This is the Sit-Rep, soldier, the Situation Report! It's here where we get the intel on the new troops, talk to the big brass, and generally do anything else
that isn't in an archival capacity! So what are you waiting for? It's time for your debriefing!
In all seriousness, once the vintage line hit 1987, things took a somewhat puzzling turn, leaning towards a lot more science fiction and fantasy elements, and really bringing COBRA to an almost super villain level. I would imagine the success of the cartoon and it’s more fantastic elements probably brought about some of those changes, and many folks would say those were changes for the worse. The arrival of Raptor, Crystal Ball, COBRA La, and yes, Croc Master, brought many more realism-based Joe fans to sad resignation, but for myself, I kind of like the more super villain aspects of COBRA (as long as it doesn’t go overboard).
I’m all about genetic manipulation, science fiction, and various other futuristic elements, because they’ve always been so pervasive in G.I. Joe history, even from the beginning. Croc Master (in my world) fits those elements perfectly. On the surface he’s just the COBRA reptile trainer, but to me, even as a kid, he was almost more croc than man, and in my dio-story universe, I made him that way as well. I’ve always loved the figure, and I was happy to see that the Anniversary line would be giving him a treatment and a pretty nice treatment at that.
For the most part, Croc Master is chock full of new tooling, from his head to his torso, right down to his textured feet and muscular arms. Speaking of those arms, how cool is this? One of his arms actually has bite marks sculpted into it. That is…impressive. Quite an awesome level of detail there. It’s something you know they won’t be able to really use on another figure, but they still took the time to sculpt those into the figure, and it really rocks. A small, small bit on a figure that ends up making a big difference. His mask has some of the same effect, with some stitch marks sculpted into it as well. Very small details that take this figure to the next level.
From an accessory perspective, Croc Master comes with all of the important stuff. His air tank is now a backpack instead of simply a sculpted element on his shoulder, and it makes much more sense now. I like how his hose is now integrated into the backpack instead of a separate piece from his mouth. He’s got his whip, a great removable pistol, the familiar choke collar, and a much improved crocodile. Let’s face it, it’s pretty tough to get a full sized croc into a single packed figure, so it’s understandable that this one is a bit small, but with the opening mouth, and the great painted detail on the face, it becomes a much cooler part of the figure than the original one was. All in all, the accessories are pretty much perfect.
From all of the new tooling to the closely matched paint apps, and the great accessories, Croc Master is a nearly flawless update to the original. The new anniversary sculpting techniques really do him well, and he’s an awesome addition to my COBRA ranks. I know he’s not for everyone, but I for one am psyched to see him.