Saturday, 7 September 2013

Review: FT-03 Quake Wave

There are a load of 3rd Party 'fan' companies producing transforming robots inspired by the Hasbro originals. Some good, some bad, all improving with each subsequent release. It's wise to be wary when a brand new company produces something. There's bound to be flaws - plastic quality, breakages, poor paint... the list is endless.

Rules, exceptions and all that. Despite being labelled as #3 (the first couple of things they designed/announced have never gone into production), Quake Wave is the first release from new company Fan Toys.

And it's perfect.

Buy it now.

What, you want more? Fine...

For anyone in any doubt, Quake Wave is Shockwave, the logical G1 Decepticon Transformer, who, like most Decepticons, wanted nothing more to be leader. Except Shockwave had come to the decision that he'd be the best leader logically.

He transformed from robot to futuristic gun type thing, which, being purple and odd-looking, means that you can still post him around the world and play with him outside without fear of the police being called. He's quite expensive to get hold of these days, especially with working electronics and the rubber hose still being intact. I've got a modern knock off and the rubber hose is already starting to disintegrate.

But no one need spend their pennies on that one anymore. Just buy Quake Wave instead.

He's designed to fit in with the Masterpiece line of Transformers and does so perfectly. He's Prime/Rodimus/Grimlock sized as opposed to Sideswipe/Red Alert so you get a lot of robot for your money. For those who did have the original Shockwave, Quake is around the same size...but better.

Robot mode is near-perfect. His purple plastic is thick and high-quality. I'd go so far as to say that he feels of a higher quality than the 'proper' Masterpieces. Yes, it really is that good. In many ways he's better than MPs (to spoil an upcoming review: he's much better than MP Soundwave). When was the last MP to have individually articulated fingers? Quake has them. How about electronics? Quake has a light up eye and gun, the battery compartments for which are nicely hidden away.

- Though I have snapped off the switch on his head. The switches (there's one for the eye and another on the arm for the gun) are very small and I can see breakage being common. Doesn't bother me, however, since the amount of times I'm going to use the light-up feature will be minimal -

Did I mention the metal? No? Again, MPs have given up on metal parts but the feet/legs of Quake wave are really heavy because of it. I'll admit to not being the strongest man in the universe, but you definitely have to put some effort into lifting Quake Wave.

Joints are tight and many are nicely clicky. With the weight in his lower half you'd be hard-pressed to get this guy to topple over. The head movement range isn't huge, but is far enough to satisfy.

Transformation is, overall, simple and logical. There are two slight problem areas. Quake's backpack detaches and turns inside out to form the gun barrel. Getting this to line up just right is a bit fiddly. The other problem is that the legs are a complete nightmare to slide in and out. Pain is a likely result as you carefully, carefully try to slide them along and then they suddenly give way.

Gun mode is as good as you're ever going to get from Shockwave. It all locks together firmly and looks like Shockwave in gun mode. But then Shockwave has never had a fantastic-looking mode.

There are only a couple of little niggles with Quake Wave, and they really are niggles. I have zero problem with the transparent purple hand and gun, but some fans don't like it. They also don't like the fact the hose attaches to the top of his arm, rather than underneath. If these do bother you then fear not, Fan Toys have alternate parts available so you can change it!

Quake Wave is a brilliant toy, a brilliant Transformer, and a brilliant addition to your Masterpiece collection. Quite how Fan Toys managed to produce this thing to such a high quality and then price it at a level to complete with Hasbro/Takara I will never know. Other 3rd Party companies should look and learn.

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