July 20, 2012 11:54 pm
So, hey, seems like we're not getting Breakdown! But Japan did! And so I got one.
Apparently it went like this: Hasbro and Tomy were working on this Voyager Class Breakdown toy, and while it was in the early stages, Hasbro was all, uh, dude, he's kind of suddenly dead now, and this toy won't hit stores until like a year after that at this point, and what kid wants a dead third-string villain? And Tomy was all "yoink!" 'cuz they were just starting to air Transformers Prime over there and so he'd hit shelves in Japan in a timely manner, and finished up the tooling themselves. As a result, Hasbro can't release the toy later if they decide they want to, because Tomy finished up the mold in a way that it doesn't fit well into any of the American size classes.
(Signs of him starting out as a domestic release are hidden throughout him. His forearms and his stomach are translucent plastic, for example, which point to him being developed to work with the light-up weaponry that other PRID Voyagers come with.)
TL;DR: Enjoy your $60 Breakdown.
The silver lining is... he's not a crappy toy? I mean, if I'm gonna overpay for a toy, I don't want it to be a piece of shit. So.
That's not to say he's perfect! He's still a Japanese Transformers Prime toy, which has its ups and downs. The downs are pretty apparent. Tomy's not been having a good time with Transformers, and so they've been half-painting these things and then putting the rest of the deco on sticker sheets. This keeps the price down and also keys into the "build and/or customize it yourself" model toy culture over there. Needless to say, I'd prefer paint. I'd also prefer stickers that were close in quality to the stickers I buy from Reprolabels. These feel not so good, in comparison. I mean, they're not terrible stickers. They're just not collector-grade stuff, for obvious reasons. And I'm never a big fan of applying stickers over molded detail, but that's the kind of thing you have to do if you're trading paint for stickers.
But more silver lining! ... at least Breakdown's show model isn't very complex, color-wise? And so he doesn't look very bare even without the stickers, and the fewer stickers the better. Because, again, the stickers tend to look like crap.
On the other side of the coin of Breakdown being a Tomy release is that he comes with a Mini-Con! It's a rhino that transforms into his hammer and also a roof-mounted cannon. Like the other Prime Mini-Cons, it comes unassembled on the sprue, and you put it together yourself. So bonus Mini-Con! And fun assembly, if you like that sort of thing.
As I said, he's a good toy. He's not grossly partsformery, nor is he a bitch to get in and out of each mode. He rides that perfect line between simple and complex, and looks accurate in both modes with a minimum of fake kibble (if any). And he's a Voyager, so he feels just the right size and scale compared to the other toys.
If only everyone could easily buy one for $20, he'd be perfect.