|A.W.E. STRIKER DRIVER|
|Code Name: CRANKCASE|
Crankcase was the driver packed in with the A.W.E. Striker buggy, and thus was a fairly early purchase for me, what with me loving the A.W.E. Striker. However, beyond that I'm not sure he ever did anything interesting - Crankcase turned up occasionally in both the British and American comics, usually just driving an A.W.E. Striker unobtrusively.
Amazingly for such a relatively obscure character, Crankcase did get a 25th Anniversary update (ahead of the likes of Airtight, Jinx, Cover Girl, Lifeline and so on), packed in with a reissue of the A.W.E. Striker. I managed to get one of these loose. Like a lot of the more minor characters, he's largely made up of extant parts - Breaker's head and helmet, Shipwreck's body and the Cobra Trooper's legs.
These on the whole aren't bad off-the-shelf components and the general body works well - it's a shame the pullover of the original has turned into a shirt, but there we go. He does look a little squat - the head connection just makes him look like the guy's shoulders are permanently hunched, not helped by the thick webbing. More annoying, though, are a couple of paint choices. Firstly it's a big shame that Crankcase doesn't get his distinctive W.W.II German-style helmet, if perhaps unavoidable. But did it have to be yet another green helmet? The other irritating thing is the inexplicable decision to give Crankcase a full beard, rather than just the moustache of the original. It's not moulded detail, it's a paint application - they've gone out of their way to add the thing. Argh. I've supplemented mine with the original's helmet (thanks to a little Blu-Tack to hold it in place) and gun, but that beard is still bugging me.
These reservations aside, Crankcase isn't too bad a figure, and actually fits the A.W.E. Striker nicely (though it's baffling they chose a figure with two closed hands when the thing has a steering wheel). He's just not really worth going out of the way for. If you need the A.W.E. Striker (which is great) he's a passable bonus, however.