San Diego ComicCon is upon us! Hopefully everyone out there is ready. One of the joys of this annual gathering of geeks is the plethora of exclusive toys that are produced for it. This year leading the list of awesome exclusives is the Sgt. Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadiers Kre-O set!
Kre-O may be MIA from store shelves, but Hasbro went all out with this fantastic boxed set. Check out my Kre-O Review Page, or click the link below for the full review.
As strange as it may sound coming from an adult collector, one of the biggest disappointments from a G.I. Joe perspective I’ve experienced this year is the apparent end of a mainstream Kre-O toyline. After clearancing the majority of their stock, it appears as if Toys “R” Us has gotten out of the G.I. Joe Kre-O game, relegating us to convention exclusives.
That’s not a bad thing, and I really enjoyed the G.I. Joe Convention Kre-O set, but man, after getting that Terror Drome, Firebat and other great items, I can’t help but at least slightly lament the loss of a higher profile Kre-O presence.
This ComicCon exclusive set does two things… it satisfies me greatly, yet also gives the knife a little bit of a twist. It’s a terrific set that I love whole heartedly, but also puts a big magnifying glass on the bare shelves where G.I. Joe Kre-O used to be at Toys “R” Us.
The theme of this ComicCon exclusive set is spectacular. With a box designed like the classic VHS Boxed sets of old, each individual “video tape” pulls out into an individual component. One tape is the Iron Grenadier figure set, one tape is the Marauders figure set, and the third tape is the Triple T tank. Magnificent. The animated Kre-O themed artwork across the box and the inner tapes pulls me back to the FHE days where I’d go to my local video store and rent the “Revenge of Cobra” mini series back in the day…and the artwork is very reminiscent of the DiC series box art, too, especially with the Slaughter’s Marauders. Fantastic presentation with the box and artwork for sure.
I think I share most folks’ surprise in seeing that Hasbro was once again able to get license to Sgt. Slaughter’s character, even if it was just in Kre-O form.
Slaughter himself is a great looking figure, using the typically fantastic Hasbro design aesthetics. Kre-O designers seem imminently capable of focusing on some very key elements of the characters and translating them perfectly to toy form.
Footloose is another great looking Marauders update with just the right touches of green, brown, and blue, as well as a neat assembled RPG and machine gun.
Low Light has his familiar Marauder paint scheme along with a great sniper rifle and Uzi to call back to the vintage version that had the same equipment. It’s neat comparing these versions to their classic originals in the Kre-O line and see what was changed.
Using a gas mask, night stick, and submachine gun, Hasbro gives us a good looking Mutt in the updated Marauder paint scheme, again a nice separation from the classic version that already appeared in the Kre-O line. Just a note – Junkyard is bagged in with the Triple T, so if you don’t see him in the action figure package, look in the Triple T box, he should be in there.
Unlike some others, Spirit never actually received a classic Kre-O version yet, something that didn’t occur to me until I was doing this review. Spirit is the consumate Sunbow character that would have made perfect sense to have done in Kre-O form, and represents just one more reason why I hope to see Kre-O continue in some form somewhere down the line. We need a classic Spirit!
Lastly we have Marauder Barbecue who comes with a great flip up Barbecue mask and fire extinguisher, along with his handy battle axe. Like the others, he has a great Marauder paint scheme that’s very evocative of the figure, and awesomely colorful.
On the enemy side of things we get the Iron Grenadiers, which serves as a great tie-in to the Convention Set this year, which also contained some key members of the IG crew.
Destro leads the team in his Pimp Daddy Destro deco, another ComicCon throwback, which is a great touch. The leopard print collar and red cape are both so tacky and fantastic.
Voltar is second in command looking great in his pink and gold uniform, with an awesome helmet (even though the eyepiece is on the wrong side), a great weapon, and even his trusty vulture.
Darklon is far and away my favorite figure in this set, with great chainmail deco, an awesome sinister face, his gatling dart gun and all the trappings of Destro’s cousin.
Taking a closer look at the three Iron Grenadiers as well, some things become apparent. First of all, one of them is an officer while two of them are troopers. The officer’s Kre-O deco is actually themed like the modern Iron Grenadier update (using the Battle Armor Cobra Commander body) while the two Troopers are the vintage design with the more familiar clasping buttons. All three figures have red bandanas, but if you remove them, you see the classic Grenadier visage glaring out from behind. As an unabashed Iron Grenadier fan, I love these three troopers and they compliment the rest of the set perfectly.
Also, using a Kre-O Grunt head and a random red beret I found kicking around, the Iron Grenadier Officer quickly becomes a nice looking Sgt. Major.
Sgt. Slaughter’s TTT
Just looking at the figures themselves this set would already be a sure fire winner in my opinion, but Hasbro took it one step further and didn’t just give us 12 great looking Kre-Ons, but they also gave us a full blown ready-to-build Triple T tank!
Like many of the Kre-O items we’ve seen, the Triple T really made its mark in the Sunbow cartoon especially when Slaughter made his dramatic entrace, leaping from the oddly shaped white tank and single-handedly dispatching with a few dozen Battle Android Troopers. To be honest, in its toy form, the Triple T never did much for me, but as has happened in the past a vehicle I might not have cared much for gets whole new life as a Kre-O set. No matter how many times I’ve put these sets together, it always amazes me that I can dump out a pile of random bricks, and moments later, an actual physical form begins to take shape, eventually resulting in a vehicle that actually resembles something that I know. Early Kre-O efforts were mixed, giving us vehicles that bore only the most passing resemblance to their vintage counterparts, but recently, things have gotten much better, and the Triple T is a perfect example of that.
This is a very unique looking vehicle from G.I. Joe history, and the fact that this Kre-O build represents it so accurately is simply amazing. Using a majority of white bricks, with a healthy mix of green and brown, the TTT is an amazing feat of brick engineering that completely lives up to my expectations for these Kre-O sets. From the size and shape to the “fit” with this year’s theme and the vintage resemblance, I may actually like the Kre-O TTT even more than the regular vintage one. It wasn’t a really complex build, and as always, I find myself incredibly amused with how small these items end up, but it was a lot of fun, and the final result is 100% worth it.
From the packaging to the Kre-On mini figures, all the way to the TTT vehicle, this set is simply amazing. A truly enjoyable and yes FUN addition to the already impressive Kre-O library. I thoroughly enjoyed this set while at the same time it made me lament the sparse offerings of Kre-O going forward.
Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadiers Kre-O Set
Something that often gets lost in the shuffle of collector toys is the notion of “fun”. TOYS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. I think that’s why I’ve been drawn to Kre-O so much since it first came out. Even when the builds weren’t 100% accurate and even when some of the figure designs were a bit weak, the base concept of the entire thing was G.I. Joe as a fun toy. No Kre-O set to date has captured that sense of fun more than this ComicCon set, which takes the essence of what was great about G.I. Joe in the 80s and boils it down to a single boxed set, from the packaging to the filecards, and the individual pieces themselves. Terrific characters, an excellent vehicle build, and an all around impressive package. This set is a must have!
One would think this would be a pretty easy, straight-forward article, right? I mean, we barely had a wave of figures released, and the vehicles were by and large unremarkable, so what is the point of this discussion?
Well, I kind of thought so, too, but then I started looking into what we got this year, and it became evident, that even with G.I. Joe: Retaliation’s short-lived shelf life, there was still plenty of topics to dissect and plenty to talk about in regards to 2012’s slate of G.I. Joe toys.
Now, a pair of items kind of had me in a quandry. While technically the Slaughter’s Marauders and Dreadnoks 7-Packs were shipped in 2012, I still consider them 2011 product. They were announced and solicited in 2011, and I received my sets in 2011, even though many folks got them in 2012. For that reason I did not include them when considering this list.
Any thoughts from the peanut gallery on that?
Click the Read the Rest of the Story link below to see my thoughts.
Any episode that features Chuck and Kevin talking about tasteful nudity is bound to be a legendary one, and this episode delivers. The guys talk to Jim Sorenson, author of the fantastic G.I. Joe Field Manual, and then proceed to put him through a miserable 2 hours of off topic rambling, Gangnam Style free-style rapping, and yes, tasteful nudity.
Jim took it like a champ, and the episode ends up running the gamut, talking about the New Jersey Collectors Convention, Kevin’s excellent Metalhead figure, as well as the G.I. Joe Field Manual and the latest and greatest G.I. Joe news.
Hit up our Podbean page, or listen via the embedded players below. Don’t forget to check the show notes after the jump.
Over the past couple of years, the New Jersey Collectors’ Con has made a splash by offering up some fantastic custom HISS Tanks as part of their door prize at the convention.
The next NJCC is hitting Cherry Hill, NJ October 7th, and with all the credit in the world to Kevin Watts, Fran from HissTank, Raging Spoon, Nova, Cobra Stickers, and many other folks involved, they are bringing one hell of a cool exclusive to the show.
Fresh of the G.I. Joe Collectors Club which brought the Iron Grenadiers back to the forefront, the NJCC is giving us a fantastic updated Metalhead for the October show. With a custom cast head and weapons set, and some very cool parts, this figure is…well… pretty freaking amazing. The figure also features a reverse engineered G.I. Joe: Retaliation Swamp Viper vest, which is astounding. Incredible.
Check out a plethora of mirrored images below, and follow NJCC on their Facebook page or New Jersey Collectors Con for any and all updates. A great looking figure, and sure to be a hell of an awesome show.
Holiday Inn Cherry Hill – New Jersey
2175 West Marlton Pike (Rt. 70), Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Sunday, October 7th, 2012