Cliffbee.com: Crankcase Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Crankcase
Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Data Collector
Alternate Mode: 4x4



4x4 MODE
Height: 4cm Length: 8cm Width: 4.5cm

   A charcoal 4x4 with some dark blue highlights, Crankcase has white windows and black plastic tyres. There are no rear windows, although there's a moulded charcoal spare tyre on the back. The blue is limited to the front bumper, rear fenders and stripes on the roof - Crankcase is predominantly charcoal. There's a blue sticker on his hood with a Decepticon logo, rounding off a fairly simple colour scheme. In truth the dark colours make this a little too simple, since it masks the moulded details.

   The moulded detail is actually pretty good - much better than the colour scheme. Crankcase has headlights and a lightrack on top of his hood, along with a winch, all contained in a bullbar. There's even a hook moulded underneath the spool of the winch. At the back he sports the spare tyre I've already mentioned and two gerry cans on either side. There are moulded doorhandles and rear vision mirrors on either side.

   Of course the whole point of this toy is the spring loaded weaponry. Crankcase has two blue guns hidden in his roof, underneath the blue stripes. Pressing a small blue button at the back of the roof causes these guns to deploy noisily. They end up sticking out of the windshield, over the hood. Unlike some of the Triggerbots/Triggercons, the double barrelled guns are unpainted. Chrome would have been nice, although perhaps a little bright against all the dark colours. At any rate, the guns deploy well enough - which is more than I can say for Ruckus.

   A simple truck mode, and while some more colour would have been nice, the gimmick works well enough. The sculpt is quite impressive even if it's let down by the dark colours. Sure he's not the most realistic 4x4 we've seen but in an era of some really ambiguous Pretender alternate modes, I'm happy that Crankcase's alt mode is instantly recognisable.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Extend the front to form his legs, pull the head out from the rear bumper, swing down the blue rear fenders to form his arms. Rotate the roof section backwards, stand him up. You don't need to stow the weapons before you transform Crankcase, incidentally.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 4.5cm

   A charcoal and blue robot mode, where the latter comes into play more. His head, arms, boots and backpack are blue while the torso and thighs are charcoal. Crankcase has an orange face with moulded nose and mouth. His eyes are also orange while there's a sticker on his chest similar to the one seen in truck mode. Again this is a pretty simple colour scheme, although it's noticeably brighter than his truck mode since there's so much more blue. The orange face is a nice splash of colour although I with they'd painted his eyes a different colour.

   The transformation might be simple but the end result is a well proportioned robot mode. The boots are single piece and the backpack behind his head is rather rudimentary, but the limb proportions are good and the lightrack makes for an excellent heelspurs (which is the reason it's there).

   Crankcase has almost no poseability - the arms swing and that's it. The trigger weapons are the focus of the play value here. If you started from a folded away position when you transformed Crankcase, pressing and holding the button on his back will release the guns, which swing through 270 to sit over his shoulders. If you began with the guns deployed, they'll be pointing up. You'll only have to press the button briefly for the guns to swing through the 90 movement to get them over his shoulders. The guns look nice deployed, and justify the somewhat ungainly backpack - which looks much better when it's supporting deployed guns.

   Again Crankcase is quite simple, but he works well enough since the engineering focuses on supporting the gimmick. The shape is decent and the colours work, and while there's not much to the sculpt and little articulation, the gimmick is enough to make this robot mode work.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of.

OVERALL

   With two simple modes and sparse colours, Crankcase is pretty basic, even compared to some of his contemporaries. The dual-action of his trigger guns is quite cool, and there are some nice aspects in the Transformer itself such as the truck mode sculpt and robot shape. Simple but still fun - 7/10

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