MARVEL LEGENDS (HASBRO)
“An enemy of the X-Men, the cyborg Skullbuster is a member of the villainous gang called the Reavers.”
Introduced in 1988, the Reavers are a concept that’s sort of been in the background of the X-Men mythos since their introduction. They’re not super high concept or anything, they’re just cyborg mercs who tend to make for good fodder for Wolverine to cut up from time to time. I became familiar with them through their spot on X-Men: The Animated Series, but they also figured into the plot of 2017’s Logan. None of the members of the group have ever really made it big (apart from their original leader Lady Deathstrike), so they’re haven’t really been toys galore for them. But, hey, Skullbuster got a figure, so maybe things are looking up!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Skullbuster is figure 6 in the Caliban Series of Marvel Legends, and is our only single-carded antagonist this time around. Skullbuster’s spot as the Reaver in this assortment was undoubtedly chosen because a) he’s somewhat distinctive and b) he doesn’t require much new tooling. Bonecrusher’s definitely more distinct, but he’s got that freaking tank half to contend with. Also, as an added bonus, Skullbuster’s the Reaver taken out by Forge during their siege on Muir Island, so he ties in with the rest of the set pretty well. The figure stands 6 1/2 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation. Skullbuster is a reskin of last year’s Deathlok, which I can’t say is super surprising. It was an all-new sculpt that, up til now, had seen no re-use. A new head, vest, and ammo belt completes the transformation from ‘lok to ‘buster. The end result isn’t a perfect mach for any established Skullbuster designs, it’s a good approximation, and he’s really one of those character where approximation’s really good enough. The important thing here is that he looks distinct from the Deathlok figure, which he does. The paintwork on Skullbuster is on the drab side, which I suppose is appropriate for the character. I do somewhat wish they’d opted for the red skull look, instead of the white, but they made it work. Otherwise, the application’s all pretty clean, and the palette is well-chosen. Skullbuster includes the smaller gun that came with Deathlok, as well as an extra headsculpt for Reaver Reese, one of the three ex-Hellfire Guard members who joined the group when Donald Pierce took over. It’s a cool head, and I feel certain we’ll be seeing it re-painted for Cole and Macon down the line. Skullbuster also includes the right arm of the BaF Caliban.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve got no major attachment to the Reavers, apart from their spot on X-Men: TAS, so I wasn’t beating down the door to get them. That said, Skullbuster’s got a cool look and is built on a base I liked, so I had no complaints about his inclusion in this line-up, especially not when they showed off the extra Reese head as well. I don’t have a ton to say about this guy, but he’s kind of fun.
I picked up Skullbuster from All Time Toys, and he’s still currently in-stock at their store, here. And, if you’re looking for other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.