As detailed here, Crasher had already been released in the first series of Gobots, using the white Machine Robo colour scheme. As most of the mechanics of the mould are discussed in the earlier review, this one will largely cover the aesthetic changes involved in the second version, as my view of the actual figure hasn't changed much over the past few months. In the Challenge of the Gobots cartoon, Crasher (a female character) had appeared in a totally different colour scheme, mainly black with red (I'd guess this was always planned by Tonka, and the white release was Machine Robo overstock or something, as even Tonka and Hanna-Barbera couldn't have concocted the idea of promoting a toy with a cartoon character who looked nothing like it).

Anyway, by the second series of figures the white version of Crasher had been withdrawn and replaced by a recoloured version more in line with her TV appearances. This version wasn't released in Japan, and only came out in relatively small numbers in Europe - in both cases, the white version remained in production for a much longer period. However, the more famous cartoon scheme was used for one of the few outright homages to Gobots in the modern Transformers line, as the quasi-Classics figure Fracture.


ALTERNATE MODE

Thus this version of Crasher is pretty much a dead ringer for the TV version, with only a couple of additional details (the name 'CRASHER' and number '1' on the front and sides) diverging.

It looks very sharp on the toy - perhaps highlights are a bit closer to orange than red, but it still looks very good. The mainly black look suits the 956, and much like the US release of Slicks, the big funky stickers add a slightly goofy, unreal feeling that isn't all that unwelcome as a bit of a change. The quality of construction is as good as the original too, with Tonka cutting no corners in this respect.


ROBOT MODE

The new colours work just as well on the robot mode. The black/red scheme is certainly a lot more obviously villainous than the white version - which, for me, tallies with the theory that this redeco was planned from the start; the Rothmans version does just scream 'Guardian'' recolours as different characters doesn't seem to have been something Tonka thought of, which is perhaps a bit of a shame. The original version just doesn't feel much like Crasher the character, though whether this is in the original's favour or not I couldn't possibly say.

Once again, the toy is on the whole pretty TV-accurate, the only real difference being the face - whereas Crasher's TV visage was purple and somewhat humanised, this retains the original toy face, but with a red visor. This does look rather good, gelling nicely with the rest of the robot mode, but on the other hand does mean this still doesn't look quite like the cartoon version. I'm sort of in two minds on this - on the one hand, not having the toy look like a shemale can be viewed as a Good Thing; on the other, it'd be nice (if slightly unfeasible as it would have required a new face cast) if the cartoon-accurate version was cartoon-accurate.


SUMMARY

The recolour version of Crasher really does look very sharp. The 'official Renegade' black/red/silver scheme (cf. Fitor, Screw Head, Psycho, Scorp, uh, Scooter - okay, maybe they weren't official colours, but just cropped up every now and then) works well on the figure, and while the toy isn't an exact replica of the cartoon character, it certainly seems a more natural villain than the first series Crasher. The 'anime' version is more common than the white version, but tends to fetch a little bit more due to people inexplicably liking Challenge of the Gobots. Personal preference on whether real-world accuracy or cartoon styling are more important will probably decide which one you like best. For me, the Rothmans version is the best (you can't beat 'Might have been driven by Stefan Bellof' with 'Might have been voiced by Marilyn Lightstone'), but the second version is still a nice, worthy, stylish figure.


THE FACTS
[Corrections? Let me know!]

RELEASES:
1983, Machine Robo Series - MR-20: Porsche Robo
1983, Machine Robo Best 5 - MR-20: Porsche Robo (red recolour)
1983, Robo Machine - RM-20: Porsche
1983, Gobots Series 1 - 19: Crasher
1985, Gobots Series 2 - 19: Crasher (black recolour)
1985, Robo Machine - RM-20: Porsche (reissue using black recolour)
1986, Machine Robo Revenge of Cronos - MRB-8: Porsche Robo
1993, Robo Machines - Sports Car

PARTS:
None

WEAK POINTS:
Knees