What a difference a few years make. Back in 2016 I was all about Skullcruncher since I missed the G1 original - I even thought about buying a second one, for no good reason. I didn't. A Legends release in Japan had alternate deco and a G1 anime head, but I skipped it - and now the head came out in this Walmart-exclusive release. It's pretty good - for the original toy, Skullsmasher [FOTD #1,495] is still up for your reading pleasure. Five years later and dive dollars more expensive, and it's still basically the same toy - warts and all.
It's largely the same toy with some changes. The new head is a big improvement, with an added (almost invisible) silver addition ot the chest. The green is a little darker on the body, and the pink is now more of a purple. I'm told it is more true to the original toys, since I have no basis for comparison I'll have to agree. A couple of lines are painted on the belly area too. If you missed the previous release you will likely enjoy this one. If you have the previous one, it may not be worth the upgrade unless you want the anime/Japanese-release head.
The 5 1/2-inch robot mode is still simple and it works great - as part of the Prime Wars Trilogy era of toy design, you don't get rocker ankles - but you do get 18 meaningful points of articulation, all of which are surprisingly stiff for the fourth release of this mold. He's pretty sturdy, but lacks ankle support. It's likely to tip over if you nudge him from the front.
Weaponry is largely unchanged, with the tail blaster/club/sword still being awkward and the pistol still being the same. The tail is notable in that it has added silver paint deco near the tip, as opposed to being completely unpainted in 2016. As with before, he has no problems holding his accessories - but the tail is still a weird one.
The transformation we good before, and it's still good. I don't like to have to work too hard to figure these things out - the legs become the back half of the alligator, while the robot head pops off to fold over the robot shoulders. It's a nice one - it's pretty simplistic, and you can store the head as a tiny robot as the pilot of a gator mech.
Our adorable gator buddy was updated to a sleeker, more "realistic" creature with proportions more similar to what you might see at the zoo. Coloring was updated to more accurately match the original toy, moving some of the tampos to the rear purple parts but also adding some silver to the front feet and back legs. Why? I have no idea. The eyes are now grey, and the G1 rubsign has been replaced with a silver Decepticon logo. In 2016, the toy had a purple one. The clear hatch for the Headmaster is arguably a good idea, but the old one tended to get stuck - I assume the new one will too, and over time the paint will flake and scrape. Maybe don't transform this one too much.
For some reason Hasbro included the character in its Cyberverse line in 2020, so I would not be at all surprised to see them revisit the character in a collector capacity again some day. This is a nice reissue with G1 deco improvements, but it's minor. If they just reissued the old toy in the retro box I'm sure it would sell well, but I also would love to see an all-new version of the toy with the tail-as-a-cudgel and a retooled gator head where the pilot can sit. This is still a fine toy if you missed the 2016 release, but I assume this one mostly exists to appeal to the mint-in-box crowd.
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