GI JOE 25th Anniversary Collection: Sgt. Airborne and Croc Master by Hasbro

What do these two figures have in common? They were two of the last figures I needed from this collection and I found them both on clearance at Marshall’s last week. Seriously, if you haven’t been to your local Marshall’s lately, it’s been transformed (HA!) into a wonderland of clearanced GI Joe and Transformers toys from yesteryear. I could go on and on, but today we’re just here to talk about the two I picked up on this particular visit.

The recent Star Wars Vintage Collection is all well and good, but oh God, these 25th Anni. cardbacks are awesome. I love the artwork, I love the smaller bubbles, and even the back of the card is similar to the way things used to be, complete with vintage style filecards. I can’t tell you how close this line brought me to starting a second mint-on-card collection just to decorate my wall. I really had to utilize every fiber of my resistence to not do it. Anyway, I tore these bastards open as soon as I got home.

Sgt. Airborne is a really nice update from the vintage figure, although that’s based a lot on my fuzzy nostalgia because It’s been a really long time since I owned the vintage one. I do remember him being among my top tiers of Joes to draw from when I was playing with them, and he often took the back seat in my SkyStriker. I can’t say a lot about his character from the cartoon. All I really remember about him was he had some wacked out brother who got kidnapped by Cobra so they could turn his ESP into some kind of crazy super-weapon. Wow, do I need to watch some of those episodes again.

Airborne’s sculpt is a home run and he’s got plenty of added gear to enhance the figure even further. His vest is removable, as are his belt and leg straps, and his helmet. His backpack is also a separate piece and pegs into his back. I actually had to do some shaving on the peg to get it to fit in. His sculpted gear include a combat knife and a grenade on the vest and he’s got a working holster sculpted on his hip for his pistol. He comes with a personalized figure stand, an assault rifle with bayonet, and an automatic pistol.

And then there’s The Croc Master, also a brilliant figure. In his case, I never owned the vintage one and I only vaguely remember him from the comic. I don’t recall him ever being in the cartoon. Still, you need only look at his file card to see his impressive pedigree. As founder of Gator Guard Inc. he wanted to sell alligators to people for use as home security. Wait, what? Is he Croc Master or Gator Master? Either way, it’s obviously that kind of thinking that Cobra values. Interestingly enough, I already owned a variant of this sculpt as it was reused for the Viper that was packed in with the Mole Pod in the Rise of Cobra line.

The sculpt here is pretty nice. He’s got textured reptile skin making up his vest, boots and holster. The mask is cool and has a hose that comes out of the mouth and runs to an oxygen tank on his back. The holster holds his grey revolver and he also comes with a whip, because apparently he whips his gators? Or crocodiles? It’s all very confusing. He also comes with a personalized figure stand.

The croc figure is awesome. Instead of being just a hunk of plastic, he actually has a hinged jaw so you can have him clamp down on your Joes. The paint apps on him are also surprisingly well done and he’s got a spiked collar and leash, which can be removed. Hasbro easily could have half-assed this piece, but instead it got some pretty good loving.

Both Airborne and Croc Master have the same level of articulation. They have ball joints in the neck. The arms have ball jointed shoulders and elbows and swivel wrists. The legs feature ball jointed hips, double hinged knees and ball jointed ankles. There’s also the ubiquitous swivel and ab crunch in torsos.

These guys set me back a whopping $3.99 each, which was the price of all their single carded 25th Anni figures. It was all I could do to resist grabbing a shopping cart and filling it with figures. If you’re looking for

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