Abel "Breaker" Shaz

I've enlisted some more help in these reviews, another JBL member, this time Jerry, also known as "Barbecue17". I want to extend a big thanks to everyone for their help getting these reviews posted.

JERRY: The late Alvin “Breaker” Kibbey is easily one of my favorite Joes, and easily one of the standouts of the Original 13, so I was initially pretty upset to learn that the Breaker in the movie-verse would be completely different from the Breaker I knew and loved.  Also, is anyone curious why the name Breaker was chosen for the movie over other possible names?  Over the past few years Hasbro appears to have lost the trademark for the name Breaker, and thus has resorted to placing the code name in quotation marks, giving us figures such as Alvin “Breaker” Kibbey and now Abel “Breaker” Shaz.  It seems that since the character has no connection to the classic Breaker, another name could have been chosen which could be used with less trouble.

JUSTIN: Yeah, the fans can be considered partially to blame for that one, at least some of us. In Atlanta, at the JoeCon a couple of years ago, Hasbro met with a group of fans and talked to us about the film...they'd asked us which character would work as the Joe "tech expert" for the new movie. Their original plan was Hi-Tech, but unanimous decision from the fans group was to have him be "Breaker". Granted, we didn't know of the international affiliation back then, but still, we considered it a nice honor for Hasbro and Paramount to take our advice into consideration and at least pay some homage to one of the Original 13 characters, even if he's been changed to match the film's backstory.

JERRY: Still, after having read the movie prequel and novelization, Abel “Breaker” Shaz has grown on me and does appear to have the potential to be a new and interesting character with his own quirks and personality.  The Joe team, especially in today’s modern world, certainly needs a tech specialist in the field with them, so it only makes sense to have one on the movie team.  The question before us today, though, regards how Breaker holds up as an action figure, and unfortunately, this first offering is somewhat dull.  This appears to be mainly because Breaker is missing the high-tech gear which the character always seems to be carrying in preview shots and trailers for the film.

JUSTIN: I couldn't agree more. I have no doubt that we'll eventually see Breaker all decked out in his most familiar gear, but I really don't know why we got this somewhat generic version first. He doesn't appear in the film this way very much, but I suppose their plan worked, because a bunch of Joe fans bought this version, and then will turn around and buy the Reactive Armor version. If that version had come out first, I'm sure not many folks would have stuck around for this one.

JERRY: This first release of Breaker (so far the only confirmed release) comes dressed in the blue and grey camouflage BDUs which appears to be standard issue for the Joe team in the film.  Breaker’s uniform is composed of some BDU dress pants and a removable camouflage vest over a sleek black turtleneck.  This appears to be some type of special fabric, perhaps similar to athletic wear like Under Armour, which is worn by some branches of the military.  The sweater has some nice detailing, and Breaker actually looks a little better with his vest off than with it on.  He has the G.I. Joe logo on the left shoulder of his turtleneck.  The vest is easily removable and stays on quite snugly, giving Breaker two varied looks.  He also has a removable belt which comes off easily but stays in place securely.

Breaker’s articulation is great, just like most of the other movie figures.  He feels solid, has nothing which hinders articulation, and can sit properly in a vehicle.  Not much more to say about articulation.  The movie figures seem to have some really good quality control, as I haven’t found one that felt the least bit flimsy.

JERRY: Accessory wise, Breaker comes with a pretty standard selection of accessories.  Along with his vest and belt, he includes a pistol with tactical light, the FN 2000 machine gun which most of the Joe figures have included, a black lap top, and a DAIR-1 Directed Artificial Intelligence Robotic Weapon (also known as a B.F.G.)  All of Breaker’s accessories can be found with other figures, but he is able to hold all of them well and they look good with him.  While his right thigh has a peg hole for carrying a sidearm, Breaker’s gun has no post on it.    

JERRY: Surprisingly, Breaker may have one of the best B.F.G. accessories of anyone in the line.  Rather than being an awkward and obscenely large bazooka of some kind, Breaker’s DAIR-1 is a turret which can connect to his laptop via a cord (Most likely USB).  The laptop opens, as well, and does have some sculpted keys and the Joe logo emblazoned on the outer casing.  A sticker on the screen would have been a nice added detail, but I’m sure you can find something to stick on there to add some detail.  As a side note, I tried removing the base from the DAIR-1 in the hopes that it would fit into some of the gun ports on the ROCC and various Sigma-6 2.5 inch vehicles, but it did not work.  Since Hasbro has to include some large accessory to appeal to kids, I’d much rather they include something that looks cool sitting around rather than a ridiculously oversized missile launcher, and Breaker’s DAIR-1 does look nice sitting around. 

JUSTIN: Again, I agree. The accessories have really been a shining spot of the figures for the Rise of COBRA line (the oversized spring-loaded stuff aside) and Breaker is no exception. I love that laptop, I love the pistol, and his spring-loaded accessory isn't nearly as bad as some others out there. I really like his sculpted vest as well.

JERRY: While I haven’t said much negative about Breaker so far, I do have two major complaints that leave me thinking that this is a rather dull figure.  My first complaint is with the head: It doesn’t appear to be a bad sculpt, but the paint work seems to be atrocious on every Breaker I have seen in stores.  His hair line is painted too low and his goatee and mustache make him look more like a silly depiction of a devil than of Saïd Taghmaoui, the actor portraying Breaker.  The figure’s head also has the problems of some of the earliest 25th anniversary figures in that appears awkward when viewed from the side.  The separation between the chin and the neck post just looks too pointy.

My second major complaint is that for being the tech expert on the team, Breaker comes with no tech equipment except a laptop.  The package clearly shows Breaker using his cool headset computer rig, but the figure inside includes no such accessory.  This seems to be a real missed opportunity on Hasbro’s part.  If Breaker has included a headset of some kind, I think it would have contributed greatly to making this a more exciting figure. 

JUSTIN: Without making this too much of a "me, too", I guess I just have to say "me, too". While I love the accessories Breaker comes with, this seems like a bit of a missed opportunity, considering how much state of the art tech equipment Breaker used in the film. Overall, the figure is just sort of "there", especially when compared to many of the other figures out there in the line. He just seems kind of boring. That might be partially by design, since he's mostly support staff, but regardless, besides having a full movie cast, there isn't much incentive to pick this guy up.

JERRY: Overall, I picked Breaker up because I wanted a complete movie team, but as a figure he just isn’t very exciting.  I’m surprised this figure was released before a figure of Breaker in his “Surveillance Suit.”  Standing alone as a figure and not factoring in his role in the movie, Breaker might make an interesting computer operator hanging around in the background of the pit, but nothing more.  I’ve included some shots of him hanging around with the G.I. Joe Geek Squad, which is where Abel “Breaker” Shaz will be until a more dynamic figure gets released.