Halloween 2023: October 30ᵗʰ – Skullgrin, Part 3

Before we close out Halloween 2023, let’s finish up our reviews of the various incarnations of Skullgrin. Tonight we take a look at the most up to date version of his skull-faced badness, Generations Legacy Deluxe Skullgrin!

Before we get started, I want to give a shout out to the makers of the Pokémon card game. It is not uncommon to see non-candy items sold for trick-or-treating purposes, but it is hard to readily find them in bulk. These bricks of Pokémon cards were found in most grocery stores I visited during October. They help to ensure that those kids with allergies can have a few really special things in their treat bags, and also makes it likely that their friends will, too. I like that. I like the idea of giving kids something for Halloween that lives longer than their next sugar craving. I like the idea that kids with allergies will be on equal footing, or better, when trading cards with other kids. This whole thing just hits right with me. This impressed me a lot. Just wanted to mention it.

Okay, back to our favorite demon-headed, Halloween-friendly, evil robot in double disguise. Well, just regular disguise for this particular version, but you know what I meant.

I still hate the Legacy packaging color scheme. That’s not relevant to anything whatsoever, I just wanted you to know.

I’m putting Skullgrin’s tank mode up first because it is fucking awful. The Generation One Skullgrin had a crap tank mode as well, but it was a super skinny robot that needed to fit inside a demon-shaped action figure, both of which were made with 1980s manufacturing technology. It was never going to be a winner. But there was an opportunity here to give him a decent alt mode in 2023, and I feel like Hasbro really dropped the ball. As cool as the robot mode is, it feels like they really phoned this tank mode in. What a waste of an opportunity.

As bad as his alt mode is, Legacy Skullgrin’s robot mode is an amazing homage to his original incarnation. The skull on the belt, the barbed hip armor, the shoulder and knee horns, the knuckle spikes, even the grey toes are all fantastic details. I don’t know who designed the Legacy version of Skullgrin, but I think it’s pretty clear they loved the hell out of his Pretender shell. All of that detail is here on a robot mode that is more posable and articulated than most non-transforming action figures. No matter your collecting preference or play pattern, this robot is designed to be universally awesome.

I was hoping the Legacy robot could fit inside the old ’80s shell, but no dice. It’s too bulky, especially the legs. It would have been cool, but don’t take this as a complaint. This sort of backward compatibility was a pipe dream of mine, but not something I ever viewed as likely.

They even gave Legacy Skullgrin a cute little demon tail, just like the original. Aww.

On the left is Generation One Skullgrin’s sword, and in the center are his guns. To the right are the bladed guns from Legacy Skullgrin. If you look at the details in the Generation One weapons, it’s easy to see the designers took details from those accessories and found places for them in the Legacy weapons. Again, this care and attention to detail is something that takes this toy from great to exceptional. This is just impressive all around.

I bitched before about Skullgrin’s tank mode, and I was right to do so. It’s shit. But some of us Transformers fans are bound and determined to make the best of bad situations. We invent something we call “fanmodes.”

A fanmode is created when someone uses a Transformer’s existing features to create a mode that the designers didn’t intend. A great number of fanmodes are just idiotic crap. Some, like the RIFTS style skull tank and the demon-tank hybrid above, are actually quite inspired. Click either pic and it’ll take you to the creator’s original post where you can check out their work!

Thank you, Legacy Skullgrin! And now it’s time for The Skull Of The Day!

Today’s Skull Of The Day is the Mega Bloks Pyrates Maroon Gally set!

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Mega Bloks landed the Pirates Of The Caribbean license from Disney. They made a lot of great sets and a lot of even better minifigures. And when the Johnny Depp shaped well dried up, Mega wisely retooled their molds and launch their Pyrates line.

Look at all this bony-faced awesomeness!

Mega Bloks minifigures are fantastic. Better than Lego minifigs in every way. And the folks at Mega gave these little guys strangely in-depth backstories. Check it out:

Noricorpse is a Skeleton pirate from the Skeleton Crew, that has a Skeleton spear. He appears in the Skull cave set Maroon Gally with his ally, Sublurker. Noricorpse and Sublurker were paired together by Dread Eye as Noricorpse’s quick mind was a good match for Sublurker’s blunt aggression. Noricorpse died when he questioned Dread Eye’s judgement and was fed to the phantom along with Sublurker and Fathom.

Noricorpse seemed like nothing but an empty memory to Scrapedepth, but he soon came up with an idea. Scrapedepth travelled to the realm of Davy Jones and made a deal with him. Jones allowed him to revive three of his former comrades in exchange for a small percentage of the loot. Scrapedepth chose the three men he betrayed; Noricorpse, Sublurker, and Fathom. Noricorpse became a deckhand and helped build a new Phantom.

Sublurker is a Skeleton with a Skeleton Axe and that appears in the Maroon Gally set, along with his pal Noricorpse and the enemy Privateer Braggart T. Doyle (aka Braggart T. Jones)… Sublurker was killed by Dread Eye when the skeleton Captain fed him, Noricorpse and Fathom to the Phantom for questioning his authority.

Sublurker, like Noricorpse and Fathom, resurfaced from the depths… He was revived by the captain of the depths, Davy Jones. Scrapedepth apologized to the three for his betrayal to them and promoted Sublurker to weapons master. He soon took to his new position on the new Phantom.

Come back tomorrow for our big Halloween celebration!

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