The 2005 GIJoe Collector’s Convention held quite a few surprises for the attending Joe fans. We had new Direct-to-Consumer vehicles and figures, first glimpses at animation from the forthcoming Sigma 6 television series, and the first opportunity to talk with the new writer of the GIJoe America’s Elite comic series. However, not all of the buzz from the con was centered on Hasbro-licensed products. Against the far wall from the entrance to the convention floor was a small booth that offered something a bit new and different to GIJoe collectors. Finely crafted realistic 1:18 th scale weapons were now available from a brand-new manufacturer using the moniker of “Marauder, Inc”. The gear was well made, highly detailed, and extremely reasonably priced. Better still, the armaments worked with both classic RAH and new style GvC sculpts! Like many con attendee’s, I snagged a full set as well as extras of some of my favorites and headed home—eager to see how these pieces fit into my collection. Not only did they fit—but they also fit flawlessly and I was not alone in my assessment. Wave 1 was a hit and development began on the even-more-ambitious wave 2. Thanks to “Marauder John”, JBL was able to get a first look at the prototypes of this new series that will debut later this spring. So, do they live up to the originals? Oh yeah—and then some!
I’ll be honest; it’s going to be tough to review an ENTIRE wave of weapons individually so instead I’ll be covering the entire wave in a few key areas – sculpting, variety, and playability.
When Marauder John said he was going to push the envelope with series 2, he really wasn’t kidding. The sheer level of detail on these weapons is INSANE! The “tommy gun” features detailed wood grain on the stock, as well as molding on the ammunition drum. The G-36 features a “safety” while the M4 features a “fire selector” switch. The full stock MP5 features dual clips attached to each other. In all honestly, Marauder has achieved a level of detail that I’ve only previously seen with companies like bbi and 20 th Century toys—for a fraction of the cost. This level of detail is unmatched in anything that Hasbro has produced—with only the new weapons of Valor vs. Venom Wave 7 and later coming anywhere remotely close. I’ve compared these weapons to a variety of pieces from my 1:18 th scale military collection and honestly, nothing else comes close.