Slaughter’s Marauders (2015 Kre-O)
The original Slaughter’s Marauders figures are an interesting set as far as the later GI Joe Real American Hero offerings go. Composed solely of repainted older figures, one can see them as both an inexpensive attempt to put more product on the shelves, and also as a way to keep older molds of important characters in the mix. With the Kre-O line’s version of the team, we get several key characters’ appearance as Kreons for the first time. That can only be a good thing as far as I’m concerned. Appearing here as a group of six mini-figures, the members of the sub-team look more coordinated than ever before. I guess the uniform mold style helps bring these guys together in a way that individualized sculpts cannot.
Even though we’re covering the six figure set, I will make one observation that holds true with all of the figures in my sample pack. The Kreons have been, for the most part, somewhat close to Lego in terms of quality. Nothing in my eyes is as uniformly high quality as Lego, however. For instance, the Kreon face detail paint doesn’t seem to hold up well to constant play. My son has a few whose faces are now gone. In the time that I’ve been collecting the Kre-O releases, across the GI Joe, Transformers, and Dungeons & Dragons brands, I’ve been very happy with the quality of the design, and also the printing and fit/finish. To this point, I haven’t come across too many figures whose pieces don’t stay together well, or feel loose. Unfortunately, I found both problems within this set. In terms of fit, the hands just don’t seem to grasp their weapons as securely as they have in the past. Also, the legs of all twelve of the figures (Marauders and Iron Grenadiers) in my set have varying degrees of looseness. Some are slight, and others are very loose. Maybe this is out of the ordinary, and I just got a bad set, but the issue dampens my enthusiasm a bit. I know it frustrated the heck out of five-year-old co-reviewer Will.
I often find myself getting into a rut with individual Kreon reviews, talking up the printing and such, so I’ll hit the highlights of what I found noteworthy. Overall, the printing is up to par with previous releases, and at times surpasses what we’ve seen before. There’s back printing on all the torsos, and details on the arms when appropriate. I suppose this added detail is along the lines of the extra attention often lavished upon Joe Con exclusives, but I don’t have any Kreon exclusives to compare.
Starting with Sarge himself, he’s equipped with a very simply made baton accessory. It’s a no-brainer item, and one that I can’t recall seeing before in brick form. His DI hat is also quite unique, although I wonder if it showed up in the Cityville series at some point.
Barbecue benefits from the most different looking helmet among the Joe Kreons. Again, I don’t recall seeing it in any previous releases, and it’s the nicest new accessory of the set. As a bonus, the faceplate pivots up, another unique bit of business. Barbecue also features a simple micro build for his backpack and extinguisher. The bulky swivel studs are gone, replaced by clips. I wonder if this is a response to reports of other figures’ hoses breaking from stress. By far, Barbecue is my favorite figure in the set.
Spirit’s classic hairstyle is represented well, as is Freedom the eagle. The hair on my example has a tendency to fall off quite easily, another frustrating fit and finish issue. He looks great sitting around, just don’t try to subject him to much play.
Low Light is pretty standard in terms of build and accessories, but the added blue paint app on his visor makes a world of difference in bringing his original look into the minifig realm. He’s also sporting an appropriately dour expression. I wonder if they’re trying to evoke a bit of his DIC portrayal here.
Footloose loses his backpack, but gains a weapon with his missile launcher. The launcher is also a unique micro build that’s done a bit differently from other similar weapons in the series.
Finally, Mutt and Junkyard don’t deviate from their regular release, aside from paint apps, including a shiny collar for Junk. Hey, exclusives always get better treatment, don’t they?
Fit issues aside, it’s nice to see some more character depth in the Kreon offerings. That’s one of the strengths of the format, being able to adapt existing tooling and adding just a few new pieces to create more unique Joe toys. I really hope this isn’t the last of GI Joe in brick form, but if it is, the team’s gone out in fine fashion.
Cone back tomorrow for a look at their opponents in the set, the Iron Grenadiers. The top notch attention to classic details continues, and we get a few more new pieces to boot.