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.

        And the back of the box, since... I took pictures of that too.  It continues to show off a light-up feature, which I will discuss later on.  Better to just get to stupid cardboard prison open.

        Laser gun/blaster/whatever futuristic pistol-like weapon mode right out of the box.  Which partly explains why the box was so big: I hadn't expected a properly sized blaster!  For an adult hand!  Glorious!  Yeah I'm way too happy about that, but still.  You can even pretty much get the gist of the transformation by giving this a long stare, which I find sort of helpful.  Those instruction sheets... can be difficult.
        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.

        But this is what I had invested in.  Oh.  Yes.  This is undoubtedly Shockwave.  Not that I don't enjoy a lot of the other incarnations, but... this one isn't just fairly cartoon-accurate (which is a feat in itself), but he gets to be a gun again.  Why gunships and weapon carriers are more acceptable than pistols is another conversation; it's Shocky.  Even if the color of purple decided upon is freaking impossible to get a good photograph of.  He isn't dark purple.  He isn't lilac.  He isn't washed-out Barbie purple.  And yet damn near every picture you see of the figure will be one of those three colors, because cameras and light do not like this one.  That aside... I m pleased with the color choice.  The gray is ever so slightly purple as well.
        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.

        Let's just jump straight ahead to the complete lack of ass, shall we?  I mean, I guess there's an ass panel, but.  Well.  This also illustrates an unexpected feature of Shockwave: he's expressive.  Really expressive.  One may not imagine that coming from a logic bot, but he has a massive range of articulation and I love it.  Also he has natural sass.  You just go ahead and try to tell me otherwise.
        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.

        Also capable of poses that unexpectedly made me laugh.  I like the range of movement his simple ball-jointed neck allows for.  Though my one gripe may be that getting the head/neck into that position takes a little more doing than I think it should, but maybe the plastic is a little too tight in one area and just needs wearing down.  We'll see.
        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.

        ...This is his sexy pose.
        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.

        He may be having a slight breakdown at this point, I'm not sure.  "But how... can I hold... myself..."

        As for the tiny Shockwave gun.  It's incredibly nice for a little accessory, so very cool.

        A lot of people have complained over the years about Transformers having "backpacks", or generally just extra crap on their backs.  But that's... you know, where you usually have to put extra parts.  Because these same people complain about having to remove things.  Because they're the same obnoxious vocal minority everywhere on the internet and they must be heard.  But to see that Shockwave had a literal backpack made me laugh a lot when I saw initial pictures, and more to have the real thing in front of me.  I don't know, I kind of like it.  The gun barrel very neatly folds into place and gets covered up by the stand itself, so it does manage to look pretty neat and not just haphazard.  ...And maybe like he's going hiking.
        Hey, you don't know.  Maybe giant sentient transforming robots like to go hiking.

        I needed a shot of this.  It's what he looks like before you pop the neck bit up.  I laughed.  And then I took about five minutes to do the next step properly, which is why I had to gripe about it.  Still, when it does fit into place it's solid so I guess that is a good thing.  And this is still hilarious.

        Also hilarious: the trigger tummy before you slide the panel into place.  He looks so ashamed.  ...Good shot to end this not-review on.
        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.