Review by VF5SS
My look at the revamped Stunticons in Transformers Combiner Wars continues with everyone's favorite paranoid Lamborghini, Breakdown! Over the years, the character has often popped up in some form or another, due to him being an obvious repaint for any vaguely Lambo-based figure. Breakdown arrives on the scene with an all-new toy as part of the second wave of Combiner Wars.
Please check out my video review of Breakdown!
Like his fellow Stunticons, Breakdown stands about five and a half inches tall in robot mode and is a sturdy all-plastic figure. Most of his body is cast in a creamy off-white color that is complemented by a deep blue and neatly matched paint.
At first glance, Breakdown is a pretty straightforward modernization of his original Scramble City design, even retaining the big chunk of car front that hangs off his back. His beefy lower legs form the entire rear of the car complete with the spoiler forming a pair of dependable heels.
One aspect of Combiner Wars that I really enjoy is how most of the toys take design cues from the original Transformers cartoon. Due to how often the animated Combiner team members did not match their toy counterparts, the new incarnations feel both fresh and familiar at the same time. Merging show accuracy with functional engineering has produced some novel results. For example, Breakdown's chestplate covers his requisite combiner joint in robot mode, but moves out of the way when he needs to become an appendage.
This Stunticon's blocky noggin is mounted on a free-moving ball-joint and, like his upper body, it is modeled after his appearance in the 80's show. What was probably meant to be a placeholder design has been lovingly rendered in plastic, and picked out with striking red paint for the face. It's a bit hard to see, but Breakdown even has purple eyes just like in the cartoon.
Breakdown has a full suite of articulation, belied by his chunky frame. He follows the standards set by the rest of Combiner Wars with fully functional arms, legs, and even a rotating waist joint.
The majority of his articualation is accomplished with sturdy ball-joints in places like his shoulders, elbows, and hips. Breakdown is quite stable on his feet and can easily pull off a high kick.
He also has a few quirky things going on as a result of his transformation. One you will encounter right away is this "scissor" joint that moves Breakdown's legs up and down. His hips must be pulled down so that you can peg Breakdown's lower legs together for anything outside of robot mode.
This also helps get his blocky thighs away from the car roof that hangs off his back, so Breakdown can use his waist joint much more effectively. Also note that you can use the transformation joint in his toes as a makeshift ankle tilt, similar to what can be done with Dragstrip.
For weaponry, Breakdown comes with this combination sword/gun. It has a properly molded handle so it can be used like a firearm.
And the Stunticon's tight joints let him wield it with style.
Breakdown can also hold it like a sword, in keeping with his team penchant for melee weapons.
"K-keep away! I'm-m-m a blade bot, bot!"
Never mess with a jumpy Decepticon brandishing a sharp object.
Breakdown's version of the hand/foot/gun appears to be cast in a different colored plastic and then painted in purple, which is a little odd. It is styled like a car engine and features a pair of strangely familiar intakes for gun barrels.
The weapon can also be plugged into the car front that hangs off Breakdown's back.
Doing so make the hints of an upcoming Combiner Wars Sunstreaker seem that much more evident. The Autobot Lamborghini's signature rear mounted engine is not too subtly moonlighting as a Decepticon's equipment.
By using the transformation joint, Breakdown can make like a Guncannon (or Dust Man) with some over the shoulder firepower.
Breakdown's transformation is surprisingly complex for a Combiner limb. There's a fairly specific order of operations, where each step allows you to progress to the next. To start the conversion to any of his alternate modes, you must pull the blue parts of his shoulders away from his body. Doing so will allow you to flip the entire head and chest plate assembly up and over so it tabs into the front of the car mode. This will expose the purple colored combiner joint which is used in both arm and leg mode. Continuing on, fold his forearms against his upper arms to create the doors of the car and then lay them flat on Breakdown's sides.
To finish off arm mode, pull Breakdown's hips downward on the scissor joint so that his shins can tab together. Also note that you keep his feet and spoiler flipped out so that Breakdown is the same length as other arms. With the multi-use accessory in hand mode, Breakdown is ready to be attached to Motormaster or any other Combiner Wars leader. Since he is a pretty wide bodied car, Breakdown makes for a beefy looking appendage. In addition to being able to both swivel and bend at the elbow, this Stunticon's peculiar hip assembly lets him tilt side to side in the forearm.
While he is a fully functional arm, the edges of Breakdown's own arms can get hung up on the sides of Menasor's torso.
Like with Dragstrip, turning Breakdown into a leg involves going almost all the way to car mode. His lower legs retract via a hinge that brings them outward and upward in a manner similar to the G1 toy.
Breakdown's own feet and rear spoiler are flipped up for both leg mode and car mode. Again, he makes for a sizable looking appendage and looks quite good as a vehicle turned giant robot shin.
Going all the way to car mode involves moving the front of the vehicle into place so it tabs into the combiner joint and flipping the front windshield down.
Breakdown becomes a somewhat off model Lamborghini Gallardo. He's about five inches long as a car and is easily the second largest member of the Stunticons, right after Motormaster. He is pretty G1 accurate in this mode, with a big section of red on the hood and blue highlights along the bottom of the car.
For a bit of extra flair, Breakdown sports "15RACING" across his windshield.
He's definitely a sleek ride in this mode with that classic ground hugging look expected of a Lamborghini. Unfortunately, the wheels on my toy are a bit stiff and, while they do turn, Breakdown does not roll well unless he is on a rough surface like a couch or carpet.
For weapon storage in vehicle mode, you can plug in the sword/gun up top.
And to further drive home the inherent Sunstreaker-ness of the toy, the combiner accessory plugs into Breakdown's roof to act like a super tuned engine.
While the engine occupies the top port, the sword/gun can tab into slots on either side of the car.
Or you can stick it in the back so Breakdown can stab anyone who is foolish enough to tailgate him.
Update: Fellow reviewer, Ginrai, helpfully pointed out that Breakdown's combiner part can be made to look even more Sunstreaker-y. Simply plug a tab in its thumb into the back of his spoiler and then push it down onto a pair of small tabs on Breakdown's roof. Now any doubts of an Autobot repaint have gone out the window.
Breakdown is another solid Stunticon taking his rightful place in the team's roster. His old-school cartoon-inspired design does not mean Breakdown is a simple figure, as his transformation is surprisingly intricate. I find him to be a fully realized update of the classic toy in the same vein as Dragstrip. Breakdown is definitely one of the all-stars of Combiner Wars.
Comments2 comments posted
Now Breakdown looks even more like Sunstreaker!
I like that it makes a satisfactory attempt at hiding the 'my elbows are clearly just my legs' thing that a lot of the Combiner Wars figures have going on when they're serving as arms.