Transformers Movie (2007) Toy Review: Breakaway

in 2008, Action Figure Review, Autobot, Generation One, Movie (2007), Wal-Mart Exclusive

Transformers Live Action Movie

General Information:
Release Date: September 2008
Price Point: $7.96
Retailer: Wal-Mart Exclusive
Accessories: Missile launcher, Missile x 1, Cyber Key

Images:

*Images from Transformers.com.

Text from Transformers.com:
Escape-artist extraordinaire BREAKAWAY has never been held in captivity for more than a few hours. Even then, most of the times he's been captured have only been because he let it happen, so he could get inside a DECEPTICON base and blow it up. Every one of his joints is double, and secret compartments cover his body, hiding dozens of tools for use in escaping from any cell. He's as slippery as a Neutronian grease eel, and clever as a turbofox. DECEPTICON bounty hunters across the galaxy have an almost supernatural regard for his skill.

BREAKAWAY is based on the G1 Powermaster AUTOBOT escape artist Getaway. The name Getaway was unavailable, so the similar sounding Breakaway (which was already registered by Hasbro) was used instead.

There are many characters in the pantheon of Transformers lore that get updated quite frequently. In recent years, we have seen many versions of certain characters emerge such as Optimus Prime and Ultra Magnus, sometimes as redecos. However, every now and then Hasbro plucks a character from relative obscurity and makes them into a modern day toy, and that's what happened here. The character Getaway was one of the first Powermaster Autobots released in 1988, and while he featured prominantly in the "Masterforce" television show in his Japanese persona "Lightfoot", his coverage outside of Japan was limited to an animated appearance in a toy commercial and several comic book appearances in the US and the UK.

Getaway also would appear later (very briefly) in Dreamwave and IDW's continuity of comic books, but in the toy world he's been largely neglected until now. As described above, "Breakaway" is a modern day interpretation of the character set in the Movie universe, though he was originally intended to be part of the 2008 "Universe 2.0" line. The figure is a redeco of Galaxy Force Exillion aka Cybertron Hot Shot. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Vehicle Mode:
Getaway was a relatively sleek car with a nice, large spoiler on the back. He was also fairly wide in vehicle form, so on a very superficial level, Exillion's sculpt was perfect to use for a redeco. The sculpt is also rather wide, and while it does not have a spoiler in the traditional sense (without activating his Cyber Key feature anyhow), he does have a raised section in the back that wraps around a bit, giving the appearance of an accessory in the back akin to Getaway's spoiler.

Breakaway takes his colors directly from Getaway, with the base plastic colors of white, translucent pink (almost a light red), blue and black. The white makes up most of the figure, as it did with Getaway. Translucent pink is used on parts such as the windows, weapon and headlights. Black is used on smaller parts such as the wheels. The translucent pink is a nice way to correlate with the red windows on Getaway, and the black plastic is almost a given nowadays for wheels. While not totally obvious, a bit of blue plastic is used on the bottom of the raised section in the back. Blue paint provides many of the details including lines that run from the front of the vehicle all the way to the back. The blue color is also used on the edges of the top half of the vehicle's rear section, an analogous detail to Getaway's spoiler which was also blue. Some white paint is used as well, specifically for the translucent bits that need to match up to the white plastic on the car. These are most noticable on the windshield/windows area and the doors on the side. Sometimes the "paint the translucent plastic to match it up" bit doesn't work, but in this case it works out very well and looks fantastic. I was very pleasantly surprised. Finally, a bit of silver paint is found on the sides of the wheels and a tiny Autobot symbol is stamped onto the hood of the car in the same place Cybertron Hot Shot had it.

Breakaway includes three accessories. His Cyber Key is not the Speed Planet Key but instead the Key used for the "Cybertron Defense" characters such as Cybertron Defense Hot Shot. The key is mostly unpainted, with only the Autobot symbol in the middle painted silver. Interestingly the Cyber Key is cast in a strong red translucent plastic, which is different than the lighter, almost pink translucent plastic used on the figure and its weapon. The missile launcher is mostly cast in translucent pink with a solid blue plastic trigger and a black edge on the launcher.

The Cyber Key feature activates just fine, and in fact it moves slightly easier than my Cybertron Hot Shot. The wings that swing out into spoilers on the back are cast in the same translucent pink as the weapon and windows. The missile still fires a good distance (it covered at least a foot in my test). In a bit of fun design coincidence, Getaway could mount his gun on top of his vehicle, much in the same way that Breakaway does, providing another nice parallel between the two toys.

Breakaway's colors work well in giving the figure a different identity than its previous incarnations and the homage looks appropriate both in the colors and the sculpt. I would have preferred the windows/weapon be cast in the same translucent red as the Cyber Key, but other than that I really like the way the vehicle mode looks.

Robot Mode:
Breakaway's transformation scheme involves a lot of part reveals that you can't see in vehicle mode, partly from parts that swing out of others and partly from parts that extend such as his legs. This often introduces a ton of new detail that "breaks up" the often unified colors of a vehicle mode. In this case, Breakaway's white color is broken up by several blue parts found on the arms and his upper legs. Black plastic also appears much more in this form showing up on his head, lower arms, waist and feet. This provides a diverse set of colors that work well together and give the figure a very distinct appearance, something you want in any figure, not just redecos.

Galaxy Force Exillion / Cybertron Hot Shot was designed as a homage to G1 Hot Rod, and thus many of the details found on that G1 figure were carried over into this figure's design including the "collar" near the head, the trapezoid shapes on his legs and even the sleek, headlight-like details on his torso. With such distinct sculpting, it was important for the designers to find a way to deco this character to a) make him look different and b) pay homage to Getaway. Much to their credit, they managed to do both.

The sculpt has a lot of designs other than the G1 Hot Rod homages, allowing the designers to pick and choose what elements to color and bring out. For instance, there are tech details on his right shoulder and an Autobot symbol on the left. These are painted red (with the Autobot symbol in silver). On top of the white, this gives a distinct appearance different than Cybertron Hot Rod. The head deco uses red for the "visor" on the forehead, connecting its color to Getaway's. The face is painted yellow, just like Getaway's and his eyes are blue, paying homage to the "Autobots have blue eyes, Decepticons have red" G1 cartoon character color schemes.

The red used on the shoulders and visor show up on his chest and legs. What's interesting is that their placement is roughly analgous to where you'll find red on Getaway. On his torso the red appears towards the bottom where the car windshield winds up. On his legs he is painted red where the rear windows are. On Breakaway, the placement is similar, with the horizontal, pointed detail on his chest and the vertical trapezoids on his legs painted red. A few more bits of yellow add some color on the center of his chest and on the waist piece.

I have to admit I was actually surprised just how much deco was put onto the robot mode. I expected maybe one or two apps here and there, but not so many and done in such a thoughtful way. I'm quite impressed.

Structurally almost everything is sound. The joints are tight, the plastic quality is good and he's just as posable as his predecessors. There is only one slight problem, and I emphasize the word slight. When you deploy the car's spoilers, they are meant to act as wing like protrusions on the back, akin to Hot Rod's in G1. On my particular figure, the one on the right side droops a tiny bit down so it's not 100% in line with the one on the left. It's noticable from about a foot away, but you have to sort of stare at it to see it. I'm not sure if this is just mine or a line wide issue, but I haven't heard anyone else bring it up.

Final Thoughts:
I've always been a fan of this sculpt, and I love the imagination that went into making this an updated version of Getaway. It appeals to my desire to see well detailed sculpts and good homage fodder get used properly. However, I do recognize that by now many fans could easily own this figure twice over, so whether or not you should get this largely depends on your tolerance for redecos. Given that caveat, in my book this one is recommended with only some consideration knocked off due to the uneven spoiler wings.