Series: War for Cybertron: Kingdom
Vertebreak may be a fossil, but she is still brimming with primal beast power! Her slight, skeletal frame, uncoupled from the usual muscular might of other beasts, may make her appear to pose a lesser threat, but Vertebreak possesses every other trick in the book to compensate. Once you are in her jaws, she will never, ever let go.
(The character has no profile text on the box. The text above is from the Earth Wars video game.)
Prelude: When a new toyline like Kingdom emerges, you usually have three different groups of figures. One, those with the standard names like Optimus, Ultra Magnus, and Megatron. Two, those with names you recognize from a while ago, like Airazor, Dinobot, or Rhinox. And finally, there are names that you might have heard before, but really haven’t stuck in your head because they have never been attached to a character worth remembering. Vertebreak firmly belongs in the third group. Can she make it so her name is finally worth remembering? Let’s say go!
Robot Mode: Vertebreak is a Core-Class figure, meaning she is about the same size as Kingdom Rattrap. She is a Fossilizer (maybe, see below) who transforms into a skeleton, so her robot mode is pretty skinny as well, of course. She is very nicely articulated, though, able to pull off all sorts of poses without problem.
While most of Vertebreak is all the same color, she does have some nice detailing on the chest, including a purple Predacon logo, and a pretty nicely sculpted face, too. Her overall design reminds me very much of the old Beast Wars Basics figures, which is definitely a plus.
Her sole weapon is her beast mode tail, which she can hold in hand or store on her back. Oh, and officially, it’s a “Cool Bone Weapon”. It says so in her Hasbro Pulse description: “Pull off the tail in raptor mode and use in robot mode as a cool bone weapon!”. For some reason I find that hilarious.
So bottom line: a nice little robot. Not in any way extraordinary, but a nice-looking, nicely-articulated robot. So no complaints.
Alternate Mode: Vertebreak’s transformation also reminds me of the old Beast Wars Basics. She really just folds in her arms, folds the “wings” on her back around her robot torso, and flips up the beast mode head from her back. The result is the skeleton of a Dracorex (technically Dracorex Hogwartsia, named after the Harry Potter school, no kidding), which might or might not be an actual dinosaur species (there seems to be some discussion there). She was initially advertised as a Velociraptor skeleton, but apparently that was changed.
Whatever its exact species, the beast mode works pretty well. The legs retain their full articulation from robot mode, the head can look up and down and open its jaw, the only things that are completely immobile are those tiny beast mode arms. At that size, though, that’s not much of a problem.
Overall I like this beast mode a lot. Okay, the robot mode fists are somewhat visible under the beast’s butt, but given that it’s all the same color (mostly), you barely notice. Oh, and Vertebreak is of perfect size to work as a ride for Mega Construx Skeletor. So thumbs up for the beast mode.
Remarks: Vertebreak is the only Core Class Fossilizer in the Kingdom line (well, she and her repaint Dracodon) and whether or not she really counts as a Fossilizer is up for some debate. She becomes a skeleton, yes, but she cannot become armor for larger figures. Her official description merely calls her a “fossil toy”, but Hasbro employees have also called her a Fossilizer, so… well, make of that what you will. And yes, she is a fembot, too, according to Hasbro and her Earth Wars profile.
The Fossilizers never appeared in the Netflix War for Cybertron cartoon, which might be a blessing in disguise for her. Still, with zero media appearances under her belt, there really isn’t much to Vertebreak except a pretty fun toy. So if you like beastformers and the Fossilizer gimmick, she is worth a look. Probably not interesting for anyone else, though.