Ever since the character was introduced near the end of Season 2 [of what??], I so wanted a figure version of that Shockwave. My wish was granted when Hasbro announced that the character would be getting a figure in Wave 2 of the Beast Hunters Voyager line. However fans gasped in horror when the promo pictures had the figure with gawky armor. Thankfully, Hasbro stated it would be removable armor, so the collective Transformers fan-base drew a huge sigh of relief. Me? It's Shockwave. I'd buy any version given I'm fan of the character (speaking of which, stay tuned in the future for a review of another related Shockwave figure that'll make you quake).
Let's start off with the figure's positives: this mold looks freaking awesome. Shockwave looks exactly like his cartoon counterpart down to every exact detail. Even better, he's actually huge and imposing (compared to say the early Transformers: Prime Voyagers). Heck, this figure fits in quite well with other previously released Transformer Voyagers. So yeah, it appears that Hasbro has fully fixed an issue fans have had all of last year with their price increases and product shrinkage.
My own personal favorites about this figure are the light piping (his head and chest just look so freaking awesome against any light) and the fact that his tank tread can be used to give that unique and classic look of Shockwave having a connection from his back to his arm cannon.
Now, some other reviewers have suggested that if you keep Shockwave in this pose that it'll cause eventual wear on the rubber. I also see this issue eventually arising more so if a child actually has the figure. So parents who buy this figure, I'd suggest not to let the kid know about the chain for the sake of the figure's tread surviving longer. Older collectors though, it's your preference. If you're just going to have this figure act as a statue, then by all means use the tread. If you're going to use the tread, but play with the figure, well go right ahead. Though a small warning to those who do: Besides the wear and tear if you have Shockwave's cannon with the fins facing back, the fins with the tread hinder the right arm articulation greatly. The best solution if you want to move the right arm is if you move the wings as the figure was packaged counterclockwise. So you have some options.
As for his alternate mode, the Cybertronian tank: it sort of reminds me of an updated version of Shockwave's Transformer Animated. It's kind of funky looking (and his hand sticks out like a sore thumb on the bottom), but I like it. Surprisingly, the mode looks better with his crab bits (aka Beast Armor). They hide the arm much better with the giant face piece.
So onto said Beast Armor. No doubt fans would initially think the bits would be the figure's greatest drawback. I don't really consider them a hindrance. In fact, I think of it as a nice little homage to Beast Wars Rampage (which is ironic given the voice actor to Prime's Shockwave voiced the arch-nemesis in the character, Depth-Charge).
The third thing that I love about this figure is its gimmick: the “spinning hyperflux cannon." When I first saw pictures of this figure, I instantly thought the gimmick was the usual "press the button and his cannon opens and he fires a missile." That is so not the case. Instead, the actual gimmick is the cannon spins, showcasing the other cannon inside of it. The gimmick doesn't hinder the figure like the first two waves of Transformers Prime: Voyagers (Megatron's destroyed any love of the figure I had with horrible plastic, gimmick, and coloring choices. Dreadwing just feels so hollow and small).
Now for the negatives, which can be summed up in just two words: his legs. Shockwave's legs are horrible. You cannot freely move his legs as they're on some locking mechanism. You can move them slightly, but any closer to their usual stance the joint in his leg will just snap back to the actual position. That's not to say there isn't any articulation. There is, it's just this snapping back to his original stance is a hindrance and can restrict posing the figure.
Another slight negative is his head joint only moves back and forth, and cannot move up and down (which isn't surprising since it isn't on a ball joint). Also the hand of Shockwave is tight. It almost reminds me of the slight issue Animated Shockwave had with one of his fingers and the only way to solve that problem was to loosen the screw nearby. Seeing as there's a screw below the hand, I wager taking the same action would result in the same solution.
Transformers: Prime- Beast Hunters Voyager Class Shockwave has some great pros and cons working for/against it. It is an insanely great mold, hampered by horrible leg articulation. If you overlook that, I have to confess this is a great figure. For Shockwave fans? Compared to the Fall of Cybertron Deluxe version or the Transformers: Prime Voyagers we got last year, I'd say this figure is a VAST improvement. The figure doesn't feel small or light. This feels like an old fashioned Voyager class figure. Again, the great flaw is his legs. They're a pain, however I feel some fan out there will find a way to fix this issue. If that is the case check out the Toy Shed or the Transformers Club when I or someone else finds it. My own feeling is this is an awesome Shockwave figure to have for any fan, so it's a MUST BUY. I absolutly adore the light pipe on his eye and chest (which I feel is one of Hasbro's best) and the mold itself warrants the buy. This figure looks great alongside Transformer figures. If you're looking for a Shockwave to have with your recently purchased Fall of Cybertron Voyager Soundwave or future Classic Voyager Blitzwing, look no further than this figure.
Transformers Prime: Beast Hunters Voyager Shockwave- MUST BUY!