idea. Or maybe you were thinking "THAT'S STUPID!" and perhaps "AND YOU'RE STUPID FOR LIKING IT" to which I will reply: "Didn't I ask you to pass the Fritos?"
Honestly it was probably a bad move, but the toyline lasted...well okay, it lasted for a year. I dunno if it did poorly, but I imagine it did. I just wish I had heard of it back then 'cause they're awesome. Little articulated cartoon-accurate versions of your favorite characters! 'Course I didn't know much about Transformers back then beyond Optimus and Megatron, but who the heck cares? Cool Joe-Sized robot toys! AND SHOCKWAVE OH MAN!
This particular Shockwave came with some sorta thing that turns into a gun, I guess. I bought this guy off Ebay so I didn't get anything but a small hand-held double barrel gun.
Didn't even get that pipe there! I added that from a Duke figure. I highly suggest doing the same if you've got this Shockwave - it fits perfectly as if it were made for the holes! It needs it too, because apparently this figure never originally came with the pipe at all. Who knows why it got cut? If I had gotten it as a kid I probably would have thought I'd gotten a bum figure.
And for the robot with a gun for an arm, we have - of course - another gun for his only hand. Wouldn't want Shockwave to run out of options, would we? It's supposed to attach to his extra transforming thingy, but it also fits on his hand.
I'm not sure how easy it is to come across these guys on a regular basis. I got this one for ten bucks and he's practically new, save for the missing junk. I think I got lucky, but who knows? I really think these are great representations of classic animated characters, so I'd track down a few favorites and see how they look. You never know! Might get lucky.
As far as durability goes...I'm not sure. The other ones I have (from flea markets) are really worn, and one of them keeps having his leg pop off. Nothing broken, though. I've heard this Shockwave often is missing the tip of his gun arm, so perhaps I'm more lucky than I thought. In my low experience however, it seems these stand the test of time for the most part.
Now to cap off Part 1, I'll end with one of my first Kre-O figures:
Shockwave (Kre-O, 2011)
Not much to say about this one! If you're not familiar: Hasbro started their own Lego called "Kre-O." Pretty sure I did a post on some other blind-bagged Transformers Kre-O before. Anyway, this was one of the early ones and it came in a big package with Megatron and some mooks. The building set was also Megatron, and it was...well it was okay. Too heavy and the joints didn't support his weight well enough. On top of that, building him was tedious rather than fun, like most Lego sets. They've improved, though! The G.I. Joe stuff is worlds above so far.
Anyway, Kre-O Shockwave is like any other, I suppose. Same basic details mostly based on his classic look (though curiously with the orange chest like the Action Master above.) The only difference between how he comes and the one pictured is the arm gun. He normally comes with a grey one, but I swapped it out with the purple clear one 'cause...I dunno. Looks better.
And that's that for Part 1! Stay tuned for Part 2 where I'll cover the more current ones from the movie versions on up to now. Also, tell me what station to tune into 'cause I wana stay tuned too. I didn't know I had a radio show.