Hasbro Kre-O Sgt Slaughter’s Marauders Set Brings Back Saturday Morning Memories [Review]
In 2011, Hasbro started releasing its own building block sets under the Kre-O brand. GI Joe made its debut in the line in 2013, and Hasbro has slowly been rolling out sets based on the classic Real American Hero brand. This year at San Diego Comic-Con, Sgt. Slaughter and the Marauders make their debut in grand fashion. Not only that, but he'll be joined by Destro and his Iron Grenadiers.
Unlike this year's Transformers Kre-O exclusive, this set is more than just a collection of minifigures. The GI Joe set will also include a Tag Team Terminator vehicle to build. Yes, the Sergeant's Triple "T" single-pilot tank is here in all its Kre-O glory. It's quite a little set, and one that brings back incredibly fond memories of sitting around watching GI Joe with my cousin and being jealous he got all the cool vehicles. Who's laughing now, Steve? It's me because now I have the cool things.
Including Sgt. Slaughter, there are six GI Joe members included. You get a Spirit Iron Knife, with Freedom the bald eagle, Barbecue, Low Light, Footloose, and the cream of the Marauder crop, Mutt and Junkyard. All of them wear the familiar uniform variant of the Marauders, which opts in a blue and brown set of gear in place of the Joe's more common garb. The paint apps are nice and detailed, and the character faces are all different enough to give them personality.
All of the figures come with weaponized accessories, which is nice, but most of the guns are actually bigger than the Joes themselves. You can equip them all with the proper gear, but many are made top heavy by these guns, which leads to a bit of a balance problem if you want to put them all on display. However, compared to competitors like Lego, Kre-O figures have a lot more poseability in the hips and shoulders due to ball joints. You get away with a bit more in regards to articulation, but you do still run into top-heavy troubles time to time.
All of these things could also be said of Destro and his Iron Grenadiers. Destro's appearance is a little flamboyant, as he's stepped up his wardrobe game now that he's left Cobra and struck out on his own. He's joined by Voltar (with his vulture/condor pet) and Darlon. If I recall correctly, Voltar's eye piece was on his right eye back in the day, but here it's on the left. Additionally, Darlon was known as Darklon originally, but I don't know if this change was merely a spelling error or some kind of change in recent years that I haven't kept up on. The remaining generic Grenadier troops are also accompanied by an Iron Grenadier Officer.
Like the Joes, Destro's troops all come with weapons, though theirs are a bit more manageable. Save for Darlon's which is so gigantic it's almost comical. The paint apps are sharp, and the black, gold and red really make the foot soldiers look cool. Golden helm Destro with the leopard print fur collar isn't so bad either.
As expected, the main course, the Triple "T," is the most engaging part of the package. There's a little construction involved with the characters, but the vehicle requires complete assembly by hand. At 140 pieces, it's not an overly-complex build, and only takes about 20-30 minutes to put it all together. Like the original vehicle, the weapons don't actually fire, but the design team did some good work turning out this set.
I have a few qualms with the set however. First, my collection of parts was actually missing one green 1x2 piece, so there's a small hole on the left side of the tank. Second, the tank treads aren't snug or tight on the wheels. While they fit and work, the treads float above the rims, leaving the vehicle to look a little sloppy when sitting still. Small details like this matter when you're paying $50 for a small build like this, it's a bit distracting. The rest of the tank looks cool as all get out. The decals are all finely done, giving you the impression at first glance that this is really the same classic Joe vehicle from your childhood, and you can fit Sgt. Slaughter in there perfectly to complete the illusion.
As brick construction sets go, the Kre-O Sgt. Slaughter's Marauders set is good. It could have been great if the few minor issues with the tank had not been there, but this is the perfect way to relive the glory days of '80s animated action without having to drop a hefty sum on a lot of figures and vehicles on the second-hand market. Hopefully my set was a fluke with the tank parts errors, and others will be a bit luckier in that regard. You'll have to take that gamble if you pick one up, but this is a set current and lapsed fans can easily enjoy regardless.
This set was provided for review. You can pick up the Kre-o Sgt. Slaughter's Marauders set at the Hasbro booth (#3329) at SDCC for $49.99. A limited number will also be available at HasbroToyShop after the show.