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It's hard not to like Trailbreaker. He's a good-humored cheerleader, always ready with a joke or comment to lighten the mood when things get dark. Sadly, Trailbreaker's joking is often a cover for his low self-esteem. His form is the most fuel-consumptive of the Ark crew, and his vehicle mode is very slow. As such, he feels like a useless drain on their limited resources. The Autobots know better, of course. Trailbreaker's good humor, bravery, and impenetrable force field are all of great use, but convincing him of that is hard, especially when he begins to mope about his handicaps.
- Preliminary name: Guzzle
- Portuguese name (Brazil comic): Abre-alas
- French name (Canada): Glouton (Glutton)
- Hungarian name: Ösvényvágó
- Portuguese name (Portugal comic): Pica-Trilhos
- Italian name: Tuono ("Thunder")
Marvel Comics continuity
Trailbreaker joined a detachment of Autobots investigating robot sightings in Merry Ol' England. After making contact with a young boy named Sammy, the Autobots were caught by surprise when the Seekers fire-bombed them from the sky. Trailbreaker was blasted before he could activate his force field. Like a freakin' drama queen, he went offline whimpering, "It's no good. Everything's gone...just plain ruined..."
Like many Autobots, Trailbreaker was too low on fuel to join Optimus and the others in what would've been their climactic battle with Megatron's forces, and was taken prisoner without a fight when Shockwave assumed command of the Decepticons and the Ark. He was revived after Ratchet and the Dinobots reclaimed the Ark, however. When the Autobots went to recover Optimus Prime's head and restore their leader to functionality, Trailbreaker was one of many Autobots caught off-guard by the false Prime created by Shockwave and was shot down before he could raise his force field.
On another occasion, the Dinobot Swoop was under the control of a human scientist and attacking the Autobots. Trailbreaker jumped in his path and tried to wrestle the pteranodon to the ground. Instead, he was lifted up and slammed into the cliffside...'cause he never turned on that force field. During the Dinobot Hunt, Trailbreaker joined Brawn and Mirage in hunting Snarl among the sands of the Black Rock Desert. They managed to collect him virtually without a fight once Snarl wandered into a secret military base and unleashed a molecular disintegrator bomb that ended his rampage.
When Galvatron and his future Decepticons arrived in the present, the Autobot chain of command was crippled as Optimus Prime, Prowl, and Ratchet vanished and Jazz was taken prisoner. Jetfire attempted to rise to command, accepting support from Ironhide and Smokescreen, but the Autobots were simply outclassed. Trailbreaker was part of a group of more than a half-dozen Autobots who collectively failed to bring down even one of Galvatron's lieutenants. In desperation, the Autobots turned to Megatron himself (who had quickly been disposed of by Galvatron when he first arrived) as a temporary ally and battlefield advisor. Under the Decepticon's direction, the Autobots staged a trap for the lone future Decepticon Scourge in order to weaken Galvatron's power base. Unfortunately, Scourge's enhanced sensors detected the trap almost immediately, and his acid ray nailed Trailbreaker THROUGH a wall before the battle even began. (Too early to have activated that force field, huh?) Scourge was ultimately brought down, but Trailbreaker was left inactive for days until Ratchet was restored to the present and able to repair him.
Well, he was up and about soon enough, and accompanied Prowl and Jetfire on a mission to stop the Decepticons from accessing a NASA space transmission facility, only to get knocked around helplessly by Dirge, and beaten to the ground long enough for the Decepticons to escape...all because he didn't turn on that slaggin' force field to protect himself. Remember, Trailbreaker? The force field? You're not built for speed or energy efficiency; you were built for power, specifically that one power that makes you special and unique. Or is it "just plain ruined" these days?
Marvel UK future timelines
In 2008, Trailbreaker was one of the Autobots taken down and strung up by the Quintessons when they invaded Autobot City. Some of the Autobots seen deactivated like this showed up alive later, and Time Wars probably wiped out the reason for the Quintesson attack in the first place, so Trailbreaker probably survived one way or another.
American cartoon continuity
Trailbreaker was part of the bridge crew of the Ark spaceship when it blasted off from Cybertron to search for new sources of energy four million years in the past. When he was awakened in 1984, Teletraan I reformatted him so that his alt-mode was a terrestrial Toyota 4WD camper truck. Trailbreaker accompanied his fellow Autobots on their first mission to stop the Decepticons on Earth, a mission that took him to an off-shore oil rig. The Decepticons plundered the rig for energon and destroyed it, leaving it a flaming wreck that endangered its human crew. Trailbreaker used his force field to contain the fire, while Wheeljack used his built-in fire-suppression systems to douse the flames.
Later, Trailbreaker served as a spy despite his stated function as defensive strategist. (Mirage was apparently busy that day.) He, along with the humans Sparkplug Witwicky and Spike, camped out near the Decepticons' headquarters and eavesdropped on their plans to raid the ruby mines of Burma. Their surveillance did not go totally unnoticed, however, as a set of Seekers spotted the Autobot making his getaway. Trailbreaker summoned the brothers Sunstreaker and Sideswipe to fend off his pursuer and got the information safely back to Prime.
When the Autobots began studying a meteorite that had fallen to Earth, Wheeljack discovered the sample fragment was highly unstable and summoned Optimus and Trailbreaker to his laboratory. On command, Trailbreaker unleashed his force field around the meteorite to contain the explosive blast.
One time, when Megatron temporarily reprogrammed Gears to be a happy-go-lucky kind of Autobot, Trailbreaker was the one who voiced what everyone was thinking and said maybe they should just leave him that way.
When the Dinobots attempted to demonstrate their newfound "finesse" to the other Autobots, Slag accidentally set fire to the Ark, threatening Teletraan I. Thinking quickly, Trailbreaker projected his force field over the Autobot supercomputer, allowing Inferno time to extinguish the blaze.
On another occasion, the Autobots were forced to abandon Earth by Megatron aboard a spacecraft set on a course into the sun. After the Autobots discovered they couldn't alter their course, their ship exploded. Trailbreaker cast a massive force field large enough to contain the entire Autobot force safely; from within the field, Cosmos towed the group back to Earth.
After that, a Decepticon coup by Starscream, Astrotrain and Blitzwing resulted in a city being flooded. Trailbreaker used his force field to protect himself and a small group of Autobots from a large tidal wave.
Japanese cartoon continuity
Trailbreaker was one of many Autobots who suffered from an outbreak of the Cosmic Rust virus after the Decepticons unleashed it on Earth. He was supposed to receive a new body thanks to the Central City Institute of Technology, but the Decepticons managed to infiltrate the Binaltech Project. Through the use of hypno-chip-controlled spies and pawns, Trailbreaker's new body was hijacked and used to upgrade the Combaticon known as Swindle instead.
Dreamwave comics continuity
Trailbreaker was present under the command of Grimlock at the battle of Altihex when the Decepticons destroyed a building full of neutral Cybertonians. Unable to save the city, the Autobots helped evacuate civilians before retreating.
When Decepticon leader Megatron and Autobot leader Optimus Prime disappeared in an accident with a space bridge, the Autobot and Decepticon forces splintered into smaller factions. Trailbreaker stayed with the Autobots under the leadership of Prowl. He was part of the group of reinforcements that helped battle the giant Trypticon.
Trailbreaker was among the Autobots who followed Optimus Prime on his mission on board the Ark. They were attacked by Megatron's ship, the Nemesis. After being boarded, the Ark crash-landed on Earth, where all on board were preserved in emergency stasis. In 1984, a volcanic eruption awakened the Ark's computer, Teletraan I, and it repaired all on board.
Eventually, the combined forces of the Autobots on Earth and their human allies were able to capture the Decepticons. In 1999, a ship called the Ark II was built to take the Cybertonians back to Cybertron, along with some human companions, but the ship exploded shortly after takeoff. The human allies were killed, but the Cybertonians were lost in the ocean, again in stasis lock. Three years later, Spike Witwicky assisted the US "Defense Ministry" in reactivating Optimus Prime by placing a piece of the Matrix into his chest. Optimus traveled to the remote Arctic shoreline where he'd been found after the crash and used the Matrix to revive Jazz, Mirage, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Superion, Trailbreaker and Wheeljack from where they lay under the waves.
Shortly afterwards, the Autobots assisted the US military in rescuing the survivors of the Smitco Oil Refinery attack. When Optimus Prime learned the attackers were Autobots and Decepticons under the control of terrorist arms dealer Adam Rook, he asked his Autobots to accompany him to fight for Great JUSTICE. Trailbreaker was among the Autobots who agreed to come along, stating that Prime only needed to point him in the right direction. Trailbreaker participated in the battle at Rook's destroyed base when General Hallo double-crossed them and attempted to destroy all the Transformers with a low-yield nuclear weapon.
After the Autobots extricated themselves from the nuke-absorbing hardened virus shell, Trailbreaker helped rescue the captive Autobots Megatron was using to fuel his technovirus. After Ironhide informed the other Autobots of Megatron's imminent attack on San Francisco, they flew there and engaged the Decepticons. Trailbreaker smashed Grimlock in the face with a steel girder and informed the former Dinobot commander that he'd made the wrong choice in leaving the Autobots and was now going to pay. Unfortunately, Superion was taken down by the Seekers and Devastator, prompting Trailbreaker to join Optimus Prime, Sideswipe and Megatron in a moment of dull surprise, gaping at Devastator as if they had never seen him before.
As Jazz and the Autobots in Canada were preparing to deal with the technovirus, Trailbreaker frantically radioed them for backup, reporting that Superion was down. As he was distracted, Devastator attempted to stomp on the Autobot. Trailbreaker caught the foot in time, but was crushed into the pavement. He was later retrieved and placed into restraint by the Decepticons as Megatron attempted to convince Optimus Prime to join his cause to wipe out the humans and rule the universe. Once Prime managed to free the Autobots with assistance from human firefighters, Trailbreaker resumed his assault on Grimlock by sending him flying with a punch. After Superion sacrificed himself to save San Francisco from General Hallo's unauthorized nuclear strike, Trailbreaker called Optimus over when he and Sideswipe discovered the abandoned Grimlock under rubble.
Months later, the united Cybertronian army arrived on Earth, demanding the surrender of all combatant Autobots and Decepticons. Trailbreaker suffered serious injuries battling Ramjet and the Seekers and had to be placed in a CR chamber for repairs on the flight back to Cybertron. He fought alongside the Ark's crew and the various insurgency groups on Cybertron to reclaim Iacon for the Autobots and force Shockwave out of power. Afterwards, he joined Prowl and the rest of the Ark's old crew in returning to Earth to work on the construction of a new Autobot City.
Hundreds of years later, Trailbreaker and fellow Autobots Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, Roulette and Shadow Striker arrived on the newly technorganic Cybertron roughly one year after the defeat of this era's Megatron. They were welcomed by the surviving members of Optimus Primal's band of Maximals, including Rattrap, who offered to share a vintage keg of Maccadam's Old Oil with the Autobot veteran. Unfortunately, Trailbreaker did not have an opportunity to take Rattrap up on his offer, because immediately afterwards, he and his associates were abducted by Unicron and teleported to the Cauldron. There, they were rebuilt against their will into new bodies... except Trailbreaker, because why mess with success?
Optimus Primal led the Children of Primus, which included Trailbreaker, into a final fight with the Minions of Unicron on the surface of Unicron himself. However, as their victory was imminent, Unicron began to dissolve beneath their very feet, and King Atlas had to carry Trailbreaker and Roulette to safety, through a transwarp portal back to their native Cybertron.
Devil's Due G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers continuity
Trailbreaker was among the Transformers discovered on Earth by Cobra, and reworked into a piloted death mechanism. The Transformers were eventually freed, and the Autobots fought both their Decepticon enemies and their Cobra oppressors. During the battle, Storm Shadow ripped Trailbreaker's head off, and, uhhh, well, anyway, that was it for Trailbreaker.
IDW comics continuity
Trailbreaker (along with nearly every other Autobot, apparently) served in the Autobot Security Forces under the command of Sentinel Prime. He participated in the battle of Kaon where the criminal known as Megatron began a rampage with his army of convicts. Trailbreaker grabbed Starscream as the criminal was flying away, only to be kicked off for his trouble, falling to his apparent demise...
Except he survived. Many years later, Trailbreaker was a specialist called in by Springer to extract a deranged Kup safely from the planet where he had crash-landed. The planet possessed a radiation which was dangerous to Transformers without special protective covering, causing Kup, in his delusions, to believe his rescuers were monsters trying to attack him. Trailbreaker's force fields allowed him to walk on the planet without any protective gear, and his appearance shocked Kup for long enough that he could save the old bot's spark core from meltdown.
Later, he was one of Blaster's old friends who took time off duty to greet the return of "The Voice".
More than a year later, Trailbreaker had joined the crew of the Ark-19 and several other Autobots in the ruins of Cybertron.
- Trailbreaker (1984/2008)
- Japanese ID number: 25
- Trailbreaker transforms in a Toyota 4WD Hi-Lux camper truck. In robot mode, both of his lower arms are projectile launchers, able to load and fire either his fists or his projectiles, which consist of two silver rockets and two silver "twin blasters". The Hasbro version of the toy severely weakened the springs for safety reasons.
- TakaraTomy recently announced an Encore re-issue for Trailbreaker as Encore 13.
There are quite a few Transformers toys that were at one point in their development supposed to be a new form for (or tribute to) Trailbreaker, but so far all of these have become other characters with other names, most likely due to Hasbro's inability to secure the trademark.
Trailbreaker's appearance in the 3H Universe comics stems from early plans to release a Trailbreaker redeco of the Robots in Disguise X-Brawn mold as a convention exclusive in 2003. Reportedly, Hasbro themselves also had the same idea for the mass retail Universe Deluxe assortment, but due to the aforementioned reasons, the toy was ultimately given a different deco and released as Autobot Ratchet instead.
Later, a redeco of the Robots in Disguise Spychanger Ironhide was released as a Wal*Mart exclusive under the Universe banner, a black pickup truck with the distinctive red and yellow stripes from Trailbreaker's original toy. Ultimately, this toy would be released as Ironhide instead.
The next attempt was in the Alternators line, the toy that would eventually become Swindle and later Rollbar. A retool of the Hound Jeep Wrangler toy, its head is a cross between the original Trailbreaker toy's helmet and the cartoon model's face, surprisingly similar to Dan Khanna's rendition of the character in 3H's Universe comics. A black and white version of a proposed color guide for the unreleased Trailbreaker version of the mold was depicted in the Japanese Transformers: Binaltech & TF Collection Complete Guide book.
Finally, the Cybertron Autobot Overhaul was originally going to be called "Trailbreaker", and the head mold was to have more elements from the Generation One character's design. These plans were again scrapped, but the character's upgraded form, Leobreaker, retains the "breaker" portion of the name, since "Leohaul" sounds really silly.
- Trailbreaker's mold was originally a Diaclone "4WD Hi-Lux", available in three different colors; black, blue or yellow. The blue version was one of three toys made available in the very short-lived US Diakron line that briefly pre-dated Transformers.
- Trailbreaker laid some serious smackdown on Grimlock in the Prime Directive miniseries. He was shown laying the Dinobot commander out with a steel girder, went on to survive being stood on by Devastator, and then resumed kicking Grimlock's skid plate, knocking him off his feet with a single punch, and then leaving him buried in rubble only to be left behind by Megatron. So much for being a liability. Shockwave was incredibly lucky that he didn't face him in the next volume.
- In A Prime Problem, Optimus Prime (the real one, that is) mistakenly refers to Trailbreaker as "Trailblazer".