Croc Master (2005)
The original Croc Master, one of the 1987 Cobra crew of crazed concepts often got short shrift due to his incredibly specific duties as well as his look. Did Cobra really need a reptile trainer, when they didn’t even have a dog handler? Croc Master could have easily been a Spider-Man villain with his black facemask, croc themed shirt and boots and croc eye belt buckle.
This newer version of the character accomplishes something that I find refreshing. It takes the original concept and instead of slavishly following the established look, goes in a new direction. Part of this may be due to the fact that this literally is a new version of Croc Master, as the original was a casualty of the Cobra Civil War. The file card even mentions it; a nice touch of continuity to recognize the classic comic.
The design has a modern, almost horror movie villain feel. The style of the vest is especially interesting as it incorporates the crocodile scales as well as the head into the back. He even has croc head holsters. Ewww. This guy really seems like a crazed taxidermist as well as a reptile trainer. It’s surprising that there’s no mention of some kind of melding of crocodile DNA with the character, in keeping with the theme of Valor Vs. Venom.
Cool accessories are always welcome, and here we not only get a nice rifle and machete, but also a crocodile, who joins the long line of Joe animal companions. There is an issue with the waist piece. Due to the fit of the legs into the back of the waist, he’s perpetually stooped over a bit. Finally, the figure sports some then-new construction, and like some other later Valor vs Venom and DTC figures, incorporates shoulder joint construction that eliminates the visible peg of the articulation joint. This type of construction is now commonplace and is a great improvement to the overall look of the figures.