I passed on the Classics Mirage figure when it first came out in 2006. Despite good feedback, my Ultimate Mirage fix was covered by RobotMasters Rijie plus a couple of things didn't go down too well - the use of a totally unrealistic alt mode just felt wrong for the character, and the tacky fanboy in-joke paint apps were stupid beyond words. Even Takara's Henkei update just managed to highlight what a bad fit the alt mode was for the character.

Thankfully in 2008 Hasbro decided to recolour the figure, and (in a surprisingly innovative move) chose the Gobots figure Crasher (who they now own the character rights to, if not the actual mould) as the subject. The scheme was explicitly based on everyone's favourite Renegade transvestite and Hasbro would apparently have even used the Crasher name if they'd been able to trademark it. So, discounting shit like the eHobby Minibot recolours that didn't look anything like the Gobots they were named after this is basically the first new Gobots figure for over a decade. The toy was planned for the 2008 Universe line as a Wal-Mart exclusive, but the chain decided they wanted more Movie tie-in figures instead, so Fracture came out under that series. My thanks to the excellent Notabot for recommending this figure to me, and the for picking it up for me and sending it on - I'd probably have never got this toy otherwise, so thanks there matey =)

So, let's get one thing off my chest. Fracture doesn't turn into an F1 car; if cockpits weren't made enclosed when debris can kill the world's #1 driver on live TV, they never will be. Much better to think of it as a futuristic take on something like ALMS or whatever. It's not bad looking in itself - a nice, flowing wedge shape that just screams 'speed'.

The three-tone colour scheme really works, arguably better than it did on Bandai's Porsche Robo mould, and it's implemented to the hilt. The join lines are sadly a little obvious due to he amount of red and white paint apps on black plastic. Crasher suits something like this much more than Mirage, in my mind - the Transformers character's been attached to so many realistic racing cars that suddenly switching him to a vague futuristic design never sat well with me. Okay, so Crasher's only ever been a realistic Porsche 956 (apart from when good ol' Hanna-Barbera just drew a vague car shape in Challenge of the Gobots) but that was only once.

The transformation sequence is another winner - everything unfolds beautifully, especially the legs, and it's easy to pick up without getting boring. I'm not generally a fan of the idea of gendered Transformers; however, I can let Crasher slide as Gobots had something approaching an excuse (that being that somewhere along the line - though the episodes seem to disagree exactly where - the population of Gobotron were organic beings). I'm generally especially not a fan of making female robots curvy but somehow it fits here. Unlike most of the other female Gobots, Crasher's animation model was rounded out a little and so the rather elegant mould works nicely. And the dab of pink paint on the face is great - Hasbro haven't gone over the top and followed the terrifying Hanna Barbera face but it's enough to make the robot mode look close enough to Crasher. The only slight fault to the shape of the robot are the two wheels behind the neck, which greatly lend to the impression that the whole upper body is permanently at a 60° tilt.

The mould has a superb range of articulation - the limbs can rotate though a full circle almost uninterrupted and the arms can do this at the elbow as well. Thanks to a thoughtful layout there are effectively two joints in the knees as well (the lower panels hiding the biologically uncomfortable join in the middle of the shin). The moveable feet don't affect the balance to a great degree, but they do help the figure look more natural. Poseable feet, bloody hell. The only real bum note is that Fracture appears to be pointing her front wing at her enemies - it doesn't really convince as a weapon.

Despite the slightly suspect vehicle mode Fracture is a great toy. General consensus is that Mirage looks better but I tend to think Crasher actually fits the mould best, an unusual situation for a recolour. For Gobots fans, the toy is a must (it's not like there are many new Gobots to pick from, after all; it's also nice to see Hasbro doing a proper homage to the line, rather than cynical trademark retention references) while it's also recommended for Transformers fans who can think beyond playground crap, and especially anyone who either missed or skipped the mould first time around.