Note: This is not a full review. This simply a more in-depth look at the figures I profiled in my Russian Funskool GI Joe Jamboree post, and is intended as a resource for fans and collectors.
Updated 5/6/21: According to a source in a former Soviet country (who has also translated the card backs), the entire Russian run of Funskool GI Joe figures was released in 1998. The company who assisted in this release, Two Beetles (see their logo on the card back below), likely had a connection at Funskool. Aside from Chuckles, all Russian Funskool figures are nearly identical to their Indian counterparts– only the card backs were changed. Though these were reportedly only produced for a year, they can still be found in former USSR territories. As a fun side note, “beetle” is Russian slang for “swindler.”
Russian Funskool GI Joe Croc Master and Accessories
The Russian Funskool GI Joe Croc Master figures, and all other Russian Funskool figures, were released around 1998. That’s according to a source living in a former Soviet territory. Despite their long ago production run, they can still sometimes be found in various former Soviet states to this day.
Russian Funskool Croc Master was made with Hasbro’s 1987 Croc Master mold, and has no new or different parts. The plastic coloration and quality are the only differences. The figure also includes all of the Hasbro original’s accessories.
The carded figure:
The card back is the only major notable difference between the Indian Funskool and Russian Funskool Croc Master figures. Whereas all Indian Funskool card backs are presented mainly in English, each Russian Funskool card back is present in the Russian language.
The card is also made of a much thinner, flimsier material than Hasbro carded figure packaging.
The figure is cast in flesh tone and black plastic, and features light green, red, yellow, brown, silver, and black paint. The paint scheme and paint details are largely the same as the Hasbro Croc Master.
From the side:
From the back:
As with many Funskool figures, the paint on my Russian Funskool GI Joe Croc Master is a bit sloppy here and there. It looks good from afar, though, and generally is a well-presented action figure.
My copy of the figure has no quality control issues, despite the slightly lower grade plastic. It stands, sits, poses, and interacts with most of its accessories quite nicely.
In general, it’s a great Funskool figure and is nearly on par with many Hasbro offerings.
The Russian Funskool GI Joe Croc Master figure comes with a black, rubbery breathing hose, a tan whip (made of rope-like material), a black alligator harness/leash, and a green alligator.
This is the same spread of accessories the 1987 Hasbro Croc Master came with.
The figure All Geared Up:
Most of the figure’s accessories work out just fine. The breathing hose connects and stays in place well, and the figure has no problems holding its whip. It could possibly just be user error, but I find it very difficult (if not impossible) to get the collar around the alligator and have it stay clasped and in place.
I have never handled the Hasbro version of that accessory, so I’m not sure if that’s a common problem or not.
Russian Funskool Croc Master Compared to 1987 Hasbro Croc Master
As with many Funskool figures, the colors on the Russian Funskool Croc Master and the Hasbro Croc Master are similar. As Mike T. from Forgotten Figures reports, this was likely mandated by Hasbro for certain toys.
You can easily tell the difference between the figures when you stand them side by side, however.
The figures (L – Funskool, R – Hasbro):
The Russian Funskool GI Joe Croc Master uses a much lighter, brighter green than the Hasbro version. The brown paint is also darker and the yellow paint is also duller. In addition, the red paint (especially for the eyes) isn’t applied as thickly, so it doesn’t stand out quite as much as the eye paint on the Hasbro version does.
To my eye, the silver on the Funskool version also seems brighter. The flesh tones are slightly different, too.
Despite some paint quality differences, the Funskool Croc Master has the same number of paint applications as the Hasbro version.
The figures from the side:
From the back:
I’ll admit I didn’t look too closely because it doesn’t interest me much, but I did not notice any earth-shattering differences in the date or brand stamps on the two figures.
The only Hasbro Croc Master accessory I own is the alligator, so here is a comparison shot.
You’ll notice that, as with the figure, the Funskool Croc Master’s pet alligator is a lighter, brighter green. They are both made from a slightly rubbery material, but there is a slight difference in the plastic used. It doesn’t affect anything one way or the other, though. They are both well made and well detailed.
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