Transformers Timelines Breakdown Toy Review

in 2010, Action Figure Review, Botcon, Decepticon, Generation Two, Stunticon, Timelines

Transformers Timelines

General Information:
Release Date: June 2010
Price Point: Boxed set $305 for TFCC members, $375 for non-members
Retailer: Botcon Exclusive
Accessories: Gun, Engine/rocket pack


*Pictures are from the official Botcon web site.

Transformers are a mega property today, but not many younger fans remember the age when the line was waning and desperately trying to reinvent itself to once again become the success it once was. During the early 90's, a line called "Generation 2" was created to reignite interest in the line, while it sustained the interest, many of the figures planned for this line did not get a wide release and thus became the stuff of legend. One of these figures was a redeco of the Generation One Transformer Breakdown, a member of the Stunticon team. Breakdown went from a white and black color scheme to a teal one with pink colors that screamed "late 80's/early 90's" fashion. This figure was released in a limited fashion at Botcon 1994 where it was given away as an exclusive for attendees, setting a tradition down that would carry on year to year from that point on with repainted figures being used as exclusives to the convention.

When the time came to make the "Generation 2: Redux" set, we (meaning the Fun Publications advisory panel and myself) knew we had a grand opportunity. With the Sideswipe mold now available to us to use as part of the set we knew Breakdown would have to be part of the set. When we decided to roll with Generation 2 and go full bore on the crazy color schemes, we decided to reproduce Breakdown as best we could in all his teal based glory. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release. For a detailed review of the sculpt, check out Sideswipe's review.

Vehicle Mode:
The choice of Breakdown as a redeco of Sideswipe was an easy one. In Generation One, both Sideswipe and Breakdown transformed into Lamborghini cars. To have them share the same vehicle form again made sense, especially with the slick, Ferrari based vehicle mode used for Sideswipe.

When it comes to homages, you generally have two choices. You can take a deco and imprint it as accurately as possible onto the new figure to pay true homage to the original, or you can take elements of the original and reinterpret them onto the new figure. In Breakdown's case, it was decided to represent the Generation 2 figure as best we could on the Sideswipe sculpt. The red color from Sideswipe has been replaced with a metallic shade of teal edging on a lighter color. The wheels and engine accessory are black while the windows are cast in a clear brown color. The vents mounted onto the engine accessory are bright pink (with a slight purple tinge). These base colors match those of the Generation 2 figure released in 1994 and in a very retro way they look great. The black helps offset the brightness of the pink and the teal color falls in the range in between. It helps to have the rather dark color of the clear plastic be a dark one as well.

Paint decos are quite extensive on this figure as some of them were modeled after sticker applications from the original figure. Black paint is used on the front end and the rear of the vehicle. Both of these sections have an awesome arry of detailing. The front end detail has a huge Generation 2 Decepticon symbol on it, taking up almost the entire hood. At the back, black makes up the background of the rear section, including the letters "BCFW94" which references Botcon 1994 happening in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Black is also used for the word "Breakdown" on the sides of the car, which are carry over homage details from Generation 2 where everyone for some reason had their names printed on them for a while.

Silver paint is found on the sides of the wheels, the top fan and vent details on the black engine accessory as well as outlines on the rear of the vehicle. The back of the vehicle also has red used on the round rear lights, making this rear section extremely detailed in comparison to the other uses of the sculpt. pink paint, matching the pink plastic is used for lines running along the bottom edge of the vehicle, as well as the parts that indent on the sides of the vehicle. These lines emphasize the sleekness of the vehicle mode and add quite a bit of appeal to the car.

The proverbial cherry on top of this action figure sundae is found on the window piece. The edges are painted teal to match the teal plastic, and on the top is a very "90's" design with what looks like liquid moving across some crossing lines. The "liquid" is red, with the section underneath a dark blue. The criss crossing lines are white and black. A bit of white is used on the red details to look like light is hitting the liquid in certain spots. This touch was a point of debate for a little while when thinking about the deco, but it is so wonderfully retro and such a significant part of the G2 Breakdown deco that we felt it would have been wrong to leave it out, and I'm glad we did!

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the engine/air intake piece.
  2. Flip the car over and detach the exhaust pipe pieces/gun.
  3. Swing the black grille piece up.
  4. Swing out the panels on the rear of the vehicle to the sides so they cover the rear wheels.
  5. Gently pull the opposite halves of the vehicle apart so the doors separate out from the front and back portions.
  6. Swing the robot arms out.
  7. Swing the rear of the vehicle back and down.
  8. Swing out the robot feet from the sections you just swung out.
  9. Rotate the robot legs so the sections with the rear lights face forward. The feet should point the same way.
  10. Slide the front of the car forward.
  11. Swing out the robot arms to the sides.
  12. Swing the car's front section down and snap it against the area right above the waist.
  13. Rotate the waist around so the feet point in the same direction as the front of the car.
  14. Rotate the windshield/windows section around. The robot head will slide up at the same time. Rotate the robot head around so it faces the same direction as the front section of the vehicle.
  15. Swing each robot arm up on the hinge at the shoulder so it is level with the rest of the upper body.
  16. Swing each car door to the side of the lower arms and rotate them around.
  17. Attach the weapon to the figure's fist or shoulder.
  18. Attach the air intake piece using the clips to connect to the notches on his back.

Robot Mode:
When the character of Breakdown was brought into the realm of comic books and animation in Generation One, his head was redesigned for his animation models to give it a more complicated look than the toy it was based on. The toy itself had what many fans refer to as a "peg head" or "block head". The shape is basically rectangular all around, a necessity to allow the piece to fit into Motormaster to form part of Menasor. Again the question came up as to how loyal we would be to G2 Breakdown, and we decided that using the figures' actual head sculpt instead of the animated reinterpretation would be the best way to do a "true" homage and thus, G2 Redux Breakdown has a mostly rectangular head. There are small flairs on the side and he still has a central crest along with visor eyes and a mouth/nose section, but the piece looks retro, so like the vehicle mode it really does evoke the figure we based it on.

In robot mode, the teal color gets broken up a lot more, but the pink color then comes into play along with some more black. His arms are a prime example of this. The shoulders are teal, the elbow joints are black and the forearms and fists are pink. His waist and thighs are pink as well.

The chest piece has brown paint on the top, matching up with the colors of his windows in vehicle mode. The head is painted mostly pink paint, with black used for the crest and the lines running along the front to the top to the back. His visor eyes are painted red (following the convention of Decepticons having red eyes) and his noise/mouth area is blue.

In terms of joints, Breakdown's joints are all almost as tight as the ones on my Sideswipe figure. I qualify this with the "almost" because I have to admit the ball joints at his shoulders feel slightly less tight than my Sideswipe's, but they are by no means floppy in any way. While the general instructions have Breakdown's gun formed from his exhaust pipes in vehicle mode, you can actually clip the air intake piece onto it by folding the vent halves onto the sides of the gun, creating "alternate" weapons for the Stunticon. I really dig this and it shows how Hasbro likes to think ahead with its sculpts (to the point where starting in 2010 they're coming up with alternate heads ahead of time for future redecos on toys to be released this and next year).

Final Thoughts:
To the casual fan or the newly initiated fan, Breakdown would probably draw a lot of odd stares. To hardcore fans, Generation 2 Breakdown is a thing of beauty (with some exceptions of course). Rarely does a figure hit the "It's so ugly/odd I must own it." button while serving as an accurate homage simultaneously. Add to that the mystique of a non-mass released figure along with its emotional connection to the Botcon legacy and this is clearly a figure that had to be made, and it was done spectacularly well!