Man, I know I am on a high right now with #YoJoeJune in full swing, but I can honestly say that the G.I. Joe Classified series is my favorite Hasbro line going right now. Yes, I adore Marvel Legends and Star Wars Black Series as well, but from presentation to execution, the Joe team is showing us some amazing stuff right now.
So, I think I am not alone when I say I cannot wait for more of these figures to arrive in our collections. Several of the things being shown for the first time right now aren’t slated until a bit later, but there are a lot of figures (from Spirit to Tiger Force Bazooka to the Wal-Mart Retro figures) that feel like they are just about to drop, so hopefully we will be flooded soon. There is so much to love right now, and ever since Classified hit its stride with the character designs, everything has started to jell so wonderfully. The character choices have been so much fun too, and while the line is still pretty much wide open, those who have already debuted are striking all the right chords.
One of those, well, TWO of those, are Croc Master and his pet/sidekick/life partner Fiona. Like most 1980s properties, ARAH got into some weird spaces as it evolved, and the mythos is all the better for it. I mean, among the backdrop of and elite fighting force battling a ruthless terrorist organization, we have all kinds of weirdos, and a croco-phile who bites on Bane’s style is certainly an A+ addition in my book. Croc Master and Fiona have arrived (or will be arriving soon) and they make for the most entertaining couple thus far in the Classified Series.
There is no shortage of animal team-up combos in the G.I. Joe, and Croc Master and Fiona are gonna be really difficult to top. Croc Master is a great figures, no doubt about it, but Fiona might just be the standout in this set because she is just so much fun. I mean, a super-articulated crocodile? I was already signed up, but sign me up again because it is so rad. There were no punches pulled with this figure, and the sculpted detail, joint quality, and overall articulation really embodies the line as whole. There is plenty of articulation in the legs, and body is segmented to allow for some pretty convincing action poses. Of course her giant maw can open wide, and the tail is actually wire framed, so the bendiness allows for posing there without breaking up the sculpting. Oh and you also get two little bitty babies (friends?) in standard and albino editions.
Croc Master follows the standard Classified series base in terms of articulation, but there is a lot of brand new sculpted part at work here. For some reason, I thought Croc would be about Gung-Ho size (I have no idea or basis for why I thought that), but he is actually considerable shorter, and while he has some sizable arms, he is closer in overall stature to Duke and Flint. The hood/gimp mask and tubing is striking, of course, but I ADORE all of the sculpted detail in the croc pattern armor. The back is especially cool looking, and it is all sealed up with a croc eye style belt buckle because why the eff not? The good news (for me anyway) is that Croc Master follows the recent trend of more closely updating the classic character design, so if you have a fondness for the vintage figure (and I know you do!) this one should be right up your alley.
As I mentioned, Croc Master himself is pretty standard in terms of a GIJCS figure when it comes to articulation. The joints get good range of movement throughout and the right choices have been made when it comes to places like wrist hinge direction, etc. I will say that if I had to have a nitpick about the figure, it would be with a couple of the joints. The ab crunch is a little floppy in between the detents, so you kind of have to pose him more up right in the chest and compensate in other spots to give him a more natural stance. His hips are pretty typical of Classified figures as well as they kind of scare me in terms of durability (they do drop down), but Croc Master’s aren’t nearly as tight as most figures (I did not have to use any shock oil), so maybe he shows there are strides towards improvement there.
Aside from Croc Master and Fiona (and the baby crocs), you also get a knife, a gun (both of which can be stored properly in the boot sheath and thigh holster), a new whip, and hook for Croc Master, as well as a collar/chain leash for Fiona. All of the weaponry is great (I am partial to the hook for sure), and the leash works reasonably well. You can slide it over Fiona’s head for her to wear it more forward, or you and pop off he head, attach the collar, then reattach the head for it to be more on her neck. I do wish the chain was a bit thinner, or at least more pliable as it can be a little unwieldy when trying to pose Croc Master holding it in a natural position.
Overall, this a dynamite set, and probably one of the best offerings of the line so far. I am looking forward getting more animal team-ups in the line, and Fiona is probably the best super-posable crocodile figure ever. This line is becoming so much fun, and I cannot wait to see who/what is revealed next. As mentioned, Croc Master and Fiona should start shipping VERY soon, so make sure you get your pre-order in now.
*Thanks to Hasbro for sending this set along for an early look.