In 1985, the second series of Generation 1 held a major watershed moment for the toyline: the introduction of combiners. Bonecrusher was a member of the Constructicons, the first combiner team introduced. He transforms into an incredibly generic bulldozer. He can also combine with his fellow Constructicons to form Devastator.
Bonecrusher was originally designed for Diaclone, around the time that Takara stopped focusing on interactivity with the Diaclone drivers. Dropping the driver concept allowed Takara to design at a different scale, making robots that represent larger vehicles without a larger price point. Bonecrusher’s mold was originally designed by Koujin Ohno as Construction Robo No. 1 Bulldozer. This version was sold in 1983 in all-yellow, and again in 1984 in yellow, but with a silver roof. Since Bulldozer included the left fist and lower arm for the combined Construction Robo, the early version’s accessories were blue, and the latter’s were red, in keeping with the figure’s actual molding colors. The US Patent titled Reconfigurable toy bulldozer (aka Transformers G1 Bonecrusher) was filed on March 28, 1984 (U.S. Patent No. USD289187 S).
Bonecrusher transforms into a chartreuse-colored bulldozer. His design is incredibly generic, bearing no resemblance to any real vehicle. It is incredibly boxy, with a straight rectangular hood, and a blade/bucket whose sides meet at right angles. It is too deep and flat to represent an actual dozer blade, but too tall and shallow to make a functional bucket. It has enough articulation to tilt back slightly in dozer mode. The open cab features a curved canopy roof and a molded driver’s seat. His transformation is fairly simple, and concludes with a strangely-proportioned robot. His arms have to bend at what looks like the elbows to reach around the broad dozer blade on his chest, and the treads extend and fold to make his feet and legs. His chest is decorated by one large sticker covering the area of the dozer blade, with his Decepticon logo sticker placed directly on top of it. Another sticker is placed underneath the cab roof, which hangs down behind his head in robot mode. He includes a green pistol as his armament. Bonecrusher can also transform into an “Attack Dozer” by attaching the Devastator forearm to his hood via the smokestacks, and inserting the chrome drill bit into the forearm. He transforms into Devastator’s left arm by attaching the forearm with fist to a post at the back of the dozer, and plugging the die-cast post on Hook into the socket on Bonecrusher’s chassis.
Bonecrusher is fairly sturdy, and only occasionally is found with the arms sheared off from the shoulder joints, though this requires considerable mishandling to accomplish.
There is one major variant of Bonecrusher, from French licensee Joustra. This version replaces the green plastic with yellow. The shade of yellow is similar to that of the Diaclone version’s drum, and darker than that of the G2-era versions (see Redecos & Retools, below), but he retains the dark purple chest and large gun, opposed to the Diaclone’s blue. A minor variant exists in the forearm and fist parts, with slightly smaller or larger attachment holes, and narrow or wide thumbs.
Bonecrusher was available in G1 in 1985, either individually or in the Devastator gift set. Due to the Constructicons’ popularity, the individual carded figures were again available in 1986. Oddly, the Constructicons were not available in the UK, and the Devastator gift set was only available in Italy. He was reissued in Japan in 2011 as part of the Encore line. This version featured minor variations, as it was apparently cast from a new mold.
Redecos & Retools
Bonecrusher’s mold was first used to make Diaclone Construction Robo No. 1 Bulldozer in two versions, with a yellow roof or a silver one. It was sold again in Europe’s extension of G1 in 1992, simply called “Constructicon”. This version used bright yellow instead of green, had a gray roof, and did not include the Devastator accessories. The bright yellow carried into G2 Bonecrusher, who again had a color-matched roof, and included the Devastator arm, albeit using a much lighter shade of purple and featuring remolding. KB Toys sold an exclusive G2 version the same year, replacing the bright yellow with blaze orange. The Encore reissue was redecorated slightly in the 2013 Devastator Anime Color, using a brighter colors, different paint applications, and a slightly different sticker set.