REPTILE TRAINER  
  Code Name: CROC MASTER  
 

Cobra definitely got the better deal out of the 25th Anniversary line. The faction’s always had much fewer individual characters, meaning just about everyone who’s particularly well remembered got a figure, while the rest of their slots were filled with generic troopers. And for such a fan-orientated line, generic troopers are just what people wanted – Joe fans could stop scrabbling around for vintage 1980s troopers at high prices and were happy to buy the same figure five times over at retail.

So this left space for the likes of Croc Master. He was introduced into the line in 1987, falling in the gap between the two cartoons, and only getting minor exposure in the comic. However, he still seems to have cultivated something of a following by being a crazy idea, but not all that crazy. I mean, he’s basically an evil Mutt or Law, simply with a crocodile (well, as any nerd will tell you in their nasal, whining, italic-tinged pedantic voice, the thing's actually an alligator) instead of a dog.

Why it perhaps works is because the whole thing’s a bit more subtle than you’d expect. The touches that are there, like the crocodile skin pattern on the chest and boots, make some sort of sense, and no-one’s felt the need to make any of him fluorescent pink or orange to show just how crazy or extreme he is. You can put this guy next to Cobra Commander or Destro without him looking stupid, compared to Cesspool or someone. The head cast is great too, with the little oxygen cylinder on the back. Even the alligator comes off, with some nice jaw articulation and a good, flexible rubber lead, while the whip looks just right. In general, Croc Master pulls off a nice hulking, scary look well, and

I rather like the way he’s got an odd passing similarity with Copperhead – they would probably work together fairly often, so it's nice that their figures complement each other nicely. Croc Master isn’t an essential purchase and should probably be towards the bottom of the list as there are so many good Cobra 25th Anniversary figures out there. However, it’s great to see one of the lesser lights of the franchise done so nicely (there’s none of the 'Cobra Island' set fudges here), and he might be a pleasant surprise. Daft name, though.

G.I. Joe Croc-Master
G.I. Joe Croc-Master
G.I. Joe Croc-Master
G.I. Joe Croc-Master