by Troy Brownfield

The final item on our Tour de Hasbro, wrapping up our coverage on some of their terrific SDCC exclusives, is this Kre-O set. As I’ve noted before, my sons (Connor, 10; Kyle, 8) really get into checking the stuff out with the old man. In this case I realized that the boys have never really had much truck with G.I. Joe at all. That’s kind of surprising, as I was huge into the Joes as a kid. It’s admittedly just one of those things we haven’t covered much. After this, though, I think that might change a bit.

Why? Because this is a great set. It’s got a unit of Slaughter’s Marauders, a unit of Destro’s Iron Grenadiers, the Triple T Tank, and basically a ton of fun. Let’s start with the tank.

Triple T Tank: One of the iconic vehicles of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero days, the Triple T was the chosen vehicle of Sgt. Slaughter, professional wrestler turned toy legend. As you may recall, Sarge became the first real-life character to join the Joes in the mid-1980s; he was incorporated into animation and comics storylines, even becoming co-fourth-in-command (he shared the #4 slot with Beachhead; for the sake of completeness, the top three were Hawk, Duke and Flint). In the original toyline, Sarge was a mail-in figure, but he also came packed with the Triple T. That white, multi-treaded vehicle makes a great Kre-O build. It took me and my own marauders just a few minutes to assemble the whole thing. Instructions were clear, pieces locked easily, and it makes for a great playable vehicle.

Slaughter’s Marauders: Decked in the blue, green and brown costumes of the Marauders subline, Sarge’s team is full of excellent characters. In addition to the main man, you get Spirit Iron-Knife (with Freedom!), Barbecue, Footloose, Low-Light, and the best, Mutt and Junkyard. Each character gets their appropriate, easy-to-assemble weapons. Junkyard is a highlight. The figures came pre-assembled, necessitating only that the accessories be put together. The ready-to-play nature of the set is a real bonus. The boys had a battle going in no time.

Iron Grenadiers: This is the “gold mask” expression of Destro from later in the storyline when he puts together his own army. Including are Darklon, Voltar, an Elite Officer and two Elite Troopers. It’s a rather cool choice of villains, pitting one specialty force against another. I also appreciate that the effort was made to distinguish the Grenadiers; little touches go a long way. In terms of the boys, they immediately took to the fact that Voltar had an avian companion and that Darklon was a sniper, giving them opposites in Spirt and Low-Light.

Overall, this was another excellent set in year when Hasbro really came to the Exclusive party in a big way.