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Series: Legacy
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2023
Function: Data Collector


Crankcase hates everyone and complains about everything. The only thing that brings him joy is making life miserable for others. 
Signature weapon: High-impact laser blasters - fires Energon bolts that decimate targets with explosive results.

Crankcase is probably the funniest, most humorous person you will ever meet, but a severe head injury makes it so that, should he ever smile, his entire cranium will fall apart, and he will instantly die. Nah, just kidding, he is just a naturally miserable grump. And he has ample reason to be a miserable grump, seeing as what few toys he has had since 1988 were either repaints or Movie-line cannon fodder. Now, though, he is back in the Legacy line… with another repaint. Well, retool. Will it be enough to make him less grumpy? Let’s say go!

Robot Mode: Crankcase is an extensive retool of Legacy Skids, but seeing as I skipped that one, this is my first experience with the mold. Let us start with the positive things. Comparing this Crankcase figure to its G1 predecessor, the resemblance is pretty strong. The head, chest details and shins are a very close match and both figures carry a rucksack, so character recognition is quite good. Personally I would have liked it if they had included his headwound from the IDW comics in the head sculpt, but that’s just me. The figure’s articulation is standard for the Legacy line, meaning pretty good. Crankcase can pull off all sorts of poses without any problems.

Okay, now for the negatives, and sadly there are quite a few. First and foremost: the original G1 figure was a Triggercon, meaning he had flip-out shoulder guns powered by a gear mechanism. Now I know that Hasbro has become somewhat gimmick-phobic in their recent lines, so I did not expect the shoulder guns on this new figure to be spring-powered or anything, but I did expect it to HAVE shoulder guns. To be fair, Crankcase does have them, but they are tiny, tiny things that you can barely see unless you look really closely. I do remember some design specs for this figure where they were bigger initially, but for some reason they shrunk them down to these pitiful little things here.

That’s not the only thing dragging this figure down, though. First off, the legs are pretty wobbly on mine. Not sure if that’s a general problem, but given that the knee joints (if you can call them that) are basically hollow and only connected to the lower legs on one side (and on a transparent part, to boot), I do not have high hopes for the long-term endurance here. Also, the chest piece (the front of the car) does not lock solidly into place and neither does the rucksack. They don’t come loose just by looking at them, but handling the figure usually suffices for it to come apart.

Finally, the weapons. Crankcase’s first weapon is a transparent smoky-black blaster, which is… okay, I guess. Not great, but okay. His second weapon, however, is basically the front grill of his car mode, which flips down on one side to unveil two tiny little gun barrels. Would have made more sense in my book to use the extra mass here to actually give him shoulder guns rather than this weird rifle thing.

So bottom line here: Crankcase looks good in robot mode, but has quite a few design problems dragging him down.

Alternate Mode: Crankcase transforms into an off-road vehicle and while the transformation itself is relatively basic – he lies down on his stomach, flips his chest up to form the hood, and folds in his legs – getting everything lined up correctly so that it snaps together solidly is a bit of a hassle. Apparently the Skids version was much worse in that regard with multiple tolerance issues, but Crankcase does manage to form a solid car shell. And the car does manage to look a lot like his old G1 alternate mode, so no complaints on that end.

There are other complaints, though. First, why are the front wheels on clips and the rear wheels on pins? Would it have been asking too much to have all four look the same? It’s not a big thing, mind you, but it bugs me. Second, the piece in the middle of the hood where the Decepticon insignia is does not tab in at all, it basically just hangs there. So unless you are careful in handling the car, you WILL push it in at some point. And finally, unlike his G1 counterpart, Legacy Crankcase is incapable of deploying his (barely-there) flip-out guns in car mode. Again, would that have been so hard? I get that this is just a Skids retool, but still. You can attach Crankcase’s blaster to the roof, but that’s it in terms of arms.

So bottom line for the car mode: somewhat better than the robot mode, but still with several flaws dragging it down.

Remarks: Crankcase has zero TV appearances under his belt, but has quite the history in the comic books. He has numerous appearances in the Marvel Comics run (including Generation 2) and reappeared in the 2005 IDW continuity of comics, where he was among the first Decepticons to face the wrath of Thunderwing. He survived, though, and became a member of the Scavengers, the funniest group of Decepticons ever assembled and one of the highlights of IDW’s first continuity.

As for the toy, I skipped the Skids version as I have zero interest in that character. I bought this one because I enjoyed the Scavengers and needed a good Crankcase for the line-up. Sadly this figure here is not it. It has the looks for the most part, but the figure itself has a few too many issues for me to be happy with it, so it’s going into the for-sale-box after this review is done. So bottom line: if you really, desperately need a Crankcase for your shelves, you might take a look at this guy, but personally I advise you to either stick with the G1 figure or wait for a better offer, be it from Hasbro or Third Party.

Rating: C-

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