G.I. Joe Steel Marauder w/ Kickstart

I must admit during my time as a child collecting G.I. Joe, the concept of "Mechs" was pretty foreign to me. In fact I never full appreciated the coolness of Mechanized infantry until I discovered the wonderous world of Exo Squad in the early 90's, and then I was forever in love with the idea of mechanized battle suits.

Of course, back then, G.I. Joe's answer to Mechs was the Star Brigade Armor Bot and the Power Fighters, none of which was that cool, especially when compared to the smaller, more poseable Exo Squad items, which seemed to be wonders of toy design at the time (and probably still are).

But during the Valor Vs. Venom days, Hasbro once again started dipping into the Mech pool, and during Sigma 6, they went whole hog into it. Destro had one, Cobra had a bunch, the Joes had a bunch, and there was a hefty amount of combat back and forth amongst mechanized infantry, some of the designs actually being pulled from the Valor Vs. Venom line.

Probably the coolest Mech released for the Joe line up until that point was the infamous Iron Hammer, a massive two-legged beast with poseable weapon arms and an excellent design... for a 2.5" scale. It was a major bone of contention among Joe fans, as many folks loved the concept and the look, but hated that it was built for a scale that did not fit their own. Luckily, Hasbro wasn't afraid to add some more tooling dollars to the Iron Hammer design, and retooled the cockpit to fit larger figures for the Pursuit of Cobra line. The result is something surprisingly cool, even a couple of years after the original release.

While Exo Squad made it's bread and butter on the small one-man fighters, some of the coolest instruments of destruction were the huge two-legged walkers that had tons of weapons, and that's essentially what the Steel Marauder is. The body is an awesomely shaped armored cockpit attached to a pair of mechanized legs with massive armament on each side. The left arm sports a gatling gun/missile launcher while the right side is an automated claw that snaps open and closed with the press of a button. The arms are customizable, able to be pulled off and swapped out with other attachments using the same peg system. While this peg system doesn't work with stuff like the new HISS v.5 or Ghost Hawk, it does work with the old school Sigma 6 attachments from the Iron Hammer and the DTC line.

One of the coolest things about the Steel Marauder is the articulation. While not incredibly poseable, the hips and shoulders move nicely, and the ankle joints allow the awesomely designed claw-feet to be positioned in several different ways. The coolest points of articulation are definitely at the shoulders, though, which extend out as well as rotating, giving the arms some added movement.

The Steel Marauder is in your pretty typical military colors, sporting mostly greens and grays as well as some silvers and blacks. Nothing too out of the ordinary. The result is a fairly military looking killer robotic weapon of destruction that certainly walks the line of futuristic, yet still looks like it fits in with the G.I. Joe technology aesthetic.


Kickstart is a brand new character to the G.I. Joe mythology, which is always cool to see. I'm not certain where the philosophy changed on the Joe design team either, but suddenly even the "frankensteined" figures are looking very, very good. The upcoming AWE Striker driver Night Fox looks amazingly cool, and this driver here, Kickstart, while being colored fairly generically, has a very cool design.

It's pretty interesting, too, that a fresh coat of paint can really separate figure parts nicely. Kickstart uses Sgt. Airborne's head, but with the dirty blonde hair, it almost looks totally new. Hasbro should take that into account the next time they use a Clutch head.

His torso is the same as the Cobra Viper and Mutt, with G.I. Joe: Resolute Duke arms and legs. Considering I just did like 27 reviews with guys with G.I. Joe: Resolute parts and I'm still enjoying this figure, I think that says good things about the mileage you can get from these parts.

If I have any issues, it's that the colors are pretty bland. A light khaki green from neck to boots, with really no break ups of other colors or trim, but part of it is cool. Without the vest, he looks like he's wearing a plain dress green uniform, which is pretty neat, but his arms could use some break up between the swath of green.

His weapons selection is somewhat disappointing, too, only coming with a helmet and the vest. It's a great helmet, and the Cobra Viper vest works nicely (though you have to ignore the Cobra symbol on the belt buckle) but he really could have used some sort of weapon.

Beyond that minor complaint, this is really a very fun set. The vehicle is nice, and for a fairly bland green figure, I find Kickstart extremely cool. His filecard proclaiming him to be a "hardcore gamer" is certainly a fun twist as well. For fans who haven't yet experienced the wonder of Sigma 6 (and I'm sure there are plenty of you) this will be something very new and very cool. Even those people who have the Sigma 6 Iron Hammer will find things to love here as well. The retooled cockpit is fantastic, from the increased size all the way down to the ball-jointed control sticks.

I highly recommend this vehicle as a mainstay to your Pursuit of Cobra arsenal.

Buy this vehicle now at BigBadToyStore!