Posts tagged with "breakdown" - 1
Posted April 4, 2015 at 7:01 pm

I've had enough of these Combiner Wars guys to make a full combiner since Christmas, but I didn't have the right components to make an official team until Thursday.  And so I figured I'd wait to talk about the combined forms until then, when I could show off a completed group.  The first two waves of Combiner Wars staggered the teams, with one or two missing members of the two completable teams held off until the second wave.  (Optimus Prime being a third wheel.)  

Here are the Stunticons!  There are four of the original members here, with two new members of the team.  Wildrider has been replaced by Offroad, partially for "we lost the trademark" reasons and partially for "wouldn't it be nice if one of these guys weren't a sports car" reasons.  You gotta vary up your allotted retail space.  Offroad himself is sculpted to be a new Ruckus, a Triggercon from the late Eighties, but it was determined for one reason or another that his toy would instead become a new guy in colors that would look like Wildrider when in combined mode.  (I think "Ruckus" itself is another lost trademark, but I'm not sure.)  

The other new member of the team is Blackjack, who was originally a Micromaster from the Sports Car Patrol, but is now the guy who forms Menasor's chest.  The original Menasor had a little black car-like drone on his chest that came with Motormaster, the semi truck torso guy, and Blackjack is the new approximation of that.  The new Blackjack toy itself, like Offroad, was sculpted to be a different guy, Runabout, the Battlecharger.  But they didn't have the trademark to that guy the last time a Runabout toy was made (he was a Transformers Collectors' Club exclusive renamed Over-Run), so that toy became another small black car, Blackjack.  S'just as well, since I'm not ready to replace my Over-Run yet, and am happy to have a new Blackjack.  

(Blackjack doesn't fit super securely on many people's Menasors, but mine is snug enough.)

Wildrider won't be completely forgotten, as he's getting a limited release through online retailers(?) as a Dead End head-retool named Brake-Neck. 

Like the Aerialbot limbs, the Stunticons share some engineering ideas.  Offroad transforms the way most Combiner Wars limbs do so far, with the head placed at the far end of the combiner connector piece, the front of the vehicle folding over onto the back of the robot, the arms splitting off from the sides of the vehicle, and the legs pulling out from the rear.  Dead End and Breakdown differ similarly from this formula in that their heads are not attached to the connector piece at all, but are hidden under the hood of the car during vehicle mode, attached to the front of the torso which wraps over the tops of the shoulders and over the connector piece in robot mode.  Drag Strip's head is done similarly, but without the chest wrapping part.  

Breakdown is super obviously going to be Sunstreaker eventually.  He looks like Breakdown, sure enough, and there aren't really any compromises on Sunstreaker's behalf, but Breakdown's foot/hand/gun is Sunstreaker's car engine thruster dealio, and it can peg onto Breakdown's back appropriately, as well as slot into Breakdown's car mode in a way that better approximates Sunstreaker's vehicle mode than the usual orientation.  Breakdown will likely get some new parts, like a head and chest, and some new colors and be a pretty good Sunstreaker.  

The highlight of these guys, however, is the combination engineering,  The connection points are a dream.  There's no shoving or excessive force, and yet it's incredibly sturdy and poseable.  I'm in awe of its simplicity.  You really can play with the larger combined robot as if it were a single entity, without fear of anything falling off.  (With the exception of Blackjack for some people, as mentioned above.)  

This is probably pretty good, since this is a line titled Combiner Wars, so the combining should probably work.

Posted September 24, 2013 at 1:05 am

G1-style Breakdown was the toy I was least excited about in this year's Transformers Figure Subscription Service.  I mean, I've already got a BotCon toy of that guy, and in way better colors!  I know at the time, when we were getting this teal-and-magenta G2 Breakdown toy, some folks were clamoring for a white-and-blue G1 version to be one of the at-show surprises, but I do not understand those people.  I do not understand them at all.  Did they not realize that G2 Breakdown has, like, nonsensical splattered blood on his roof?  How is that not the best possible already?  Where is the room for improvement?

But those people yet exist, and so I guess this G1-style Breakdown is for them.  That's okay.  He's the sort of thing these Subscription Service toys should have -- y'know, stuff not everyone wants, so wouldn't have been done otherwise except under cover of a larger spread of toys.  Some folks can get their G1 Breakdown if I can get my Circuit.  That's how these things work.

Anyway, huge yawn.

UNTIL YOU READ THE FRIGGIN' BIO.  Sure, he's the most pointless toy in the world in my eyes, but he's apparently from the best universe.  This Breakdown hails from the third issue of Blackthorne's 3D Transformers comics.  You know, the "Part one of three" story which never got its second and third parts because Blackthorne quit, in which the Autobots and Decepticons discover an enigmatic third faction called the Detructons, led by Lord Imperious Delirious.  

(Well, best universe spin-off, to be precise.  The story clearly takes place in original cartoon continuity post-The Rebirth.) 

Anyway, that's super awesome.  And now I begrudgingly appreciate this lump of otherwise boring plastic.  Good show.  

Posted July 20, 2012 at 11:54 pm
Aligned-universe Decepticons, assemble!

So, hey, seems like we're not getting Breakdown!  But Japan did!  And so I got one.

With stickers applied and hammer attached.

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.

Breakdown before stickers

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.

Before stickers and before Mini-Con assembly

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.

Stickered vehicle mode.

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.
Posted June 17, 2011 at 3:15 am
Man, Sideswipe's spoiler doesn't like to be photographed.

I kid, mostly.  We got our G2 Breakdown last year, so it's nice to have the first BotCon exclusive of Breakdown which isn't in his G2 colors, as much as I love my cyan and magenta.  It's just... his regular colors are kinda boring.  I never dug the off-white.  And the BotCon exclusives are basically the only reason I know Breakdown exists, so I have no nostalgia for it.  Honestly, out of all five of the Animated Stunticons in the box set, Animated Breakdown is probably my least favorite.

...which is made up by Animated Sideswipe being so awesome.  Sideswipe was one of the at-show souvenir add-ons, bundled with Toxitron.  Unlike Breakdown, Sideswipe IS in his G2 colors, which are his G1 colors (red and black) reversed.  The original G2 Sideswipe toy had a green launcher and a few green stickers, and the Animated version ramps up the green to beautiful effect.  It's really a great combination, the bright green and the black and the red and the white.  It's not a color combination we get much.

I'm serious. I basically had to repaint it brighter green in Photoshop.

Why is Animated Sideswipe in G2 colors?  I imagine it's 'cuz that mold's already been in red as Rodimus.  (It's already been in black as Black Rodimus, but not a lot of people have that, and it's pretty different anyway.)  Plus, well, G2 Sideswipe colors are just objectively better than G1 Sideswipe colors anyway.  There, I said it!  I've never owned a G1 Sideswipe, since I picked up a G2 Sideswipe in my late teens and never saw a reason to pick up any of the G1 reissues as they've been paraded out in the past decade, 'cuz, well, why?  I already had the better version!  Sideswipe didn't really do anything until the Marvel G2 comic anyway.

Another nice thing about this pair is the head.  It strikes a great compromise between both of their head designs.  Breakdown's head looks like Breakdown's (animation model) and Sideswipe's head looks like Sideswipe's.  It's amazing what a little hedging and color differences can do.  And they both kind of deserve the dour expression on their face, what with Breakdown being an unhappy nervous wreck and Sideswipe being a bitter ol' cop.

My camera keeps wanting to make the green into this olive drab color.

(Neil Ross did a great voice for him at BotCon 2011's script reading.)

Plus, you know me and mold reuse.  Reuse a mold once, and I shrug.  Reuse it a dozen times and suddenly I'm compelled to own all of them.  That collector mentality kicks in.  It's why I own 30 Dinobots.  And if you think I'm happy with my four Animated Rodimus reuses, wait 'til we get to my Animated Cybertronian Ratchet reuses.
Posted February 10, 2011 at 8:10 pm
BotCon's continued to roll out the exclusive toy previews.  Last week we got Breakdown, who is roughly the fifteen millionth Breakdown BotCon has done in its time.  But the first in G1 colors!  And the first that referenced his head design in the original cartoon, which was entirely different from the one his toy had.

But I've sort of hit Breakdown saturation, so I didn't blog about it.

This week, though, I'm excited again.  BotCon's revealed their third toy, Drag Strip, who's also in original Drag Strip colors. a girl.  Ha ha ha.  She's been female-ized!  There's only so many sports car molds in the Animated toyline, see, and Arcee happened to be one of them.  So this is a thing that has happened.

I'm actually all for it.  Arcee's a great mold, and the Transformers universe can use more chicks.  Especially yellow ones.  The BotCon Twitter feed seems to suggest she's characterized as Kill Bill's the Black Mamba, who was also a sword-wielding yellow chick.  Watch out for your eyes!

NOTE: No, you are not the first and/or only person to come here and make a HUR HUR DRAG AMIRITE?? joke.  They tire me.  They will be deleted.  If you want them, try every single other Transformers forum or blog on the face of the planet.
Posted September 16, 2010 at 1:02 am
Clockwise from top right: Sideswipe, Breakdown, Red Alert, Sunstreaker, and Counterpunch

I'd meant to gab on about Generations Red Alert back on Monday night along with that week's Toy News International strip, but the Mike statues done shown up on my porch and Red got knocked back.

(Only a handful of Mike statues remain!)

As the TNI strip mentions, there's a lotta versions of this mold right now.  I own five, but there are about four more between Japanese versions of three of these guys and an additional (super super rare) G2 version of Sideswipe.  It's not the greatest mold, but it isn't terrible.  How is it that the toys that get redecoed the most are the ones that are actually pretty mediocre?  The original Seeker mold, the Classics Seeker mold, Dinobot... (SHUT UP SHUT UP DINOBOT IS AWESOME)

As I've mentioned previously, no matter how terrible the toy, the more versions of one toy I accumulate, the more desirable extra versions become.  It's absolutely nuts.   Maybe it's like mob mentality, how people get dumber in groups.  Well, these large groups make me dumber!

Of course fire chiefs drive around in lamborghinis. Why do you ask?

Red Alert himself isn't a bad version of the mold.  If I had to rank him by prettiness compared to the others, he'd probably rank a distant second after Breakdown.  Breakdown's color scheme has no equal, so that's just not terribly fair, but them's the breaks, Red.  The way the white and gray and sharp red play off each other is striking, just enough to edge him out over his primary color brothers.

As for the tooling itself, he's probably second-to-worst, just ahead of Tiny Head McGee, aka Mr. Punch/Counterpunch.  Why?  Well, because of the light bar on the roof, you can't mount his engine thingy on his back in robot mode anymore.  In addition, the holes on his shoulders are no longer large enough for him to peg his weapon into.  So Red Alert's forced into having to wrap the engine thingy around the gun and peg the whole thing into his wrist... which is an incredibly unstable arrangement even before we realize that this larger gun configuration conflicts with his forearm kibble.

So that's annoying.
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