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!