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First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 48, January 1989 / Issue 80, July 1991
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 213, April 15th 1989 / Issue 242, November 4th 1989
First/Last Cartoon Appearance -
First Toy Appearance - 1988
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Transformers (2007)
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the chest (Covering the tampographed one)
- Added a Decepticon symbol to the bonnet
The Triggerbots and cons were pretty lame, in my younger self's opinion. I only ever had Ruckus, and that was more than enough. While I liked the concept of robots who could deploy extra weapons at the flick of a switch, I was very disappointed with the implementation. The trigger gimmick was painfully slow to deploy, so you get the feeling that any advantage these unfortunates would have in combat would be quickly countered. Anyway, I saw this guy on eBay and decided to 'pull the trigger' (groan)...
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
This is an early live-action movie figure, and the mould was actually repurposed from the Cybertron line, which is why Crankcase is a cute little chunker, as opposed to a monkey-armed gargoyle. I'm pretty glad about that, as the overall look of this guy perfectly sums up Crankcase's petulant and moody personality. He looks like a sulky teenage counterpart to Bumblebee's good-natured deluxe figure. He has a stump for a left hand (perhaps this is why he is sooo moody) which a couple of different attachments can be added - a claw or a hammer. I went with hammer. The other reason why this guy does a great job of homaging the original is that he even has his own 'trigger' mechanism, courtesy of the still-intact cybertron gimmick, which reveals twin guns atop either shoulder. And unlike the original toy, these badboys deploy immediately. His colour scheme also approximates the original pretty well.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 6/10
Crankcase turns into a predictably-chunky vehicle, which has been somewhat annoyingly augmented with 'Hazmat' decals - I guess an attempt to make him look more 'movieverse' but no matter. They don't detract from the overall look. What does detract slightly though is the very obvious head which protudes from the roof. I was convinced that the head would slot in further, but no such luck. Still, it's not terrible, I suppose. The paint is a little flat in this mode, if truth be told, where the yellow highlights that lift it in robot mode are sadly lacking.
Crankcase's legs transform in a way which I have never seen on another Transformer, in that they are formed from both the front and rear of the vehicle. It's actually a very cool and ingenius transformation sequence, and one of the best I have seen in a while.
A bit of a mixed bag here. Firstly, Crankcase has enormous lower legs and very long feet which makes balance issues non-existent. He has a decentish range of motion in the shoulders and hips, and bending elbows and knees (although the upper arms are really stubby). There is no bicep swivel or thigh swivel though. The latter of these is more forgiveable because of the nature of the transformation. There is no waist swivel, and swivel only on the head. Still, he looks pretty nice in the poses he can manage.
He looks very compact and solid, and feels just that in-hand. This mould feels very well-made, and the chunky legs add some nice substance to him. I guess his flip-out guns could wear out over time, especially if I keep playing with them!
Overall - 38/50
This iteration of Crankcase makes clever use of an older mould to endow this triggercon with a very triggercon-esqe gimmick. I personally love his chunky aesthetic, but I'm sure that some of you will not share that sentiment. I would advise you to pick him up if you see him cheap, as his transformation alone is unusual enough to make him a worthwhile addition to the Decepticon ranks.