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Crashbar

Transformers Legacy Evolution
by yo go re

Okay, back into the comfort zone.

Crashbar is one of the fastest Junkions. He races across the planet at high speed, often crashing into obstacles and reassembling himself before speeding off again.

After Scraphook took the Junkions to new places - the magical and uncharted territory of "not being a motorcycle" - Crashbar brings us back. But hey, despite there being tons of different bike-based Junkions in the G1 cartoon, neither the name nor the design are references to any of them. This may not be as much of a departure as our last Junkion figure, but he's still a new creation, and that matters.

Considering that motorcycle Transformers so often become sleek, willowy robots, it's impressive how substantial Crashbar is. His chest is a huge block with industrial detailing - flood lights, handles, etc. - sculpted all over. The arms are blocky, with a few forward-facing spikes by the shoulders. The ridges on the abdomen look like vents that would cool an engine. The sculpt makes that part of the body look huge, which means that the legs would then have to be gigantic.

Crashbar's head doesn't strive to look like the front cowling of a motorcycle, so it's free to have an interesting design instead. There's a distinct "helmet" part, with a ridge rising to a crest on the forehead and a pair of horns sticking out the sides. He's got a red visor covering his eyes, and his face seems to have a dirtbag mustache and a soul patch.

The figure is armed with dual Gravity Cannons, which fire massive bursts of energy that hinder opponents' movement. There are also a pair of pipes that he can wield like clubs, or keep plugged into his back (the instructions would have them go straight up, but I like to switch their sides and angle them). You could also plug them into the back of his shoulders, or even wrap them around his ribs so they point forward. Honestly, there are so many ways to put them on the figure, you're sure to find at least one you like. Completely unmentioned in the instructions is the fact you can remove one of the bike's wheels and turn it into a typical Junkion buzzsaw/shield thing.

To convert the robot, turn the hands around, then bend the arms up so the shoulder-spikes go into the openings in the hands, tuck the head down into the chest, turn the torso to the right (his right, your left) turn the legs inward, fold them up, flip the entire thing over, and attach all the accessories to finish the look. The toughest part is getting the two tiny tabs under the gas tank into the slots on the arms: there are three, but you have to make sure you get the tabs into the center ones to get him changed properly.

Like Scraphook, Crashbar can be taken apart and recombined. The only style Hasbro shows involves putting the front and back wheels of the bike onto the body of Scraphook's truck, but designer Mark Maher suggested things like making a sidecar or a three-wheeled trike. Obviously you can trade the bodyparts, but if you do, be aware that the crashbar legs are much longer than the Scraphook ones, so you'll need to switch both, not just one. The colors between the two toys match perfectly, but the shapes less so.

Scraphook was so good because he was unexpected: not just a new character, but a new play pattern and a new type of vehicle bent to fit the style. Crashbar doesn't quite get all that (a Junkion motorcycle is not a new thing) but he's still fun, and it's great to play with the two of them together.

-- 07/11/23


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