Series: Generation 1
Function: Naval Warfare
Alternate Mode: Sea Skimmer
SEA SKIMMER MODE
Height: 5cm Length: 8cm Width: 8cm
A black capsule with some grey on the fringes, including two winglets on the sides. The canopy is painted gold but most of this vehicle is black. There's only so much I can say about a toy with so much black, to be honest. It's not really inspiring, and there are two hollow grey bits on the front (the back of the robot thighs), and the holes look poor. While the black does have potential, it need a highlight, and the grey doesn't really qualify.
I'm not sure why this is classified as a sea skimmer - Waverider's bio talks about him diving to 25,000 feet. Considering he looks like a submersible, and dives like one, I'm calling him a submersible. Really the name itself is the only aspect that supports the sea skimmer idea. At any rate, he's a decent little vehicle compared to most Pretender vehicle modes, in that Waverider is pretty clearly a naval vehicle. The small winglets, a turbine at the back and the rounded lines tell us that.
Thanks to the chest and head underneath, Waverider sits quite high, which gives an impression of hovering (well, moving just off the sea floor). The gun on top can aim, which is all we get for play value. Mind you, I don't expect anything from a submarine of this size, so I can deal with Waverider being so static.
In the scheme of G1 this is a pretty weak vehicle mode, but it's clearly a naval vehicle, and that sets Waverider apart from a lot of Pretenders. While the gun is an add-on, the vehicle still works without the gun, many Pretenders _need_ an add on for the alt modes. The gaps on the sides bother me, and to be honest they hurt this vehicle, but the lines and winglets do provide some charm.
TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE
Remove the gun, fold away the winglets. Fold out the legs and flip up his feet, lift up the head, wing the arms out to the sides (i.e. reposition the shoulders), swing the arms down into position and give Waverider his gun.
Height: 12cm Width: 6cm
Again mainly black, with grey thighs and feet, Waverider has a gold eyestrip and a clear foil sticker on his chest bearing an Autobot symbol. As with the submersible mode, he could use some more colour - the gold eyestrip is really going it alone above the hips, since the foil sticker is dark. The face is angled down, so the gold doesn't really stand out anyway. Again a little more colour would have gone a long way, and it's a shame there isn't a true highlight colour.
Waverider's bodyshape is good from front on, although from the side it becomes obvious that he has a little pot belly. Basically the gut sticks out so that he'll stand flat in sub mode with the head folded down (forward relative to this mode). The head is looking down slightly, which hides a face that's already as dark as it can be. The face is actually fairly well sculpted, but you have to really look to see it. The sculpting on the robot mode is actually decent - although the grey pieces - where sculpting would be easiest to see - are fairly low detail.
The play value is what you'd expect - the shoulders rotate and can swing out to the sides, allowing Waverider to aim his gun. This is nothing special, but better than some Pretenders.
An unremarkable robot mode, really. The proportion issues are minor, really, but the colour (or lack thereof) makes a reasonable robot uninteresting. A few highlights would have gone a long way, again. A face looking up more would also help Waverider a lot. While I don't dislike this mode, it's hard to get excited about it.
The Pretender Shell
A mid grey shell with a Caucasian face and light brown hair. The face is only partly visible, from just above the nostrils. The arms are light grey with some black armour, while there are some gold and red highlights on the body. The colours are okay, mid grey isn't exactly inspiring but it's not as dark as the inner robot which is nice.
Unlike many of the 1988 Pretenders there's no animal theme here, although Waverider does have a light grey helmet and belt, both of which attach and lock the shell closed. The black gun can be used here, along with a light grey axe. The arms swing, which is all we get in the way of poseability - no different to every other Pretender shell.
While it's not as dark as Waverider proper, the colour scheme isn't unified, and so the end result is a dull shell that's barely noteworthy. It's by no means a bad shell, though.
The Japanese version has brown hair on the shell.
Waverider has no major flaws, yet fails to impress - thanks largely to an underdone colour scheme. The submersible (er... sea skimmer) is decent, and with some colour could be quite nice. The hollow robot thighs are his only real flaw mouldwise, and while the robot isn't fantastic, if it wasn't so black it could be nice. I don't mine Waverider, the sub mode is probably his best aspect. Really one for completists or Pretender fans, Waverider's worthwhile if you find him fairly cheap - 5.5/10