Takara Masterpiece Shockwave
Let me go ahead and put this into perspective first:
a lot of people were convinced that a Masterpiece Shockwave was never
going to happen due to actual impossibility. Way back in the
wonderful world of the '80s (and into the '90s), toy manufacturers who
also had cartoon series weren't really all that careful about keeping
track of little things like where they sold old molds or who actually
had rights to character likenesses or names or pretty much anything at all.
Everyone who owned a piece of Shockwave was kind of... scattered.
And while I'd hoped the line would eventually include him, there
really was no way to be sure it would ever be possible. After
all, every incarnation of Shockwave since Generation 1 has been a
gunship of some kind, rather than a blaster/gun. They're Shockwave... but they are also not Shockwave.
And then, out of the blue, a gray prototype picture appeared. I knew immediately that I would be out another chunk of money because there was no way in hell I was missing out on that. How could anyone resist the logic-fueled cyclops who's just waiting for Megatron and Starscream to kill each other already so all he has to do is step up and assume the title of Decepticon leader? Of course if you follow the most recent comics, then there's also the delightful draw of a character trying to remake the whole of existence. So. Yeah. Also he looks cool, okay.
Oh, when I opened up that shipping box and tore the
bubble wrap off. Yesss. And of course in Japan he is
Laserwave, a Destron. But I'm 'Merican, so he's Shockwave, a
Decepticon. You can already see how annoying all of these
different names and regions and who own what where can be, right?
I also have to say that I was surprised at the box size. Yes, it was definitely pricier to ship from Japan than Road Rash had been, but I didn't really expect him to be quite so big. This is exactly the opposite of complaining, though.
Also pictured: so many hands. We have saluting hands, grasping hands, an alternate... er, gun hand, and... a tiny version of himself. For other figures to use, since apparently changing sizes is "a Decepticon thing" and no don't ask because no one has a good answer for you. Also, the card. I will always love the cards. And they're just so nice with the Masterpiece figures.
A note, though. He came with stickers. So you could apply them yourself. I am always awful with that, but I most succeeded in this case. You actually have a choice between the standard Decepticon symbol (which I chose) and the cartoon Decepticon symbol, which is... basically that, but messier. Hey, nice to have a choice. Even if I had to apply stickers myself.
And yeah, for those relatively skinny legs, he holds himself up well. The joints are solid and there's plenty of movement to balance him.
Now. As for the light-up bits. Both his chest and his blaster hand could, in theory, light up. If I were to feel the need to purchase two watch batteries and two AAA batteries. I do not. And since they only light up and don't make sounds... eh, it's okay if he doesn't light up. It's a neat feature, and would have been great for pictures, but all the eh. Unnecessary.
A lot of people didn't like the legs, I guess. I assumed it was because they look so mecha/anime. And we wouldn't want our American cartoon robot animated by a large number of Asian studios based on a Japanese toy to look anime. I do understand mild complaints about the leg transformation, because it didn't make sense until I tinkered with it myself and ignored the instruction sheet, but the legs are actually solid once everything fits together properly. It's just a little odd.
Hey, you don't know. Maybe giant sentient transforming robots like to go hiking.
Worth the wait and the cost? Honestly I'd have preferred him to have been a little cheaper without the light-up gimmick, but then I don't mind that and think it's kind of neat if you want to go out and get batteries for it. He's got a really good weight to him, isn't just cheap plastic (I mean, he's clearly a Masterpiece figure), and has a really nice mix of modern rounded edges and that sharp blockiness of the G1 figure. The movement is fantastic, he actually balances that backpack well, and it's a Shockwave that looks completely like Shockwave. There was just no way I was going to miss out on him. ...Also I desperately needed another Decepticon around here.