Cybertron Toy Reviews: Brakedown

in 2005, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Cybertron, Galaxy Force, Velocitron / Speedia

Cybertron

General Information:
Release Year: September 2005
Retailer: General US (Toys R Us, Target etc.)
Price: $6.99 (Depending on Retailer)
Accessories: Cyber Planet Key, Blade weapon

Brakedown Packaging art

Images:

*Image from Hasbrotoyshop.com.

Tech Specs:
An old racer on his last lap, BRAKEDOWN was the fastest around in his day. He knows every inch of track on the Speed Planet, and while his systems can't keep up with the supercharged speed of younger robots this old speed demon's still got one or two tricks up his sleeve. With his pipes rusting through and his suspension grown brittle with age, he's got to rely on CLOCKER, to whom he's passed his knowledge of the Great Race.

Strength: 5 Intelligence: 8.5 Speed: 6.5 Endurance: 7 Rank: 5 Courage: 6 Firepower: 4.5 Skill: 9

Brakedown is the domestic release of the Galaxy Force Autolander figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the toy for this release. Please read Autolander's review for more detail on the basic figure.

Each Cybertron Transformer comes with a Planet Key with a code printed on it. Brakedown's code is s5f3. Unlocking this at transformers.com gives you an image of concept art for the figure and the following text:

BRAKEDOWN is one of the oldest TRANSFORMERS on Velocitron. He has been around almost since the first Cybertronian settlers arrived on Speed Planet carrying the Cyber Planet Key. This veteran racer was the Transformer that trained Override for her races when she was first brought on line. It was BRAKEDOWN that made sure she became leader of Velocitron -- the Speed Planet! In fact, BRAKEDOWN has been training and racing with the fastest and brightest speed stars of Velocitron for close to a million years!

Vehicle Mode:
When comparing color schemes between Autolander and Brakedown, it is important to keep in mind each color scheme was designed for a different audience. Takara has no problem going for subtle colors and being subdued. Indeed, this was one of the things I really liked about Autolander. However, in the US toy color schemes tend to lean towards brighter, more eye catching colors. Despite his overall dark color scheme, this is what Hasbro did for the US release of this sculpt.

The dark brown color used on Autolander has been brightened a shade. It's still a dark brown, but when put next to Autolander it is noticably brighter. All the metallic brown paint decos have been changed to a brighter copper colored deco.

Color swapping is not all that has been changed in this form. The actual deco pattern of the copper paint is different as well. On Autolander, there are two angled stripes that run down the sides of the cockpit. However, on this version those stripes are much smaller and at a less severe angle. Also, the crosshatches and edges of the front section (the blade weapon) are painted copper whereas on Autolander they were left unpainted.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, you'll find yet another brightened color: the yellow. This color is present on his arms and chest. The shade of yellow used on Brakedown is brighter than the one on Autolander. Also, while no Autobot symbol was present on Autolander (keeping consistant with his appearance on the television show), here an Autobot symbol has been tampographed onto his mid-section.

Another significantly different detail are the lower legs. On Autolander, the legs are cast in brown plastic and only partly painted grey. Brakedown's legs are also cast in brown, but the entire side of the legs are painted grey.

The Brakedown figure I have has significantly tighter joints than my Autolander figure. Also, the Cyber Key action feature does not work very reliably on Brakedown. You attach the Cyber Key and you have to wiggle it a bit in the slot to activate the blade.

Final Thoughts:
I'm very fond of Brakedown's color scheme. While it is brighter than Autolander's it does still is quite subdued compared to other figures in the Cybertron line. However, the Cyber Key weapon gimmick's unreliability is a bit worrisome. Recommended, but with reservations.