Cliffbee.com: ROTF Breakaway Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Breakaway
Series: Movie Tie-ins
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: F-35 Fighter Jet

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me Breakaway for this review



JET MODE
Height: 5.5cm Length: 18cm Width: 12.5cm

   A tan fighter with a colourless canopy and a complex angular camouflage consisting of olive green, kiwi green & silver. Breakaway has a glossy brown paint on his air intakes and a silver Autobot logo on the starboard intake. His single thruster is painted silver, along with the very visible robot head inside his clear cockpit. It's a rather unlikely colour scheme, largely because of the unrealistic colours of his 100% symmetrical camouflage. I can't say the colours work well visually, either - the kiwi green is a little gaudy and the silver kinda clashes with the tan.

   There are a few visual elements which work against the realism here. The most obvious is of course the robot head sitting in the cockpit, one of Beast Machine's weaker aspects carried over into a line which strives for realism. The other is a wheel in the centre of the fuselage which looks like it's part of an action feature, but does nothing but further erode the realism here. The sculpt itself is good, mind you, with extensive seams and rivets. It's not enough for the sort of realism typical of this line, but it leaves the door open for a much-improved retool.

   There's not much play value here. While I can live with a lack of gimmicks & projectiles here, there's no way to hide his head, which is a shame. The front wheel folds & stows, and unusually for a Transformer jet this size, all three wheels roll.

   What should have been a good jet mode is hampered by some questionable colour choices and a visible head that ruins the realism completely. There's not much play value to compensate, sadly. It's not an awful jet mode, but it's well below the standard we'd expect of a movie line toy.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   There's a lot of panel shifting in the right order, so I'll summarise. The legs fold out from underneath the plane while the central fuselage swings out to form his arms. The cockpit sort of becomes a helmet for his head while the wings and tailfins end up over his head, leading to a robot wearing a fighter jet as his hat.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14.5cm Width: 12.5cm

   A tan and metallic light blue robot with some lime green in his elbows, brown stripes on either side of his blue head with a white mouth and midnight blue eyes. The silver Autobot logo is now on the right of his head. The feet and waist are blue while there's some green on his ankles. The colours look better here since there's no camouflage here. The colours are unusual but not a negative anymore. I can't say they work for me, since the green just throws things off a little.

   While the colours are no longer an issue, Breakaway has a very distinctive physical layout here which isn't necessarily a good thing. The wings sit above and behind his shoulders, the nosecone sticks out on his chest while the head is nestled within the canopy, looking up at the sky. While the canopy opens, his head is fixed. It's like a plane has crashed landed on top of Breakaway. It's creative & more or mess fits into the whole other-worldly theme of the films, but it's also something of a mess.

   The play value is disappointing. That wheel on the fuselage now sits on the outside of his right forearm, and turning it will cause a gatling gun outside his hand to turn. It works well, although there's no gearing involved (it's a single piece that turns as one). His hands are open, and his wrists hinge inwards. Breakaway's waist and head are jointed, but both joints are then held on place, by his back and the helmet. The shoulders & hips are ball jointed while his elbows are hinged with rotators. His knees, feet and heelspurs are hinged, but the feet only fold up and take the heelspurs with them, so the range of leg poses isn't as broad as I'd expect given that the legs sit under the jet mode.

   A creative but ultimately disappointing robot mode. Sure, they've tried something new & different, but the head is needlessly stuck looking up and the leg movement is poor. The weapon is nice if simple and the colours work, but Breakaway is captive to poor engineering.

VARIATIONS

   There's a well known less common variant using a much darker shade of mid-brown instead of tan. There's also a red repaint, Thrust (thanks to Mr Blades for this info).

OVERALL

   Breakaway provides a different take on the fighter jet compared to most Transformers, with the canopy forming a helmet rather than his chest, but while this has potential, there's a lot wrong with this toy. The colours in vehicle mode don't work well - the camouflage pattern just doesn't work. The robot mode is quite innovative but the engineering is lacking - his legs are very static & the head and waist can't move despite joints that aren't part of the transformation. I'd be interested if a retool, but there's a lot of work needed to make this concept work - 4/10

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