Retro-Review: G1 Skullcruncher & Grax

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2005
    Posts:
    934
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    147
    Likes:
    +12
    Ebay:
    [​IMG]
    For more pictures, click on the image above


    Robot Mode: Skullcruncher is a tall, relatively slim robot who would probably be part of the Deluxe-class if he were released today. There are very few parts of his alternate mode visible, at least from the front. The head of the alligator hangs on his back and the tail is split and hangs off his knees right above the rear legs of the alligator, which hang off his thighs. Nothing that gets in the way, there are TFs with much, much worse kibble. The paint job with green and something that is somewhere between purple and burgundy looks good, almost understated. Might have looked better without the purple/burgundy, though. Not sure and definitely not sacrificing this one for a repaint.

    In terms of posability Skullcruncher is neither the best nor the worst figure of his time. He can bend his knees, twist at the hip, and move his arms at shoulder and elbow. Not fancy, but okay for a G1 figure. The figure carries two weapons. One is a pretty standard laser pistol, while the other is a kind of short sword or possibly a mace, formed from the very tip of the alligator tail. Almost reminiscent (or is that preminiscent?) of Beast Wars, where the weapons were usually integral parts of the beast mode as well.

    Like all Headmasters Skullcruncher shows his stats behind his chest plate when his head is plugged in. According to them he's very strong, pretty intelligent, but very slow. Not sure where the intelligent comes in (certainly not in his tech spec or any of his in-media appearances). So in the end we have a rather typical 1987 G1 robot with no flaws worth mentioning, but nothing particularly outstanding, either. A good, but unspectacular robot mode.

    Alternate Mode: Like all Decepticon Headmasters Skullcruncher becomes a robotic animal, in his case an alligator. I think he's actually the first alligator in Transformer history (not that there have been that many, even if you count in crocodiles), so a small bonus point for originality. In terms of look and proportions Skullcruncher does a pretty decent job here. The head might be a bit big compared to the rest of the body, but overall the proportions seem pretty okay to me (as a non-zoologist).

    The color combination is the same here as in robot mode. Wouldn't have been my first choice, but looks okay. The alligator's head doubles as a cockpit for Headmaster Grax, who has to enter his partner's mouth in order to take a seat (would make me very nervous each time). Posability in the four legs is okay, the front ones (the robot arms) do better than the rear ones, which can only swivel at the 'hip', so to speak. No tail movement, sadly, and the twisting hip doesn't do much good here, either. Skullcruncher can open his jaw wide enough, though, to swallow small figures and fully grab taller ones (if Grax isn't in the seat, at least). So all in all a beast mode more for looking at than playing with, but still quite good.

    Partner / Add-On: As a Headmaster Skullcruncher's head is a separate figure, the Nebulon Grax. Mostly black, Grax is a pretty standard Headmaster figure from the gimmick's first year. Far more posable than later Headmaster figure, he can move his legs quite freely (though they're joined at the knees) and his arms swivel at the shoulders. Pretty decent for his size. When plugged into Skullcruncher in head mode, he causes the robot's stats to become visible behind his chest panel.

    Remarks: To the western world Skullcruncher was just one more new face in the crowd during the infamous three-part finale of the G1 cartoon, "Rebirth". He did nothing of consequence there and his role in the Marvel comic series wasn't any bigger, either. Just one of the crowd. In the Japanese Headmaster series, though, he had a bigger role as one of the trio of Destron Headmasters that took point in just about every battle of that series and blew up planet Seibertron (the Japanese name for Cybertron), too. That will look impressive on just about any résumé.

    Rating: B-
     
  2. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Posts:
    14,695
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +43
    I got this fella complete last year from a car boot sale for around £4 and he stands proudly above my desk.
    I love his weird pinkiness, which isn't exactly alligatory. His huge backpack in robot mode is a bit of a bummer and I kinda wish the head split down the middle so it could splay out from the sides of his back like wings. Yes, that's right: I'd like him to have more sticky-out kibble. I just feel he needs it as he's a kinda so-so shape in robot mode.

    His tail weapon is a bit bum. It's basically just a lump he holds. I suppose you could just store it in his back canopy in robot mode, but a flip out longer handle to make it some kind of adze might've been cool. Or just have a gun barrel flip out instead of giving him a separate pistol. Also irked that his pistol has no place to store in animal mode. All it needed was a hole on the top of one of his alligator legs to mount it there. Or even on his nose. You can kinda fit it in his fist but it doesn't look great.
    Never liked that the pilot had to sit in the alligator's mouth either. Surely if you're eating an enemy you don't want them to shoot you as they get om nom nommed in.

    But I still like the Barney of alligators.
     
  3. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Roll out! TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2007
    Posts:
    5,307
    News Credits:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    221
    Likes:
    +25
    This was my first Headmaster, and one of the few G1 Transformers I've purchased in the last few years. While I like the Brainstorm and Mindwipe I got later on better than Skullcruncher, I still think Skullcruncher is a really neat toy. My only real complaint is that his legs are joined together, which looks weird.
     
  4. Triggerhappy

    Triggerhappy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Posts:
    1,699
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    177
    Likes:
    +4
    I hope he (and the other Headmasters) get upgrades sometime soon, I was always surprised they never explored them in Beast Wars, no G1 Beast-mode character really got any kind of homage apart from Grimlock that I can think of off the top of my head (I may have missed someone)

    Headmasters need some Hasbro love frankly!
    Thanks for the review
     
  5. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2005
    Posts:
    14,695
    News Credits:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    262
    Likes:
    +43
    Ravage probably counts. Sorta.
    And yep, still wanting my Snapdragon upgrade. ROTF Mindwipe is nice and all that but I wants me a Headmaster version too.
     

Share This Page