Thursday, January 12, 2012

Big Bad Toy Store's Exclusive GI Joe "Slaughter's Marauders" Battle Set Review

GI Joe is a military staple in action figures and has been since its creation. The smaller 3 3/4" figures have an assortment of vehicles and bases which the 12" ones couldn't justify for a decent price. Today I cover Big Bad Toy Store's exclusive battle set of Slaughter's Marauders. This review is going to be longer than others because the set contains 7 figures, some characters you have and some brand new to the line. I will also be doing part 2 of the review later which covers BBTS' Dreadnok's battle set.

The sculpts on these figures is amazing. How Hasbro manages to pack so much detail into under 4" is great and the faces really bring the characters to life. Felix "Mercenary" Stratton is an ex-Cobra Viper and you can tell he's wearing a partial uniform. His serious face looks like he's seen it all and he has tiny sculpted earrings. Felix also sports an anti-Cobra tattoo which is clean and crisp. He's one of the new characters as only Spirit, Barbecue, and Low Light appeared as part of the original toy team.

Articulation for these figures is excellent. Ball heads, arms, and legs, allow just about any posing position you can think of. Some characters like Low Light and Barbecue have hinged wrists allowing them to angle their weapons in a new way. Basically if you need them to get into a pose, each figure can do it. Bull's kneepads do seem to keep him in sort of a bent-leg position but not too badly.

Each character is a mix of parts from other figures from earlier sets. Hasbro made excellent choices here as the parts match up perfectly for each character. Some keen-eyed folks will notice Red Dog's torso as Bazooka's and Falcon's lower legs from the earlier Resolute Duke. This saves on tooling and gives us unique figures each time. Hey, it's just like customizing your own Joes. The heads on the four new team members are all new sculpts however, nice!

Everyone gets a nice amount of accessories in this set. Most figures come with 2-3 weapons and a blade. Neat features include Falcon's removable beret, Bull and Merc's removable knives, and Spirit's removable arrow clip from his gun. Each of their vests or web-gear can be moved or repositioned as well. Bull comes with some great accessories, a joe-scale football and removable necklace/headband that fit on him perfectly.

Speaking of the accessories you also get stands for each character and bio-cards you can cut out from the back of the window box the figures come in. Take care not to lose anything while unpacking the figures. Merc's pistol has a tiny removable silencer and Low Light's glasses come off. One hasty tug and these will vanish into your carpet so take the figures out carefully. Falcon's grenade launcher actually cocks in half and has a TINY flip up sight.

Paint apps are plentiful here with the exception of Falcone whose upper shirt looks like it's missing something. The character's eyes feature two tones of color instead of the classic black pupil on white. Now there's brown iris as well. Low Light's vest has a great shading wash to it and Barbecue's armor has sooty highlights and metallic scuffing. Spirit's chest tattoo is amazing and you can make out every edge of Red Dog's tribal tattoos.

Each character has their own backstory and traits. Bull's burly beard and twin pistols make him stand out and Merc's ex-Cobra Viper history is very apparent. You can tell Barbecue utilizes fire with his flamethrower, Spirit is an Indian tracker, and Red Dog use to be a football player. It's things like this that set the Marauder's set apart from others. You really get a feel for the characters here and will enjoy having Sgt Slaughter (assuming you have one from the SDCC already) leading them into battle.

So what's the verdict? Slaughter's Marauders Battle Set is an excellent addition to anyone's GI Joe collection. You get 7 figures, 4 of which are new characters to the line, a whole bunch of accessories, stands, and all for just $49.99. That means each figure is a buck under what you'd pay for them separately at retail, and these are exclusives. Being store exclusives you can only order them online from our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store so get cracking. If you miss out on these you'll be stuck paying twice as much on ebay or even more for them individually from sellers. And don't forget to check back tomorrow for part 2 of the review featuring the Dreadnoks Battle Set.

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