Vault Review: Transformers
Prime Breakdown (AM-12)

Originally my plan was to write a review about the new TMNT figures I picked up at Toys R Us last week, but SDCC changed everything.  With the disappointing follow up news to the Hasbro panel, I figured a review on Takara’s Transformers Prime Breakdown figure was appropriate.

For those of you who haven’t heard, held a post-panel interview with Aaron Archer, the Vice President of Design at Hasbro.  The Takara version of the character Breakdown was just now hitting stores in Japan, and they wanted to know how long it would be till he made his way into the US line.  His reply was that the Takara mold wasn’t “made to the same standards”, and that the figure is in a “no-man’s land” cost-wise.

As luck would have it, I had preordered my Takara Breakdown weeks ago and he arrived just a couple days before SDCC began.  So I figured this would be the perfect time to review him, and hopefully help the fans to decide whether he’s worth importing on their own or even petitioning Hasbro to bring him over.

Breakdown certainly isn’t the smartest Decepticon, but he’s definitely a hulking powerhouse.  So it’s perfect that he should be a Voyager class figure, like Bulkhead.  In fact, he’s a little bit bigger than Bulkhead in both height and width.  And his wide square shaped body and giant shoulder pads bring to mind images of a robotic football player.  My only real issue is that he looks a bit hollow in some areas from behind.

I’m one of those collectors that normally focus on the robot mode of a Transformer.  But one of the many reasons I love the TF Prime line are the sleek looking car and jet alt modes.  Breakdown’s vehicle mode breaks from this look and is anything but sleek.  He’s a massive armored truck that dwarfs most of the tiny car alt modes.  And again, when compared to Bulkhead’s SUV form, Breakdown still comes across bigger and more dangerous looking.

When it comes to transforming between his two modes, Breakdown is definitely a bit more complex than most of the other Prime figures.  Not really difficult, but a bit convoluted in a couple areas.  I had to read his instructions a couple times, and normally prime figures are a bit more intuitive.

The Takara figures rely more on stickers than paint apps.  So it really surprised me to see how many bits of Breakdown were actually painted.  Most of his body is molded in light gray and dark blue, but his head has four different colors painted on.  Not to mention the silver and dark gray colors that adorn his grill, bumper, and side view mirrors.  It may sound silly, but the most impressive area for me was the dark gray paint on his feet.  This is almost always a sticker area on the Takara figures, and it was great not having to deal with that.  Continue to page 2…

8 thoughts on “Vault Review: Transformers
Prime Breakdown (AM-12)

  1. I have the “Cyrus” version pre-ordered myself. Mainly because of the mantis Micron he comes with, but also because if Hasbro won’t release the mold here, I’ll import.

  2. When the news came down out of SDCC, I bit the bullet and ordered him, knowing full well I’ll regret it when Hasbro finds a way to release him, as a store exclusive or otherwise. Better safe than sorry.

  3. You did a slight mistransformation in the pictures. The bumber is able to fold into his chest to make him a bit more streamlined. Just pop the chest up like you are going to form the front of the vehicle mode, and then the bumper will fold in and fit into the space made for it.

  4. Sucks that Hasbro isn’t releasing their own Breakdown, but I can see where they’re coming from. Like you pointed out, he has a lot of Micron ports, so they’d have to remold all those sections to remove them. He also has no translucent plastic, so the light-up weapon gimmick of the Voyagers would be lost (again, more remolding required). Thirdly, I heard someone say that he would be weird to price–too complex for a Voyager, to small for a Leader or something.

    I think Hasbro will eventually release their own Breakdown; that may have been a bit of misdirection on their part–“We won’t be importing THIS version, but we’re making our own.”

  5. Bloody nifty toy, great review!

    It’s either too expensive or too sold out wherever I’ve looked so far. I’ll just sit and twiddle my thumbs and hope Hasbro releases one eventually.

  6. I guess I missed the news that Hasbro wouldn’t be releasing Breakdown. I didn’t think even Hasbro could be that dense. Then again, this is the company that wasted all that money creating new tooling for new figures of character when the (almost universally) superior First Edition molds were going underutilized.

    I like Breakdown, and I definitely want to get one for the Bulkhead rivalry factor (not to mention I’ll always have Adam Baldwin’s voice in my head whenever I fiddle around with him), but I can’t really afford to import one right now. I have this horrible feeling that if I import him, Hasbro will announce a domestic release the next day, and if I don’t import, Hasbro won’t release a Breakdown at all, or they’ll release an undersized Deluxe class version.

    1. First Edition Starscream, aka the best Transformers Prime toy so far (though the second Vehicon, Ratchet, Soundwave, and Breakdown are pretty close runners).

      As to Breakdown, I don’t like the character enough to buy him, but I still appreciate how awesome that toy is. Shame his hammer doesn’t look so great, nor is it possible to emulate that hammer-instead-of-a-hand screen look. They could at least mold it in grey or blue…

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