How can I properly express just what lengths Marauder “Gun Runners” has come in the past few years? Evolving from manufacturing and selling unique 1:18 scale weapons to distributing diorama accessories, then finally, through their first successful Kickstarter they started developing their Task Force action figures.
Since then, their second Kickstarter for the Task Force Valkyries was successful as well, and they’ve simply taken their formula for enhancing 1:18 scale action figures and spun it completely into a second stratosphere.
With the first run of Task Force figures, I was suitably impressed with what Marauder had accomplished, actually designing and producing (with the help of the best toy designers in the business, Boss Fight Studio) a fully functional action figure line, yet they were essentially the same figure buck and many of the same accessories, just spun out in some different colors. While certainly exciting, I saw them mostly continuing as enhancements to an already large roster of 1:18 military figures. What a difference a couple of years makes. With what Marauder has done over the past 18 months alongside their additional Kickstarter is to add an immeasurable amount of versatility, customizability and variability to what was already a fantastic formula. Thanks in no small part to the addition of several new female action figure styles, new head sculpts, new arms and legs, and many new paint decos, we now have a veritable barracks of different combinations with the ability to build out any number of combinations of strike teams.
Marauder Task Force is no longer an enhancement, it’s an evolution, and things may very well never be the same again.
Looking at the female figures first, thanks to the sculpting of Boss Fight Studio, we have some of the finest built female figures in 1:18 military history. Fantastic layered sculpting throughout the uniforms, nearly seamless armor enhancements, and the unique “faux-ring” articulation scheme gives us tough and rugged female troopers to serve alongside our roster of male soldiers that we’ve already amassed. Even with the elaborate sculpting, the articulation is absolutely top notch, with great range of motion in every joint.
Along with the standard military buck, Marauder also included some spare arms without armor and developed a brand new t-shirt torso which is spectacular, especially for how comparatively plain it is. The arms are sculpted narrow, but really well articulated, with flexible fingers and wrists that can hold all manner of weapons without fear of breakage.
Additional female head sculpts are incredible as well, with various skin tones, hair designs (and hair colors) allowing for a massive amount of variation here, too.
To equip the female figures there are several different versions of combat vests now available as well, from a plain flak vest (ready for pouches currently sold or that came with the previous Kickstarter), to a great armored vest, and a very nicely sculpted additional heavier combat vest as well.
Along with the Valkyrie female figures, Marauder also included the fantastic Stedi-Cam gunner which added several great new elements to the Task Force collection. Not only did it give us a very cool new weapons system including the gun, armored mask, and armored plate chest (with amazingly engineered web gear) but it also provided some added short sleeved arms and non-armored legs, which has provided a wealth of great variability to the existing Task Force collection. The new limbs match the fantastic sculpting style of the rest of the figure with amazing articulation and some great new flexibility with existing tooling.
But let’s talk more about the web gear and chest plate. The chest plate connects to the web gear via two of the standard Task Force pegs, which means you can take it off, then use the underlying web gear to mount pouches, holsters, and whatever else you can dig out of your Task Force storage bins. For some reason I wasn’t aware of this neat feature, and it was a very pleasant surprise when I got the Stedi-Cam Gunner in hand.
As a great added bonus, Marauder has dedicated a wealth of different plastic color options (and decals!) for the Stedi-Cam gunner gear as well, really ramping up the potential for great mix and match variation.
What may be the coolest aspect of the Stedi-Cam Gunner, though, is the camouflage paint scheme. This intricately decoed camouflage pattern is among the best I’ve ever seen at this scale, and the way Marauder has carried it over to a female figure as well is exceptionally cool.
As you read through this review, you’ll notice that I’ve grouped collections of accessories together, mostly because that’s how they were offered with the Kickstarter. Keep in mind, though, through the wonders of MarauderInc.com you can pick and choose any number of thousands of variations of figures, heads, gear and other add ons which essentially makes the combinations nearly infinite. If you see a figure you like in this review, but think it would look better with different gear, you have that option right at your fingertips.
Keep in mind I haven’t even talked about a number of new male head sculpts in different hair (and beard) colors, not to mention all the new paint schemes and additional new accessories including a fantastic flight helmet with translucent goggles. Don’t even get me started on the baseball hat…it’s made from a fantastic flexible rubber, which lets it fit seamlessly over many different heads, and you don’t get the typical gap or stiff fit that you see when it’s been tried elsewhere. There are bandoliers, belts, a duffel bag, a weapon sleeve, backpacks, baseball bats, the list goes on and on, and each new accessory comes with some level of customization available, whether its decals or holes for the standard Task Force plug. There is just so much to talk about here, it’s very tough to frame a review around it, so I’m trying to look at this from a holistic perspective.
The figures are also incredibly easily customizable with simply swapped ball joints at the hips, the waist, the head, and even relatively easy to remove arms. Boiling and popping is the best way to ensure smooth lower arm removal, though you have to crack the torso to pull off the shoulders.
One comment, because I know people will ask… yes, there are a lot of small parts, and yes I very strongly recommend finding a combination you like and gluing the pouches and accessories down to ensure maximum playability. This stuff is not expensive. You can certainly beef up on more pouches and vests and feel confident that dedicating a few key small accessories to a particular look isn’t going to break the bank, and will only make you happier as you pose and play with the figure you’ve designed.
In short, the improvements and enhancements made to the Task Force line since its inception are impressive and downright amazing. It’s a completely different line now than it was even 18 months ago and has grown into a world of its own. I am fully in love with this evolution of the Task Force, and have already made follow up purchases after the Kickstarter, and I’m poised to make some more. I cannot wait to see where things continue from here and I’m greatly looking forward to the exo-suit Kickstarter coming this year from Marauder.
Great stuff, head over to MarauderInc.com and beef up your barracks now! And if you have any questions about the product or just want to show off your creations, the Marauder Task Force Facebook Group is the place to be. A ton of awesome looking customs and a great community willing to answer all sorts of questions. MJ and Marauder Ruben are always there to interact and listen to suggestions as well. Hit it up!
Marauder Task Force Valkyries
How can I put a specific rating on this entire assortment of gear and figures? I will say the rating I give this product is based purely on the sheer variation of what’s available. The deco, the figure articulation, the accessories…this product line hits all marks in all the right ways. There’s something here for everyone, and I cannot recommend this next generation of customizable military action figures enough.