Transformers Generations Combiner Wars Deluxe Shared Online Exclusive
Item No.: No. B4554 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Comic book, lead pipe, hand/foot/gun thing Action Feature:Transforms from Robot to Car to Arm to Leg Retail:$16.99 Availability: May 22, 2015 Other: Redeco of Dead End with New Head
I kept spelling this character's name as "Break-Neck" rather than Brake-Neck until a friend pointed out that I was doing it wrong. I said "I guess that makes more sense." He said "No it doesn't!" He's right. But this figure makes sense, mostly because we were clamoring for it as a community - while it isn't an all-new mold, it is the required-by-law G1 update of a combiner limb that, when serving as part of Menasor, performs the same function as Offroad in pretty much the exact same colors. For those that want IDW accuracy, you can have that. For those wanting G1 accuracy, go buy the vintage toy - or I guess this is a good substitute. Brake-Neck is a decent Wildrider substitute, and a fun toy in and of himself, but a limb's a limb. (Having said that, go buy this one.)
The 5 1/4-inch tall robot mode has about 18 points of articulation, bringing you pretty much everything you could want in a substitute for Offroad. Instead of a striking green face, the robot goes with a new head with a red one as well as red and purple highlights. The torso looks something like a face, and you get your Decepticon sigil front and center. Paint applications are very similar to Dead End, but you'll notice some key differences in the chest and... well, mostly the chest and shoulders. They're pretty similar otherwise, Brake-Neck has the edge in terms of visible paint and a gaping maw belly button. It's a charming figure who probably has more personality than intended thanks to the deft use of paint.
The figure holds together as well as his mold sibling, with feet sculpted in the back chunk of the car plus very stiff fold-out wrists that sort of (but not really) add to the articulation. Things swivel and bend nicely, giving us a range of motion beyond what we had 20 years ago but not by a bunch - Kenner and Hasbro pretty much got it right back during Beast Wars, and we're improving on that gradually still to this day. The detailing is pretty good with some nifty metallic panels and rivets, but by and large it's a good update of the boxy designs of old. It's what you generally would want. I don't suspect you will be disappointed by it.
Transformation is identical to Dead-End and similar to the many other cars - with some twists. The exhaust pipe of sorts in the right leg folds up and down to allow you to plug in the wrist during super robot mode, and the hood of the car is somewhat complicated in its getting a few panels just right. It's satisfying when it works, but it - along with the Brakedown mold - isn't particularly "simple" like Dragstrip or the Aerialbots. You probably won't need instructions to figure out the vaguely tricky bits, and I like the clever element of the "shins" opening up to fold back and engulf the thighs. It works well.
As a car, Brake-Neck works as a great combination of Offroad's colors on Dead End's chassis. No obvious mold changes were made for this car, but you do get niceties like painted wheels, headlights, and that silver hood for some reason. The red stripe of Offroad's, er, "bolts" is now an enormous red stripe which blends in with some unpaintable red plastic that is a bit of an eyesore in this mode, but it's not a problem from where I sit. The exhaust pipe weapon plugs in to the side of the car - it's the same one Dead End got - and the Decepticon symbol pops nicely as do the red windows. For a same-mold figure, it's a good one.
Thanks to the versatility of the designs in this line, molds like this can be used for a pretty good leg or arm. Or other characters - it's widely expected that this car will be reshelled, repainted, and reheaded a few times to multiple characters. By and large it works well so this shouldn't be a problem - the leg is basically a car with some of the front hacked off, and the arm is a car contorted into an arm shape. Sure, some car bits hang off the side as an arm, but that's the charm! You could say it puts the arm into charm, but that just comes off as smarmy. Instead, let me just say that the robot mode's waist, hip, and knee joints pay off huge dividends when it comes time to give Menasor extra arm articulation. As a leg, you'd get the same amount of added articulation from a brick. That's no fault of this mold, just how the Combiner Wars designs pay off.
I was very happy with Offroad, as a new character and a non-car vehicle gave me some variety (and color) in this line that I really dug. I see nothing wrong with using this figure either - having options is nice, particularly as we have more torso parts than we do sets of limbs for this line. I think Hasbro did a decent job here, and while the Takara version of this mold will no doubt look nicer, this one is cheaper and more local, so I advocate getting the one that comes with a full-size comic book for less money. If it didn't completely sell out at a price you're willing to pay, I'd say it's worth it. After all, if this were a BotCon toy or a Club Subscription toy remold, you'd probably buy it. I'm just glad it's nice and cheap, and I hope Hasbro is a) reading and b) does more of these. I could use a lot more in the way of limbs here.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.