DC Universe 12" Killer Croc

Many of Batman's arch villains have existed for almost as long as he has, and most of the more recent baddies have had less than stellar runs.  But Killer Croc, who showed up on the comic scene in 1983, has stuck with fans and made appearances through out comics and animated series alike.

Waylon Jones has a disease, one that makes him become more reptilian with time.  Just how reptilian depends on the person drawing or designing him at the time, and he's varied from a guy with the heartbreak of psoriasis to full fledged crocodile on two feet.  Recent versions have him much more croc than not, and the toys have reflected this.

As part of the DC Super Heroes, Mattel did several 'two ups', or 12" versions of their 6" figures.  Of course, they did Batman and Superman, but the best released in the series was the Cyborg Superman.  With the switch from DCSH to DC Universe, they have continued the 12" line, releasing Superman again, as well as a funky Batman repaint, and this nifty big Killer Croc.

These are a Toys R Us exclusive as far as I know, so your best bet is clearly to hit the store.  He'll set you back $30, the same price the line has had since its inception.


Packaging - **1/2
While these are theoretically for collectors, the packaging is certainly not collector friendly.  It shows off the figure well enough if you're a MIBer though, but for those of us opening him up, the package won't survive the operation.

One thing I found interesting - the old DCSH packaging for these hyped the collector aspect.  They've made a slight switch here, hyping the figures for both collectors and kids on the back of the package.

Sculpting - ***
This Croc is a two up of the Croc from the DCSH line.  However, this version has much more detail than his smaller comrade, which is part of the point of making the larger version.

The sculpt of the figure itself is fantastic.  The amount of scale detail, the realistic folds and wrinkles on the pants, and the wonderful work on the teeth and eyes all look fantastic in this scale.

He's a big boy too, clocking in at 13 inches tall without the display stand.  While he'll look best with other members of this same series, you can probably get away with having him mixed in with the DCD 13" line as well.  He'll be a little short, but the hefty bulk of his chest and arms will allow him to take up enough volume that it won't be as big of an issue.  His height is also a little deceiving, since his knees are bent quite a bit, and permanently so.

So why not another half star or even a full star in this category?  Because you know how much I hate it when a figure can't stand on its own.

That's not quite the case here, but almost.  Without the display stand, you'll need to work to get him in a pose that allows his center of gravity to remain, well, centered.  In the pose directly above this text column, he's facing straight ahead and appears to be standing fine.  However, on the left and down one photo you'll see that exact pose in profile, and you'll see how far back his arms and torso have to be to stay upright.  This is because of the deep bend in both his knees and ankles.

Now, the smaller version of this figure had the same deep knee sculpt, and yet he had no trouble standing.  Why the difference?  It's all in the ankles.  The smaller figure had pin jointed ankles, so the ankle bend could be reduced, shifting the hips further back.  Here, the ankles are sculpted permanently in a deep bend, throwing the knees and hips forward.  Therefore, to keep him standing, you have to shift the upper body backward.

It's not a deal breaking problem, and I was able to get a couple good poses out of him without his stand.  With the stand, anything was really possible.  Still, they really should have either a) resculpted the ankles or b) given us the pin joints in this scale too.

There's one other flaw in the sculpt, at least for me.  Whether or not Croc has a tail is a matter of huge debate.  Some folks hate it, others love it.  The old Mattel version (a predecessor of this figure) had a much more reptilian head and full croc tail, while the 6" version this one is based on did not.  Oddly enough, this version has a weird stub tail, splitting his pants in back and sticking out a little, but not too much.  It's almost as if they wanted to make both groups happy this time, but I gotta say that seeing Croc's scaly butt hanging out the back of his jeans really isn't doing for me.

Paint - ***
Like the sculpt, the paint work on this larger version has a lot more detail, shading and subtle definition than the smaller version.

There's a number of different shades of green, used to give the skin a very crocodile-like appearance.  While in some photos it may appear that the hands are a very different color than the arm, that's merely an artifact of how you pose them.  The back of the hands are colored to match the back of the arms, which is a much darker, scaly green. The palms of the hands match the inside of the arms, where the green is lighter and creamier.  When you turn the hands on the arms, it can appear as though they are too dark, but that's not the case.

In fact, the green on various parts matches up quite well.  The various cut lines are relatively clean, although there is a little slop around the eyes and teeth.

The wash used on the jeans works pretty well, giving it a dirty, worn appearance.  It adds to the realism, since a straight bright blue would have screamed 'toy'.

My biggest issue with the paint is the amount of nicks, rub marks and damage.  The outer coat of paint is definitely not a sturdy one, and damaging it doesn't take much effort.  If you store this guy loose in a box with other toys for any period of time, be sure to wrap him well to avoid damage.  And if you're lucky enough to see more than one on the shelf, pay attention to any rub marks and damage right from the factory.

Articulation - **
The articulation here is far less than what we had with the six inch figure.  I'm assuming that's because Mattel thinks collectors don't want the sculpt damaged by the appearance of joints.

There's a cut neck, cut wrists and cut waist, to go along with T hips and pin socket shoulders.  The shoulders might *look* like ball joints, but they aren't.  There's simply a pin that goes straight into the torso, allowing the arms to move up and down, but not out to the sides.  Another joint that might appear to be there but is not is the jaw.

The cut neck works better at getting some interesting poses than I expected, but the lack of knee or ankle joints interferes with his ability to stand, thus hurting both this score and the Sculpt score.

Accessories - *
The only accessory he comes with is the blue base, with the Killer Croc moniker on it.  This is a sticker, not paint, but it looks good nonetheless.

It's also a very important accessory, since you will need it for most poses.  There is one peg for the left foot, and it's long enough to keep him from falling forward even with his arms in front of his body and his hips shifted well over the balls of his feet.

Fun Factor - ***
The back of the box claims these are great for collectors AND kids, and I have to agree that kids would have plenty of fun pairing up this Killer Croc against a decent Batman.  He has enough articulation to have fun, but the difficulty in keeping him standing would end up frustrating some kids.

Value - **
He's big of course, but he's also largely rotocast.  Still, the technology has come far enough that the detailed sculpting remains.

Thirty bucks has always been a high price point for these however, especially since we got the 12" Marvel figures for $20, even after Hasbro took over.  If they could knock off another five here, I'd be happy to give them that extra half star.

Things to Watch Out For - 
If yoiu get the chance to pick one out (they appear to only be one per case right now) be sure to look for the best paint job.

Overall - ***
I almost cut another half star off this Overall, and technically I probably should.  He's not a cheap figure at $30, and has issues with the sculpt and the paint.  And yet, I really do love the way he looks on the shelf.  I have to stick with the display stand, and he's the only one of the 12" DCSH or DCU figures so far that requires that, but there's an 'it' factor about this figure that keeps him up that extra half star for me.

It is a bit of a missed opportunity though, because with just a few minor tweaks this figure could have been outstanding.  I'm very happy to see they're expanding this line outside of the basic Bats/Supes, and I would kill for a Mr. Freeze.  Now there's one I'd gladly pay $30 for!

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - *1/2
Accessories - *
Fun Factor - ***
Value -  **
Overall - ***

Where to Buy -
These are a Toys R Us exclusive at this point, so your local store (or tru online) is your best bet.

- Related Links -
I won't try to discuss ALL the DC reviews, let's stick with DCUC and the DCSH stuff:

- The Fighting Figures were the last DCU review.

- I've covered the regular DC Universe Classics series 1 in two parts - part 1 and part 2.

- and out of the 12" series, I reviewed the first Batman and the Cyborg Superman.

- and before this line became the DCU, it was the DCSH, with figures like Clayface and Bruce, Mongul, Parasite and Steel, Brainiac and Darkseid, Batgirl and Superman, Batman and Azrael, Doomsday, Superman, Bizarro and Supergirl, Batman and Killer Croc, Zipline Batman and Joker, Mr. Freeze and the other Killer Croc, and Bane and Scarecrow.

- and there are guest reviews of the SDCC Comic Convention exclusive Batman, Batman/Superman two pack, 12" Batman, and Batman/Nightwing two pack.

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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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