Croc Master (2015)
I’ve been a Croc Master fan since 1987, the year that some say the line went off the rails with Cobra’s preponderance of weird new characters. I’m not so hard on the year’s releases, and I find the colorful variety of villains a plus, along the lines of the great comic book rogues galleries from Batman, Spider-Man and the Flash. After all, if the heroes don’t have someone interesting to tangle with, things can get a little stale. Look back at the vaunted years of 1983 and 1984 and you’ll notice that Cobra has its share of strangeness, like a metal-masked arms dealer and an eypatch-wearing and robotic (or is it armored?) armed mercenary. Anyway, rant over. Like I said, I like Croc Master. I’ve enjoyed the other releases of the figure since it’s original release, from the underrated new sculpt era interpretation to the later modern offerings.
Alongside pack-mate Blowtorch, this is another missing figure from the Pursuit of Cobra days. As repaints go, it’s as effective as its partner. Putting Croc Master into the Python Patrol sub-team makes perfect sense, given his reptilian theme. It certainly is more logical than a Python Crimson Guard.
The 2011 version of the figure equipped the character with an impressive array of accessories, all repeated here. I enjoy the Adventure Team playset vibe that the various snakes, container and nets provide. There’s really a nice little set-up here for a self-contained story. It’s the sort of thing that Chap Mei’s Animal Planet series is doing very well over at Toys R Us. I can imagine a few 3 & 3/4 homages to the 70s GI Joe sets that might stir the imagination. Of course, the Collectors’ Club already attempted such a thing, but maybe a few more efforts like this could increase the play value for the next generation of Joe collectors.
Was I talking about Croc Master? Oh yeah, again I really like the alternate Python Patrol color scheme of red and grey. It matches well with the vintage vehicles, and really suits a character like this one.