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Series: Generation 1
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Pretender
Year: 1988

Those who stand against me shall soon fall before me!
A brutal, uncontrollable engine of destruction! Doesn't stop attacking until everything is destroyed. Never retreats from danger. Usually communicates in a series of snorts and snarls. In creature shell, wields a double slagmaker laser and metal-rending vibro sword. Without shell, transforms into a shrapnel-blasting assault tank.

Robot Mode: Skullgrin's Pretender shell is your basic monster. Big skull head, big horns, massive body. Posability is restricted to the arms at the shoulders. The shell wields the twin cannon and a sword. The detailing isn't bad, but there is very little you can actually do here. The inner robot is a bit better. Rather posable, it has decent detailing and can wield all the weapons except the sword and you can flip out the vehicle-mode gun barrels from his arms, too. The wheel located in the crotch area disturbs me a bit, but all in all the robot is the best mode Skullgrin has (which isn't saying too much).

Alternate Mode: As far as the vehicle mode is concerned I give the designers some credit for trying their best. With the restrictions of the inner robot having to fit inside the shell, there isn't a whole lot you can do in terms of transformation. And while Skullgrin follows the basic Pretender transformation of simply folding in half, he does a little more than that. With gun barrels flipping out from his arms and his two big cannons applied to the legs he manages to look like something of a futuristic hovertank or such. Still, not a very good vehicle mode.

Remarks: Skullgrin scored no appearances in the G1 cartoon, but played a prominent role in the Japanese Masterforce series and had a brief appearance in the comics as the Decepticon who went to Hollywood. That said, the figure is nothing special and the Pretender gimmick doesn't help. While the alternate mode as a futuristic assault tank is a bit above the usual Pretender alt modes, it doesn't lift this toy up much. Call it slightly below average.

Rating: C-

Review Revisited - 2020-04-05: Thanks to Jörg Zimmermann I have now completed Skullgrin (he was missing his belt so far) and to celebrate I have graced this old pretender with a new picture gallery. He's still a very limited figure, but nostalgia makes me look at him somewhat fonder now.
Toy DB Link

Picture Gallery:

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