BigBadToyStore Exclusive G.I.Joe 7 Packs Review
December 2, 2011

SpyMagician and Fresh Monkey again with a tag team review of the great new
Slaughter’s Marauders and Dreadnok 7 packs from BigBadToyStore and Hasbro!

Join us won’t you?

Fresh Monkey: So I got to say I was pretty excited and surprised by these sets.    I compared them to the vintage figures, and it’s funny, they are not as close to those as I thought they were.  But that’s okay, I think both sets turned out great.

Spy Magician:  Yeah, some are nearly dead on, some totally different but all in all it’s a great pair of 7 packs!  So shall we go down the list?   You throw out a name and we’ll discuss!

Fresh Monkey: Okay, first up: Slaughter’s Marauders.

Spy Magician:  They call the set Slaughter’s Marauders, but for me it’s all about the Renegades here!

Fresh Monkey: yeah I agree, but this is a nice throw back.


Fresh Monkey: SPIRIT

Spy Magician:  Spirit.   The thing that struck me here is that they didn’t just re-paint the Pursuit of Cobra Spirit, something they could have easily done!

Fresh Monkey: Yeah me too. That was very unexpected and a nice surprise

Spy Magician:  I think the Blue, Brown and Camo works really well on Spirit.   He’s colorful yet doesn’t look insanely so.

Fresh Monkey: Overall this is a great update to Spirit and he fits with the theme. He has a nice new tattoo that really sets him apart from the POC Spirit

Spy Magician:  There’s a lot of shirtless dudes between the 2 packs and Spirit really highlights how important some nice web gear is to making that look work.

Fresh Monkey: Plus he pays a nice tribute to the vintage Slaughter’s Marauders Spirit with the blue gloves.

Spy Magician:  Definitely a great figure that could have been a cheap and easy repaint.  Instead we get a legitimately different look that is nonetheless a great homage!  I’d say he’s one of the better figures in the SM pack!

Fresh Monkey: yeah.


Fresh Monkey: On to FALCON?

Spy Magician:  Sure!  Falcon.  As much as I love these sets, not my favorite figure.

Fresh Monkey: Oh I really dig him.

Spy Magician:  It’s a great idea to include him due to his link to the Renegades.

Fresh Monkey: Yeah I thought that as well.  He’s got a new head…I think, and a removable beret.

Spy Magician:  True, I love the function there, but he highlights something I find slightly jarring about the set;  you have an odd mix of what I consider comic book/toy style head sculpts and some that look almost too much like real people.  To me, Falcon’s head sculpt looks a bit too much like it’s a scan or likeness of a real person which makes him stand out from the rest of the pack, especially the Renegades.

Fresh Monkey: Well although I do like the head…it seems ALL the new heads for these 2 sets are more realistic…they might have even used a scan of a real person, that would not surprise me at all and I’m glad they did not use the head from the 25th Anv Falcon…I hate that head. 🙂

Spy Magician:  Yeah, the head on the 25th Falcon is TOO cartoony, lol.  The other thing that I think hurts Falcon a bit is how plain his torso is.   He has zero paint on his chest other than his neck and even his belt is unpainted, so it’s makes the figure look a bit unfinished as pretty much his entire center body area is one color.  I think more substantial web gear would really help, perhaps even taking the web gear off the 25th one.

Fresh Monkey: I think this is a POC Dusty body….I think there are better choices for bodies for sure, but I still think it’s okay.

Spy Magician:  And honestly a huge improvement over the 25th Falcon, between the horrible v1 Duke Forearms and the silly head, that figure was sadly lacking.


Fresh Monkey: On to LOW LIGHT.

Fresh Monkey: I seems that this is just a straight up repaint if the of the POC Low Light and I’m very okay with that cause this is one of the best updates to a classic figure that Hasbro has ever done.  They even gave him some different weapons than the POC Lowlight had, which I thought was a nice touch

Spy Magician:  Yes!  One of the better figures in the set, and as you say, not a problem that it’s a straight repaint.  Especially since the first POC Low Light was so hard to find!  And the re-use of the POC head sculpt really highlights was I was saying about face sculpts.  Low Light has the right blend of realism and comic book style.

Fresh Monkey: Not much more I can really say here, but nice work.


Fresh Monkey: On to BARBEQUE.

Spy Magician:  Ah yes!  Another case where a straight re-paint could have been used, but wasn’t and the figure is a lot more fun for it!

Fresh Monkey: When I first heard he was in this set I was not to excited …but then I opened the figure and I was shocked again…I seems Hasbro used the new Airtight body, the head and chest are old but the rest is new.

Spy Magician:  And the slightly longer arms give him a bit better range of motion on the articulation, and the subtle paint wipe on his chest gear is a really nice touch.

Fresh Monkey: Yeah, Hasbro went above and beyond here when they really didn’t need to.  A really nice update to a 25th anniversary figure especially for a theme set.

Spy Magician:  Because lets face it, the Marauder repaint characters could have just been filler to round out the set for the Renegades, but Hasbro went the extra mile to make them worthwhile figures by making most of them more than just repaints.

Fresh Monkey: They sure did….these days this is far from the norm for most toy companies especially for exclusives .


Fresh Monkey: Now on to the reason we all bought these sets

Spy Magician:  YES!

Fresh Monkey: I’ve wanted updates for the Marauders for quire some time, especially after Hasbro did the SDCC Slaughter.  I was surprised to see a set with the Marauders in it considering Slaughter was a SDCC exclusive and that he’s a pretty expensive figure to get on the after market.

Spy Magician:  Indeed.  I LOVE the Renegades!  I love that they’re larger than life wrestler/superhero type characters.  Sure they barely fit the GI Joe Universe, but aren’t Joes really more superheroes in army gear than real type soldiers?

Spy Magician:  Yes, anyone who missed out on Slaughter is really going to feel the gap in the collection now…


Fresh Monkey: RED DOG.

Spy Magician:  Ah Red Dog!  The only Renegade who got to keep his real name!

Fresh Monkey: HA true.

Fresh Monkey: I LOVE LOVE LOVE the head sculpt.

Spy Magician:  Ironically, he strays the furthest from his vintage look.

Fresh Monkey: Yes, but I feel he very inspired by it all the same.

Spy Magician:  I really like this figure for the most part, the only thing that I’m not crazy about is the facial hair.  I think it changes the character too much.

Fresh Monkey: It’s a really nice update to make the figure more modern.

Spy Magician:  I LOVE the scale and the removable headband and necklace, as well as the tribal style tats.

Fresh Monkey: Yeah the removable headband is great…cause I was never a big fan of it on the original.

Spy Magician:  The old figure reminded me of Jimmy Snuka as a Joe, the new one is more like the Rock!  LOL!  Of course we’ll be getting real figures of the Rock as a Joe soon enough…! and I love that on his File Card his only Combat Gear is “Harness.”  Which he doesn’t actually have.  Not that it matters.  I think Red Dog could probably take on a HISS Tank with his bare hands.

Fresh Monkey: I think this figure is more of a tip of the hat to the cartoon version.  If I recall he was pretty mean…and he looks it in this new update.

Spy Magician:  Indeed, all the Renegades were pretty mean and now they finally look it.  The proportions on the vintage figures made them look pretty goofy in comparison to the massive bruisers they were portrayed as in the Movie.

Fresh Monkey: Very true, and I think he has a very nice reuse of parts.  Other than his pants that appear to be chaps…but I’m not gonna tell him that

Spy Magician:  Yup!  That big “brute” body is a great sculpt and opportunities to use it are rare.   Hey a guy that big who fights Cobra armed with a Football is not someone whose fashion you criticize.

Fresh Monkey: Glad you mentioned the football…what a nice surprise that was…I was like, “a 4” scale football accessory. No way..sweet!!!”

Spy Magician:  Indeed.  Now all we need is the FRIDGE and CAPTAIN GRID-IRON!!!  WOOOO!


Fresh Monkey: On to – MERCENARY  ie…MERCER.

Fresh Monkey: He is my favorite Renegade.  A renegade Cobra, I love that concept …love it!  As a kid I always thought that was brilliant.

Spy Magician:  Indeed.  I loved the “No Cobra” tattoo!  Yes, by far Mercenary (Mercer) is the best stand alone character in the group.  It’s hard to pick a favorite; for me, as a kid  it was Mercer, but these days I think Bull (Taurus) takes the win.  Still, this update of Mercer is probably the best in the set, in my opinion.   It’s not only a great homage, it’s just a great figure in it’s own right.

Fresh Monkey: And that his base body is a cobra viper…

Spy Magician:  Perfection!

Fresh Monkey: And although the head is a tad different from the vintage figure it really works well here.  Again a nice tribute to the Sunbow Cartoon.

Spy Magician:  Yup, it’s a case of subtle changes that don’t change the character.  You know right away who you are looking at.

Fresh Monkey: Although I’m not too sure about the earrings….but to each their own.

Spy Magician:  Yeah, not a fan of the earrings, but hey, you don’t argue with a renegade Cobra!

Fresh Monkey: It’s gonna be hard for Hasbro to re-use this head for someone else…but it make his unique which is very cool.  They really hit a home run here…

Spy Magician:  Indeed.   Without the earrings it could be a very re-usable head sculpt.   Instead it becomes uniquely Mercer, which is a good thing.  Touches like that are what makes this 7 pack so good.

Fresh Monkey: I agree.


Fresh Monkey: On to – BULL   ie …TAURUS.

Spy Magician:  YES!  Man I love this figure.

Fresh Monkey: He is my least favorite of the bunch as far as the Renegades, I think it’s cause I miss the mustache.   He feels like less of a circus performer without it .

Spy Magician:  There are a few issues here.   The lack of mustache does hurt.   It’s might be silly, but to me nothing changes a character’s look as much as the change to facial hair.  His new crazy Abraham Lincoln beard is cool, but he’s not as Taurus-y.   If not for his near perfect color homage, it would really hurt the figure.

Fresh Monkey: Maybe I’ll have you use your mad sculptor skills and sculpt a mustache back on my figure…:)

Spy Magician:  LOL!  Heck, I’m planning on giving Red Dog a shave, so why not add a mustache to Bull!

Fresh Monkey: HAhahahhaa

Fresh Monkey: Spy Magician the Joe Barber…sounds like you need your own action figure.

Spy Magician:  LOL!  Indeed!  Hey, if MOTUC can have a dentist…

Fresh Monkey: I do think that the colors choices really work here, you know right away who is this …

Spy Magician:  Yup, it makes the figure unmistakable.   And the addition of the blue to his web gear ties him to the Marauders nicely.

Fresh Monkey: And I think he shares the same web gear as Zanzibar, but you don’t even notice it.

Spy Magician:  The only thing I miss is the crazy metal banded left hand the vintage figure had.   I always imagined him clotheslining Cobras with it…

Fresh Monkey: I’m not a fan of his torso and the sculpted in web gear.

Spy Magician:  True, my problem with that is the disconnect at the mid toro joint.   Looks very jarring unless pose the toros so the sculpted web gear looks continuous.

Fresh Monkey: But overall nicely done , a very nice update.

Spy Magician:  I like his crazy Popeye forearms.  Makes him more of a circus freak!  Yeah, this set is really great and everything an exclusive should be.  Fan favorite characters that might not work at mass retail, done right with a good blend of old school homage and modern updates.

Fresh Monkey: I agree…they really nailed it….it’s really nice to see Hasbro go all out here. I’m very glad BBTS could get this set to market.  I hope this paves the way for more sets in the future and you can’t beat the cost…very reasonable for what you’re getting… You don’t feel like you’re being hosed cause you have to buy figures you already have.

Spy Magician:  Indeed!   I think box sets are way to go.  Better than subscriptions or individual releases as far as exclusives go.  Oh, before we move on from Bull, I have to mention one thing.  The metal codpiece.  The vintage Taurus had a metal codpiece and that always makes a figure better.  It will be missed.

Fresh Monkey: Oh right…nice catch …maybe you should sculpt that as well to go along with his mustache …if only for the ladies.

Spy Magician:  Hell yeah!  We could make a custom upgrade set:  Mustache and Metal Codpiece!  with real DIE CAST!!!


Fresh Monkey: On to the Dreadnoks

Fresh Monkey: This is the set I was really looking forward too.  It was a loooong time coming.

Spy Magician:  I was never a huge Dreadnoks fan, but this box set is absolutely fantastic.

Fresh Monkey: I was also glad to see Zartan NOT in this set,  Hasbro could have easily put him in as a place holder figure.

Spy Magician:  Indeed.   So refreshing to see a company NOT take the easy way out and drop in a re-release to save on cost.  Instead we get a full roster of ‘noks, how can you not love that?


Fresh Monkey: So on to ROAD PIG.

Fresh Monkey: A great use of the Roadblock buck

Spy Magician:  Oh man.  What a great update.  It takes everything good about the old figure, fixes the bad points, and makes what I think is one of the all time best renditions of a GI Joe character.

Fresh Monkey: He however is also missing his cod piece.  You better get on that.

Spy Magician:  Yes, the lack of crotch protection is a running theme and rather disturbing.

Fresh Monkey: The one thing I liked about the vintage RP is that he had a really detailed face..something alot of the vintage Joes did not have..this update really captures the feel of the the vintage figure.

Spy Magician:  Yes!  And I just can’t stress enough though, how great it is to see different size bucks being used in GI Joe.   The fact that characters like Road Pig can tower over the others is just great.

Fresh Monkey: Especially for figures that carry a BIG hammer …if you know what I mean.

Spy Magician:  BAZINGA!

Fresh Monkey: On the subject of accessories….his are frakkin’ awesome.

Spy Magician:  Oh his are amazing.  The detail.  THE DETAIL!  Makes me want to put on a Banana Suit.

Fresh Monkey: A big ass concrete hammer and a road sign shield.  Fantastic!!!

Spy Magician:  Both with nice paint ops!  He’d be hands down the best figure in the set if not for the fact that there are some other real gems in here!

Fresh Monkey: Very true..I could go on and on about what a great job they did updating this figure…


Fresh Monkey: But we now need to move on to ZANZIBAR.

Spy Magician:  Yes!  Crazy Pirate Guy!  ARRRR!

Fresh Monkey: ARRRRrrrrrr!!!!   This is a weird update to me.

Spy Magician:  Yes, he’s probably the weakest in the set.

Fresh Monkey: I’m not a fan of the head sculpt.  Which surprises me cause I really like almost all of the new head sculpts on the 2 sets.

Spy Magician:  Agreed.  The faux hawk is hardly a replacement for real rooted hair!   And why the eyepatch on the opposite eye?   Also a very odd snarling expression.

Fresh Monkey: Yeah…the eye patch is on the wrong eye…WTF? Really. Hasbro paid so much attention to detail with this sets but they missed the mark here.   I didn’t expect rooted hair, but put the damn eye patch on the correct eye.

Spy Magician:  Yeah, rooted hair was always bizarre, but a sculpted ponytail would have been far better than a frakkin’ faux hawk.

Fresh Monkey: Well he does have a mullet .

Spy Magician:   The other thing that hurts is the loss of his torn up belly shirt.  As I said at the start of the review, a lot of toplessness going on here.  And the guys that have a proper vest or webbing really benefit, while poor Zanzibar looks not quite right.  Not that torn up belly shirts are a good look mind you, but the shoulder pads over a bare chest make it look odd.  Like they’re bolted into his clavicles!!!!

Fresh Monkey: He does make good use of the Destro boots

Spy Magician:  Yes that much is true.  Good piratey pants and a mullet do help.

Fresh Monkey: I was always a fan of Zanzibar as a I’m a tad disappointed  in this update.

Spy Magician:  There was so much potential to do a great Cobra Pirate!



Fresh Monkey: Next is Gnaw…i.e. GNAWGAHYDE.

Spy Magician:  Evil Crocodile Dundee!  WOOOO!

Fresh Monkey: Also why don’t the Dreadnoks like shirts?  Is it because they live in a swamp?  I think maybe Zartan is to blame here.  He sets a bad example.

Spy Magician:  Indeed.  That Zartan is a creepy dude.

Fresh Monkey: I think it works for Gnaw here.

Spy Magician:  He’s basically the same formula as Zanzibar, but he works a lot better IMO.  his vest works much better on the naked torso and he’s got a really nice head sculpt.

Fresh Monkey: This is a nice new update as well.

Spy Magician:  Yup. And like Road Pig he’s got some nice deco on his accessories.  The hat band and pattern on his rifle stock are quite well done.

Fresh Monkey: Although he is WAY skinner than his vintage counterpart, he does look the part.  They kept his same facial hair…as you mentioned earlier this is very important.

Spy Magician:  Yeah, instead of a brute he’s a lean rangy guy which works for his role as a stinky poacher. I think they did a great job on him, simple but effective.


Fresh Monkey: On to BURN OUT.  This guy was a surprise to see in this set.

Spy Magician:  Ah Burn out.   What a nice touch to resurrect the “forgotten” Dreadnok!  Much better figure than he has any right to be.   Great head sculpt.

Fresh Monkey: Yeah, I also liked how Hasbro kept introducing new Dreadnoks as the line grew…I was not always a fan of them, but I like the idea.  A really nice improvement here. A Dreadnok with dreadlocks …I love it.

Spy Magician:  Yup.  The only downside to both versions of this figure is the odd “camo” pattern.  It looks more like a bunch of brown stains.  But then he does hang out in a swamp…

Fresh Monkey: True…maybe they are supposed to be rips in the shirt? The Dreadnoks do like showing skin after all.

Spy Magician:  I think that was the intention on the original, and possibly this one too.  I don’t think it works on either though…

Fresh Monkey: Yeah I guess that was done as a homage to the original figure…but  they could have left it off and no one would have cared.

Spy Magician:  Or just picked a better color.  I think it’s too close to his skin tone.  It would have been cool to give him a tampo printed Dreadnok logo T-shirt like Zanya.


Fresh Monkey: Speaking of her ..let’s move on  to ZANYA.

Spy Magician:  Indeed.  Wow.  Talk about hitting it out of the park on a real fan requested figure.

Fresh Monkey: Daughter of Zartan .

Spy Magician:  What’s not love here?  It’s a near perfect representation of Devil’s Due’s single best contribution to Joe Mythos.

Fresh Monkey: Pretty much a repaint of Zarana..with different legg, but man it works.

Spy Magician:  Man does it.  And the head sculpt is awesome.   Attractive yet still creepy.

Fresh Monkey:  The head sculpt really nails it.  Plus the Dreadnoks need another female figure.

Spy Magician:  Not much to say here other than “well done Hasbro and BBTS!”


Fresh Monkey: On to ZANDAR.  What a lame character. Even as a kid a hated him.  But this is a really nice looking figure.

Spy Magician:  I LOVE this version.   I love that they went full on retro and didn’t try to make him “cool.”

Fresh Monkey: I agree

Spy Magician:  Indeed.  They fully embraced the lameness and it’s looped back around to awesome! It’s so wrong it’s RIGHT!!!

Fresh Monkey: That they did.  Right down to the pink scarf and tattoos.  I always felt bad for Zartan….he must have been so embarrassed by his brother…

Spy Magician:  Heck yeah.   Zartan was cool, Zarana had the bad girl thing going.  Poor Zandar looked like some horrible 80’s hair band reject who was trying to hard to fit in with his siblings’ gang.

Fresh Monkey: And the bright orange hair…I always wondered if the curtains matched the drapes on this guy….man I hope not.

Spy Magician:  Yeesh.   I think that’s best left unexplored, lol!

Fresh Monkey: I don’t think the ladies would have like that…even in the 80s.  I mean damn dude…look in the mirror.

Spy Magician:  Ah Zandar.  We salute your ridiculous yet tragic lifestyle choices!

Fresh Monkey: Anyway nice job Hasbro on playing homage to the original.


Fresh Monkey: On to our last figure, THUNDER.


Spy Magician:  Oh, sorry, wrong thing.

Fresh Monkey: Okay what I hated about the vintage figure was the stupid head sculpt….and they seems to kind of capture it here in this version, but I like that they did that.  He looked like an accountant at my work who decided one day to become a Dreadnok

Spy Magician:  Indeed.  In a gang of creepy mental cases, Thunder was by far the ugliest and most disturbing looking.  Not because he was over the top ugly, he just looked like some creepy pervy wanna be.   And he still does.  He still does.

Fresh Monkey: Exactly…..nice.. that captures it perfectly.  Hasbro did a nice job here as well

Spy Magician:  And he’s also a member of the topless ‘noks club.  But again, the right pads over top make it work great.   And he’s rockin’ the tore up belly shirt!

Fresh Monkey: The webgear really makes this figure.

Spy Magician:  It would have been redundant, but Zanzibar would probably have looks 100x better with this same web gear in a different color.

Fresh Monkey: They should have gone this route with Zanzibar.

Spy Magician:  Yup, just like Gnaw, it’s the same recipe but done right.

Fresh Monkey: The one thing they should have included in this set was a bottle of grape soda.  It would have rounded out the set nicely.

Spy Magician:  Oh boy, a 6 pack of grape soda and a box of half eaten donuts would have put an already amazing set over the top!

Fresh Monkey: I think this completes ALL the Dreadnoks as far as updates right?  Are there any left?

Spy Magician:  I think that’s all of them.  And when you get them all together what an amazing display!  They just ooze cockiness, insanity and bad fashion sense.  As they should.  They finally feel like a real gang.

Fresh Monkey: Yeah….a gang of what I don’t know, but they are more ways than one.


Fresh Monkey: Overall both of these sets are outstanding. If you are a fan of vintage Joe you won’t be disappointed in either one

Spy Magician:  Absolutely.   Great value for your money.   The pics blew me away, but getting up close and personal with the figures reveals so much action figure goodness!

Fresh Monkey: Go pre-order them a BBTS wont regret it.

Spy Magician:  Not only will you get a great set of figures, you’ll be supporting the concept of excellent retailer exclusives.


‘Til Next Time!

SpyMagician & Fresh Monkey




Jeremy "SpyMagician" Sung
It's the all new, all different SpyMagician! No longer single, no longer an educator, but still 100% Toygeek! "I make good customized actions figures, but I also collect Pokemon. Go figure..."
Read other articles by Jeremy "SpyMagician" Sung.





  • Shellhead says:

    I’m torn on getting the Dreadnok set. I don’t have Zarana, though, so I won’t have the complete clan.

  • Clutch says:

    You guys had way too much fun reviewing these. Great stuff.

  • demoncat says:

    nice review. makes me almost tempted to get the dreadnocks set mostly just for zanya for find it intriquing that Zartan found time to have a kid who is just as nasty as her old man. plus can not resist a dude calling himself road pig.

  • stewbacca says:

    Im still a little down on the “repainted” marauders– Could have given us some other new character vintage redos (and called it the GI Joe movie set or something) but otherwise these sets are pure win…

  • […] BigBadToyStore Exclusive GIJoe 7 Packs Review Fresh Monkey: Spy Magician the Joe Barber…sounds like you need your own action figure. Spy Magician: LOL! Indeed! Hey, if MOTUC can have a dentist… Spy Magician: Yup, it makes the figure unmistakable. And the addition of the blue to his web gear ties … Read more on Action Figure Insider (blog) […]

  • biggs33 says:

    – Thrasher (Thunder) has Taurus’ (Bull’s) scimitar.
    – Missed an opportunity to give Red Dog his Samoan war clubs, at least the Collectors’ Club gave him a close approximation in the 2006 con set.
    – Why did Falcon (never was a Marauder) replace Mutt?
    – Zanzibar’s file card in the 2004 con set says his eye patch might be fake, maybe Hasbro is continuing the joke?

    • steph5555 says:

      Falcon in the set makes sense, since he’s so closely tied to the Renegades. A “bridge”, if you will. And putting him on the Marauders gives him more of a place on the overall team – otherwise, he’s just a made-up-for-the-movie version of Flint.

  • […] BigBadToyStore Exclusive GIJoe 7 Packs Review The only downside to both versions of this figure is the odd “camo” pattern. It looks more like a bunch of brown stains. But then he does hang out in a swamp… Fresh Monkey: True…maybe they are supposed to be rips in the shirt? … Read more on Action Figure Insider (blog) […]

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