For the titans Returns line, Hasbro has opted to revisit the Headmasters gimmick of G1. There are some other nods to the Target Masters and Power Masters, but the actual gimmick is heads that come off and turn into smaller robots that interact with the larger vehicles. In the original run of Headmasters, there were 7 original toys, Skullcruncher, Mindwipe, Weirdwolf, Chromedome, Hardhead, Highbrow and Brainstorm. Thankfully, for the updated designs, they dove right in nd gave us all 7, across the first two haves (one figure being a store exclusive). There are also some other characters who were not originally Headmasters thrown in for filler.
Today I’m going to start off on these original 7 with Skullcruncher. All three of the original Decepticon Headmasters were animals, Skullcruncher being a robotic Crocodile. I wanted to start with Skullcruncher because while he has some neat tricks and a fun design, he’s got a lot of flaws that really make him one of the weaker toys in the line.
I’m going to start with the good points. The crocodile mode is really nicely sized. Granted a chunk of the length is the tail bit which parts forms into a gun, but fully stretched out he is easily 10″ long. There isn’t a ton of leg articulation, though that’s kind of to be expected for a crocodile, his tail and head and flex side to side a bit giving him some expressiveness in beast mode. The mouth of the croc opens up as well.
The Transformation is pretty basic but the neck and shoulders form up in a neat way to form the front croc legs, which earns Skullcruncher a few points for being interesting. Basically the shoulders flip up and land at an angle while the croc head folds over and pegs it all into place.
Unfortunately, he kind of falls apart a bit in robot mode. The basic robot is all right and he has one of the more interesting looking faces on his Titan Master, but his hips are extremely loose. Like, he’s going to just do the splits and fall over loose. I have heard of numerous reports of this issue across the board on this figure so I can’t say my toy is a 1 off problem. The hips have also gotten much looser over time, I can barely keep him standing now where originally it was loose but doable.
Each of these figures has a cockpit for the Titan Master in their vehicle/beast mode as well. Skullcruncher loses out again, for some reason his cockpit uses a flimsy rubbery flap for it’s cover, something none of the other figures (so far) do. The others all have hard plastic. The soft plastic is tricky to get open and is easily, accidentally pushed down into the cavity. I’m not entirely sure why they went with this weird other plastic for the cockpit cover, the location and set up doesn’t have any need for it.
On one last side note, he has a pretty neat Crocodile man mode than can be made halfway through transformation.
All in all, Titans Return Skullcruncher is a nice looking update to an old figure, but it’s a severely flawed toy in a lot of ways that feel like they would have been easily fixable with a bit more design work by Hasbro.