Ah, the Power Core Combiners… what a gimmick. Some people love it, others hate it. Honestly? I love it. I’m a huge combiner fan because I love collecting up teams and making the gestalt. There’s a great sense of satisfaction when you finally have all the members of the team together. Sure, Hasbro doesn’t do that anymore, but now we’ve got a gimmick that doesn’t really have “official” formations to go by and a great way to mix and match components. Not only that, we got Minicons back, and now instead of vehicles, they’re paying homage to the Targetmaster buddies of old, now with even cooler altmodes like axes and drills and leafblowers! (Seriously, that’s what Backwind transforms into…)
Crankcase here is one I was really looking forward to. I bought all three of the Commanders when they first came out, and I just knew Huffer was going to get a Decepticon repaint. Let’s face it, the super mode head is a deadringer for Menasor from G1, and a black repaint of him as Motormaster was inevitable. I was really happy to get this set, mostly to give Smolder a set of drones, but I have to say I found the set pretty surprising…
Crankcase himself, while channeling Motormaster in some respects, more resembles Scourge/Black Convoy/Nemesis Prime. I can’t say I’m truly bothered, but this color scheme has gotten kind of overused over the past ten years. His vehicle mode is pretty decent, although I think he would need a few more panels to achieve a truly “complete” truck mode. Also, like many of his compatriots, he has those annoying PCC ports sticking out of his rear… However, they seem to be offset by those awesome patterns on the truck. I’d say it works.
His transformation is pretty simple, basically consisting of “split legs, flip up head, move arms up”. It works for what it is, and he gets quite a bit of poseability out of it. His visor is now an intimidating shade of red, and it looks great against the rest of his body. He has a single minicon port on his chest which can be used if you want to place one there to be used as chest armor. Overall, a pretty good figure, and I’d say I like him more than his Autobot counterpart, lack of a Minicon aside.
His drones come from two sources-the tank and jeep from the Combaticon team, and the spy plane and helicopter coming from the Aerialbots. They all look really cool but don’t quite fit in any sort of theme with Crankcase. I do, however, like the choice of a team name-“Destrons”. Nice to see Hasbro using the Japanese name for the Decepticons, finally. I much would’ve preferred to see the Rallybots repainted here for a true Stunticon homage, but I guess we’re getting them later.
The Super Robot mode is where it’s at. Yeah, Crankcase’s head here is an obvious Menasor homage, and it looks great with GREEN light piping! Now there’s something you don’t see enough. I rather like how the PCC gimmick works, with the drones automorphing when they’re inserted into the torso. I like the look of all of the limbs, with the exception of the helicopter. Something about it just seems off to me, and it’s the only one that needs some “extra” transforming. Regardless, it’s a great robot mode, and I think these drones look even cooler on Smolder.
I like Crankcase. I like him a lot. Sure, I much would’ve preferred him to come with Rallybot redecoes, but we’ve got them coming later. My advice? Grab Crankcase now, give his drones to Smolder, and give the Stunticons to Crankcase when they’re out. That way you can have your own Mini-Menasor-MINISOR! Come on in and start your collection today!