Monday, December 31, 2012

Mercer makes his move

Mercer makes his move for freedom.

Lots of pictures, click here to see them.

Slaughter's Marauders 7-pack

When it was announced about the Big Bad Toy Store two exclusive 7-packs of figures, I had mixed feelings and did not jump on them like many other collectors.

The two sets were Drednoks and Slaughter's Marauders. Both sets really weren't very impressive to me. I really have no use for the Drednoks in my twisted world of GI Joe. I suppose they might have a place, but I'm just not impressed with them. They would just be an irritant to both GI Joe and Cobra. Where GI Joe may capture and imprison them, Cobra would have grown weary of them and killed them all off.

Slaughter's Marauders was a different situation. This set was based on two subsets from the vintage line. Sgt. Slaughter's Renegades, featuring Mercer, Red Dog, and Taurus. Slaughter's Marauders included Spirit, Lowlight, Barbecue, Footloose, Mutt, and Sgt. Slaughter - each painted in a hideous pattern of blue and green stripes.

The update included Mercer (Mercenary), Red Dog, Taurus (Bull), Lowlight, Spirit, Barbecue, and Falcon. Apparently Falcon was included as a nod to his interaction with the Renegades from the animated GI Joe movie.

On Black Friday of this year, I got a tweet from someone in regards to a sale at BBTS. I decided to check out what they were offering. Much to my surprise, the Marauder set was on sale, while the Drednoks were not. No big deal, I wanted the Marauders more than the Dreds anyway. Final cost after shipping made each figure less than the cost of a Dollar general $6.00 figure with tax. Not bad!

So here goes with just a quick recap of each figure. Just my thoughts in regards to each figure, nothing earth-shattering. Especially since other sites have gone over these figures back when they were newly released. 

Red Dog - Hasbro did a great job with this update of this Samoan member of the Renegades. There are some great tattoos on each arm. I don't recall which body is being used here, possibly Bazooka's body from the 25th Anniversary series. Not a bad figure, but the arm articulation is a bit off.
Mercer (now known as Mercenary?) - My absolute favorite figure from this 7-pack. I have always liked the character of Mercer and the simple back story from his file card. A Cobra Viper now working for GI Joe. The head sculpt is a great match to his animated look. Much of his body uses previous Cobra figures. His vest comes from the Pursuit of Cobra Alley Viper. 
The only complaint about this figure is the bright colors of his outfit. I can't complain too much since the original figure had some pretty bright colors as well.

Taurus (now known as Bull?) - Largely based on the flawed POC Recondo body, Taurus misses the mark in terms of design. The head sculpt is excellent, but when used with this torso, he suffers from the downward stare.
His web gear is a bit lame as well. That chest holster is right in the way of his face. I had to remove it from the web gear.
Hell, I took off his web gear completely. He looks better without it on.
Lt Falcon - one of my top five favorite characters from the GI Joe team. So close on this figure, so very close! Falcon is my second favorite figure from this set. The first modern era update of Falcon was a tragic mess. This new version is a great update. i'm not crazy about the blue in his uniform, but I'll let that slide.
I did make a switch with his gear. The lower portion of his shirt/jacket can be easily removed and the harness thing around his shoulders slips off easily. I borrowed Spirit's gear from this set and it works great with Falcon.
His face seems more like Flint, rather than Falcon. He just looks a little more seasoned and more Flinty when I think back to his original o-ring version.
Lowlight - Just a repaint of the incredible Pursuit of Cobra Lowlight figure. I don't really mind the added blue elements of this version. The overall color palette is well done, giving him more of a jungle ops look.
Lowlight still suffers from his articulation. I have always had trouble posing him with his sniper rifle. With this version, he comes with a repaint of Recondo's rifle, which works great with him, but it is still difficult to pose him with his bulky arms.   
Spirit - Still with the startled Billy-from-Predator look. The only common element between this version and his POC TRU exclusive version is his head sculpt and his arms. The body comes from... somebody else.
i do like this version, but I'm not terribly impressed. I'm not really thrilled with the bare chest.
the web gear from jungle assault Duke is always a win! Sorry, Spirit, Falcon has it now!
Barbecue - A combat camo firefighter? What? Don't get me wrong, Hasbro did a decent update on him, but  green camo on a fire fighter? Huh?
I think the arms and legs come from Airtight, so there is much improvement over the original 25th version.
I think an added benefit to this figure could have been a helmet-less version with a slip on helmet.
Sorry, dude, you are my least favorite from the 7-pack.

So that's my thoughts regarding the Slaughter's Marauders 7 pack from Big Bad Toy Store. Go check them out from some great stuff!

A new space for my stuff

No post since August of 2012? What a lame blog! Life interrupted and I've gotten quite behind in blogging about these silly little plastic figures. I haven't been out of the hobby, just too busy (read: too lazy) to focus on new blog posts.

Here's my new years resolution for this blog - I will try to post with much more frequency. It's a good thing that this isn't an action figure news site, because all of my news would be old news by the time I get around to sharing it.

Around the time my new posts dried up, I began work on a new degree. I'm working on my Education Specialist degree through an online course of study. It has been an additional time suck with any extra time that may have been used for my hobby. It will continue through 2013 until around September. The great news is that it will result in a raise!

Another notable event from my "hiatus" has been the pursuit of a new home. My wife and I recently came across a short sale with much more space for all of us. There's a great in-law suite downstairs for the mom-in-law so she will be much more comfortable.

Plus... there's a space downstairs that will become my future man-cave! The biggest problem that we are facing is the "hurry up and wait" syndrome. The deal for the house is under way; we're just waiting on final bank approval. The two weeks around Christmas and New Years doesn't help much. I don't think bank employees have much of a sense of urgency in order to get things done.

 My "room" downstairs is in the unfinished area which will allow me to finish it as to how I would like it to be finished. This picture shows the main work area. Eventually, I would like to get some sheet rock to finish out the walls, but there are other more pressing projects to be completed first. This work table There are plenty of shelves for both storage and display. Wire shelves will work for storage, but I will need solid surface shelves for better display use. The area back to the right will be a dedicated storage area for Christmas decorations and other assorted items that will need to be stored when not in use.
Along the back wall, there are some great shelves for display of vehicles and some of my big GI Joe figures. Maybe even some mini diorama scenes?

This view shows the remaining side of my man cave. This wall, like the rest, really will need some sheet rock to enclose the walls. Once this little corner is complete and some decent shelves are attached to the wall, this area will be great for the main display area of my collection.

I am excited about finally getting an area to house my hobby and allow me to work on the creative outlet aspect of my collection.

Of course, I do understand that there are great many other projects to be done in this new home once we move in.

And therein lies the biggest issue - moving in. C'mon, bank folks! Let's get this done!