Australia-based Skull & Co. is a third-party gaming accessories manufacturer whose first product was a Nintendo Switch “GripCase”. While this accessory was kickstarted in 2017, the company has expanded its portfolio throughout the years to include items for general gaming purposes, as well as accessories for PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Today we’ll take a look at two of their products that can be adopted by practically any gamer: the Phantom Stand/Rack and the universal carrying case.
Products in the Phantom line serve two purposes: to display and store your gaming accessories. The one I find most attractive in this line is the $20 vertical Phantom Rack. It comes in two transparent parts, the base and the body, that are held together by a pair of screws on the underside. The package also comes with anti-slip pads for the base and a padded headset holder. The Rack is made of tough plastic but I fear that it is prone to cracks, especially if something accidentally bumps or drops on it (maybe even an item it is holding). So caution is advised as to where you place it.
Also, the padding of the headset holder feels rather cheap as it is akin to the foam padding you’ll find in practically any package delivered to you. At the very least, Skull & Co. could have sewn a layer of fabric or faux-leather to make it more aesthetically appealing. Nevertheless, it does the job of padding the headphones or VR headset you’d place there, albeit crudely so.
Once set up, the Phantom Rack stands at around 35cm tall and fits up to 6 Phantom Stands that gives the content a cool “hovering” look to them. These Stands are unfortunately sold separately at $10 each of varying types designed fit Xbox, PlayStation or generic controllers. A nice touch to each version is the cut-out for a headphone jack so that you don’t need to disconnect it while storing. The Phantom Stands come with their own separate base if you don’t want to mount them on the Rack which, like the holder, is made of the same material and quality of the Rack.
The main appeal to displaying your gaming peripheral with the Rack and Stands is that they do so in an easily accessible, minimalist fashion and with the bonus of that decidedly cool “hover” look. The modularity is another great aspect of the Rack so you can change the configuration and adapt to your current needs.
I found it to perfectly hold my Oculus Quest when I’m on a VR gaming spree, allowing me to quickly pick up the headset and game. When I’m focusing on PC gaming, I just store the VR headset in its carry case and use the Rack to hold my gaming headset. Moreover, the Stands don’t just hold controllers but also handheld devices. I found the universal Stand variant to be perfect to hold the Switch and retro handhelds like the Anbernic RG351P.
It’s just a bummer that the Rack and Stands are sold separately as this just inflates the price. Skull & Co. could have included at least one Stand with the Rack to make for a more value-for-money package.
This one is pretty self-explanatory but if you thought it would be merely a zipped case, then you’ll have to look closer as Skull & Co. did a bit more than sell a generic carrying case.
This $16 accessory comes in either black or denim color variants, and you also have the option to choose between PS5 or universal design. I got the latter model to test and it fits the Thrustmaster eSwapX Pro controller perfectly, which is itself a bit larger than Xbox One controllers; so the universal case is indeed universal!
As expected, the case has a hard shell to protect your controller from damage and adding another layer of protection is the nylon exterior which makes the carrying case water resistant. Of note, it uses a YKK zipper which is known to be smooth and durable.
On the inside is a mesh pocket to store small accessories like earphones or a charging/wired connection cable. What I appreciated with this compartment is that it does not use zippers but overlapping mesh partitions. Zippers have a tendency to break or can even scratch the controller, so these potential hazards are wholly avoided.
The most uncommon inclusion in this carrying case are the two velcro strips. These can be used to secure your controller in place at the handle area or to stick additional accessories should they not fit in the mesh pocket. This is a nice touch as it uses the space between the controller’s handles which are usually not exploited.
At $16, the Skull & Co. Carrying Case is one of the better-designed carrying cases on the market and is worth considering if you’ve been looking for one.
Skull & Co. might be relatively new to the gaming accessories market but it's getting some things right, especially by innovating with its accessories. Their tendency to innovate is even more apparent in their Nintendo Switch GripCase than in the items introduced here. So be sure to lookout for our full review of the GripCase!
Skull & Co. Official Website