GeneralsJoes Reviews the ComicCon Marauder vs. Iron Grenadiers Kre-O set

San Diego ComicCon is upon us!  Hopefully everyone out there is ready.  One of the joys of this annual gathering of geeks is the plethora of exclusive toys that are produced for it.  This year leading the list of awesome exclusives is the Sgt. Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadiers Kre-O set!

Kre-O may be MIA from store shelves, but Hasbro went all out with this fantastic boxed set.  Check out my Kre-O Review Page, or click the link below for the full review.

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ComicCon Exclusive Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadiers Review

As strange as it may sound coming from an adult collector, one of the biggest disappointments from a G.I. Joe perspective I’ve experienced this year is the apparent end of a mainstream Kre-O toyline. After clearancing the majority of their stock, it appears as if Toys “R” Us has gotten out of the G.I. Joe Kre-O game, relegating us to convention exclusives.

That’s not a bad thing, and I really enjoyed the G.I. Joe Convention Kre-O set, but man, after getting that Terror Drome, Firebat and other great items, I can’t help but at least slightly lament the loss of a higher profile Kre-O presence.

This ComicCon exclusive set does two things… it satisfies me greatly, yet also gives the knife a little bit of a twist. It’s a terrific set that I love whole heartedly, but also puts a big magnifying glass on the bare shelves where G.I. Joe Kre-O used to be at Toys “R” Us.

The theme of this ComicCon exclusive set is spectacular. With a box designed like the classic VHS Boxed sets of old, each individual “video tape” pulls out into an individual component. One tape is the Iron Grenadier figure set, one tape is the Marauders figure set, and the third tape is the Triple T tank. Magnificent. The animated Kre-O themed artwork across the box and the inner tapes pulls me back to the FHE days where I’d go to my local video store and rent the “Revenge of Cobra” mini series back in the day…and the artwork is very reminiscent of the DiC series box art, too, especially with the Slaughter’s Marauders. Fantastic presentation with the box and artwork for sure.

Slaughter’s Marauders

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I think I share most folks’ surprise in seeing that Hasbro was once again able to get license to Sgt. Slaughter’s character, even if it was just in Kre-O form.

Slaughter himself is a great looking figure, using the typically fantastic Hasbro design aesthetics. Kre-O designers seem imminently capable of focusing on some very key elements of the characters and translating them perfectly to toy form.

Footloose is another great looking Marauders update with just the right touches of green, brown, and blue, as well as a neat assembled RPG and machine gun.

Low Light has his familiar Marauder paint scheme along with a great sniper rifle and Uzi to call back to the vintage version that had the same equipment. It’s neat comparing these versions to their classic originals in the Kre-O line and see what was changed.

Using a gas mask, night stick, and submachine gun, Hasbro gives us a good looking Mutt in the updated Marauder paint scheme, again a nice separation from the classic version that already appeared in the Kre-O line. Just a note – Junkyard is bagged in with the Triple T, so if you don’t see him in the action figure package, look in the Triple T box, he should be in there.

Unlike some others, Spirit never actually received a classic Kre-O version yet, something that didn’t occur to me until I was doing this review. Spirit is the consumate Sunbow character that would have made perfect sense to have done in Kre-O form, and represents just one more reason why I hope to see Kre-O continue in some form somewhere down the line. We need a classic Spirit!

Lastly we have Marauder Barbecue who comes with a great flip up Barbecue mask and fire extinguisher, along with his handy battle axe. Like the others, he has a great Marauder paint scheme that’s very evocative of the figure, and awesomely colorful.

Iron Grenadiers

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On the enemy side of things we get the Iron Grenadiers, which serves as a great tie-in to the Convention Set this year, which also contained some key members of the IG crew.

Destro leads the team in his Pimp Daddy Destro deco, another ComicCon throwback, which is a great touch. The leopard print collar and red cape are both so tacky and fantastic.

Voltar is second in command looking great in his pink and gold uniform, with an awesome helmet (even though the eyepiece is on the wrong side), a great weapon, and even his trusty vulture.

Darklon is far and away my favorite figure in this set, with great chainmail deco, an awesome sinister face, his gatling dart gun and all the trappings of Destro’s cousin.

Taking a closer look at the three Iron Grenadiers as well, some things become apparent. First of all, one of them is an officer while two of them are troopers. The officer’s Kre-O deco is actually themed like the modern Iron Grenadier update (using the Battle Armor Cobra Commander body) while the two Troopers are the vintage design with the more familiar clasping buttons. All three figures have red bandanas, but if you remove them, you see the classic Grenadier visage glaring out from behind. As an unabashed Iron Grenadier fan, I love these three troopers and they compliment the rest of the set perfectly.

Also, using a Kre-O Grunt head and a random red beret I found kicking around, the Iron Grenadier Officer quickly becomes a nice looking Sgt. Major.

 

Sgt. Slaughter’s TTT

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Just looking at the figures themselves this set would already be a sure fire winner in my opinion, but Hasbro took it one step further and didn’t just give us 12 great looking Kre-Ons, but they also gave us a full blown ready-to-build Triple T tank!

Like many of the Kre-O items we’ve seen, the Triple T really made its mark in the Sunbow cartoon especially when Slaughter made his dramatic entrace, leaping from the oddly shaped white tank and single-handedly dispatching with a few dozen Battle Android Troopers. To be honest, in its toy form, the Triple T never did much for me, but as has happened in the past a vehicle I might not have cared much for gets whole new life as a Kre-O set. No matter how many times I’ve put these sets together, it always amazes me that I can dump out a pile of random bricks, and moments later, an actual physical form begins to take shape, eventually resulting in a vehicle that actually resembles something that I know. Early Kre-O efforts were mixed, giving us vehicles that bore only the most passing resemblance to their vintage counterparts, but recently, things have gotten much better, and the Triple T is a perfect example of that.

This is a very unique looking vehicle from G.I. Joe history, and the fact that this Kre-O build represents it so accurately is simply amazing. Using a majority of white bricks, with a healthy mix of green and brown, the TTT is an amazing feat of brick engineering that completely lives up to my expectations for these Kre-O sets. From the size and shape to the “fit” with this year’s theme and the vintage resemblance, I may actually like the Kre-O TTT even more than the regular vintage one. It wasn’t a really complex build, and as always, I find myself incredibly amused with how small these items end up, but it was a lot of fun, and the final result is 100% worth it.

From the packaging to the Kre-On mini figures, all the way to the TTT vehicle, this set is simply amazing. A truly enjoyable and yes FUN addition to the already impressive Kre-O library. I thoroughly enjoyed this set while at the same time it made me lament the sparse offerings of Kre-O going forward.

Confirmation of the ComicCon Kre-O Slaughter Marauders vs. Iron Grenadier set

Oh my.

So the news leaked a bit prematurely yesterday (unfortunately), but today we are all official, and the news is great! Yes, Hasbro will be releasing a G.I. Joe Kre-O set at ComicCon and it contains Sgt. Slaughter and his Marauders vs. the nefarious Iron Grenadiers.

UPROXX has all the latest info, on a set that looks…well… about as insane as you’d expect a Sgt. Slaughter Kre-O set to look. Phenomenal.

Something just leaped to my #1 most wanted list for ComicCon exclusives. Good stuff!

Check out the images below, and thanks to UPROXX for breaking this exciting news!

Hasbro releases statement about SDCC Exclusive Sgt. Slaughter

Yeah, I know I’m a day late and a dollar short, but as my Twitter  followers know, I was on the road all day yesterday doing a bit of toy hunting (without any luck).  During my road trip, Hasbro’s PR Agency released a note in regards to the SDCC Exclusive Sgt. Slaughters.  The note has been met with a mixture of humor, distaste, and optimism by Joe fans and other fans around the ‘net.

Humor and distaste because the letter is pretty adamant that there was Sgt. Slaughter stock that hit HasbroToyShop, but nobody can really find evidence that this was truly the case (especially in regards to the TTT version).  However, in more positive news, Hasbro also pointed out that they were working on plans to get the figure(s) reissued and re-released through other means in Spring, 2011.  Most likely in a different packaging format, and not through the single pack main line, but through some other means, which is good news for those 25th Anniversary fans who want to add Sarge to their ranks.  Of course a lot of those same fans love the single pack format, so this news probably won’t make everyone happy.

To read the full letter/press release click the “Read the Rest of this Entry” link below.

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SDCC Sgt Slaughter figures available at G.I. Joe Club store.

Don’t want to fight the Monday morning rush for Slaughter figures at HasbroToyShop?  You’re in luck!  Over at the GIJCC Store you can grab both figures right now!  Check out the information we received direct from the Club below about Sgt. Slaughter and the Pursuit of Cobra!

New items in stock! Limited quantities! GIJoeClub.com/shop

07-23-10

2010 Comic Con Sgt Slaugter 2 figure set (standard & variant version)  2 pcs $40 + shipping (ITEM IS LIMITED TO ONE 2 FIGURE SET PER CLUB  MEMBER! LIMITED QUANTITIES)!

3 3/4 Mobile Mech Suits(Steel Marauder w/Kickstart v1/Cobra Deviant w/Cyber-Viper v1) 2pcs- $38.99 + shipping

3 3/4 Alpha Vehicles Wv1(Doom Cycle w/Storm Rider/Ghost Hawk w/Tomahawk) 2pcs-$31.99 + shipping

3 3/4 Bravo VehWV1(Wolf Hound w/White Out, H.I.S.S. Tank w/H.I.S.S. Driver) 2pcs- $49.99 + shipping

GeneralsJoes Reviews the SDCC Sgt. Slaughter Figures!

The GeneralsJoes July Review-A-Rama continues on strong thanks to Hasbro’s Public Relations team…  A nice surprise package in the mail late last week provided me with the two San Diego ComicCon Exclusive Sgt. Slaughters that are hitting lucky collectors this weekend at ComicCon.

I’ve reviewed them both and for lack of a better place, linked the review on the Pursuit of Cobra page.  You can, of course, also check it out here.

Hasbro winz at teh SDCC!

The San Diego ComicCon has moved into a whole new stratosphere in recent years.  Initially merely a large comic convention, it somehow migrated to a Geek Mecca where Hollywood, Comics, and Toy Companies collide to give us glimpses at what cool new things are on the horizon for our nerd pleasure.  It is pretty astounding to see just what it has become.

Of course as part of the allure of ComicCon, there are the SDCC Exclusives…toys that are launched at SDCC and for sale initially only at SDCC.  This has always created a conflict between the “haves” and the “have nots” which has sometimes generated some hostility not just in the fandom, but directed back at the manufacturers.  But Hasbro seems to have found a balance.  By offering the items through SDCC, but also at HasbroToyShop, they seem to be able to please everyone, and in recent years there hasn’t been an obvious shortage of opportunities to get what you want.

This is not the case with Mattel, who year after year generates mountains of frustration among their fans with a strange voucher pre-order system that doesn’t even guarantee you a figure if you travel all the way to ComicCon.  Not to mention when they post items for sale after the fact, MattyCollector.com gets so hammered that nobody can access the retail store.  In general, it seems like a mammoth cluster…  you get the idea.

Now not only does Hasbro seem to have the system at least somewhat ironed out, but the numbers of cool exclusives they are getting out there is amazing.  Now, most of this is probably because they’re far and away the #1 Boys Toys brand in the market, but it really is incredible just how many cool toys they can get into collectors’ hands through SDCC.  Anyone reading this right now already knows about Sgt. Slaughter:

I mean, look at this figure!  Sure there are complaints about the lack of musculature and the placement of the torso joint/USA logo (which I can certainly appreciate) but there is a metric ton of new tooling, great accessories, and even new points of articulation.  Any long time fan who has been clamoring for Slaughter is gonna be loving this.

And while I haven’t been keeping up with the Marvel stuff as much as I’d like to, I can’t help but drool at what Hasbro has there as well:

Before I go on…let me say one thing.  Yes that is a TWO FOOT FREAKING TALL CARDED ACTION FIGURE.  How awesome is that?  Not to mention the bad ass WW II Captain America and an impressive Thor figure to tie into the upcoming movie as well.

Hell, even Star Wars has my interest this year!

Bet you thought Darth Maul was dead, eh?  Hell, I’m an uber-geek and even I thought Darth Maul was dead.  What the hell is this?  It’s Darth frikken Maul with cyborg horse legs.  ROCK.

So yeah…for G.I. Joe fans or for toy fans, Hasbro has got it going on this year.  Maybe one day I’ll make it to SDCC…but until then I’ll sit back and enjoy it vicariously through the hundreds of thousands of others.  Can’t wait to hear what’s on the horizon!

Hasbro’s SDCC Exclusives featured on G4’s Attack of the Show!

When Hunter PR rep Joe Moscone reported on his Twitter page last night that Hasbro’s SDCC exclusives would be featured on Attack of the Show, I was hoping the video would show up online since I don’t get G4 with my local cable package.  Thankfully g4tv.com came through!

They visited Hasbro’s Rhode Island headquarters and give us the scoop on the wide array of goodies Hasbro will have available at SDCC…and yes, the Sarge is front and center.  Check out the embedded video below.

Sgt. Slaughter pics aplenty as SDCC approaches

Some enterprising Joefans have jumped on a few eBay sales offering early releases of the Sgt. Slaughter SDCC exclusive, and some pics are starting to emerge.  Over on Hisstank.com, both Bionic Commando and Gyre-Viper have posted some images, mint on card and loose both.  Old friend of GeneralsJoes cmderinchief has also posted a couple of images on his Facebook page as well.  I’ve mirrored the images below.

I know some folks are a bit on the fence, but I dig this figure.  He looks cool, old school, but still accurate to Sarge’s physical…  prowess.  Sure, it would have been cool to have him stacked and jacked like he was in the cartoon, but there’s something humorous about this figure, and appropriately cheesy.  Of course the mid-torso joint does disrupt some of the flow, which is an issue.  But articulation must always come first, in my opinion.

Regardless, I’ll be looking forward to at least trying to get my hands on these figures when SDCC comes around.

Already some interesting tidbits from the Q & A’s…

So, the Q & A answers have only started trickling in, and it already seems like we’re getting some better responses from Hasbro.  Even if they’re not revealing future figures, the responses seem at least a bit less “canned” and more thought out, which is great to see.  The following questions have already shown up on my radar:

  • Allspark.com reveals in their session that Sgt. Slaughter has a new wrist joint, and Hasbro confirms it, reporting that they are going to feature that joint on a number of upcoming new figures.  Awesome!  I’m all for articulation improvements, and this looks like a good one.  If you take a close look below, you can see what they’re referring to:

  • JoeBattleLines got a couple of gems for us!  They asked Hasbro about particular items that didn’t appear at Toy Fair and got confirmation that both Shadow Tracker and Ashiko with the Cycle Armor should be hitting retail in their Spring, 2011 line!  They also promised to show more at JoeCon in Providence.  Excellent!  Another interesting tidbit from JBL is that Hasbro reports that they have started shipping Alpha Wave 3 Rise of Cobra vehicles, in spite of recent reports from BigBadToyStore.  So we’re not getting the awesome Target exclusives, but we are getting the somewhat tired Rise of Cobra Wave 3?  Yay?
  • HissTank.com got Hasbro to talk a bit about the Pursuit of Cobra Duke’s headsculpt, and they confirm that it was inspired by Resolute, classic, and Valor Vs. Venom!  Awesome to hear that they pulled from different era’s, and it’s almost a little confirmation that the Pursuit of Cobra is the first real new G.I. Joe universe if you set aside the film (which so many fans seem only to eager to do).
  • ToyNewsInternational gets to the bottom of the COBRA Commander “Chase Figure” reports, and Hasbro admits that while the Commander is a chase figure, he will not be limited to 1 in every 10 cases as has been previously reported.  He should be much more accessible than that.  Great news there.

I know many fans were quick to jump on Hasbro a bit for their new, somewhat convoluted Q & A submittal process, but so far, so good.  We’re getting some great answers and great information this time around, I’m really happy to see it.  Don’t forget to keep checking GeneralsJoes Q & A Page for updates!  Got a number of sites up there already.