Thursday, March 1, 2012

REVIEW: GI Joe Slaughter's Marauders Battle Set - David ''Red Dog'' Taputapu

Produced by Hasbro | Released January 2012 [Big Bad Toy Store-Exclusive]

David ''Red Dog'' Taputapu lost his chance to play pro football as a barefoot placekicker when a defensive linesman ground his cleats into the big Samoan's toe. He gave the linesman a concussion and was suspended for unnecessary roughness. He worked as a stuntman until the GI JOE Team recruited him. When they encounter a large obstacle, they point ''Red Dog'' in the right direction then wait for the dust to settle.

Red Dog
In order to get through the remaining figures in the - sorry to say it - slightly dull Slaughter's Marauders Battle Set, we're covering each in the form of a Mini-Reviews which, although shorter than our usual analysis, should help you - along with the photos - with any potential buying decisions.

Today it's the turn of David ''Red Dog'' Taputapu.

Sculpt and Design

Nice echoes of the original designFootball-themed look is very 80s cartoon
Amazingly detailed handsNo holsters
Great, bulky sculptHands struggle to hold gear (see below)
Very detailed facial sculpt


Standard GI Joe articulation set-upNo extra joints (such as wrist or ankles)
Joints are firm but not stiffExtra bulk of the sculpt limits arm movement

Can't switch gear between hands


Neatly appliedNo ''1'' tattoo on his arm 
Arm tattoos are neat
Colour scheme is fairly muted/lifelike

Extras and Accessories

Necklace is a nice touchHas difficulty holding gear
Belt accessory looks goodVery limited selection of weaponry
Headband is a nice, tight fitHeadband masks some of the head sculpt

Final Thoughts
I know it would be an incredibly dull line of toys if every single figure were a regular soldier and that having ''unusual'' figures helps them leap off the shelves (and gives the writers something to base their stories on) but Red Dog is one of those too-gimmicky, novelty characters I really don't get. Yes, I know Slaughter's Marauders (or Renegades) were supposed to be a unit of outsiders but Red Dog just pushes that too far for my tastes.

Things wouldn't be so bad if Hasbro had at least made some attempt to make him a combatant but as it is, being armed with a pistol and a football he looks less like a soldier and more like he's holding up a sports memorabilia store. And on top of that what gear he does come with isn't even that good. The pistol fits into his hand (just, and even then it looks weird) but getting him to grip the football is a nightmare. And yes, you could re-equip him with some of your leftover gear and he'd probably be quite good. But that doesn't excuse the fact that out of the box, he's pretty weak.

It's a real shame, as the body sculpt is superbly imposing and with a little bit of extra work (and less focus on the Football-fixated aspect of his character) this could have been a real stand-out figure. As it is, he's just a very ordinary figure further marred by poor accessories.

Sculpt and DesignB+
Extras and Accessories C+
Final ScoreB

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