Transformers Timelines Botcon 2011 Breakdown Toy Review

in 2011, Action Figure Review, Animated, Botcon, Decepticon, Deluxe, Stunticon, Timelines

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Timelines

General Information:
Release Date: June 2011
Price Point: $315 (for club members), $385 (for non-club members), $210 (Loose sets)
Retailer: Botcon 2011 Exclusive (Sold in boxed set and as part of a loose set)
Accessories: Missile launcher bow, Missiles x 2

Images:

BreakdownBotcon 2011 celebrated a Transformers series that many feel was too short lived. While still controversial, "Transformers Animated" remains a favorite among a significant portion of fandom, making it the perfect subject for Botcon 2011's boxed set. The set features five figures, each based on one of the Generation One Stunticons

Naturally, if you're going to make a Stunticon based set of figures, the Transformer "Breakdown" is going to be part of the set. In recent years due to trademark reasons he's been called "Brakedown" (such as the "Hunt for the Decepticons" Brakedown figure). This time out, the Botcon crew managed to get this guy named properly. Breakdown is also of particular note because he has already been the subject of two official and one "unofficial" Botcon toy release in the past. This is the first time that he is being produced in a color scheme based on his "Generation One" appearance rather than his "Generation 2" appearance.

If you've read my other Stunticon reviews so far and you're familiar with the toy line in general, you'll know that there are only so many sculpts you can use that are "race car" style vehicles. For the sleek form of Breakdown, Fun Publications decided to use the Toys R Us exclusive "Rodimus" sculpt, making this somewhat unique as both a Toys R Us and Botcon exclusive mold (at least in the US). This review will focus on the changes made to this sculpt for this release. Check out detailed review of Animated Rodimus in the "Transformers Animated" toy review section.

Vehicle Mode:
There are some who questioned whether using the Rodimus sculpt would work for Breakdown since it is such an iconic looking design. From it's sleek, flat front end to the big spoiler on the back, could the design be too distinctive to sell as a separate character? A fair enough question for any redeco really, but in this case I think the initial doubt goes away when you actually see the vehicle in the new colors. First off, it's important to remember that Generation One Breakdown himself had a fairly flat and sleek vehicle form. In addition, he also had a rather pominant spoiler - but not quite as large as Rodimus' of course. Still the design analogies work, and I think the way to look at it is that "Animated" Breakdown's vehicle form is a futuristic, exaggerated extrapolation of G1 Breakdown's more "realistic" vehicle mode.

It also helps that G1 Breakdown's basic colors are almost nothing like Rodimus' more flashy reds, golds and yellows. Instead, his primary plastic colors are a dark cream color, blue, black and translucent black plastic. These are very similar to the basic colors of Generation One Breakdown, who had a lighter cream color, black wheels and dark blue parts such as a cannon that attached to the back of the vehicle. Here, the cream color makes up most of the top of the vehicle. I almost called it light grey, but it definitely leans towards being a shade of the color used on G1 Breakdown. The translucent black makes up the windows as you would expect. The dark blue plastic is found mostly on the lower half of the vehicle, the engine in the front and the exhaust pipes in the back. As you'd expect, the black plastic makes up the wheels, but it is also used for the section in the back that connects to the spoiler. The colors all work very well together. The cream color acts as a fantastic contrast to the rest of the colors, which really makes them pop.

There aren't a ton of paint applications on this figure, but that is deliberate as the Generation One version tempered its paint scheme as well. Orange, a color borrowed from G1 Breakdown is found on the headlights and rear lights of the figure. A dark, maroon color is used on the top of the canopy and the hood of the car. Paint color matching the cream color is found on the top of the canopy as well since that portion is cast in clear black plastic. A bit of silver can be found on the sides of the wheels. Dark blue paint is used to paint a lot of the details on the front and sides of the vehicle, matching up with the blue plastic that peeks out from the underside of the car. The blue matches perfectly with the plastic color and offers a fantastic contrast to the rest of the vehicle.

Breakdown's bow weapon is also cast in the cream color and blue. The missiles are cream colored as well. These fit well in the slot at the back of the vehicle, but not perfectly. That's not really something I hold against this version of the figure however, it's more the sculpt in general having issues. It holds in place, just not super tightly.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Pull the sides of the vehicle from the middle to the back out to the sides.
  2. Swing out the robot hands.
  3. Holding the car upside down, you'll see the robot feet attached to the underside of the hood. Detach the feet and swing them down.
  4. Rotate the waist section around.
  5. On each leg, swing the exhaust piece up.
  6. Move the lower half of the lower leg out to the sides a bit to straighten out the legs.
  7. On the hood, flip the engine piece around to reveal the Decepticon symbol.
  8. Swing the robot arms up to lock them into place.
  9. Raise the middle of the windshield piece.
  10. Swing the front wheels into the underside of the hood piece.
  11. Push the window piece back in place.
  12. Swing the piece with the spoiler up, rotate the spoiler around then fold down the piece the spoiler is attached to.

Robot Mode:
The Rodimus vehicle mode is distinctive looking, but you can imagine it as a version of Breakdown's G1 vehicle mode. The robot mode is a bit more difficult to extrapolate from one to the other. Basically, there's almost nothing about the iconic Rodimus/Hot Rod robot mode design that resembles G1 Breakdown. That's not a huge deal however since this is one of the Botcon exclusives that received a new head sculpt! It is important ot keep in mind that this head sculpt had to pull double duty to also serve as "Animated" Sideswipe's head, so the sculpt winds up blending elements of both characters. Much of the Breakdown elements are found on the helmet section of the head. This includes the "chin strap" section, the sides also bear some resemblance to the Breakdown's G1 head design. His face is also sculpted with a particularly mean expression on his face, something that also fits the character. The only parts that really say "Sideswipe" more than "Breakdown" are the circles on the sides of the head and the top section of the head that sticks out over the face a bit. It's a good "combination" head design and serves the purpose of distinguishing the appearance of the figure from its predecessor.

The newly revealed parts are mostly blue in color including the middle to lower legs, the hands, neck and head. The exhaust pipe pieces on his thighs are also cast in blue. His thighs and forearms are the same cream color as the one that makes up most of the vehicle mode. With the engine having been flipped, you now get a flat panel on the chest (which is composed of the front of the vehicle) featuring a silver Stunticon symbol (which is a Decepticon symbol with extra details in the back). The face is colored the same maroon color as the face and his eyes are orange. Small details on the head are white. A bit of cream colored paint is used on the collar around the neck area. Overall, this paint scheme is so distinctive that you almost forget this body was originally meant for a Rodimus/Hot Rod style toy.

All of the parts on the figure are still nice and tight and the weapon works without a problem. No surprises here since this sculpt hasn't been used all that much yet.

Final Thoughts:
Breakdown is a really nicely done piece. More than say, Drag Strip, this figure involved using a deco and head sculpt to overcome the challenge of very distinct robot and vehicle modes ot make an effective representation of a classic G1 character. This guy's going to cost you since he's generally going to be either part of a set or sold separately through second party sellers. If you're a hardcore collector however, this is definitely highly recommended!