Shortpacked!: Movin' on up?
I found Fracture and her casemates Saturday evening, which sprung off into the idea for this week's TNI strip. There's at least four different display pallets full of different Transformer toys showing up at Wal-marts across the continent, and the Wal-mart on Georgesville Road has all of them. Once those display things are expired, the toys that are left will be moved into the pegs and shelves in the aisles. So, yeah, I don't expect to find anything new there for a while.
Fracture is a GoBot. She is Crasher, one of the evil Renegades. You know, the one that stomped and laughed and had the scary lipsticked raccoon face? Hasbro couldn't secure the trademark to the name, so "Fracture" is what we ended up with. She and her casemates, Breakaway and Crankcase, were originally planned to be part of the new Classics/Universe line, but Wal-mart wanted Movie merchandise instead, so there you go.
It's one of the fun things about Hasbro having bought Tonka, which distributed GoBots in the 80s as Hasbro's competition. Hasbro can't, of course, do anything with the original toys, which are owned by Bandai, but Hasbro seems to own the mythos. ...but not the cartoon, which was done by Hanna-Barbara? It's complicated. Basically, weird homages like this are the only way new GoBots material can seep into modern day.
(Bug Bite, the dude behind her, is the first Go-Bots character remade in North America. The trend started in Japan, with a set of Mini-Vehicle redecos.)
Using the Classics Mirage mold to make a new Crasher was the brainchild of Hasbro deco artist Joe Kyde, and you can see his original concept here. And why not? The toy is slender and effete, and has big boots for stomping, as Crasher is known for. (She is also known for cackling nonstop and being kinda annoying.)
Her toy, like Mirage, is extremely poseable, and now, I'd say the colors are improved. Mirage's white and blue was okay, but Crasher's white, black, and red really make a more vibrant impression. The purple face is also unique, and makes the white/black/red scheme a little more ... three-dimensional? She also seems to have off-white/yellowish eyes, which together with the purple face and the black outlines around the eyes match Crasher's cartoon appearance. It's these special touches that take her the extra mile. If you had to choose between any version of the mold (including the transparent blue Mirage from BotCon 2007), Crasher is definitely the one to choose.
Be careful, though. The quality control on the paint in these Wal-mart exclusives is really hit-and-miss. Look closely when you're picking one out. Fracture's problems are by far the worst of the three exclusives. If you seriously want one, find one as soon as you can, because not only will the well-painted ones be taken, but she seems to be selling much faster than the others.