Beware the Krusher!

I got a tip recently from my buddy Bob, “you’ve gotta check this out”, he said with enthusiasm. And, given that I know he has a good eye for that sort of thing, a few days later off I did trot to check out said item.

I was not diasappointed.

So cool was the piece that I snapped it up without further ado and here I am now dutifully reporting back to you.




Made by Mattel in 1979 I bring you the amazing Krusher.




Standing a full 13.5″ tall this guy is a bit of a whopper.

As you can see from the graphic on the front of the box, the special feature possesed by this toy is that is can be scrunched down, or dare I say krushed, at which point if the figure is released he automatically returns to his original shape. Amazing right?




Ooooo, creeeepy!

Krusher is made from a rubbery latex material that is very squashy and to actually get him to compress you have to release a valve situated on the back of his belt.




Just a quick quarter turn, followed by a pull on the valve, the air inside of Krusher is free to move in and out of his body.




Your Krusher can now be squashed and released to your hearts desire. You can even pretend he’s breathing almost like Darth Vader. Even after thirty years the rubber is soft and pliable and the valve works perfectly. I would have almost certainly expected the rubber to harden or even crack and the valve to be leaky by now. How wrong I was. With the valve open you can squash him down in to a variety of positions, if the valve is then closed the figure does a pretty good job of holding the new form until the valve is once again released.

Surprisingly a rare toy, and I have seen estimates that claim that only 3000 of these were ever made. I am not too sure how many there were, but I sure as hell know that I have never seen one before today. So quite the find indeed.

I must confess that typically, despite being quite cool, it is not really the kind of thing I would just impulse buy like that. So why did I then? Well first of all I got an amazing deal, then beyond that, no other reason than the box, I think the artwork on it is just phenomenal. I love the painted front, as you know I have a thing for painted artwork like that, click here to see more.




I just can’t get enough of these simple three-color line drawings, absolutely awesome.




Even the art on the side of the box is cool.




One side in three-color and the other in full color.




When I first saw it, it made me think of the now rare Stretch Monster from the Kenner Stretch Armstrong line. Obviously different but you can see how the Krusher was more than likely released to try and access that market. I will say however that time has shown that investing in the Stretch Monsters would have been a much more profitable venture. A minty Krusher in a nice box should be $100 plus, the Stretch Monster would be quite a few times more than that if in similar shape. Oh well.




Here is a listing for the Krusher toy taken from some Mattel sales materials that were being used at the time to entice stores to carry the figure (I found this picture on the website). Here you can see him as he goes through his full transformation.

As with all advertizing materials from the seventies the copy is fantastic:

“Monster! Monster! Show us your might!!! Make him big – leave him small, whichever you like. Krusher is the monster to fit your monstrous moods. He’s a blob in his scrunched state. But watch out! Open the built-in valve and he grows to a menacing full size, over 14″ tall. Squeeze him and he breathes. Now show who’s boss. Pound him, crush him ’till all the air’s out. You’ve won the fight. Quick! Push in the valve, he stays scrunched. Ready to see him grow again? Push and pull the valve and this time he expands in spurts. Stunt his growth at any size. This is the one monster that will grow on you.”

The puns, the heady exageration… aaah, got to love it.

Here is another ad from a catalog.




I find it interesting the choice of other toys that the Krusher gets paired up with: Suckerman, some dinosaurs and Remco Universal monsters. Weird, but OK.

This toy is a great piece of nostalgia and well worth a spot in anyones’ collection.

Before I go here is a little clip of our star in action, enjoy!

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  1. A K. It’s spelled with a K. This explains a lot! Very cool toy – what a weird but interesting feature the crushing (krushing?) action is.

  2. Gary /

    That is a great toy! I’ve never heard of it before. Nice addition to your collection. Thanks for the link to the website also. I’ll be looking at that today while at work.

  3. Michael /

    I, too, have never heard of this! But now I want one!!

  4. K.Rowe /

    The music in the video; zomg..made everything epic.

  5. I knew someone with great taste would enjoy it.

  6. Ha! Cute music choice for his workout video. All he needed was a little headband & maybe some leg warmers.
    I’ve seen the Krusher up close & he’s a sight to behold. I was reminded of the Stretch Monster too.
    The song I thought of when I saw him was “The Crusher” by the Ramones about the wrestler:

  7. Sal Clemente /

    Dave – you are truly weird, man. This was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen. And the choice of music made it maddening, I wanted to run from the room…but couldn’t! I bow before your bizarre talents and unrivaled toy knowledge.

  8. Behold my awesome nerd powers

  9. Mathew /

    When the perfekt image is paired with the perfekt song, you achieve perfektion.

    The video made me miss the halcyon days of early MTV.

  10. LuisLuis /

    Is anybody interest to buy ..
    I still have my from xmas 1981

  11. I found the video on Youtube.. I totally had one. My facebook pic is me with it as a little kid. I recently bought another one. Soon i’ll post a new pic with it. But, I have to find the wicked cool hulk pjs first. LOL.. Great video btw. lol

  12. I wanna see the pic!

  13. When I was six, my Mom took me into a toy store on my birthday and told me I could buy ‘whatever I wanted’. We were poor, so that was kind of a big deal. I bought KRUSHER and the GID Suckerman (pictured in the ad) and kept Krusher until 2007 when it was lost during a move.

    I’ve since bought three more, my latest arriving yesterday. Truly a favorite.

  14. Steven /

    Love it just got one at a flea market for 10.00!!!!!


  1. Something to get totally tangled up in - [...] reminds me a great deal of another toy that came out in 1979 from Mattel. Close? You tell [...]

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