There can be a lot of similarities found between my feelings for Croc Master and for Blowtorch as expressed above. Croc Master was a somewhat mediocre 25th Anniversary figure (at least in my opinion) who suffered a bit from the aesthetic of the times. I can only picture what a Pursuit of Cobra or 30th Anniversary Croc Master would look like and tear up a little. He’s one of my favorite more obscure characters, and I’m just not sure that 25th Anniversary version does him justice.
He’s not a terrible figure by any means, I’d just love for him to be larger and more imposing.
All that being said, he was a figure that was never particularly difficult to find, and I believe was even on clearance, yet he was re-released in the exact same color scheme in the Pursuit of Cobra line (the same series as Blowtorch) for an unknown reason. Then, infamously, like Blowtorch was slated for the Pursuit of Cobra line in a Python Patrol themed repaint, but never made it to retail.
Hasbro fixes that error by releasing both he and Blowtorch in this two pack and while fans are likely excited (these two were in hot demand for a while) I don’t feel particularly inspired. The Croc Master figure uses all of the same parts as the 25th Anniversary version, which does have some unique touches like the bite marks on the arms and the great head sculpt with removable mouthpiece. This new version in the red and gray Python Patrol paint scheme does look pretty cool (although it stands out a bit since all modern era Python Patrol repaints have been in the vintage yellow/gray/green style and not the red style). Purely from a color standpoint, I do like this new paint scheme, I just wish it was applied over some newer, more detailed parts and pieces.
Don’t get me wrong, I really like the color scheme for this Croc Master figure. The red is a great, dark shade, and actually does link up nicely to some of the red trim throughout other Python Patrol figures. The deco on the legs is nearly a perfect match for some other figures as well, and in a group shot situation, Croc Master blends far better with the overall team than I thought he might initially.
Croc Master comes with some familiar gear including the croc, cobra, whip, capture net, and shotgun, as well as the case that contained a couple more snakes in the Rise of Cobra line. They are some good accessories, but like Blowtorch, nothing we haven’t seen before and nothing that blows my socks off.
From a collectiblity standpoint, I know what the draw was for this two pack, and I definitely understand why Hasbro did what it did. However, as someone who has no real love for the original versions of these figures, I have no special desire to see them repainted either. I never truly understood the fascination for the Pursuit of Cobra repaints, and suspect if they had hit retail as intended, they likely would have been the last to sell out. Their unreleased status was their biggest draw. It will be interesting to see the retail response to these now that they join the common “released” cast of characters.