"Keep your optical sensor to yourself."
When BREAKDOWN is in his car mode, he thinks everyone else is staring at him. Not just living creatures such as other Transformers and humans, but cars, stoplights....*anything*. The root of this is that he fears someone will see him for what he really is; despite his Earthly disguise, he is constantly aware that underneath the hood he is different, and the thought haunts him. This extreme self-consciousness often affects his performance as a scout, since his duty requires him to go into many tension-producing situations.
The rumbling vibration of Breakdown's engine in vehicle mode can cause mechanical failures in other vehicles. At full speed he can travel at up to 220 mph. In robot mode he carries a concussion cannon, which gets the same results as his engine noise, but with better accuracy. He also combines with fellow Stunticons to form Menasor.
After a failed attempt to steal experimental rocket fuel from United States military, Megatron realized that while the Decepticons controlled the skies, the Autobots had supremacy on the ground, and so they needed new ground-based warriors who could out-drive and out-fight the Autobots on their terms. Rumble was sent to steal various human vehicles that would be rebuilt to become the new Stunticons. Breakdown was given life by Vector Sigma along with the rest of the Stunticons. He agreed to obey Megatron, but there was a certain reluctance in his voice. He probably thought Megatron was out to get him, or something.
Whilst the Autobots were trapped on Cybertron, the Decepticons returned to Earth with the newly awakened Stunticons who began wreaking havoc and damaging the Autobots' good name by attacking the US military base containing the experimental rocket fuel. Eventually, the Autobots returned with the newly built Aerialbots whose combined form Superion defeated the Stunticon combiner Menasor.
Despite this defeat, the Stunticons were the key component in Megatron's elaborate scheme to hold a fake charity race from Paris to Istanbul so he could steal US driver Auggie Cahnay's car which would be melted down to house the powerful Pearl of Bahoudin. One by one, the Stunticons disabled the Autobot participants assigned to protect Cahnay. Afterwards, the Stunticons were defeated when Cahnay rammed his car into Menasor’s face.
When Megatron was infected with Cosmic Rust after a trip to the lost Autobot colony of Antilla, the Stunticons were assigned to capture the Autobot scientist Perceptor, who had developed the powerful anti-corrosion Corrostop. Arriving incognito on a ferry, Breakdown transformed and nervously informed the human passengers that this was a mutiny... no, no a hijack! Anyway, they were taking over the boat! Breakdown forced the humans into the captain’s cabin, though he actually locked them in the garage. After Megatron cured himself and infected the Autobots with the Cosmic Rust, Menasor attacked the Statue of Liberty in New York City with the ancient Lightning Bug heat ray, intent on stopping the Autobots from matter-duplicating more Corrostop from the layer they sprayed on the statue. Superion defeated Menasor and destroyed the Lightning Bug.
After Starscream was banished for yet another failed coup, he returned with a powerful new Decepticon team called the Combaticons, who were able to outfight Autobot and Decepticon alike. With Megatron needing a trump card, Soundwave attempted to call on the Stunticons to help, but they refused as they were having a demolition derby with various human-owned cars. However, the Stunticons belatedly arrived after the Combaticons' combined form of Bruticus defeated Devastator and forced Megatron to acknowledge Starscream as the new Decepticon leader. Realizing that Starscream would not stop at Megatron, the Stunticons merged into Menasor and disabled Bruticus in one mighty punch.
While assembling a new weapon capable of destroying any target by creating a chain reaction in its molecules, Megatron found himself short a few key components to finish the device. He sent the Stunticons out to retrieve those components by any means necessary. Breakdown and Wildrider assaulted a local optics laboratory to gather new focusing lenses for the cannon's beam. On their way to the weapon's construction site, they were intercepted by a troop of Autobots. It was Grapple who brought down Breakdown, setting him on fire with his arc-welder rifle by using a trail of fuel as a fuse. The Stunticons were dragged back to Autobot Headquarters for imprisonment, an experience that Breakdown considered thoroughly "mortifrying". Once brought in, the Stunticons' radios were disabled and they were trapped in vehicle mode behind energized bars. The Autobots then used camouflage paint to alter their appearances and mimic the Stunticons, hoping to get close enough to Megatron to catch him unawares. Autobot warrior Sideswipe assumed Breakdown's appearance for the mission. After they left, however, Breakdown tried using his unique vibratory pulses to disrupt his bars and break free, and just as he "preducted", it worked! He caught his Autobot captors by surprise and blasted several of them before they could react, giving him enough time to free his fellow Stunticons and form Menasor. After a brief but memorable conflict, Menasor escaped the Ark and returned to Megatron. The cannon was rendered unusable by the Autobots' intervention, though, and Megatron's plan failed.
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