Marauder Task Force Exo-Suit/K9 Kickstarter BackerKit has been sent out… and surprise!

As of a few days ago, the folks who backed the latest Marauder Task Force Kickstarter should have started receiving their “BackerKit” surveys, which allow backers the opportunity to tell the Kickstarter creator specifically what products they want (and if they want any add-ons).

But the Marauder Task Force Backer Kit came with a nice little surprise.  Marauder has announced that along with the surprise Agency Ops figures that were added to the Kickstarter in the later stages, they will also be releasing female versions of the Agency Ops figures as well!  Those figures were available in the Backer Kit and we should expect them to be in the store afterwards as well, which is very exciting news!

Check out the concept art below by the exceedingly talented Troy McKie, good friend of GeneralsJoes and fantastic toy designer to boot.  Great stuff, and even more awesome things to look forward to with the release of the Task Force Kickstarter items!

While you wait, make sure to hit up MarauderInc.com and get all the gear your characters will need when they hit your mailbox.

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Marauder Task Force Exo-Suit, K-9, and Contract Ops Kickstarter succeeds!

What a final day for the latest Marauder Kickstarter!  I was already intrigued by this Kickstarter at launch, merely because the Exo-Suit looked so cool, and I was definitely on the hook for a few of the Contract Ops figures.

The K-9 ended up impressing me more than I thought it would, and then when news got out that they would be making Agency-Ops figures as a part of this deal?  Yeah, I knew I was on board.

Whether or not we’d even hit Agency Ops was still in question leading to the last day.  It was a stretch goal at the $214,000 $172,000 level, which felt a bit out of reach with 24 hours remaining.  But everyone came together, and we ended up smashing that goal, the Kickstarter rounding off at nearly $218,000!

Huge congrats to the always great folks at Marauder for another successful Kickstarter, and a big thanks to Tommy over on the Marauder Task Force Facebook Page who whipped up a spectacular graphic outlining what would be contained in the “All In” pledge level (this is essentially everything that got unlocked during the Kickstarter).

This is a great look at more terrific additions to an already impressive product line.  Marauder continues to reinvent 1:18 scale military action figures, and I can’t wait to get my hands on some of these and to see what’s still up their sleeves.

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Marauder Task Force Kickstarter – Twelve hours remaining!

This is it, folks!  Only twelve short hours remaining on the latest Marauder Task Force Kickstarter and we need less than $6,000 to unlock AGENCY OPS!  What are we all waiting for?

We’ve been clamoring for figures in business suits, and this is our shot.

While we’re at it, there’s some awesome new deco Marauder Task Force figures to unlock as well, still lots of great stuff in the wings.  Twelve hours, people, let’s finish this thing off strong.

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Marauder reveals mind-blowing prototype images for their Kickstarter

Holy wow.

So we’re reaching the zenith of the most recent Marauder Task Force Kickstarter, this one for the revolutionary new Exo-Suit and military K-9, also wrapped up with Contract Ops and the just announced Agency Ops stretch goals (dudes in business suits fer cryin’ out loud!)

There are only three short days left and there is still a some room to grow, especially for folks looking for Agency Ops figures.  The stretch goal for business suits stands at $172,000, which is nearly $40,000 above where things currently stand, so if you’re as fired up about those figures as I am, let’s pony up and make that happen.

Meanwhile, to stoke the fire and excite the fans, Marauder has posted images of full prototypes of both the K-9 AND the Exo-Suit and… well…  WOW.  I won’t lie, the Exo-Suit is my main draw to this Kickstarter, and I am in looooooove with what I see here.  Boss Fight Studio continues to push the envelope for design and I’m thrilled that they’re working alongside Marauder on these new installments.  Articulation, amazing design, these things have it all.

Check out all of the fantastic prototype images below and let’s all come together and make Agency Ops (and more) a reality!  Support the Kickstarter today, only THREE DAYS LEFT.

Good heavens just look at those images.  I think I’m in love.

Marauder Task Force posts HUGE Kickstarter Update!

There is a ton of exciting news in the latest update to the Marauder Task Force Exo-Suit/K9 Kickstarter, it’s tough for me to decide just where to start.

I guess I’ll start with the biggest news first:

MARAUDER TASK FORCE SUIT FIGURES!

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Amazing update to the ongoing Kickstarter is that Marauder is moving forward on producing 1:18 scale figures in suits, something that’s been missing the marketplace for a very long time.  But in true MTF style, they are making them variable with the ability to wear tactical vests and various lower arms.

But that’s not all.  Anyone who is interested in the Exo-Suit figures is getting a bunch more bang for their buck.  Where previously you had to consider getting the Exo-Suit and the additional accessories in two separate purchases, now every single Exo-Suit will come complete with ALL of the accessories!  So if you bought a 6-Pack, you no longer have to use two slots for a complete Exo-Suit.  Along with this, they’ve also shuffled around stretch goals and generally ramped things up for a strong finish.

Check out the full text of the Kickstarter update below and get yer wallets ready to finish this thing off BIG.  If you haven’t considered supporting the Kickstarter, don’t wait – DO IT NOW.

Marauder Task Force 1:18th K9 Dog, Exo Suit & Contract-Ops! by Marauder GR — Kickstarter

Hey Taskers!

We passed $100K in pledges…thank you!  Thanks to hitting that milestone, the distance between each stretch goal has been reduced to only $8,000!  Also, we “adjusted” the order of several of the unlocked stretch goals to meet your requests!  Can unlock more K9 Dogs & Contract Ops figures sooner!  In addition, the “Exo -Suit” gear sets have been REMOVED from the event… because EACH Exo-Suit will receive ALL those additional weapons & accessories added for FREE!  So each Exo-Suit will come FULLY equipped with ALL gear!  And lastly, the highly requested “Agency-Ops” stretch goal is now OFFICIALLY in the stretch goals!  NOT added as the final stretch goal, but inserted into the middle of the unmet stretch goals!  When unlocked, each Agency-Ops figure will come with a full business suit, a 2nd Dress shirt torso, an extra set of rolled up sleeve forearms and Utility vest with pistol & holster.  

Marauder “Gun Runners” reveals 3D image of Kickstarter Exo-Suit

I couldn’t love the looks of this any more if I tried.  Over on the Marauder Facebook Page (as well as via an update to his Kickstarter Page), Marauder has revealed a 3D image of the upcoming Marauder Task Force Exo-Suit.

And yes, it looks amazing.

Big, bulky, yet promising some impressive articulation, this fantastic looking mechanized Exo-Suit has been designed by the action figure wizards of Boss Fight Studio, which alone convinces me that it’s going to rock.  Check out the 3D image below, and if you haven’t kicked in some cash for the latest Marauder Kickstarter yet, what are you waiting for?  We all need this exo-suit in our lives.

New Jersey Collectors’ Con Recap – Marauder “Gun Runners” reveals

What.  A.  Weekend.

The New Jersey Collectors Con celebrated their first two-day event this past weekend with a Boss Fight Launch Party, promoting the launch of their Series 2 Fantasy lines and they took this opportunity to bring in the wonderful folks from Marauder, Inc. including some show exclusive “Engineering Ops” Marauder Task Force figures and more information about a wealth of projects in the works for Marauder.

Some of those exciting announcements were that due for Kickstarter, potentially in the next 1 – 2 weeks, are their K-9, the Contract Ops Task Force figure, and their spectacular looking Exo-Suit.  Marauder had some detailed images of concept art for these items at their booth and it’s pretty awesome looking stuff.

Along with the upcoming Kickstarter, there are also plans for a brand new series of Marauder weapons and new 1:12 scale weapons as well for your favorite 6″ sized action figures!

Last, but definitely not least, I have some personal investment in this next bit of news… revealed on the Friday before NJCC is that there is an upcoming RPG slated to run using the Marauder Task Force figures as a backdrop!

I will be working on this project in a writing/development capacity, and I am so thrilled to be a part of this, and I’m extremely excited for everyone to join me on this ride towards a more immersive Marauder universe. This is going to be a blast!

I can’t thank the folks at Marauder enough. They were more than gracious, great to talk to, and their customer service was exceptional throughout the entire weekend. Such a pleasure to talk and work with them. Do yourselves a favor and, if you haven’t, hit up MarauderInc.com and check out their Task Force product. You will be real glad you did.

The Marissa Faireborn mystery has been revealed…

First and foremost, a HUGE thanks to Josh over at YoJoe who has been doing spectacular work with their comic archive, tying the IDW Universe together, even as G.I. Joe has been criss-crossing continuity with other Hasbro properties.  He’s managed to make it easy to follow and make sense, and with the latest reveal of Marissa Fairborne, he goes above and beyond!  He’s written a terrific guest post for GeneralsJoes.com which you can read below.  Again, big props to his loyal and devoted following to the ongoing IDW continuity and how this all ties back to history.  Some really great stuff!

Big News in the GI Joe and Transformers world has just happened in the IDW comic Optimus Prime #3!

An event literally 30 years in making has finally been confirmed (In continuity).

Summaries of all of the different series can be read at YoJoe.com, so you can follow the stories.

Yes, its official, Marissa Faireborn of The Transformers Earth Defense Command is the daughter of GI Joe’s Flint.  And they actually sit down together in a coffee shop and talk.

For 20 years it was only rumored that Marissa was related to Dashiell and the mother was a mystery.  Outside of a DVD commentary, no cartoon, comic or other media has ever confirmed their relationship.

Now for the first time ever and within the IDW continuity, the Joe and Transformers worlds have been combined allowing a long time meeting between Flint and Marissa to happen.

Both GI Joe (not ARAH which is written by Larry Hama) and the Transformers along with Action Man, MASK, ROM and Micronauts are all included in the IDW continuity.  The mini-series Revolution recently tied all of the Hasbro properties together into one universe.

But one mystery that has never been solved officially in any cannon is who is Marissa Faireborn’s mother?

Let’s dive into some Transformers and GI Joe history that got us to this huge reveal.

First, in 1985 Series Four of GI Joe A Real American Hero toys, a character named Flint aka Dashiell Faireborn was released.  He actually premiered in GI Joe: the Revenge of Cobra cartoon episode #1 “In Cobra’s Pit” on Sept 10th 1984, he is voiced by actor Bill Ratner.  Flint has been a leader of the Joe since his first arrival in toys, comics or cartoons.  And in both the comics and cartoons his love interest is fellow GI Joe Lady Jaye aka Alison Hart-Burnett, who also was released in Series Four.  Flint’s in continuity cartoon stories took place in the 1980s.

On September 16th, 1986 a new character named Marissa arrived in the second episode of the third season of the cartoon The Transformers.  The title of the episode was called the “Five Faces of Darkness, Part 2”.  Marissa Faireborn was part of the Earth Defense Command (EDC) that was helping and fighting the Transformers on Earth.  In the timeline of the Transformers series continuity, Captain Faireborn was living in 2005.

At the time of Marissa’s premiere on the cartoon, GI Joe and Transformers had no official connection between the toy lines.  This was the first hint of many crossovers to come in the 30 year history of Hasbro toys and the Faireborn family.

In The Transformers cartoon episode called “The Killing Jar” with had an airdate of Sept 29th, 1986.  Disguised as a shuttle, the Transformers Quintesson ship docks with an EDC space station, and Marissa Faireborn is lured on board by an illusion of her father.  Although not officially called Flint, this character is voiced by the same actor Bill Ratner who performed Flint in the regular GI Joe cartoon.  “Flint’s” appearance in this episode has him with grey hair in his 60s, still active with the military and in good if not distant relations with Marissa, at least well enough for the projection to fool her.

Happening in another part of the Hasbro universe, released in January 1987 in Marvel comics, was a completely different kind of crossover between GI Joe and the Autobots.  Writer Michael Higgins wrote an official in the ARAH continuity 4 issue mini-series called GI Joe and The Transformers.  Now this mini-series does not contain nor reference Flint, Marissa or even the Earth Defense Command.  But forever became official A Real American Hero cannon, whether the fans liked it or not.

Over in the United Kingdom, on August 8th, 1987 issue #125 of Marvel’s UK The Transformers is released with an original crossover story called Ancient Relics Part One. The rest of this story also appears in the Marvel UK Action Force comic #24 titled Ancient Relics Part Two, #25 is Part Three, #26 Part Four, #27 is Part Five.  Flint is the leader of Action Force in the UK, when in the London underground a Transformer is discovered and it’s Megatron. Autobots Wheeljack, Grimlock and Blades all fight with Flint and his Action Force team against Megatron.  Additionally, the Ancient Relics storyline was reprinted in 5 parts in the UK’s Action Force Monthly (Issues #1-6) in 1988 which in America is called European Missions (Issues #1-6) as in 1988.  It has always been debatable whether European Mission is officially part of the ARAH continuity.  But either way it is still an original story that crosses over Flint with The Transformers, presumably before Marissa was even born.

6 years later in 1993, The Transformers appear within the GI Joe A Real American Hero comic starting with issue #139 until #142.  Now this is officially within the ARAH continuity.  Megatron shows up and partners with Cobra Commander and of course the Joes fight them.  At the conclusion of #142, Marvel’s The Transformers Generation 2 becomes a spin off comic book series starting with #1.  The GI Joe’s only appear in 3 issues of the series and Flint appears in Transformers Generation 2 #6.

Since GI Joe and Transformers first official crossed over they have since crossed over in comics numerous times with several different publishers since 1993.  Generally, each of these is their own continuity and the publisher’s were Devil’s Due Publishing, Dreamwave and IDW.   The Dreamwave Transformers GI Joe series has the Joes fighting in World War II against The Transformers.  This series introduces Nathaniel Faireborn who is Flint’s father and Marissa’s grandfather. In the Devil’s Due crossover series Flint actually goes to Cybertron.  In Dreamwave’s G1 Transformers series Marissa now holding the rank of Commander, rather than Captain, portrayed as a member of the EDC, which in the Dreamwave continuity clandestinely handles terrestrial/extraterrestrial encounters. Following the Transformers’ return to activity on Earth early 21st century, The Transformers plans were stopped, but Marissa’s superior officer did not share her fondness for the Transformers. Dreamwave’s bankruptcy and subsequent closure left remaining stories of Marissa Faireborn untold.

Marissa was a key character in US the Transformers cartoon series but never appeared in a Marvel comic in the 1980s.  In the 1990s in a comic in Japanese, Manga style, that was never released in America and connected to a radio series, this is called KISS Players.  Marissa as a child in the 1990s, lived in New York, where she met and became friends with Shaoshao Li, who developed an extremely strong attachment to her. The young Marissa resented her military father, so when one of his missions went awry and she and her father had to be rescued by Optimus Prime, she quickly came to view the Autobot leader as a surrogate father figure… and perhaps a little bit more.

Ok, so that covers comics and cartoon references between Flint and the Joes and Marissa and the Transformers.  In recent years the toys have started to crossover Joes and Transformers and the Transformers and GI Joe Collector’s Club in 2015 released a Marissa Faireborn toy, see the GeneralsJoes toy review.

But who is Marissa’s mother.

Fans speculated for two decades that the character Marissa Faireborn in Transformers is his daughter, since they both share the same last name. The writers of both shows remained coy whether Marissa Faireborn was actually Flint and Lady Jaye’s daughter or not. However, cast notes for “The Killing Jar” refer to Marissa’s father as being “a 60-year-old Flint”. The mystery was finally solved on November 7, 2006, with the 20th anniversary DVD release of The Transformers: The Movie. On an interview on the DVD, Flint Dille, story editor for Transformers, confirmed that Marissa Faireborn is indeed Flint and Lady Jaye’s daughter.  This would subsequently make Marissa a distant relative of Destro as well. However, in an interview with G. I. Joe fansite Joe Headquarters, Dille added the caveat that “I’ve always thought of Flint as being too young to have a daughter that old.”

And now you know and knowing is half the battle.  But we don’t know who Marissa’s mother is within the IDW continuity.  Stay tuned.

References: Yojoe.com, tfwiki.net, Wikipedia.com

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!