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Series: Dark of the Moon Mechtech
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2011

As an expert tracker and infiltrator, Crankcase serves Megatron from the shadows. Unseen and never recognized, he watches the Autobots and reports their movements back to his master. He rarely engages in combat, but when he does, it is swift, terrible, and final.

Review by LimeWire:

Prelude: The group of Decepticons named „Dreads“ will probably be the equivalent to the Autobots’ “Wreckers”. I am looking forward to some spectacular 3 vs. 3 battles in the movie. Where the name Dreads may hail from will be looked at during the robot mode.

Alternate Mode: Crankcase, the probable name of this figure, does a fair job of imitating a Chevrolet Suburban. Previously many people regarded this as a possible Earth Mode for Soundwave. The detailing on cars of this type is rather sparse and what little there is gets swallowed up by the all-black paintjob. It appears to be a government-type vehicle of some sort, evident by the light bar on top of it.

The interesting thing is that Hasbro has maintained the weapon connectors we’ve already seen in the Transformers (2010) and Generations line. For example you can easily connect the weapons of Generations Darkmount/Straxus to the doors of the car. Hasbro has also developed this gimmick further, resulting in the rather controversial MechTech weapons. These are large, massive weapons, which can only serve one purpose: total destruction of the enemy! According to rumor some of these weapons will appear in the third movie and I’m looking forward to seeing how they’re portrayed. These weapons do look out of place in alternate mode, though, much too big. Not so with other weapons from previous toys, such as the aforementioned Darkmount weapons, which fit very nicely onto Crankcase and don’t look all that unrealistic, either.

It’s worth mentioning that Crankcase carries yet another weapon here, which does make for a strong resemblance to G1 Shrapnel. There are huge “scissors” which can deploy from underneath the vehicle mode in order to remove Autobots, obstacles or annoying little fleshlings from the car’s path... fleshling mince meat... nice... if it’s your fancy...

All in all a solid vehicle mode with no obvious flaws. Bonus points for the weapon connectors, but some point deduction for the MechTech weapon, which can’t be hidden here. So it about evens out.

Robot Mode: The robot mode looks like something that our American friends would no doubt describe as “bad ass” and I can’t think of a more fitting description, either. Crankcase looks evil, devious and brutal. And I do hope that his movie appearance will emphasize just these qualities. The head reminds me of a cross between a bat and a spider, though the bat resemblance is stronger. Resemblance to Beast Wars Sonar are probably unintentional. Crankcase’s huge scissors are visible in robot mode, making him resemble G1 Shrapnel even more.

The robot mode does, of course, offer the opportunity to mount the weapons of Darkmount (or others), as well as the big MechTech weapon. In this case the MechTech gun looks just fabulous and one thing worth mentioning: In this mode the weapon can be stored on the robot’s back, where it’s mostly hidden.

Posability is excellent, enabling all kinds of hot poses. The transformation is very interesting, too, but a tad difficult to do without the instruction sheet, but doable. By the way, the dreaded miniaturization has not taken place here, or more precisely it didn’t do much and is bearable. Of course we’ll need to look at further toys of this line for a definite statement.

Gimmicks: The primary gimmick of this figure is, of course, the MechTech weapon. It reminds me of the weapon of Classics Optimus Prime, paired with the claw of Movie Deluxe Brawl. The weapon contains a sort of Automorph feature as we’ve seen in the original Movie toyline. Pulling a lever turns the blaster into a long sniper-style rifle with a claw mounted at the end. Nicely done, but the spring mechanism is bothersome, as it doesn’t allow the weapon to remain in its extended mode. This is why I’ve already modified it and removed the spring. Now it’s really great.

I look at the weapon connectors as the second gimmick, seeing as it allows inter-toyline weapon exchange. Very nicely done, Hasbro. The third gimmick is, to me, the least necessary one: the scissor-claws in robot and alternate mode. Their lack of detailing negates their coolness and they serve almost no purpose, except to hinder the transformation. The fourth gimmick isn’t one, not really, but does give us a hint of the gutter-level humor we can except from Michael Bay in the third movie: Crankcase’s hands. Some may think, what? His hands? Yes, his hands.

The reason: The hands are very detailed and sport claws, which is nice and all. BUT: The middle finger is a very long thorn-like contraption that I like to call a “Razorclaw”. Which enables very nice “f**k you” poses, rife with arrogance. I like it, but unfortunately it does foreshadow the same amount of gutter-level humor we’ve already seen in ROTF. I hope I’m wrong about this.

Conclusion: Crankcase marks the restart of my Movie collection mania. I’ve got a very positive outlook now and eagerly anticipate Megatron and Skids. Crankcase is a clear recommendation to everyone who like the Movie-line.

And for an added opinion, the Review by Philister:

Remarks: Seeing as Limewire has already written a long review for this figure that I largely agree with, I’ll keep it short here. Crankcase as available in retail is pretty much identical to the pre-release figure Limewire reviewed, right down to the extended middle finger claw. Well, at least this version is. Apparently in the US the middle finger has been hacked off on all retail versions, while the Japanese get a new hand sculpt with three finger claws of equal length. Only in Europe do we get the original, longer middle finger claw, but not everywhere, either. I bought mine at the REAL market, but apparently the ones available at Toys R’Us have castrated fingers, too.

Not much else I have to add to Limey’s review, only that I really like the inhuman look of this figure and consider him the best of the DOTM Deluxe figures I’ve seen so far. Really looking forward to seeing him in the movie. So my bottom line is: fully recommended to everyone who isn’t turned away by the figure’s creepy look.

Rating: A-
Toy DB Link

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