Sunday, January 15, 2012

Slaughter's Marauders

Joe… back at’cha again for some G.I. Joe goodness!

This week, thanks to Jason, I received my box sets of the BBTS exclusives, “Slaughter’s Marauders” and “Dreadnoks”! I picked them up on Saturday night and was chomping at the bit to get them home and tear into them. I was eagerly anticipating some of the Dreadnok figures… Zandar (to complete the sibling trio), Zanya (an excellent addition) Road Pig (for some brute force) and Thunder aka Thrasher (to drive my Thunder Machine). The remainder of the ‘Noks… Gnaw (Gnawgahyde), Zanzibar, and Burnout were just extras to me. But, it is nice to get what could finally be construed as a “complete” set of Dreadnoks to put on the shelf. Now… if only I had the funds to pick up the old Dreadnok vehicles… that would be nice. But, my Dreadnoks will have to wait for another time, I've got better things to discuss. Well... that... and Jason is reviewing them.

My main focus on Saturday however, was aimed at the Slaughter’s Marauders 7pk. Finally, after years of waiting, I get to add Sgt. Slaughter himself and his Renegades to my shelf! I was a huge fan of wrasslin' as a kid and having Sgt. Slaughter cross-over to my favorite toy-line was just too cool.

Sadly, I never had Sgt. Slaughter as a kid; I never mailed away for him. Even with 4 chances as a kid to get a Sgt. Slaughter, I never did.

Sgt. Slaughter’s original figure and filecard from links to previous versions…

Sgt. Slaughter V1 (1985)
Sgt. Slaughter V2 (1986)
Sgt. Slaughter V3 (1988)
Sgt. Slaughter V4 (1989)
Sgt. Slaughter V5 (2006)

When 25th hit and RoC being the new line at the time, I needed a Sgt. Slaughter. To create one for my own collection, I did what most did, I kit-bashed. Using a few of the TRU Bench Press figs and a WWE Build and Brawl Sgt. Slaughter, I managed to put a workable one together. Overall, it worked. But the tattoos just didn't fit and I wasn't overly satisfied with the end result.

Sgt. Slaughter-Press

A short time later, we found out that we were getting Sgt. Slaughter as an SDCC exclusive. MUST HAVE! Knowing we were getting these, I had picked up a Triple-T tank for my collection. I managed to get one in very good condition complete with the box and uncut filecard and Flag Points.

The new  SDCC Sgt. Slaughters were excellent! They had pretty standard articulation for the time... ball-hinges and swivels, and had the addition of and articulated wrist. Not just the wrist swivel, but a hinge joint... but oddly, only on the right wrist. The left remained the standard swivel. The SDCC Sgt. Slaughter came in 2 variations...

Triple-T                                                          USA    

The "Triple-T" decco was more akin to Sgt. Slaughter's animation model with a slight color variation to the camo pants, more gray than green. He came armed with a revolver and an M-60. The USA variation was reminiscent of his wrasslin' garb. He was pretty much wearing his ring tights and equipped with a microphone and Championship belt. Both variations wore his signature sun glasses and campaign hat (the Smokey the Bear hat) and came with his trusty crop and whistle. The "Triple-T" variant was also produced in a lesser amount than the "USA" variation.

It would be a nice visual on the shelf having Slaughter and his ride...

- Do you expect me to walk!?
- No... I expect you to run!

But, without his Renegades, it just didn’t feel right. We got news that we were going to get a TRU 5pk. of Vipers with a version of Mercer, but it never happened. Then, low and behold, Hasbro let loose with the BBTS exclusive Slaughter’s Marauders 7pk! Sgt. Slaughter and his Renegades would be complete. No standing or milling about on the shelf solo… nuh-uh… not anymore. Not only would the 7pk. include Slaughter’s Renegades, it would also include a hand-full of his Marauders. links for the original Sgt. Slaughter's Renegades
Mercer V1 (1987)
Red Dog V1 (1987)
Taurus V1 (1987) links for the original Slaughter's Marauders
Barbecue V2 (1989)
Low-Light V2 (1989)
Spirit V2 (1989)
Night Force Lt. Falcon V2 (1988)

The Renegades were initially introduced in “G.I.Joe: The Movie” back in 1987. The character of Falcon, being a consummate screw up, gets sent to the “Slaughterhouse” by General Hawk in hopes that they can “make a Joe out of him even if it kills him”. Falcon gets dropped in... he literally gets kicked out of the Tomohawk by Lift-Ticket… and has his first meeting with what he thinks is a Cobra trooper.

Look what dropped in bruthas... 170lbs. of air pollution!

He tries to scrap his way out and gets full-nelsoned by Taurus and insulted by Red-Dog before Sgt. Slaughter himself shows up and gives him a reprieve from a beating. Sgt. Slaughter introduces his men…

Mercer, packaged as Felix "Mercenary" Stratton, ex-Cobra Viper that’s seen the light.

 Mercer even has a variation of his "No Cobra" logo as a tat!

Red-Dog, packaged as David "Red Dog" Taputapu, booted out of pro-football for unnecessary roughness.

... and Taurus, packaged as Varujan "Bull" Ayvazyan, a circus acrobat with a few loose bats in his big-top.

I gave Taurus, I mean Bull, Road Pig's sword because he just didn't seem right without it.

All three figures have the standard Joe articulation. Mercer is made of a mash of the Cobra Shock Tooper, 2 different Storm Shadows and Zartan. Unfortunately, he does not have the Shock Trooper's wrist articulation, merely the swivel. Red-Dog is made up of primarily Bazooka with Shadow Tracker's legs. Taurus, I mean Bull, is a huge mash-up of parts. He consists of bits from Recondo, Night Adder, Capt. Ace, and Wild Bill. All three figures have new head sculpts. With the exception of Taurus, I mean Bull, and Red-Dog have differing facial hair from the original figures and animation models, and the addition of earrings on Mercer, I mean Mercenary, the new sculpts look great.

Finally, my Renegades are complete. Sgt. Slaughter has his crew to whip into shape, and I mean WHIP, and make them...


 Sgt. Slaughter's Renegades

The Renegades were the real bonus for me out of this pack. Though, they weren't the only part. The DiC series introduced a new sub-team for G.I.Joe... Slaughter's Marauders. The idea behind Slaughter's Marauders followed the formula of the other sub-teams that they were introducing at the time. It took previous characters and placed then into a special team... in this case, lead by Sgt. Slaughter.

Classic O-Ring Slaughter's Marauders

We didn't get all of the Marauders, just 3 of them, and instead of a 4th we got a replacement with Falcon. The set also gives us Spirit, Low-Light, and Barbecue. The figures are pretty much a mix of new parts and repaints and, something I wasn't happy about, lacking a lot of their original gear. We get pretty much standard articulation all around and then painted up into schemes similar to the Green/Lime/Blue/Brown color scheme that defined the original Slaughter's Marauders.

Barbecue, packaged as Gabriel "Barbecue" Kelly, is for the most part, a new figure. He uses Snow Job upper bits with the Barbecue head on top of all new arms and legs. He comes with his standard gear of extinguisher pack with hose and "gun" and fire axe.

Low Light is primarily PoC Beachhead with Jungle Viper arms and his own head. Compared to PoC Low light, this version is naked. He comes with his removable goggles, a knife, and only 2 guns... a smaller sniper rifle than what the PoC version had and a sub-machine gun.

Spirit, packaged as Spirit Iron-Knife, is a combination of the TRU exclusive PoC Spirit, and Rescue Mission Snake Eyes. Again, poor Spirit comes with next to no gear. He has his web gear to show off his new Gung-Ho-ish chest tat, a knife and his "arrow gun" with removable clip.

Falcon, packaged as Vincent "Falcon" Falcone, is our newest member of Slaughter's Marauders... apparently transferred over from Night Force. Falcon is basically just Dusty with a cravat and a new head. The new head sculpt is nice, even going so far as to have a removable beret. Unfortunately, Falcon is as lacking in gear as the rest of the Marauders. He comes with DVD Dusty's web gear, a drum fed M-16 with grenade launcher, and, due to that, a redundant 30mm grenade launcher.

I dug 25th 2pk Falcon out of the box and grabbed his gear and loaded up Marauders Falcon. The green that 25th Falcon's pack was molded in fits in well with Marauders Falcon.

Overall, the Renegades were the Win! for me in this set. I've always liked those 3 characters and we finally got some nice updated versions of them. Out of the rest of the Marauders, my biggest complaint is lack of gear. MORE GEAR. One or two guns is okay, but give them a pack, or a holster, or something else for them to use.

I think I'll need to face off my Renegades and Marauders against Jason's Dreadnoks. I think we may be out-numbered... but when it comes to Sgt. Slaughter, it's all about quality, not quantity.

... and just because I found Nemesis Enforcer... err... Immortal... while I was looking for stuff... one of my favorite Sgt. Slaughter lines...

When I'm through scuzzbucket, they're
gonna scrape you off the walls with a squeegee!

Until next time...