The first wave of Combiners Wars figures arrived at local toy stores at the beginning of March. It included 4 of the 5 Aerialbots and 1 of the 5 Stunticons. I’m not sure why Hasbro decided to release them that way because it was kind of annoying trying to build a completed Combiner with one of the pieces missing. For 2 months now I’ve had a Superion displayed on my shelf with a yellow race car for an arm. Fortunately wave 2 was set to include the missing Aerialbot needed to finalize Superion as well as the other 4 Stunticons which would allow me to build Menasor. Wave 2 went up for pre-order on many retail toy sites at the same time as wave 1 so it seemed as though there wouldn’t be a long wait between the two waves. And yet, the two month wait seemed extra long; and the reason for that is my brother Doug.
Doug and I collected Transformers together when we were kids but he hasn’t bothered to keep up with the brand. I think he’s maybe bought one or two Transformers since the 80s. I on the other hand am as big a fan as ever. I’ve collected the comics religiously for the past 10 years and I have a amassed a pretty impressive Transformers toy collection. I have two bookshelves worth of modern-era Transformers, well over a hundred of them, plus a handful of vintage ones.
I’ve been singing the praises of the Classics/Generations series of Transformers ever since I bought my first one, Bumblebee, back in 2006. Just like the G.I. Joe 25th anniversary figures or the Masters of the Universe Classics line, Transformers Generations was updating classic toys from my childhood with a modern spin geared towards the adult collector market. Despite the accolades I heaped onto the Generations figures both vocally and on this blog Doug never felt the urge to dive back into collecting Transformers. But when I showed him my wave 1 Combiner Wars figures I finally broke him.
Doug owned the original 1980s Aerialbots and Stunticons when we were kids and he has a soft spot for them. The day after I showed him my wave 1 figures he went out and bought the entire wave for himself. And then, with seemingly no effort at all, he stumbled upon wave two like a week later.
I don’t normally hunt for toys, I don’t have a car so getting around to toy stores and malls isn’t always easy, I usually just look for new stuff when I happen to be out. But knowing that Doug had wave 2 and I didn’t drove me nuts. I began hunting feverishly for my own set but my efforts were fruitless again and again. I hate when he’s got cool shit that I want. We always were a little competitive in certain aspects of our lives.
Well my hunt ended on Monday night. Vanessa was out on a Walmart run to return some shoes and she called to ask the names of the Transformers I had been looking for. Vanessa is supportive of my hobby but she is in no way a toy-girl. She can tell Snake Eyes from Storm Shadow about as well as my mom can. So the fact that she would rifle through pegs and pegs of Transformers with her phone to her ear while I rhymed off names like Dead End and Air Raid should tell you how special she is. But as much as I appreciated the gesture I expected it to be a lost cause. To my surprise they had them all. Vanessa drove over to my place afterwards to drop off my four new figures, including Breakdown.
Breakdown was my favorite Stunticon back in the day. Red and Black cars had been done to death so Breakdown’s white and blue color palette was a refreshing change. I also liked his bright red face. The original 1986 figure was nothing to call home about though. It was blocky, clunky, and stiff. It only had about 5 moving parts so the transformation was overly simple and articulation was practically non-existant.
I don’t recall the character being very well developed in the cartoons or comics but his packaging describes him as being very paranoid which might have been a fun angle to explore. I’m hoping to see Breakdown and the other combiners fleshed out further in IDW’s Combiner Wars tie-in comic which they’re currently publishing.
This updated version of Breakdown is pretty awesome. It features a brand new mold which harkens back to the original but surpasses it in every way. No longer is Breakdown blocky, clunky, or stiff. This figure is bigger, more detailed and far more articulated. I like that his head is actually big enough this time around so that he can have a little personality in his face.
His car mode looks almost exactly like the original. Apparently its a Lamborghini.
For accessories Breakdown comes with a purple hand/foot/cannon and a long rifle with a bladed edge. It can be held as if it were a gun or a sword. It’s actually pretty sweet.
It’s a real shame that this figure is so good because he’s going to end up displayed simply as a limb and breakdown deserves to be seen. 9 out of 10.