Last year I started getting heavy into Legos. This year, I was bitten by the third-party Transformer bug. It seems like every year I adopt horrible new tortures for my bank account to endure. It all started with TFC’s Project Uranos and Mech Ideas’ Demolition Crue and since I’ve been thrilled with everything so far, it was only a matter of time before I branched out to buying the wares of third-party heavy hitter, Fansproject. And seeing as how I simply cannot resist Decepticon cars, it was a no-brainer that I would begin by jumping on board their set of “Not-Stunticons.” The fact that we haven’t seen final pictures of their combined mode [We have now, and it looks glorious! –FF] doesn’t bother me at all, because I’m picking up these guys primarily as individual figures. We’re kicking this team off with Car Crash (aka “Not-Breakdown”). Let’s take a look at the presentation…
I’m always excited (and sometimes a little apprehensive) about getting my first product from a company, particularly where the packaging is concerned. TFC’s is awesome, Mech Ideas’ was underwhelming. Where does Fansproject’s Causality packaging fall? It’s awesome! They had me right away with the G1-style grid pattern on the box. Car Crash comes in a beautiful and compact little window box that shows off the figure in his robot mode. There’s a nice piece of character art on the front and on one side of the box, but other than that FP lets the images of the actual figure do the talking. The side, top and back of the box show Car Crash in all his awesome glory. The box is totally collector friendly, which is always a plus for me, especially when a toy is this expensive and you want to preserve it exactly as you got it.
Open the box and Car Crash is wrapped in plastic and nestled in a clear plastic tray with another tray covering it. You get a collectible card, a color instruction sheet that shows you how to change him from either starting point, and he also comes with a handgun. What? No combiner parts? I’m sure those are all coming with “Not-Motormaster.” As usual, we’re going to start with his alt mode.
The original Breakdown was a white Lamborghini Countach with red trim on the hood. Car Crash’s alt mode serves the source material well. He’s not quite a Countach, but he’s a similar concept car that’s close enough to drive (“har har”) the homage home. He’s a solid little car, which in size falls somewhere between one of Hasbro’s standard Deluxe and Scout Class Transformers. I took some shots to compare him with Classics Sideswipe and you can see that he’s unfortunately not quite to scale. Still, with scale being what it is in the world of Transformers, it’s not impossible to squint and make it work. Afterall, the G1 Stunticon figures were a lot smaller than the regular Autobot cars.
The deco is simple enough, and utilizes mostly the base white plastic, red paint on the hood and tail lights, a little silver for the head lights, and some blue for the running boards. The windows are also all painted black, with a little bit of sparkly finish. There are obviously some seams from his transformation, and a hinge back by the engine, but nothing too ugly and the whole car mode locks together in a tight and snug fashion. The wheels are nicely sculpted and he rolls along quite well, despite the fact that the inner parts of his back wheels are static. In this alt mode, Car Crash’s gun stores underneath to become exhaust pipes.
Transforming Car Crash is a bit of a bitch. It’s not because he’s really complex, but because everything locks together so tight, and for some steps, you have to use a little too much force for my comfort level. Going from his robot mode to car utilizes telescoping arms and legs that fold into themselves, and getting everything in just the right spot and tabbed together is a pretty deliberate affair. When changing him to robot, it’s getting the feet split apart that I find really taxing.
Now is as good a time as any to point out that the quality of the plastic here is excellent. I’ve changed Car Crash back and forth a bunch of times now and I’ve seen no sign of any stress marks. I did have one of the feet pop out once, but it’s on a ball joint and pops right back into place. Considering that you have to apply a good amount of force at a couple points in the transformation, I think that’s pretty remarkable. His joints are tight and the overall feel of this guy is absolutely fantastic, but that doesn’t change the fact that I get a little nervous sometimes when transforming him.
As with the alt mode, the robot mode’s size places Car Crash somewhere between being a Deluxe and Scout. Even with his shoulder armor, he doesn’t quite come up to the shoulders of your average Classics Deluxe figure. If you’ve picked up any of the previous Causality figures, you should know what to expect. If not, this guy may seem rather small to you. But if you can get past his size (and believe me, you should try), he is an amazing looking robot. His legs consist of armor made out of the folded front end of the car, giving him some amazingly versatile ankles and feet. The subtle way the wheels fold in is very clever and looks great. His forearms are wearing the doors and his shoulders consist of his back tires and are crested by the rear quarter panels of the car. The shape of the torso gives him that great angular G1 style that I love so much and that head sculpt? Well that’s just pure win, Fansproject. Car Crash’s color scheme definitely pays its respects to the G1 Sunbow character, albeit with more white on the lower legs than blue. The mix of white and blue, two-tone grey, and metallic silver all look fabulous, but it’s the red painted face that really ties this figure together for me. I’ll admit that I find his car mode rather bland, but his robot mode exhibits some really beautiful coloring.
As great as this figure looks, he’s just as much fun to play with because he has crazy articulation. You get ball joints in the neck, shoulders, hips and ankles. He has swivels in the biceps, waist, and thighs. His elbows and knees are hinged. I’ve had tons of fun fiddling around with him and putting him into poses.
Car Crash set me back $68 shipped. Yep, that’s a nice chunk of change to pay for a figure that isn’t quite a Deluxe. On the other hand, any time you can get a decent third-party Transformer figure for under $100 it seems like a treat. And Car Crash isn’t a decent figure, he’s an exceptional one. He features a solid car mode, but more importantly a gorgeous and wonderfully articulated robot mode. He’s also packed with quality and I find him to be well worth every penny. Sure, I would have preferred him to be more in scale with my Deluxes, and yeah I would have paid more. But I’m still happy with what we got and I’m really excited to see T-Bone show up on my stoop next week.