The smooth designs of Batman: The Animated Series seemed like they could easily translate to action figures, but everything was a little off-model. Therin lies the Kenner charm. Killer Croc got a lot of it right - no shirt, blue pants, scaly skin, bumps, and a creepy big mouth. The Kenner figure lacks eye detail, and for some reason has a little green alligator pal. He was also a huge pain in the neck to find back in the 1990s, when Kenner frequently shipped Batman figures in 24-piece cases... and 22 of those figures were either Batman or Robin. If memory serves, Croc and Poison Ivy shipped at about the same time, both at one per case, and I found him at a Kmart.
By modern standards there isn't much to him - he's incredibly simple with five joints, one of which is an arm you can pull back so he can punch somebody. It's a nice action feature, in part because it actually works.
With his wide mouth, open eyes, and generally menacing - but not necessarily sinister - appearance, Killer Croc looks more like a background demon or creature out of Hellboy than his lurching on-screen counterpart. The colors seem right on the money though, although there was a Diamond-exclusive boxed set with a repaint of him in green. (I didn't like that set much, but it was good Kenner understood the market and produced it.) This Croc came on a single card with a blue backdrop, and it was pretty striking. Seeing Batman villains in stores in the 1990s was like witnessing an eclipse - it didn't happen very often.
His croc buddy is cute, cartoony, and in line with the competition of the time. Playmates had a lot of one-color sidekick critters in its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line while a small number of G.I. Joe figures had sidekick pets too. It was a bit more of a rarity at Kenner, and it might have something to do with Kenner having most of the better licenses and even at higher prices, their products sold fairly well. This rubbery reptile doesn't really do much - it's cute. If you like it, you can carry him by the tail, or have him standing up. It's not exactly fantastic, but I assume Kenner didn't feel like giving you a crowbar to smack somebody over the head with, although Bane would include a girder later on.
With an articulated punching arm and the unpainted crocobuddy, it's a pretty nice toy - but he had a hard time competing for kids' love with Batman and Robin. Back in the 1990s, those figures often had ridiculous gliders with dropping bombs, or winged jetpacks, or other cool accessories for the same price. All Croc had were his fists, and admittedly, they were swell fists. I think this figure is going to be more of interest to fans of old Kenner toys and monster stuff than Batman purists, but you can just buy the mega-articulated DC Collectibles release for that. This is a nice figure and a great example of the kind of 5-inch fun for kids that collectors would also camp out in front of stores to buy. Oh, how I miss the 1990s.
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