Modular M4 Carbine:
Sometimes I think that Marauder John just wants to see how far he can push the envelope in terms of detail in 3.75” weapons and accessories. First, he started producing accessory weapons. Next came removable clips and bipods. Now, however, he’s taken things to a whole new level with the modular M4. The full kit for this weapon includes a basic rifle with attached stock and no less than eight accessories pieces! The set includes two scope variants, a flash suppressor, two forward grips, a grenade launcher, a standard clip, and a dual drum magazine. This parts package offers an unprecedented degree of customization with multiple combinations possible. I literally sat down with this rifle for a full half an hour, playing with various accessory packages to equip a wide variety of characters. Marauder John, however, has taken this weapon’s versatility even further by offering the M4 in a “full kit” version as well as listing the rifle and all of the components singly. In other words, a collector can purchase the full kit, play around with combinations, and then order the base rifles and the specific parts needed to outfit the various troops in the collection. A few drops of superglue later and the weapons are assembled and bonded together permanently—ready to accompany any figure to any location. This really is the epitome of the term “collector friendly” and I strongly encourage anyone who places an order from MGR to include at least one of the full kits in their order. Trust me, this weapon can prove addictive as I’ve already got plans to outfit at least a dozen of my Joes with M4’s of varying configurations. While it works with both ARAH and GvC era hands, the M4 began production in 1994 which means that most of the original 3.75” Joes just missed the opportunity to carry this rifle. Still, it looks great and could very well become the standard rifle for many a Joe collection.
I will admit, when I first heard of this modular M4, I was certain there was no possible way Marauder could make this work. With this many removable pieces and modular parts, the weapon was just begging to fall apart and just could not possibly be suitable for every day use…could it?
Wow, was I ever wrong.
I love the design. I love the modular parts. I love the different options. I love everything about this weapon from the tip of the barrel to the stock at the end. It is fantastic.
The M4 carbine itself is a very nicely detailed smaller machine gun which works excellently as a foundation weapon for anyone’s G.I. Joe ground forces, but this M4 allows you to fully customize and modify the backbone of your infantry forces to suit many different needs. Want a covert operation? Break out the starlight scopes and the silencers. Heavy weapons? Attach the tactical grip and the ammo drums. Basic infantry? Use the smaller scope and the 203 grenade launcher. There is a wealth of different ways to customize this weapon, and the best part is all of the parts and pieces fit into their holes and slots so well. Obviously they’re not as durable as if the gun was made in one solid tool, but I am absolutely shocked that Marauder, Inc. was able to make a weapon modular like this and still make it all fit together and stay together so perfectly. I cannot overstate what an awesome job Marauder has done on this machine gun. It simply blows me away. If you want to use these heavily, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a dozen or so of these weapons to customize as you see fit. You can even add some glue to keep the weapon together if you want to use it heavily.
What a great, great weapon and by far the highlight of this wave. Terrific job on this one.
The standard rifle of the United States Army since the 1960’s, the M16 makes its debut in MGR form. The weapon is properly scaled to 3.75” figures and features the now-standard removable clip. It’s interesting to note that the clip will also fit in the M4—offering a bit of standardization for any collector’s barracks. This is one of the rifles that fans have been asking for since MGR series 1 debuted at the Minneapolis convention and it was worth the wait! The large size of the rifle is a perfect fit for ARAH, GvC, and even 25A figures; the rifle has become the de-facto accessory for my anniversary Duke figure as the Hasbro model has proven particularly difficult to pose with. The MGR version sports the same intense detailing as the rest of the weapons in this series and is soon to become the default rifle for my Comic Pack #26 figures.
The M16A2 looks a bit more dated than stuff like the M4, but is still a great, larger weapon that suits any 3 ¾” figure very well. The detail on the barrel, the removable clip, the overall size…it all just works very well and integrates with the figures perfectly. The M16 overall is a little bit generic for my tastes, I prefer my figures get displayed with more unique, modern accessories, but I cannot argue that from an execution standpoint, this weapon is made very well. The clip stays in nicely and the detail is great.
High-Energy Plasma Disruptor w/ scope:
Sometimes things just don’t progress as originally planned and yet the results are still just as effective and this weapon is a great example of this. Originally showcased a modular rifle, production difficulties dictated that this rifle instead be produced as an “assembled” piece. The result is a lethal modern-looking rifle with a removable scope that functions as the perfect upgrade to figures like the GvC era Red Spot or even the forthcoming Collector’s Convention Flash figure. The weapon’s sculpt features a detailed barrel and body with a metal brace stock. Included is a removable scope that gives this weapon the range effectiveness necessary for a projected energy weapon. I’ll be blunt—this is the weapon that helps to save figures like Red Spot whose included gear is lackluster at best. The grip is solid without being too large for ARAH era hands and works extremely well with the softer grip found in GvC era figures. Personally, I’m glad that Marauder John decided to move forward with production of this piece rather than scrap it outright as the design works well with both GIJoe and Cobra figures. I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that this weapon will also make its way into the hands of many a Star Wars Clone Trooper as well. This is another solid addition to the MGR line-up that offers a high-tech weapon while still maintaining a more “real world” design.
I prefer a more “realistic” look to my weapons, but no matter what types of guns you like your figures to be displayed with, you can’t argue that when Marauder, Inc. does the more science-fiction based weapons, he does them extremely well. The Colonial Marines pulse rifle was a big hit in a previous wave, and now with this “Plasma Disruptor” you again get a pretty neat looking futuristic energy weapon. We can’t forget that there a ton of 3 ¾” collectors out there with a more fantasy element to them, and I think they will love this weapon.
Even with a less realistic overall appearance, I find myself enjoying this gun considerably as well. The removable scope works well and hooks into the weapon very securely, and the overall detail of the gun itself is bar none. Just in time for a Laser Trooper convention figure, Marauder, Inc. brings us a very nice potential upgrade for his weapon system.
“Walther PPK, 7.65 millimeter, with a delivery like a brick through a plate-glass window. The American CIA swear by them.” It was with these words that secret agent James Bond was presented with the weapon that would become his signature sidearm for the duration of his cinematic career. A small pistol, the Walther’s “snub nose” design is as distinctive as the pistol is deadly. Reproduced in 1:18 th scale, this particular pistol is sure to become a favorite of customizers who set out to create their own custom versions of MI6 agent 007. The MGR version is properly scaled—making it smaller than many of the other pistols offering by the Gun-Runner. Yet the smaller size doesn’t interfere with the functionality of the pistol as I was able to place in both ARAH and 25A hands quite easily. It’s a perfect choice for figures such as the TRU exclusive Action Man or even the 25A Cobra Commander who just might prefer a pistol as concealable as this.
I’ve never been a big Bond fan (though I loved Casino Royale) so the Walther PPK doesn’t have any sort of emotional bond with me. That being said, this is a pretty small pistol, which sometimes makes it tough for the Joe figures to hold, but I love Fred’s idea of giving this to Action Man, and for customizers making their own James Bond figure, this pistol would be invaluable. Heck, someone like Chuckles could easily be carrying one of these around, too. Regardless of your attachment to this particular model of weapon, though, the sculpting and detail are very nice, especially for a weapon so small.
RPK PKM machine gun:
Ever since Schrage first made his comic appearance way back in Issue #6, fans have been clamoring for a to-scale version of the very unique weapon that he carried in that issue. The round ammo drum was a very specific trait of this machine gun, and fans kind of grew attached to that look, often using the ’91 Hawk’s weapon to emulate that. Recently we have gotten a Stoner heavy machine gun that has kind of taken its place being held by many Oktober Guard figures out there, but now, finally, we can all have a to-scale, accurate rendition of the weapon that the Oktober Guard gunner carried in the comic books.
The overall look of the RPK is very reminiscent of your typical Kalashnikov style machine gun, a Russian made assault rifle, so it belonging to an Oktober Guard member makes all sorts of sense. A nicely sculpted stock, well-detailed barrel and nice hefty size gives you a great overall assault rifle for your Oktober Guard members, complete with the round ammo drum everyone is so crazy about. What’s even cooler, though, is that the weapon also comes with a more typical “Banana clip” which enables you to use this weapon for more generic COBRA Trooper purposes, too. The rifle looks terrific in both different modes, and is a fantastic addition to your Marauder arsenal. No Oktober Guard is complete without it!
This was one of the weapons that I originally wasn’t that excited about. Once it arrived, however, I was able to see just how well it would fit into my collection and now I’m contemplating just how many I’ll need. The original Cobra soldiers of the early ARAH line used a lot of “Eastern Block” gear and this weapon fits into that category quite nicely. Not only is this an ideal addition to the rearmament of the comic pack Oktober Guard figures but it’s also a great piece to use in adding some variety into your original Cobra troopers! The choice of magazines allows this to function well as both a portable and emplaced weapon and the detailing is up to the usual Marauder standards. This is a solid addition to the line!
When I first saw that Marauder John was releasing a silencer, my thought was "why?" A silenced weapon was rather limited and most of MGR's offerings seemed tailored toward giving fans as much variety as possible rather than limiting their options. When my order from the Gun-Runner arrived, I opened the silencer baggie with feelings of mild interest-- and was surprised by what lay inside as it just made one of my 25A figures all the more interesting. With all the different barrel sizes in the various MGR series, the production of a "universal" silencer would prove difficult at best. This particular piece is designed to work primarily with the uzi from Wave 1; the silencer fits snugly on the barrel and stays on effortlessly. There is some sculpting detail on the sound suppression device but this is one case where the sculpting isn't the primary reason to purchase it. The silencer works as the PERFECT enhancement to the first series weapon, converting it from an extremely well-detailed SMG to the ideal accessory for either of the 25A Snake Eyes figures! This is one piece that truly surprised me-- making the transition from "extraneous gear" to "essentially accessory" in just a few short minutes. My five-pack 25A Snake Eyes honestly won't be seen often without it!
Smoke grenade/Stick grenade:
Like the grenade from Series 3, these two variations of the grenade are very nicely sculpted at a tiny size, with intricately detailed “spoons” and are a valuable addition to any SWAT team arsenal or World War II diorama. Marauder, Inc. always manages to walk that line, producing an assortment of weapons that satisfy Joe fans, Star Wars fans, and general military collectors as well. While I don’t see many Joe collectors going crazy for the stick grenades, the smoke grenades are great and each one has its uses.
I have to agree with my esteemed colleague here that the grenades are insanely detailed but ultimately limited in use. I’ve got quite a few of the previously offered fragmentation grenades and, while they look fantastic in displays I don’t often utilize them with posed figures. However, the smoke grenade does offer one additional detail over the previous grenades that might change everything. If you examine the pictures carefully, you’ll note that the “spoon” is only attached to the body at the top, near the sculpted pin. According to Marauder John, this gap is intentional as it allows the grenade to be slipped onto the various harnesses that have been included with figures in both the GvC and 25A lines. Figures can now be “geared up” even further by tossing a few extra grenades onto their battle gear—which will open up whole new photo possibilities for dio-story authors! The stick grenade is a bit of an odd choice as I’m not too certain I’ve seen these used in any medium recently. They do, however, bear a superficial resemblance to the “spike grenades” that will be available in the forthcoming game HALO 3 which will most likely change my opinion of them entirely. They are well sculpted and are designed to fit in hands of ARAH, GvC, and 25A Joes so their versatility is unquestioned.
Tactical Pistol (Glock):
While we’ve seen plenty of standard military pistols throughout the years, there hasn’t been much in the way of the more tactical nature, and the Glock serves this purpose perfectly. With an exquisitely sculpted textured handle, a nice thick barrel, and solid construction, this tactical pistol is a great addition to any Joe member’s holster. I’m still not wild about the trigger guard, as it does somewhat impact how well the vintage style figures can hold these pistols, but from an aesthetic standpoint, the weapon looks pretty darn good. Overall it’s a great weapon for your special ops team, your Headhunters, or your SWAT team.
Wow—deja vous! I find myself in total agreement with Justin on this. The “Tactical Pistol” (I suspect there is a trademark issue involved here) is stylistically different enough from all of the other pistols offered by MGR that it is another welcome addition to the line. Essentially, it opens up more possibilities in terms of variety for each figure in an individual collection. I don’t mind the trigger guard so much as I do prefer the more accurate appearance in this case. I’m also used to various figures having some issues with the fit of the guard and just don’t see it as much of a concern anymore. However, for figures with the extended forefinger, this gun looks amazingly tight! I see the Glock really as the sidearm of some of the more “modern” characters—such as my VvV Firefly or even the 25A Destro.
UMP tactical assault rifle:
I’ve been singing the praises of the UMP ever since Marauder Gun Runners did the first series of weapons, and finally my prayers have been answered. I’m a huge fan of the smaller tactical ops submachine guns like the Heckler and Koch MP series, and the smaller tactical G36 we got back in Series 2, and I’m happy to report that the UMP fits right in the same mold. With a metallic stock, nicely recessed scope and a great tactical design, I really love this weapon. The extended ammunition magazine hooks into its spot securely and stays in place well, complimenting the overall feel of this submachine gun very well. There is intricate sculpting throughout, even including detail on the top for the adjustable scope. A really nice looking, specialized tactical ops weapon that I will absolutely be stocking up on. A can’t miss weapon, and among one of my favorites of the wave.
I think I heard Justin singing the praises of this weapon all the way in Illinois! This was one of the weapons that I originally wasn’t that excited about. I'm not certain what it was about this particular weapon (although it may have been the "extra long" clip) but this just wasn't at the top of my list of things to review. However, once it arrived I found that my opinion had changed. Extremely well-detailed (as are all MGR products) this weapon seemed almost a natural fit for my new 25A Cobra Troopers. Far superior to the included rifle, the UMP was such a natural fit (IMHO) that I can't imagine displaying them with anything else! The weapon has a molded scope as well as a forward grip handle to compensate for "creep". The long clip ensures that there will be plenty of rounds to send "down range" and the metal stock conveys a very robust profile. I've tried it with Joes of various eras and it works well with all of them but to my mind, this is THE weapon of the 25A Cobra Trooper!
XM8 assault rifle:
The XM8 has become almost infamous, being kind of the poster child for the “future soldier”, a large caliber machine gun with various advantages over the more modern day weapons. To us Joe collectors, I think I speak for others when I say the technical details are often of less consequence than how the weapon looks, and this weapon looks really great. It’s larger than I thought it might be, but the angled look to the weapon, the sloped shape, integrated handle and very futuristic appearance all combine together to give you a very cool looking very “G.I. Joe-esque” machine gun. I love the overall design with the smaller scope, the thick barrel and extendable stock (sculpted that way, anyway, not actually extendable in toy form). Like the other machine guns, the clip is removable, and stays in its spot well, too.
The handle is a touch on the large side, but not too large to fit in pretty much any Joe’s hands, it just takes a bit of work for some of the more vintage figures, especially those without the newer more malleable hand plastic used. All in all, though, a great looking weapon.
When I first played Ghost Recon: Advanced War fighter on the Xbox 360, I knew that I had to find a way to arm my GvC era figs with the XM8’s. This is the very definition of a modern rifle both in terms of real-world functionality and appearance, and this makes it an ideal fit with the new sculpt era of Joes. From the moment I first placed it into the hands of my VvV wave 7 Duke, I knew that this rifle (along with the P90) would become the default rifle of my “modern” GIJoe collection. There is just something so perfectly “right” about the appearance of this weapon in the hands of a new sculpt Joe that I run the risk of entering “drooling fan boy mode” by continuing. The XM8 is the successor the XM29 OICW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM29), the same weapon that was packaged with the GvC Flint figure several years ago. When that particular project was scrapped, the development was turned into the XM8. Easily converted into one of four different variants, the weapon offered an unprecedented variety. Unfortunately for the weapon, the project to replace the M4 with the XM8 was shelved and this weapon has not seen full production. (More information on this can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM8 .) Given the recent development of the weapon, I’ll be using it primarily with my GvC era sculpts—which tend to have the most modern appearance. As Justin mentioned, the hand grip is a bit large to be used with the ARAH era figs but, at least in my mind, this isn’t really an option. I’m seriously in love with this rifle and would love to see MGR eventually produce a modular variant similar to that of the awesome M4!
Marauder “Gun Runners” continues to outdo itself with nearly every assortment he produces. The weapons and accessories have come such an amazingly far way from Series 1 (as incredible as Series 1 was) that it just makes me wonder how much further these guns can go. The removable clips are surprisingly functional, and the modular M4 Carbine is an absolute wonder of miniature design. I find myself quite excited to integrate these new weapons into future dio-stories, and the accessories are just beyond reproach.
Marauder “Gun Runners” is one of the most professional, fan-friendly, and accessible companies out there today and they produce a fantastic, high-quality product for budget prices. As a production company, I cannot recommend them enough…fantastic product from a great fan resource. You will not regret doing business with them!
To once again echo Justin’s statements: “Yeah, what he said!!” So, what are you waiting for—a proper invitation from Marauder John? Get over to Marauder Gun-Runners and start stocking up!