"Generations" Combiner Wars G2

in 2016, Action Figure Review, Combiner Wars, Decepticon, Deluxe, Generation Two, Generations, Stunticon

Generations

Breakdown General Information:
Release Date: March 2016
Price Point: $99.99 (in a boxed set with Blackjack, Brake-Neck, Dead End, Dragstrip and Motormaster)
Retailer: Limited Release (Toys R Us, Target, Amazon, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: Hand/Foot/Weapon, Sword/Blaster

Official images and text below in italics are from HasbroToyShop:
Menasor is driven by one thing and one thing only: a desire to obliterate the enemy. He attacks Decepticons – on the ground or in the air – with all-out force.

Convert, attack and destroy with this incredible 7-in-1 Menasor Collection Pack! There’s a whole force of Decepticons in this pack and they’re spoiling for a fight with their Autobot enemies. Whether these sneaky Decepticons are in robot mode or vehicle mode, they’ll attack with everything they’ve got! And when that’s not enough, they’ll combine to form a massive, unstoppable Menasor figure! Maybe the Autobots could defeat Motormaster, Decepticon Dragstrip, or Dead End alone. Maybe Breakdown, Brake-Neck and Blackjack won’t be enough to stop the Autobot advance. But when they combine, Autobots beware! Dominate the Transformers battle with your Menasor Collection Pack!

Includes 6 figures, poster, collector card, poster, accessories, and instructions.

Back in the 90's Hasbro made an attempt to revive the then-failing "Transformers" toy line be re branding it as "Transformers Generation 2". This line took old sculpts and new sculpts and mashed them up into one line of figures. However, "Generation 2" only lasted a few years before Transformers took a sharp left turn and was reimagined as "Beast Wars". Along the way several figures that were solicited were never released. However in some cases the figures did make it to the production sample stage, and that's where the "Generation 2" Stunticons come in. At Botcon 1994 attendees received a carded Breakdown figure from "Generation 2", part of a set that would never see mass release. To illustrate how excited fans have been for this set, a 2015 ebay auction featured a complete set of these Stunticons out of package and wound up earning over $26,000!

For those not looking to spend the price of a car to buy a set of Stunticons, it was announced last summer that the "Combiner Wars" Stunticons would be relased in G2 colors! Retailing around $99.99 this set was most readily available at online retailers such as BWTF sponsor Bigbadtoystore and other stores such as Target and Toys R Us. Some stores such as Toys R Us in Canada had these at physical retail locations as well.

While this set did come in one big boxed set I've decided to divide up my reviews of this set into digestible chunks by team member. I think this is a bit more organized and also keeps you from having to scroll forever through one gigantic review.

Breakdown has a unique place in G2 history because he was the only member of this unreleased team who actually made it into the hands of the public outside of special ebay auctions. As mentioned above G2 Breakdown was given out at Botcon 1994 as part of admission and in later years more samples of this figure made their way into collector hands when the Hartman brothers sold off a case. This figure has been acknowledged most recently as a "Timelines" exclusive redeco and retool of the "Universe 2.0" Sideswipe figure. At long last fans finally have a proper Combiner-based release of this figure!

This base sculpt was previously released as the G1 themed Breakdown. That figure was then retooled and given a new deco as Sunstreaker. More recently the figure was given a more extensive retool and a new deco as Wheeljack. Check out those reviews for a well rounded look at the figure. This review will focus on the changes made to theb figure for this release.

Packaging:
The "Menasor Collectors Pack" is a really impressive looking set. The box is large and rectangular, intended to be displayed horizontally. The front uses the black background seen on most "Generations" packaging with the red "Transformers" logo set vertically on the right. The middle section has new artwork featuring Menasor in his G2 colors. This is not the same art used for the first "Combiner Wars" release of this character, it is new art. Overlaid on top of that are small thumbnail images of all six Stunticons and the words "Combiner Wars Menasor" below that. The back of the packaging features a large photos of Menasor fully combined with a brief write up on the character.

Open up the box and you slide out a huge, clear plastic tray with all the Stunticons in vehicle mode. The accessories are all placed near the member they belong to. Also included in the package is a cardboard envelope with the instructions and a print inside. Unlike Superion, the print included for this set does feature the G2 based artwork. I love the presentation of the figures on a big tray and the idea of including a print is really cool.

Accessories:
Breakdown comes with the same two accessories as the first "Combiner Wars" release of this figure. The larger weapon is a hand/foot/weapon piece that has two huge rectangular ports in the front and an engine like design on top. This piece is cast in teal color. Interestingly enough, the front section of this accessory is painted a slightly lighter shade of blue, but the thumb and palm sections are left unpainted. I'm not quite sure why this was done, though it might have something to do with the parts on the back of this accessory having to move a lot more during transformation. More movement equals more potential for paint to scrape.

The other accessory is a combination blaster and sword. This accessory has two 5mm pegs, allowing the figure to hold it upright as a sword or like a blaster. This weapon is painted dark red with silver on the edge of the blade. These are interesting color choices as they do not match the weapons included with G2 Breakdown at all. That said, it looks great and the colors really contrast beautifully against the teal color that makes up so much of Breakdown's body, especially in vehicle mode.

Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode Breakdown is mostly composed of a light shade of teal blue. Under the right light you'll find that this teal is actually metallic, which really shines nicely. The wheels are cast in black plastic. The teal is a very 90's color and not one you are likely to see on too many figures nowadays. In a sense that dates this figure, but that is actually part of its charm!

The paint colors on Breakdown really help make the figure look even more retro. His windows are all painted gold with a black outline. The term "94 Racing" is printed along the top edge of his windshield in black, a reference to the year the original toy was meant to be released. The front section features silver on the headlights. You'll also find silver on the front end and the sides of the wheels. As if these colors weren't enough to distinguish this figure from his fellow Stunticons, the bottom edge of the vehicle is painted metallic purple from the rear wheel wells all the way to the front section of the car. Interestingly this purple color replaces a much lighter lavender color that was used on G2 Breakdown. For the finishing touch, the hood has black on it with a section towards the front left unpainted, forming the pattern of the G2 Decepticon symbol. Overall this is a wonderfully odd color scheme yet it works at the same time.

As faithful as this figure is to its source material, it isn't a 1 to 1 match. G2 Breakdown had his name on the sides of the vehicle (so much for "More than Meets the Eye") He also had a colorful "liquid" pattern on the top of the cabin section, which was not printed on this toy. I'm guessing part of the reason may have been cost, but also part of it was likely the wacky detailing being a bit too much for creators to fully embrace. This is also the place where his weapon can attach in vehicle mode, so I'm guessing they wanted to avoid people scraping that graphic.

Both weapons still attach nice and tight to the vehicle. The hand/foot/weapon place sits nicely on the top of the vehicle. A tab on the thumb section fits into a slot in the back of the vehicle. The sword/blaster weapon slides right into grooves on the sides. Since the sword/blaster has paint on it, it actually holds a tad more tightly than the first version of Breakdown.

Transformation to Robot Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the windshield piece up.
  3. Swing the front of the vehicle back.
  4. Swing each half of the vehicle's rear section out, then down and finally back in.
  5. Swing each half of the spoiler forward.
  6. Swing each foot piece down.
  7. Swing the panel with the robot head on it forward, this is attached to the hood piece.
  8. Swing the robot arms up, then swing out the forearms.
  9. Attach the weapons to the hands.

Robot Mode:
The configuration of the original Breakdown figure and this modern day version are very different in robot mode. As a consequence the designers could not really apply a one to one deco scheme homage. Instead, this figure takes several deco elements from the original G2 figure and uses them as inspiration for this deco.

The teal color from the vehicle mode is still the main color on this figure, but now metallic purple plastic is thrown into the mix. You'll find it on the shoulder joints, elbows, head, hip area and feet. These metallic purple parts are a couple shades darker than the metallic purple paint used on the figure, but from a foot or more away the difference is not really that obvious unless you stare for a bit.

Speaking of metallic purple paint, what we saw in vehicle mode was just a hint of the purple in this form. This mode shows off the color on the chest, forearms and lower legs - all places where the original G2 Breakdown had lavender coloring. Silver paint is used on the sections of the torso that aren't painted purple. You'll also find some on his feet. His face is painted blue with red eyes contrasting strongly against it. The finishing touch is a small, blue G2 Decepticon symbol on the left side of the chest.

Overall this is a fantastic homage to the G2 Breakdown. It doesn't follow the original's patterns exactly, but it does enough that long time fans will instantly know the inspiration for the deco.

Both weapons attach nice and tight to his fists. The hand/foot/weapon piece can attach to his back in this form, simulating the look of the character Sunstreaker (check out his review to see why). It also makes for handy weapon storage.

Transformation to Arm Mode (Starting in robot mode):

  1. Detach the weapons and set them aside for now.
  2. Swing the robot arms up to the sides, then push them down at the shoulder hinges.
  3. Swing the forearms up against the upper arms.
  4. Swing the panel with the head on it back into the front section of the car mode.
  5. Swing the spoiler halves and Breakdown's feet up.
  6. Push the two lower legs together.
  7. Swing the Combiner connector piece in the middle of the torso up.
  8. Rotate the lower body around depending on which arm you want Breakdown to be.
  9. Take the hand/foot/weapon piece and swing the palm section in and swing the thumb piece up.
  10. Attach the fist to the port on the forearm.

Arm Mode:
This mode largely shows off the teal and purple colors. Thanks to that he actually color coordinates very nicely with Motormaster (who is largely purple). On my copy of this figure the joints are all nice and tight so the hip joints are strong enough to support a Legends Class weapon in the hand.

Transformation to Leg mode (Starting in vehicle mode):

  1. Detach all the accessories.
  2. Make sure the foot piece has the fingers tucked in and the thumb forming the heel in the back.
  3. Swing the windshield/windows piece back.
  4. Swing the front of the vehicle up and back.
  5. Swing the leg connection piece up.
  6. Attach the foot piece to the back of the car.

Leg Mode:
The same comments about the leg mode's colors go for the leg mode as well. Breakdown is rather wide, so he actually makes a better looking leg than arm in my opinion. In terms of stability I had no issues with this mode.

Final Thoughts:
Breakdown's robot mode hip joints are still weird, but his colors pay homage to the original G2 Breakdown very well. He's missing a couple of the wackier details, but I understand the designers were skirting the line between garish and modern and I think they struck that balance very well. Add to that the historical significance of this character and this is a great addition to this set.