The next evolution of military action figures – Marauder Valkyries Reviewed

Ever since getting my first few figures as part of the Kickstarter shipment a couple of weeks back, I’ve been feeding for more and starving to get a review posted.  Well, this past week I got both accomplished!

As soon as I got my grubby mitts on the first few Valkyries figures, I immediately needed more and made a purchase from MarauderInc.com within a few days.  Once I received that shipment, any love I had for this new generation of Task Force figures and accessories only sky-rocketed.

I feel like I’ve only just scratched the surface with how cool these figures are, and I’ve spent hours swapping parts, gluing gear down and just mixing and matching.  It’s pretty astounding just how incredible these toys are.  Designed to near perfection by Boss Fight Studio, with the folks at Marauder developing a spectacular concept, these truly are the best of all worlds.

Check out my review at the Marauder Task Force Review page, or the direct link below.  Spoiler Warning – I’m pretty much in love.

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Marauder Task Force Valkyries

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Valkyries initial shipment is IN STOCK NOW!

Kickstarter orders have been fulfilled and Marauder “Gun Runners” has officially started stocking the initial allotment of their outstanding Valkyrie figures!  I just got my order last week and these are figures you will NOT be disappointed in.  Literally some of the best female figures I’ve ever held in my hands with all the customizability you’ve grown to love with the Task Force assortment.

Do not hesitate, stock will sell quick.  Hit up MarauderInc.com and grab ’em before they’re gone!

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GeneralsJoes Reviews Vitruvian HACKS Crystal Clear Blanks

Yes, the review sections have been neglected in the past months, but I hope to play some catch up this week.

Starting it off is a look at the Virtuvian HACKS Crystal Clear Blanks, the new transparent blanks that were released a short while ago and have proven to be an excellent addition to the Blank library.

Check out my Vitruvian HACKS Review Page or click the link below.

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Boss Fight Studio Vitruvian HACKS – Crystal Clear Blank

Pre-Order the Blanks at BossFightShop – Either Female or Male!

As 2016 comes to a close, we celebrate the year of Vitruvian HACKS, a year full of thrilling new product, exciting new directions, and a rainbow’s worth of customizing blanks that continue to appear and impress.

Along with all of the vibrant colors of said rainbow, a short while ago Boss Fight Studio released their long awaited Transparent Blanks, figures produced in crystal clear colors providing a wealth of great opportunities for new characters or interesting combinations.  I’ve checked out and reviewed many different colors of blanks throughout the year, but these Transparent Blanks have to be at the top of my favorites list…something about these clear figures is just too cool for words.

I’ve never really been infatuated with clear figures as some other folks are, but I can appreciate a unique design aesthetic when I see it, and these figures certainly have it.  What’s especially cool is that the majority of the interior of these figures is also produced in clear plastic, so the effect of the figure is really remarkable.  Obviously you do see the metal screw, but they manage to make the rest of the figure quite clear, which looks even more amazing once you start equipping the figures with gear.

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While the ghostly clear look on its own is impressive in its own right, the figures really shine  once armor starts being applied and you get a very spirit-like vibe with armor that appears to just float there in mid air.  The result is characters that look almost supernatural.

Leveraging the different variations of translucent accessories also lends some amazingly cool looks to these clear figures, showing layers of opaqueness that really pop among more traditionally decoed and designed figures.  The look of these clear figures is truly impressive, and I end up loving this blanks quite a bit.  I may end up picking up quite a few more of these along the way, I can think of tons of creative uses for them.

Each blank comes with three heads, three sets of feet (boots, bare, and sandals), two sets of hands (one jointed forward/back, one jointed side-to-side) and the footpeg to help them stand.  I could actually see someone producing a full line of just blanks, the fact that Vitruvian HACKS offers them as compliments to a full blown universe and toyline is absolutely amazing.

I really enjoy the way the multitude of transparent figures are coming together and make for a great group of supernatural beings supporting the Gods and bringing the battle to the Gorgon Horde!

Boss Fight Studio breaks the Internet with Bucky O’Hare announcement

We interrupt this minor GeneralsJoes hiatus with an important announcement!

Boss Fight Studio has been hinting at this for a little while now, and finally, late last week they announced it officially – new Bucky O’Hare action figures are coming from our favorite action figure company!

That’s right, the fine folks at Boss Fight Studio have inked a deal with Continuity to produce action figures based on the classic 80s toyline and animated series Bucky O’Hare!  Co-created by Larry Hama, Neal Adams, and Michael Golden, Bucky O’Hare was a prominent fixture for a short period of time back in those golden days where unfortunately a barrage of other media and action figure lines somewhat overshadowed the greatness of the property.

We will now all get an opportunity to see just how great the line could be with brand new Bucky O’Hare action figures from Boss Fight Studio!  This is fantastic news, not just for those of us who consider Boss Fight friends, but for fans of 80s toylines in general.  I can’t wait to see what develops!  Keep watching BossfightStudio.com and BossFightShop.com for some of the latest information and updates.

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G.I. Joe Collectors Club posts Pre-Orders for G.I. Joe/Transformers Sets

We first heard about this at JoeCon this year, and now the Collectors Club has posted their Transformers/G.I. Joe boxed set up for pre-order with an estimated ship date of December!

Along with the boxed set itself, the Only Human versions of Arcee and Hot Rod are also available.

Check out the latest G.I. Joe Collectors Club pre-orders right here.

Eagle Force Returns down to the last critical hours…

Less than 36 short hours are left in the Eagle Force Returns Kickstarter and it sits now at $176,000 which is a fantastic amount, but still leaving some of the stretch goals on the table.

Take one last look, now’s the time to get in on the ground floor!  I can tell you there are some fun things in the works for Eagle Force, and it all starts right here.

Head on over to Kickstarter and consider throwing in some cash, there isn’t a whole lot more time to do it.

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As an added bonus, here are a bunch of the bio cards that have been posted as Kickstarter updates as a way to get familiar with the Eagle Force characters.  Lots of history here…  like I said, get on while the universe is just being built.  Lots of great stuff here and still to come!

Support Eagle Force Returns on Kickstarter now!

Eagle Force Grimm Reapers Stretch Goal unlocked – surge towards the finish line!

As we get towards the finish line of the Eagle Force Returns Kickstarter Campaign, Fresh Monkey Fiction has announced the early unlocking of the Grimm Reaper Troopers!  That puts this figure as part of the All In package as well as able to be purchased as an army builder 4-Pack!  It’s an excellent looking trooper with a really cool backstory to boot.

Also, details will be coming soon on a contest for a R.I.O.T. Hideout playset.

Let’s finish this thing strong, folks!  Come on, only 2 weeks left and a lotta stretch goals still to go.

Dime Novel Legends Reveals additional items

As the days tick down towards Dime Novel Legends new action figure Kickstarter, their latest figure has been revealed in the form of the Fire Brigadier!

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This adds to an already impressive lineup of figures that have been revealed to date.  The Kickstarter is starting soon and it looks like a great one!  Check out the rest of the figures below.