"Rise of the Beasts" Skullcruncher Toy Review


General Information:
Release Date: March 2023
Price Point: $6.29 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Amazon, Target, Walmart etc.)
Accessories: None

Official images and text below in italics are from Hasbro via Press Releases:
The battle on Earth is no longer between the heroic Autobots and the evil Decepticons as the new “Transformers: Rise of the Beasts” film introduces the Maximals, the Predacons, and the Terrorcons, in an epic 90s globetrotting adventure. Prepare for battle with the new Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Beast Battle Master assortment. Each 3-inch figure converts from beast to weapon mode and back, and can weaponize other Beast Alliance Transformers action figures by attaching them to their robot partner. The Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Beast Battle Master assortment includes:

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts Beast Alliance Beast Battle Masters Skullcruncher snaps at enemies on the battlefield, then converts into his powerful blaster weapon mode in 4 steps.

Skullcruncher is packaged on a card that is partly folded over the figure (alternatively you could call this a box-ish thing). Following Hasbro's desire to use as little plastic as possible in packaging the only non-cardboard packaging here are the flexible ties used to hold the figure down.

The graphics on the packaging are gorgeous, featuring stonework that looks like it's from an ancient building. Towards the upper right is the Rise of the Beasts logo and under it is the vertical Transformers logo. Skullcruncher's package art shows him in beast mode on the upper left hand corner. The figure is packaged in beast mode and the cardboard flap over the figure shows off the "Beast Alliance" logo and the figure in weapon mode. Under that is Skullcrucher's name with the Decepticon logo on it, making him one of the few Decepticons in the Rise of the Beasts toy line.

The back of the packaging shows the figure in both modes calling out a 4 step transformation. The rest however is all legal information in multiple languages.

Back when the War for Cybertron: Siege line debuted, a new class of figure was added into the mix: Battle Masters. Basically these were a new version of Targetmasters that could not be priced into the cost of other classes of figures, so they were sold on their own. For the most part, Battle Masters eventually fell by the wayside but now they have returned as part of the Rise of the Beasts toy line.

The name Skullcruncher has a history going back to 1987 where the Decepticon Headmaster Skullcruncher was first introduced to fans. Over the years the name has popped up here and there in the Transformers toy line such as in the Titans Return line. Now a new incarnation of the character has joined the Rise of the Beasts line as a Battle Master.

Beast Mode:
Taking a cue from G1 Skullcruncher's beast mode, Rise of the Beasts Skullcruncher is a crocodile in beast mode. What I really find interesting about this design is that at first glance it looks like an organic crocodile. The shapes are mostly rounded and organic looking. There are intricate scale details sculpted into the snout all the way down to the tail. Where you will find mechanical details are armor plates running along the top of the head, the back and the sides. You'll also see what appears to be armor on each leg. With Rise of the Beast being the debut of Beast Wars inspired characters on the big screen, having "techno-organic" looking crocodile totally fits.

Skullcruncher is made up of green and dark blue plastic. The eyes are painted red. That's it for the deco but due to the way the two plastic colors come together, the green is broken up nicely in the middle by the blue plate that forms the back.

There are five points of articulation on this figure. Each leg is ball jointed and the mouth can open and close. The 5mm peg for the weapon mode winds up at the base of the tail in this mode so technically you could attach anything with a 5mm port (including some weapons from other figures).

Transformation to Weapon Mode:

  1. Swing the head down, revealing the weapon barrel.
  2. Swing the tail down and forward.
  3. Swing the legs down.

Weapon Mode:
Skullcruncher's robot mode is a powerful looking cannon. While many of his beast mode parts still show on his sides (including the legs), the main body of the weapon is now a gigantic weapon barrel. This is very reminiscent of the G1 Action Master partner of the Decepticon Krok named Gatoraider who was a robotic alligator who transformed into a weapon. This makes this figure a fun potential pairing with Titans Return Krok!

The weapon barrel is the only newly revealed part. Most of it is painted silver, contrasting heavily with the blue and green colors on the rest of the figure.

The weapon mode has a 5mm peg on the bottom and a barrel end that can fit a Blast Effect.

Final Thoughts:
I've always been a fan of Battle Masters, so having them return in the Rise of the Beasts toy line is good news to me. Skullcruncher is a fantastic example of one while also paying homage to a G1 figure. If you're into Battle Masters at all, this figure is highly recommended!


  • Excellent sculpt.
  • Good play value.
  • Pays homage to G1 Gatoraider nicely.


  • I would have liked more paint on the figure but that is not a huge deal in my book.

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