Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 22, November 1986 / Issue 49, February 1989
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 63, May 31st 1986 / Issue 289, September 29th 1990
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 56 (Season 2 #40), November 25th 1985 / Episode 70 (Season 3 #5), September 19th 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1986
Click here to see Figure Details and review
AKA 'Car Crash'
Manufacturer - FansProject
Toyline - Causality
- Added an Decepticon symbol to the chest
- Added an Decepticon symbol to the bonnet
There are two reasons why Breakdown and Red Alert should really be buddies. First off, they both sported the same alt mode (Lamborghini Countach) and secondly, they are both incredibly paranoid. I guess this is inevitable if you spend your college years smoking robo-weed. I was always an admirer of the Countach Transformers and was eager to get my hands on a new version of Breakdown. TFCC have announced a figure for him, which is another re-use of the Sideswipe mould but I have 2 issues with the figure, firstly that it ain't out yet and you have to use their bats**t crazy subscription service, and secondly that Breakdown was a component of Menasor, and I have little interest in combiner figures which do not combine. Thankfully, FansProject have decided to bring us a modern-day Menasor, and this marks the first time that they have undertaken an entire combiner, rather than just augment an existing one. Breakdown is the first of these Stunticons to arrive, so the question is, have FansProject got off on the 'right foot'?
Appearance (Robot Mode) 9/10
I have to say that this figure is byoootiful. He is either a very tall scout class or small deluxe class figure, and is a head taller than Swindle and Blast Off. In fact, he seems to plug the gap nicely between scout and deluxe class, so he can quite happily be posed with either group. I feel that this is a shrewd move for FansProject to make, and should result in a combiner which scales well with Colossus, and is smaller than Maketoys Giant. Moving on from his size, he is just so aesthetically pleasing. The mould is nice and detailed and the few paint apps there are are very neat and enhance the look of the figure. I have to give praise to the lower legs, which are the nicest I have seen on any car robot ever. Breakdown has the overall aspect of a tough little punk. The headsculpt is one of the best I have seen FansProject produce, with defined features and excellent paintwork, but as usual it would be nice to see some light-piping.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 7/10
Unfortunately the vehicle mode has lost some of its panache from yesteryear. I was always expecting a new vehicle mode, but what has arrived is slightly underwhelming. It looks a bit sparse in all honestly, and is definitely not as strong as the robot mode. It looks like a more modern Lambo and they are just not as dramatic as the old Countach. I think I would have preferred slightly more dramatic lines than the quite safe shape we have ended up with. The few paint apps there are are nice enough, and the red on the bonnet nicely references the original robot. There is a strange gray hinge which protudes out of the back windscreen which is really jarring, I'm assuming it had to be grey? Also the flat black windscreen is slightly dull, although it does contrast nicely with the off-white paint and again is perfectly reminiscent of the original.
Hoo boy, This figure is surely a tale of 2 halves. The torso upwards is a joy to transform - you first elongate the waist by about a centimeter which allows you to disengage the panels and the lower arms are telescopic. The head is secreted in the chest cavity in what has become a rather classic reveal. The handgun is fromed by two seperate pieces of exhaust, which are normally attached to the rear of the car (natch). For me, the problems start when you attempt to transform those beautifully-constructed legs. You have to lift out a panel to expose the wheel, and then you fold the panel back in on itself. At the same time, there are inner panels which have to open to allow the upper legs to be freed. This can cause some annoying clearance issues, as you try to flex the plastic enough without damaging anything. Then there are the feet, which can absolutely cleave the adjoining panels unless they are transformed just so. Also, it can be damn hard to realign the 'shoulder' panels when changing back to car, unless you are absolutely certain you have collapsed the forearms as much as they can be.
This figure has a fantastic articulation, and impeccable balance. His neck is ball-jointed and his waist also allows a similar range of movement. His shoulders and hips are both ball-jointed. He has bicep and thigh swivel which are absolutely required for the more dynamic poses. His knee and elbow joints allow the limbs to be folded up to about 45 degrees. But it is his feet which are sublime - he basically has ball-joints in both, they are also quite long and flat, meaning that this guy can stand on one leg, no problem at all. It helps also that this is such a good looking robot. I would certainly award this figure a 10 if he had any wrist articulation. Still, this is one impressive poser.
If FansProject have an Achilles heel, then it is their propensity to have very scary transformation sequences and thin plastics, where you can wreck your figure. It is a shame because Breakdown is very solid and superbly engineered in most respects, but the plastic used for the body shell is very thin in places, and almost what I would describe as pliable. The bonnet and front wheel arches have a habit of gouging each other to pieces if you are not very careful indeed about doing things in the exact right order. This is a tale told too often about FansProject's figures and something they need to remedy.
Overall - 36/50
This could so easily be a great figure. I still like it very much, but feel that FansProject always sail close to the wind with their designs, there are too many instances of neighbouring panels causing harm to each other without taking the utmost of care. But overall as a first Stunticon I am very impressed, particularly with the robot mode which is just wonderful. This is a superb display piece which I will almost be sad to showcase as just a limb of a larger robot. Just make sure you treat it with kid gloves and you will be very pleased with your purchase.