Welcome to the fourth part of our ongoing Masterpiece Masterclass series, where the aim is to take you on the perilous journey of assembling a perfect Masterpiece Transformers collection by looking at all of the various options available for each character, both official and non.
Ultimately this is a personal project, and by no means do I claim to speak definitively in terms of the right choice for every collector out there. However, I do hope that by documenting the decisions I’ve made for my own collection, it might prove useful for Transformers fans who are either starting out or are maybe not sure about which options to choose in a particular case.
Although there are many different potential line-ups to be had in Masterpiece form, we’re going to keep it as simple as possible and focus on honing a decent-looking G1 cartoon line-up to begin with! With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of every named character who appeared in the Sunbow animation during the 4 seasons of its run (including The Rebirth). Here’s what we’re looking to achieve…
When I’ve confirmed which toy is taking the spot in my collection, I’ll also assign it a current status:
- PLACEHOLDER status will be given when the toy in question is the best on offer right now, but really as soon as a better option comes along then I’ll be “trading up”
- SECURE status will be given when the toy feels like a solid lock for the character right now, and barring a better toy coming along it has a strong footing in my collection
- DEFINITIVE status will be awarded for those rare examples where clearly it’s the best toy of that character that we’re likely to get and I can’t honestly imagine anyone else improving on it (though never say never!)
So, all that said, today we’re going to be taking a look at the fourth character on our roster and it’s none other than… SHOCKWAVE!
First, let’s go ahead and look at the options available, shall we?
FansToys FT-03 Quakewave
The grandaddy of third party Transformers, the original Quakewave was released in 2013 and quickly became a hit amongst Masterpiece collectors for bringing to life this fan favourite character for the first time ever. Appearing at a time before there were multiple versions of each character out there, Quakewave very much set the template for everything that was soon to follow, and was reissued again in 2015 (albeit with a few modifications). There has also been a darker G1 toy-inspired version, a clear plastic ‘crystal’ version and an exclusive grey repaint modelled after the character’s pre-Transformers ‘Shackwave’ release (more on that here!).
Cloud 9 W-01 Quakeblast
Quakeblast arrived in 2016 as the first effort by third party company, Cloud 9, and immediately prompted a lot of discussion because of how similar the design was to FansToys Quakewave (with FansToys themselves even commenting on it at the time!). Bigger, beefier and just all-round more stylised, Quakeblast provided the first real alternative for fans looking for a potential Masterpiece Shockwave for their collection, although arguably the timing of the release was a little unfortunate considering what was around the corner…
TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-29 Laserwave
Also released in 2016, the first Masterpiece Laserwave (his TakaraTomy name) came at a time when the line was shifting a bit towards a more cartoon-accurate aesthetic, and thus it resembles the on-screen character very closely. It also comes packaged with accessories to mimic various cartoon scenes, including a miniature handheld Vulcan cannon weapon and various options for swappable hands, as well as integrated light-up gimmicks.
TakaraTomy Masterpiece MP-29+ Laserwave
The first (and currently only!) repaint of the MP-29 mould, MP-29+ came two years later in 2018 and saw the toy overhauled with a significantly darker purple colour scheme. Though a lot of people (including me!) thought of this as a G1 toy-styled repaint, it transpires that TakaraTomy intended it to be even more cartoon accurate, and retooled the head to feature a smaller eye to more closely resemble that look, as well as giving the forearms anime Decepticon logos. All of the accessories and gimmicks from the prior release were carried over here.
So, which of these options was right for me? Well, check the video below to find out!
So, there you go – it’s a clear victor on this occasion, even if there is a little debate still to be had about which version could be considered more ‘accurate’! This one gets a ‘definitive’ status as it’s very hard to imagine a better option coming out any time soon.
So, that’s another character ticked off on the roster!
So there you go, that’s our third Masterpiece Masterclass! Which character should we cover next time?