Review by VF5SS
This sample of Combiner Wars Brake-Neck was provided by Hasbro. Please check out the end of this review for a list of upcoming "Transformers May Mayhem" events, including where you can purchase your own Brake-Neck figure.
With the release of Combiner Wars Offroad and the unvieling of TakaraTomy's more cartoon accurate Unite Warriors Superion, fans wondered if the Stunticons would also get an additional figure to make Menasor more true to the original. It wasn't long before Hasbro hit us with a double whammy, as they announced their own domestic versions of Unite Warriors Stunticon Wildrider and Aerialbot Slingshot. They feature slightly different decos and new names, due to issues with trademarks, but make no mistake, the crazy Decepticon road terrorist is back!
Please check out my video review!
Brake-Neck (aka Wildrider) is a repaint of Dead End that features a new head. This toy takes the original colors for G1 Wildrider and adds a whole lot more red in places like his hands and thighs. Also, I should mention that my Brake-Neck's joints feel tighter than my Dead End's, which makes this mold a lot more enjoyable.
TakaraTomy's version replaces all that red with more gray to better emulate the character's cartoon appearance. Either way, Brake-Neck makes for an good looking Decepticon. He stands five and a half inches tall like the rest of the Combiner Wars limb bots.
Brake-Neck's new head looks fantastic with his blocky helmet and scowling expression. Using the oft ignored cartoon head designs is a great way to give a figure a refreshing appearance that also feels pleasingly familiar.
Despite being a repaint, Brake-Neck has very much his own look and personality. His colors pop a lot more than Dead End's, and the new noggin gives the wild rider his own silhouette. This effect is pretty accurate to the old cartoon, as the Stunticons were rendered as fairly similar looking bots, so what distinguished them were their heads and color schemes.
"Heh heh! He done blowed up real good!"
The two Stunticons naturally palled around in the old cartoon, including the one time Wildrider rammed into Rodimus so hard the Matrix fell out of him.
Here is Brake-Neck alongside his "replacement," Offroad. With the latter, it seems like my hunch he was an update of G1 Ruckus turned out to be true, so Combiner Wars continues to be full of surprises.
Now, I'm sure there are no hard feelings between the two Stunticons. I mean, having your job taken by an obscure late G1 nobody would make anyone mad, but Brake-Neck will handle this situation with grace and restraint...
"Now that I'm back, ya best not be gettin' ideas 'bout tryin' to keep your place in the team."
"I like ya, Offroad, but ya gotta respect seniority!"
"Heh heh. Ya know, like this, I think we'll get along juuuuuuuuuust fine."
Brake-Neck comes with the same accessories as Dead End, which includes the exhaust pipe melee weapon.
Brake-Neck's weapon is cast in a slightly lighter gray than Dead End's but is otherwise identical.
Plus, with two pipes, you can give Brake-Neck some wicked shoulder stacks.
And the two Stunticon hooligans put their beatin' sticks to good use.
His combiner hand/foot/gun is identical to Dead End's save for black plastic being used in the thumb joint. Also like Dead End, the weapon flops around in Brake-Neck's hands because the fist hole is slightly too wide. I hope this is fixed by the time Streetwise is released because this is an irritating flaw on what is otherwise a fun toy.
The weapon does fit a bit better on Brake-Neck's shoulder holes, but this is mostly because they now have red paint inside that thickens the connection.
Being a Dead End repaint, Brake-Neck's transformation is exactly the same, right down to his opening leg panels needing a bit of sanding to fit right. Again, it feels like just this mold has consistent issues, which is a shame. However, I still really enjoy the figure in spite of its flaws.
With Brake-Neck taking his nominal place as Menasor's left leg, the combiner gains a bit more balance in his form.
What helps is that Brake-Neck is a fairly wide vehicle who pairs up well with Breakdown in leg mode. Also, the improved tightness in the toy makes this Stunticon a more reliable limb than my Dead End.
This allowed Menasor to put his best foot forward, if you know what I mean.
Brake-Neck also makes for a good combiner arm, and can give Menasor some upper-body symmetry if you pair him with Dead End.
He also adds a bit of flair as a red trimmed limb.
Oddly enough, Brake-neck's packaging and instructions place him as an arm by default. He's also numbered "2 of 5 Menasor" just like Dead End, and is shown replacing the morose Stunticon rather than Offroad. I find Hasbro's obvious copy and paste job to be kind of funny. Especially considering how Brake-Neck is marketed as a way to make Menasor more G1...
Brake-Neck's version of the Ferrari 458 Italia-alike has a nice uniform color scheme that is consistent with the original toy and cartoon character. In fact, the G1 figure transformed into a Ferrari 308 GTB, so there seems to be a consistent through line for Wildrider vehicle modes.
Unlike Dead End, Brake-Neck lacks the black paint on the back that serves as a rear windshield. I think this is intended to be an homage to the original Wildrider toy, which lacked a visible window on the back.
Another callback to the old toy is this silver panel on the hood of the car that mimics what used to be a large shiny sticker.
And you can still mount all of Brake-Neck's accessories in car mode.
Here are the two Stunticon mold-mates together. In hindsight, the fact that this toy is based on a Ferrari seems to indicate that it was always intended to be Wildrider first, rather than Dead End.
I don't really mind having two of the same toy, as their different color schemes give each a unique look and feel.
Brake-Neck and Offroad make for an interesting pair in vehicle mode. The latter's attempts to emulate the former's color scheme makes me wonder what the whole team would look like in similar colors.
And now, Wildrider rejoins his Decepticon comrades!
It's like he never left.
The Stunticons are ready to wreck and roll out!
"HAAHAHAHA! It's good to be back!!"
Overall, Brake-Neck makes for another satisfying Combiner Wars figure. He manages to scratch a G1 itch I didn't know I had, and is an improvement over the Dead End figure I already own. Despite the niggling flaws of the mold, I am still really enthusiastic about the line. Also, I am glad that western fans have been given a chance to complete their Menasors with all the classic team members, without importing the Unite Warriors version. That being being said, Offroad also being a great Transformer adds a sense of collecting fun to Combiner Wars, as your teams can be customized to suit your own tastes.
Thanks again to Hasbro for providing the figure, and be sure to check out their Transformers May Mayhem events!
"Mid-May – The celebration kicks off with the latest round of fans’ choice voting for the TRANSFORMERS Hall of Fame. Who will be a part of the Class of 2015 and join the ranks of Optimus Prime, Megatron, and other legendary TRANSFORMERS? You decide!
May 13 – IDW Publishing releases TRANSFORMERS #41, the latest chapter of their epic COMBINER WARS storyline.
May 22 – AERIALBOT QUICKSLINGER and STUNTICON BRAKE-NECK will be available exclusively through participating online retailers, such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, ToysRUs.com, Entertainment Earth, BigBadToyStore, Diamond Comics and Hasbro Toy Shop. With these two new figures, fans are finally able to complete their G1-accurate SUPERION and MENASOR figures! In addition to these all-new toys, several vendors will be running special promotions on TRANSFORMERS GENERATIONS: COMBINER WARS figures, providing fans with an ideal way to complete their collections.
Late May – TRANSFORMERS fans will come together on the official TRANSFORMERS Facebook page (Facebook.com/Transformers) for an exciting new product reveal.
May 27 – The COMBINER WARS battle comes to a head in IDW Publishing’s TRANSFORMERS WINDBLADE – COMBINER WARS #3."
|Posted 4 May, 2015 - 09:41 by VF5SS|