Thursday, April 14, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe Rise of Cobra - Abel ''Breaker'' Shaz

Produced by Hasbro | Released July 2009

Abel ''Breaker'' Shaz is a communications specialist for the GI Joe team who applies his innovative thinking to technological problems. In other words, he's a supremely gifted hacker who can manipulate the digital and electronic worlds to achieve the desired results.

Packaging Shots

Abel ''Breaker'' Shaz
Like Courtney ''Cover Girl'' Krieger, Breaker is one of the GI Joe team's support staff. Although fully qualified for field ops, he's really much more adept at digital surveillance and system hacking and - as such - his figure reflects this. To a degree, anyway...

Breaker's not really a front-line kind of guy and as such he's got a more ''average athletic'' body sculpt to reflects this. It works well and Hasbro's designers have struck a good balance with the build - he could easily have come off as a skinny nerd or gone too far the other way and been a Heavy Duty

His actual uniform is relatively plain. He's wearing fatigue pants and boots, with a (removable) vest over a black sweater. It looks pretty realistic and is definitely ''of'' the GI Joe Base Camo, yet at the same time has enough individuality to avoid him looking too much like the other Pit Joes. There's not really a massive amount of detail though, just a few pouches and pockets, but - most annoyingly - there's not a single holster or storage slot for any of his gear.

There are no major surprises in the articulation department, the only real issue being his knee joints don't seem to have a particularly wide range of movement in them. I found it quite impossible to get him to kneel in a convincing manner. Perhaps this is a problem with my figure alone, though.

Paint is cleanly applied and the colour-scheme is well-designed. The camo effect works well and there are some nice details on his uniform. His arms, for example, have light blue stripes. Bizarrely though, his left forearm only has one stripe (there should be two, given there's a pair of stripes on his upper arm and on his right forearm.) Again, this could be a production error on my figure alone or one across the entire run.

His facial details are pretty well applied, too, with his facial hair and eyes being cleanly picked-out. The only minor issue I have is that his skin tone is just a shade too light. It's a shame the skin-tone isn't quite right, as that aside, this is a pretty good likeness of  Said Taghmaoui (Breaker in the movie.)

Breaker comes equipped with a bullpup assault rifle, a pistol and his laptop. The latter also comes with a connector cable that allows the computer to be patched-into the (working) cannon the figure comes with. The cannon has its own stand (although it's virtually impossible to get it to stand) and Breaker has his own base.

Unfortunately, this is where the figure is let down. Like Cover Girl, the designers have given Breaker a lot of gear options (good) but nowhere to store anything (bad.) Yes, Breaker does operate in the field and so he needs to be armed. But he's also a hacker and electronic countermeasures expert, so he needs to be able to use his laptop. Without anywhere to put his weapons or store his laptop, he ends up in the situation as Cover Girl of either being a regular soldier or a back room administrator, with no middle ground available. All for the sake of a holster or a shoulder bag...

Also, the artwork shows Breaker wearing a communications headset, which would be a great piece to include with the figure. Yet Hasbro decided not to. If I were to play armchair designer, I'd equip him with some kind of backpack and comms headset, a holster and some kind of smaller datapad/smart phone-style computer. You know, something that would allow him to operate in the field. As it is, he looks as if he's wandered into the battle looking for a wireless hotspot so he can check his Facebook account.

I think I may have to raid my spare parts collection and see if I can kitbash a better look for him...

Final Thoughts
Breaker is another good figure let-down by poorly thought-out accessories. A holster or a bag to store his laptop would have made all the difference. That way, he could be displayed carrying both his weaponry and his electronic gear. Instead we get another figure that's got just too much equipment to really use and who is very difficult to pose in any kind of meaningful way.

There's not much wrong really with the core figure - it's a good likeness of the on-screen Breaker, the sculpt is nicely produced and the paintwork is good - but he's a figure you'll probably only buy if you're a completist or a fan of the character. Beyond that there's little to recommend him, which is a shame, as with a few tweaks to his gear he could have been a really cool, unique addition to the range.

Production QualityB
Final ScoreB-

Image Gallery


  1. I like the overall look and feel of this one and seeing as Breaker was one of the first "Small" Joes years ago i would have to pick up this modern version.

  2. He's a good figure. I just wish they'd given him a holster or some better ''hacker'' equipment or something.


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