As Transformers G1 reached a fever pitch in 1986, Hasbro and Takara rolled out a plethora of new designs. Almost half of the new releases were combiners, such as Breakdown, a Stunticon who transforms into a white and blue 1984 Lamborghini Countach LP500S.
Breakdown was originally conceptualized for a Diaclone subseries called “Jizai Gattai”, or Free Combination, which would have included the Stunticons, Combaticons, Aerialbots, Protectobots, and Metroplex. Each team had a theme, each limb figure could combine with any other team leader as any limb, and each leader figure had some sort of base mode, usually, with a spring-loaded vehicle launcher. All the figures could also interact with Metroplex. However, Transformers’ imminent success put Diaclone and Jizai Gattai on ice. It was Transformers’ long term success that saw these designs to completion, however. Breakdown was designed by Kaoru Matsumoto and the US Patent titled Reconfigurable toy vehicle (aka Transformers G1 Breakdown) was filed on July 31, 1985 (U.S. Patent No. USD295303 S).
Breakdown transforms into a white Lamborghini Countach LP500S with a red hood. His car mode is relatively accurate to the real-life vehicle, but makes the same error as every other Countach Transformer by insinuating a roof indentation for the deleted periscope. He features plastic wheels riveted to the body (as opposed to the usual pins). The rivet heads are decorated with a concentric ring to give the appearance of hubcaps, though not accurate to any particular vehicle. Breakdown's transformation is very simple. The hood flips back to reveal his blocky head, the legs are rotated out sideways and down at the knee from the rear of the car, and the thighs are shortened into his body. His arms are slices of the car that can pivot upwards at the shoulder. His chestplate is an unpainted die-cast piece, though it is decorated with stickers. He can wield his pistol in a blocky hand in robot mode, or a large dual cannon can be attached to the back of the car to form an “Attack Car”. His instructions do not depict the step where his legs are slid up, leaving him humorously lanky, even in the stickering diagram. He can also transform into any combiner’s arm or leg by connecting a hand or foot to the rear of the car and pivoting his head down, or his hood back, respectively. He typically forms Menasor’s right leg.
Breakdown is a fairly sturdy figure, but as with all combiner limbs, care should be taken when removing his head from a combiner team leader. Paint wear on his face is almost inevitable for a Breakdown that has ever been combined.
Breakdown has no production variations, other than a date stamp change when production was moved to Macau.
Breakdown was available in 1986, either individually carded, or as part of a Menasor giftset. Due to the popularity of the combiners, Breakdown was available again in 1987, with or without a random purple Decepticon Decoy. He was available again in 1990 in Europe’s extension of G1, as part of the Classic Stunticons.
Redecos & Retools
Breakdown's mold was redecoed in 1994 as BotCon '94 Price Chart