I teased that this figure would be next in my last review and now here it is, Fans Toys FT-03 Quake Wave! Now just a small history on the company that distributes this, Fans Toys, and the actual figure itself. This is the company's first “official” foray in third party Transformers. Originally, this was to be the second figure released from the company, and a NOT Soundwave was to be the actual first. But Hasbro/Takara squashed that idea with their release on the official Masterpiece Soundwave.
Now the Quake Wave I ordered is actually from the second run for the figure (a third run is all but confirmed to happen). Now there are various sites where you can purchase this figure, but I bought mine from Captured Prey. Included in this wave and not the first is the added bonus accessory of a G1 styled hand and blaster. Note, both accessories are quite easy to attach to the figure (all you need to do is just unscrew the panels holding the hand joints on the figure. After that, the panel will come right off and you can easily slide the new hands on, and bingo! There's your G1 NOT Shockwave). I should note however that if you do replace the blaster hand with the translucence one, you cannot use the light-up feature on the arm. More so a third accessory, a more “accurate” hose and hand for that gun arm will be available eventually (no word on a release date since they were a last minute addition and withdrawn from this wave). I don't mind, though. Quake Wave looks mighty fine just the way he is.
My first impressions upon holding and seeing the actual figure easily: you can see the Masterpiece-like feel the figure has going for it. It is heavy, all thanks to it's bulky legs (it's feet and areas around it's ankles are made of die-cast). The figure also looks Transformers Masterpiece quality, and it's about the same size as my MP-Grimlock (Quake Wave is just a tad taller though if I take Grimmy's crown off). The mold itself just looks absolutely amazing. It truly is a PERFECT homage to the NOT Decepticon second-in command.
Articulation-wise, Quake Wave has got it in spades. He has movement of knee, arm, head, torso, and even feet. The hose that connects to his back and gun arm that are usually a problem in actual Shockwave figures, poses no problem here. You can bend the arm anyway you can without worry that the hose will halt movement (the hose itself appears to be just a regular tube with a wire running through it).
Again, like the Masterpiece line, Quake Wave sports some nice articulation in his fingers (all of which are on a seperate joint and can be posed, save his thumb which is on a ball joint). Now both fingers (G1 and translucence) have the same amount of articulation. HOWEVER, I did have one quality issue with the figure, in that when I opened the box my Quake Wave had three of his digits broken off (I found the three broken fingers at the bottom of the box). I have no idea how this occurred but, Captured Prey assured me that I'll be getting a new translucence hand eventually (WRITER'S NOTE: As of this moment the replacement parts is on the way here! So kudos for dat perfect Captured Prey Customer Service!!). However, I do enjoy that G1 styled hand, so thank goodness I had that or I'd be having a real issue.
Now, there's a neat optional feature (it's really up to the owner. Wave One owners got the batteries included. Wave Two owners don't get that nice added bonus, but it was warned ahead of time we weren't getting that) for Quake Wave. He has a light-up eye and hand blaster. The battery you're supposed to use is a CR 1020, but finding one of those in the United States is next to impossible. Hence there's the additional option for the more easily-found CR 1025 (however they are quite expensive, I bought mine at Radio Shack for $6.99 apiece). Now, inserting the battery into his arm isn't really a problem at all. I opened up that arm as instructed via the directions and it went in there easily.
The biggest problem that I have with the figure is his eye light. Now putting that battery in his head was quite a feat for me. Yes, Fan Toys does give instructions how to install the batteries. BUT, what they don't mention is the CR 1025's are about the size of a dime (compared to the smaller sized CR 1020's shown in the actual guide) and you're going to have to force that big battery in. Now just to give you a heads up, don't worry about the small wire that links the battery to the light. It's a sturdy wire and can take whatever you can dish out. The same goes for the two plastic walls to hold the battery. The best motion I can say is just wedge that sucker in there as much as you can forcing the two walls to bend slightly (internet reviewer and fellow Quake Wave owner Peaugh suggested sliding it up and down the slot to get it in there. Both work. I tried both ways getting the light in his head. HOWEVER, I can foresee this will be a future problem when you have to remove the worn battery. The plastic holds now, but will it continue to hold given age?
However, if you do wish to use the eye light, just look for yourself in the picture. I cannot deny the fact that when on, the eye light just looks wickedly cool. Also, those thinking said light would hamper the movement of Quake Wave's head would be wrong. The head is on a ball joint and has a full round of movement. More, moving the head around made me realize even his freaking ear horns have joints in them. Really, the only thing hampering its articulation is its own chest. So it's a double edged sword with that eye light. It may look awesome, but eventually age is going to catch up to that sucker's eye and you may not be able to enjoy it after the third or fourth replacement with the CR 1025's.
Now as for the transformation of the figure to his gun mode: It's pretty much just like the original G1 toy. I mean seriously, the legs and arms do just about the same sort of transforming to make the barrel and the handle. Really the unique thing that some will love or hate about Quake Wave is that he's a parts former (translation there are parts that come off his form that reattach to make the other one). His backpack detaches, and when you flip it around, it makes the final parts to his barrels. I loved that feature, but some might not like that fact. Me, all Quake Wave's parts are compact and he's a perfect translation of the Transformer he serves as an homage to. As for the instructions to transform him, well the paper Fan Toys gives the owner is quite well and easy to follow (save for the battery issue). Really, the only problems with Quake Wave's gun mode is the fact that all you can do is hold it. There's no stand for it (not yet, but I know eventually some third party will probably design one) and you can only hold it. Now the other small nitpick is the trigger really doesn't feel like a trigger. It just feels like a last second thought. Still, this is a great and nice gun mode compared to the lackluster version that I can recall from the official Masterpiece Megatron.
There's a lot to love about Quake Wave. The figure is a very good first impression from Fan Toys. It has some nice features, articulation, and a nice mold. Yes, I had some slight quality problems, but I'm just guessing it was a rare slight. From what I've seen from other owners, they've never had this problem. Really, the only issue is the eye light. Though it looks neat, it does pose a future problem given the only available battery in the states are just too big for the slot to go into. If Hasbro/Takara ever release an actual official Shockwave, they're going to be hard-pressed to to match this version. Fans Toys FT-03 Quake Wave is a REALLY nice Masterpiece-quality figure. So yeah it's a MUST BUY. Fans of the character will really enjoy this figure. It has a lot of nice posablity and I do enjoy the little features on him. There's nothing really logically I can find wrong with him. If logic dictates that? Who am I to question logic then?
Fans Toys FT-03 Quake Wave: MUST BUY