Slaughter’s Marauders Low Light
I may have already reviewed this figure twice in a different paint scheme, but Slaughter’s Marauders Low-Light is still a great figure. Even more importantly, Marauders Low-Light also has a special nostalgic place in my collection because he was the only Marauder in the box set that was actually part of my collection growing up. My brother had the original Low-Light and liked him so much, I jumped on the Marauder’s version right away. Really, if I didn’t have the nostalgic connection to Marauders Low-Light, I don’t think I’d like him as much as I do, but using the Pursuit of Cobra Low-Light mold still means he’s an awesome figure and while he doesn’t have all the gear the Pursuit of Cobra version did, at least he was probably easier for people to get than the previous version. It’s kind of sad when an Internet exclusive item is easier to get than a figure that supposedly saw mass retail release.
This version of Low-Light is a testament to what Hasbro designers can do with smart allocation of tooling dollars. The base of this figure is shared with the equally good Pursuit of Cobra Beachhead. They share the same torso, upper arms, waist, full right leg and lower left leg. He picks up a brand new head, new lower arms (with great articulation) and a new upper left leg with a special holster for his rifle’s removable scope. However, this is where I have to issue my first criticism of Marauders Low-Light. Since his gear load doesn’t include the modular rifle, they really didn’t need to use this set of legs. They could have just used the original Beachhead legs and been done with it. As the line as progressed and functional holsters and sheaths became a major part of it, I find that a figure looks incomplete without having a filled holster or sheath. The same can be said for Low-Light having a place to carry a rifle scope but no rifle scope to carry. Covering their shared torso, Low-Light also picks up a brand new vest (though it’s really supposed to be the chest of his jacket) that does an amazing job of looking like the original Low-Light’s chest. The articulation on Low-Light is wonderful. His wrists have added articulation to help him hold his rifle in realistic firing positions. Unfortunately, his hands are a bit problematic. They’re very good at holding the accessories that the Pursuit of Cobra Low-Light came with, but the two guns in this set fit rather loosely in his hands. I know a barely bumped the rifle when I had him on my desk while I was writing this and it took me a couple minutes to get the rifle securely back in his hands. Low-Light’s face is nice and stern and that’s what I like to see from him. Let me also just say, man, in the Sunbow cartoon, Low-Light had some shocking depth and I can see this face being attached to that somewhat tortured insomniac a lot more than I can the vintage Low-Light’s. I do wish his raised collar didn’t restrict his head movement so much, but he can still get it decently behind his rifle scope, so I forgive it, but I still do hate when add-on parts restrict the basic sculpt’s articulation. I do also have to make my typical complaint about vest pieces that are too bulky to properly close. Low-Light’s not as bad off as the Techno-Viper, but it still does show that the Hasbro solution of vests to recreate more complicated torsos that won’t be very reusable isn’t a perfect solution to the problem either.
I’ve already gone on and on about how much I love the new Marauders’ camouflage in the Barbecue review and that all still applies here. However, on Low-Light there are a few things that make me scratch my head a bit. The vest piece looks really sharp in the Marauders brown, but at the same time, I’ve always seen this as a jacket and I don’t really know of many jackets where the main body and the sleeves are different colors. I like the blue armored shoulder pads and I think had they used the brown somewhere on the sleeves instead of his chest piece, maybe his forearm pads (which would also tie nicely to the brown being placed on his padded spots on his lower legs), it would work a little better as a jacket. Even though the jacket looks a little odd being brown while his arms are the Marauder green, the Hasbro paint team did a great job painting this piece. The clasps all get silver paint detailing and the straps are black. Again, this is bordering on Joe Con-level attention to detail. The camouflage looks great on his legs and the black kneepads work well with it. I do kind of wish the sheath and scope holster were done in a different color since I think his pants look a little bland, even with the camo pattern. I think this would have been a perfect place to put just a little more brown, though really the blue would work decently too and give him all three colors on his upper and lower body. Low-Light’s knit cap looks very good in blue, but I do have to raise a little issue with the goggles. The original Marauders Low-Light had bright green colored goggles and I kind of miss that here. I always thought they were some sort of super-fancy night-vision system as a kid and I really liked it back in the day. Plus, the red goggles he currently has really don’t mesh as well with the rest of the color scheme. I don’t necessarily think they needed to go quite as close to neon green as they did back in the day, but I think making them green would have been a nice nod to his vintage Marauders days and would have made his goggles stick out just a little less against the rest of the figure.
This version of Low-Light isn’t nearly as kitted out as his Pursuit of Cobra brother, but the Hasbro team still gave him some really great accessories. First of all, I love the goggles. They look great on his face, but you can still slide them up on his forehead without causing problems with the fit. Plus, they look nicely streamlined. That was the one thing I hated about the Pursuit of Cobra Dusty’s goggles. They could ride on top of the helmet or down on his face, but because they had to be thicker to look decent on his helmet, they looked really ridiculous when they were covering his face. Low-Light avoided this pitfall and looks really impressive with the goggles up or down. Low-Light’s rifle is the same one that came with Pursuit of Cobra Recondo and while I love the rifle that Pursuit of Cobra Low-Light had, this is also a really great piece. By virtue of being a simpler piece, it’s a lot easier for Low-Light to use it, even with his loose grip. Plus, I can see Low-Light wanting to bring a simpler rifle into the jungle where he’ll be on foot more often than he would be working in an urban setting. It makes sense to not carry all that additional gear if the jungle raid doesn’t call for it. Low-Light’s secondary weapon is the very cool submachine gun that came with the 25th Anniversary Para-Viper. I’ve always liked that weapon and it looks natural in Low-Light’s hands. Both guns also get a Marauder green paint app. The rifle gets it on the wrapping while the submachine gun has it on the stock and the handle. It’s a nice little added detail, though I’m not sure it was 100% necessary to do that. My only real complaint about his accessories stems from the empty holsters. I would have liked to have seen a small knife for his sheath for sure. I never liked the scope holster, so I could have done without that being here in the first place, but it looks even more out of place empty. For me, Marauders Low-Light was a major nostalgic hit. I have very strong ties to him and he really delivers on just about every level. However, I don’t think I’d be saying that if I hadn’t been able to track down the Pursuit of Cobra version as well. The figure is still incredibly well done, but stripping out his signature accessories, even with suitable replacements, does hurt the figure a little. The Marauders colors look good on him and even though I do wish they’d changed his goggle colors, he’s still a great update of the Marauders Low-Light and I’m glad he made the cut for the seven-pack.