The final GIJoeCon 2018 preview has been posted. Everyone– meet Slaughter’s Marauders squad leader Sgt. Smasher!
SLAUGHTER’S MARAUDERS SQUAD LEADER:
– 25th Anniversary Style/Fully Poseable Action Figure.
– NEW Modern Era Character in original SM design.
– Inspired by “Mister C” from the Sunbow: G.I. Joe Cartoon!
– Features exclusive NEW Head Sculpt with Mowak hairstyle,
and NEW removable Marine Drill Instructor hat.
– Includes removable vest, whistle, baton, pistol, Gatling gun,
backpack with ammo strip, and G.I. Joe Logo Stand.
Every so often the G.I. Joe Collector’s Club manages to surprise the fandom. This is one of those times.
When Sgt. Smasher was first announced, many fans (myself included) jumped to a logical conclusion. In a convention set built around Slaughter’s Marauders a character using the name of the Funskool release Sgt. Smasher would be a clever way of releasing fan-favorite Sgt. Slaughter without infringing too terribly much on the all-powerful copyright of the name by WWE. However, there is a danger in making in assumptions…
For whatever reason (and I suspect some legal wrangling may have been involved) Sgt. Smasher isn’t the obvious re-release of Sgt. Slaughter. Instead, he’s an all-new character… or at least a new take on a peripheral character from the Sunbow episode “The Wrong Stuff“. In that episode, Cobra takes over cable television and introduces the Cobra Television Network which airs pastiches of then-popular television series with a Cobra propaganda twist. One such program was “The C-Team”, a satire of the 1980’s runaway hit The A-Team. That spot featured Mr. C – whose mannerisms and appearance were based on 1980’s pop culture phenomenon Mr. T. At the end of the episode, Mr. C realizes the error of his ways in siding with Cobra and instead asks to join the G.I. Joe team. Apparently he was successful and changed his name (and thankfully his hairstyle) and became known as Sgt. Smasher.
The build for this Sarge should look familiar. From the neck down this is the camouflage Rise of Cobra Heavy Duty figure, a build that hasn’t seen extensive use since it’s initial release. It’s a functional body that gives Sgt. Smasher some bulk without having to reuse the Retaliation Battle Kata Roadblock figure yet again. Plus, we’re getting a brand new head and removable hat! New heads are NEVER a bad thing– especially considering that this is the final year of the Club’s existence.
Is this the figure that fans were expecting? Probably not. Is this a bad figure? Even without having one in hand I’m going to say “not at all.” The odds of the Club being able to produce an actual Sgt. Slaughter figure for GIJoeCon 2018 were pretty long, given the complicated legal history of the Sarge’s relationship with Hasbro and the WWE. The brochure never claimed that this would be the familiar Sarge we all know and love– instead referring to Sgt. Smasher as another DI. So, while there is ultimately some disappointment over not getting Sgt. Slaughter in a Slaughter’s Marauders-themed set, we’re still getting a brand new character with a brand-new head and that’s fine with me.
Let’s just hope the final product is as promising as the preview.
To recap, here’s the roster of this year’s set:
Python Patrol 2.0:
To get your own Python Peril: Marauders to the Rescue boxed set and to register for GIJoeCon 2018, visit the REGISTRATION page at GIJoeCon.com today! (The initial assortment has SOLD OUT but the Club is apparently working on a second production run.)