Following the unboxing, here is the review for the magnificently good Transformers Masterpiece Shockwave by Takara Tomy. This is one of the first major toy releases of the original Generation One design in a very long time and Takara Tomy has entirely nailed it.
To clarify, there is only one major release of the Generation One Shockwave that anyone really cares about. It was massive and had lights as well as sounds. Full of diecast it was and still is a wonderful beast of a toy. Made by the Korean company ToyCo, it was one of the few non-Takara toys in the Transformers range and as such has been only recently available in terms of its rights. This is why we can now finally have an updated toy of the design.
Like many of the other current Masterpiece toys, Shockwave is very playable. The diecast used in its construction is almost entirely functional and used to hold together important joints. The emphasis here is clearly on making it true to the original animation and the updated sculpt captures that really well.
The articulation is almost entirely ratcheted and makes a nice click each time you make a pose. The joints are also a lot more sophisticated than the old toy and allow for a much wider array of dynamic poses.
Much of this is down to the updated transformation for the legs that combines the rear of the gun in a very interesting way to help beef up the lower legs. This was one of the problems with the ’80s toy, as the legs looked rather scrawny.
This toy also has a more sophisticated setup for the light effects. On the ’80s original the left arm had a light in it and when it transformed that became the barrel. While this version has the same approach there are actually two lights now; one in the left arm and one in the barrel itself. Both require batteries and those are not included and will need to be purchased separately (2 x AAA for the barrel gun and 2 x LR44 for the left arm gun).
The lights are controlled either via the trigger switch in the abdomen or via a button on the left arm. Sadly, this toy lacks any sounds like the original ’80s version and the head lacks any lighting as well, though it has a pane at the rear to allow light to shine through it.
You also get all manner of swap-out hands and guns, which is great, as well as the laser vulcan (which is basically a mini-version of the gun mode Shockwave uses).
There’s also a really nicely-done power cable and you also get the backpack from the series.
The big update to this toy, though, is that the transformation is all inclusive over the ’80s original, as the barrel doesn’t disappear like it does in the cartoon, something that I always thought was goofy as a kid.
Overall then, while this toy lacks sounds; the head doesn’t light up; and the coloring is a bit too pale compared to the animation, I still think this is the definitive toy for Shockwave. Bear in mind that the original toy from the ’80s was and still is really quite amazing, so Takara Tomy has done an amazing job here. However, what with the updated and all-inclusive transformation, the great articulation, and spot-on sculpt, this toy finally looks like the Shockwave I remember as a kid.
All Hail Megatron!