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TRANSFORMERS TOYS AND MERCHANDISE SECTION

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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Warcry's Review: Breacher

Name: Breacher
Allegiance: Autobot

Teamed up with his friend Sea Spray, Breacher comes crashing out of the surf to deliver a nasty shock to Crankstart. The Decepticon was foolish enough to think he could hide on a remote strand on the east African shore, but Breacher is just as comfortable at sea as he is on land.

A Scout-class figure, Breacher is one of the many characters in the 2010 Transformers line who are designed to fit in equally well alongside Movie- or Classics-styled figures. Breacher stands out from the crowd of jets, cars and tanks that we've gotten lately, though, by transforming into a small, wheeled armoured personnel carrier with a double-barrelled turret gun. He's actually much like a miniaturized Universe Onslaught, looking a lot like him in both modes despite having a somewhat different transformation. Considering how much I liked Onslaught this is a very good thing in my books.

From what I've learned online Breacher isn't hard to find, although he's been hyped a bit by the fandom and tends to disappear before the rest of his wave. Oddly enough he was very hard to find here, even though his casemates Insecticon and Oil Pan were everywhere until the Christmas season visited utter desolation upon the Scout- and Deluxe-class pegs. I'd seen him a grand total of once before then and didn't have the money to buy him, and with all the Christmas stock gone I'd pretty much given up hope of ever seeing him again. But on a detour into the toy department of a Sears halfway across town that my wife and I had gone to for entirely different reasons I managed to spot one...for $12. Ouch. Paying nearly Deluxe-class prices for a Scout burned a little, but I really wanted the guy. I'm now expecting to see pegs full of him for $8 the next time I go to Walmart...

After shelling out that much over the odds, Breacher has a long way to go to convince me that he was worth it.


Robot Mode:

Like all modern Scouts, Breacher comes packed in robot mode. Looking at him in package it's easy to see why he's been so hard to find, because he looks awesome. He's blocky and angular, with lots of alt-mode details - armour plates and wheels - that blend seamlessly into his robot mode. His chest and lower legs are made up of dark blue APC parts, and he's got small 'shields' on either of his arms that become the side panels of the APC when he transforms. His head is the same blue as the alt-mode bits, with a white face, green eyes and a splash of red paint on his forehead. His upper arms and crotch are white while his forearms and thighs are black, with white and red painted details. And if that's not enough he has paint apps in red, white and two different shades of silver on his alt-mode parts including Autobrands, windows, headlights and taillights. The blue they chose is dark and flat, contrasting very nicely with the other colours and making Breacher stand out even amongst other blue Autobots.

Like many recent Transformers, Breacher is covered in 3mm rails compatible with the new clip-on weapons. His own double-barrelled cannon attaches via a clip, and he's got room enough to carry six other weapons at the same time. He features one clip on each fist, one on each of his forearm shields, two on the flap of armour that covers his backside and one on his alt-mode turret (on his back in robot mode). In the package he's got the gun attached to his fist-clips, and it probably looks the best there. I don't like to use the fist-clips though, because they look so good on their own with molded detail that makes them look like a built-in pair of spring-loaded brass knuckles. And honestly, Breacher looks more like the kind of guy who'd try to beat his enemies to death than someone who would shoot them, anyway. Unfortunately, none of the other clips are well-positioned to be used in robot mode - the ones on his forearms are cockeyed enough that his gun points off at a weird angle no matter how you attach it, and the others are behind him and nothing attached to them can aim convincingly in robot mode. Because of that, I usually leave the gun attached to his turret in robot mode and forget about it.

Breacher has the level of articulation I've come to expect from the last few waves of Scouts. His shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck, hips and ankles are all ball-jointed, while his knees and waist are on swivel joints. His legs can't swivel on a horizontal axis at the knees like most new Transformers, though, and his forearm kibble tends to get in the way a bit. He's not quite as poseable as Hubcap or Terradive, but he's passable.

The main problem I have with this toy is a QC issue: loose joints. The armour plates on his legs that fold up for robot mode tend to unfold themselves if he's tipped even slightly backwards, and the clip points on his hands (especially the right one) are just a little bit too small for his gun to clip onto securely. A bigger problem is that his torso unfolds quite a bit when you transform him from robot to APC, and one of the joints involved isn't tight enough to hold him together. This many pieces not fitting together properly on one toy is a major problem in my books, and unfortunately it's a problem I've seen on a lot of the Transformers I've bought in the last year. It's not enough to ruin the toy for me, but it's a disappointment.


Alternate Mode:

Breacher's alt-mode is a six-wheeled armoured personnel carrier with a double-barrelled cannon on top. He looks like Universe Onslaught's little brother in this mode, but compared to the much larger and vastly more detailed Onslaught, Breacher looks like a featureless blue box on wheels. With his smaller size, naturally he lacks most of the play features the larger toy had (electronics, translucent windows, flip-up headlights, mine-sweeping blades). He has one thing that Onslaught didn't, though: a turret that can rotate a full 360 degrees, with a gun that can be aimed up and down. Honestly, I'm not sure I could say that Breacher didn't get the better deal as far as play value goes.

Breacher isn't exactly the best looking Scout ever, though. He's almost entirely blue, save for his black wheels and gun and a few paint apps. White Autobrands and the number '28' are painted on his nose and just behind his front tires, his headlights and the grilles behind them are silver, his taillights and the lights on his turret are red...and that's it. He really could have used a bit more colour, especially when you take a close look at him and see just how much molded detail he has. Breacher has as much detail as the much larger Onslaught, if not more, but most of it goes unnoticed because it hasn't been painted.

Breacher is designed to be carried around by the recent Voyager-class Sea Spray toy, and in that capacity he's... adequate, I guess. He doesn't really fit on Sea Spray's cargo bed any better than most Scouts - Sea Spray is a tad on the small side and honestly works better with Legends figures. Their colours clash too: Sea Spray's dark turquoise looks very green compared to Breacher's flat, pure blue. It's a neat idea, but it didn't really work out as well as I would have liked.

Breacher has fewer 3mm clips in this mode, since the ones on his hands are hidden away inside. The two on his robot mode butt-flap are positioned on his roof, but accessing them is awkward because they're a part of his roof and using them means pushing aside some of his other alt-mode parts. He has two others near his front wheels below his molded doors, but they're right on the bottom of the APC and look more like running boards than weapon mounts. The clip on his turret is really the only one that's good for anything in alt mode, and considering how awkward it was to use most of them in robot mode I'm not sure why all these extra rails are here at all.

Breacher's alt mode isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not as good as the robot mode either.


Marks out of 10 for the following:


Transformation Design: Breacher is more complicated than most Deluxes and even gives more than a few Voyager and Ultra-class toys a run for their money. In spite of being very tiny and very complex, everything somehow manages to work. 10/10
Durability: Joints that are loose the moment he comes off the card are a serious concern. Everything else about Breacher is very robust, though, as befits someone as blocky and heavily-armoured as he is. 7/10
Fun: He's designed to interface with the larger Sea Spray, he's got decent articulation and he's got a lot of clip points for extra weapons. But none of those things work quite as well as they could have, and I can't help but feel that he's not as much fun as he should be. He's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but he's no Hubcap either. 7.5/10
Aesthetics: Breacher's got a really nice robot mode, but his APC mode is fairly bland. He definitely could have used a few more alt mode paint apps. 7.5/10
Articulation: A few years ago Breacher would have been amazing, but compared to the Scouts we've seen since then his articulation is about average. Considering how good a lot of those toys have been, 'average' isn't a bad thing at all. 7/10
Price: I overpaid for the guy, and there's no getting around it. At MSRP he's more than worth it. What I paid, though? That's pushing it. 6/10
Overall: I liked the little guy better before I sat down to review him and catalogued all the little things wrong with him. Breacher's a good toy, but he's not great. He's worth getting if you see him for a decent price, but not worth going out of your way for. 7.5/10
 
 
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