The monster that will grow on you! That was one of Mattel’s marketing lines for Krusher their new toy of 1979. Krusher stands 14 inches tall and his special feature is that he has a valve on the back of his red belt that, when opened, allows air to escape and you can “crush” him down in to a crumpled state. Close the valve while he’s crumpled and he will stay in that position. Open the valve and air will flow back in to him through and he will slowly regain his original shape. He was filled with a spongy foam that would reform back to its original shape.
The box artwork is fantastic and seems sufficient to lure any kid to it. Still, Krusher was not popular and could even be considered a flop. He had to compete with the new rage of the time which was Star Wars. The 3 1/2 inch Star Wars figures had just come out and were the thing to have if you were a kid then. Sadly, Krusher was relegated to the clearance shelves pretty quickly and wasn’t heard from again. Until now. He’s become pretty popular with collectors and his value has been climbing.
As you can see the mold that was used for Krusher was very good and had sufficient detail to make him look like a genuine scaly reptilian alien of some sort.
Here he is in his crushed state with most of the air pushed out of him.
Below is a promo poster for Krusher showing him grow from a crushed state into his full sized splendor. The text on the poster reads:
“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.”
Here he is in the Mattel toy catalog from around 1979. He looks pretty impressive along with his cohorts Suckerman and Gre-Gory the Vampire Bat. Krusher was very well made and could stand quite a bit of abuse from kids. His valve apparatus is usually functional even today.
Krusher may not hold the same toy icon status that Stretch Armstrong or other toys hold but he is a good representative of the times and those that owned him as a child hold him in a special place in their memories. If you want to relive those great memories you can find Krusher for sale loose for about $25 to $50. If you want a collectible version with the original box then expect to pay a little more. A really nice example of Krusher sold recently for $175 which included a mint Krusher as well as the box and warranty card.