Transformers Movie 2007 Crankcase Review

in 2008, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Movie (2007), Triggercon, Wal-Mart Exclusive

Transformers Live Action Movie

General Information:
Release Date: September 2008
Price Point: $7.96
Retailer: Wal-Mart Exclusive
Accessories: Claw attachment, Hammer attachment, Cyber Key

Images:

*Images from transformers.com.

Text from Transformers.com:
CRANKCASE doesn't really care about MEGATRON; he just joined the DECEPTICONS because he was in a bad mood, and it's pretty much lasted. As far as he's concerned, everything is pointless and stupid. He sees no reason why anyone else should be enjoying things when he's so miserable. That's why he spends his time grumpily ruining things for AUTOBOTS and DECEPTICONS alike. He's not much of a warrior, so he specializes in just being inconvenient. His blaster arm causes metal to rust instantly.

CRANKCASE is based on the G1 Decepticon Triggercon of the same name. His flip out weaponry is extremely similar to the original toy, so using the TRANSFORMERS: CYBERTRON RED ALERT mold worked well. In his original expanded biography, CRANKCASE was once a janitor for fuel spills, so the design team decided to make his vehicle mode a car for a hazardous materials team.

As part of the last waves of the Transformers live action movie toy line, a set of three exclusive figures were released for Wal-Mart. These were each based on a character from Transformers history (and Gobots in the case of Fracture) and were originally intended as "Transformers Universe" releases. Each was a redeco of a previously released figure. Crankcase is a redeco of Cybertron Red Alert. This review will focus on the changes made to this figure for this release.

During the middle years of the Generation One toyline, Hasbro tried out a lot of different gimmicks in the line. Unlike nowadays when one gimmick (such as Cyber Keys or Energon weapons) will dominate a line, they would take one feature and incorporate it into small subgroups in each toy line. In 1988, three Autobots and three Decepticons were released as "Tiggerbots" and "Triggercons" respectively. Their gimmick were "flip out" weapons that were activated at the touch of a button. Crankcase was one of these Triggercons, and it is that character this toy pays homage to.

Vehicle Mode:
G1 Crankcase sits in front of me next to Movie 2007 Crankcase as I write this, and I find the color choices here interesting. G1 Crankcase was mostly dark grey with blue bits and w hite windshield. His stickers were metallic silver and blue. However, if you look at Movie 2007 Crankcase, the designers took those basic colors and reversed them instead. Blue is now the primary color of the figure, making up most of the plastic. The translucent parts are now translucent yellow and the wheels remain black. Two shades of silver (one dark and one lighter) make up details such as the vents on his hood, the headlights and the stripe running along the side of the figure. On the door is a "Haz-Mat" shield, complete with symbols for radioactivity, biohazards and a Decepticon symbol. This is a reference to the G1 Crankcase's past history working at the Fuel-Spill Section of the Ministry of Energy and Nutrition on Cybertron. This was not something noted on the original figures' bio, but rather on his "Transformers Universe" entry published by Marvel comics in the 80's. A bit of red is used on the back of the figure to paint its rear lights. It's a simple deco that works and helps to show how diverse you can make one sculpt make by giving it a complex paint job like Cannonball or a simple one like this.

Crankcase includes the "Planet X" Cyber Key. With its jagged edges this makes perfect sense since the Decepticons in the live action movie are often portrayed with jagged metal edges on their armor. The Key mechanism still works well and the wheels roll without an issue.

Robot Mode:
In robot mode, most of the newly revealed parts are now cast in silver (waist flaps, thighs, shoulder guns) and black (fist, feet). Blue still dominates the figure but between the silver deco and silver parts, it gives him the proper colors to pay homage to his G1 predecessor. He even has a bit of metallic blue on the cross hatch patterns on his chest, a color used on the stickers on G1 Crankcase. A silver Decepticon symbol is painted onto the center of his chest, contrasting nicely against the black chest panel. The translucent yellow plastic gets showcased here primarily on his shoulders and head, where it serves as the color for his visor eyes. To give a sold continuation of that color, his shoulders and waist have small solid yellow details.

Crankcase's weapons attach tightly to the left arm, and it's cool to see that even after two runs, the tooling for this sculpt is still solid. All the joints are tight and the Cyber Key mechanism works perfectly.

Final Thoughts:
I've always liked this sculpt. The vehicle mode's riff on the Dodge Magnum looks great, while the robot mode has a couple neat gimmicks. It's neat how this sculpt has gone from revised Armada character to a colorful Decepticon pirate to a G1 homage. However, if you're not a completist or a G1 fanatic, then you'll probably want to skip hefty aftermarket prices for this guy and only get him if you can find him at a reasonable price (no more than $15). Recommended.