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Sgt. Slaughter

WWE Build N' Brawl
by yo go re

At ease, disease - and welcome to the Slaughterhouse!

They say he cut his teeth on a bogey wheel from a Patton tank and that his first words were "Semper Fi." They say that when the Sarge dresses down a boot in Camp LeJeune, the trainees cringe all the way to Pendleton. Most boots would rather dive for apples in the grease trap than cross the Sarge. They say he can blow a month's pay in one night in Thule, Greenland. Of course, "jarheads" are prone to exaggeration. We all know it's impossible to blow a month's pay in Thule, Greenland.

Isn't it at least a little bit weird that the GI Joe team would even need a drill instructor? It's not like they're getting the fresh recruits: nobody signs up at the local stripmall recruitment office and then gets on a bus that drops them off at the Pit. Even the greenshirts are already the top of their home squads before becoming the lowest rungs on the Joe ladder, and thus aren't the kind of guys who need their asses kicked all over again. Basic training was a long time ago, but maybe that's the idea.

Now, it's important to note, this isn't a GI Joe figure. Sgt. Slaughter hasn't yet gotten a G3 update, and there's no indication he will, so if you want an "official" Slaughter to boss around your Joes, you'll have to make do with one of Hasbro's old offerings. This figure comes from Series 6 of Jakks Pacific's WWE "Deluxe Build N' Brawl" figures, a line of conveniently miniature wrestlers. Considering that every other character in this line has been a current (or at least recent) superstar, the choice to include the Sarge has to have been made with an eye toward courting the GI Joe market.

Slaughter isn't quite in scale with the modern Joes: Build N' Brawl is done in a true 3¾" scale, while the 25th Anniversary figures bumped GI Joe up to an even 4", but unless you're just standing your figures back to back to compare them, that difference isn't a major one. Thanks to his hat, a non-removable piece, he does measure a full 4" tall, but since the guy is apparently 6'6" in real life, the toy would be a bit small if he were a Joe release.

Other than that, however, the figure blends perfectly. The sculpt is plenty detailed, with most of his costume sculpted on, not just painted. He's wearing a green t-shirt under a black singlet, and has tall lace-up boots. The wrinkles in his clothes are all detailed, and although his belt is just paint, his wristbands aren't. His biceps are huge, but not as huge as his chin - Jakks really captured the lantern-jawed scowl we all know and love.

The prototype images of Sgt. Slaughter showed him in a camoflauge shirt, but that didn't make it to the final figure: he's solid green; the camo paint masks were probably too expensive. However, that doesn't mean the rest of the figure suffers. His boots have Staff Sergeant's red and yellow insignias on the outsides, and the green and black areas are crisp. The white belt is painted with a silver clasp, and he has a black hatband. There's also a silver insignia on the front of his hat. His hair is a different color than the strap holding the hat on, and his dark sunglasses get silver frames. They even gave him unique paint apps for his mouth: mostly pink, but with bright white teeth.

Even the articulation is on par with the current GI Joe toys. Slaughter has a balljointed head, swivel-hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivels and hinges at the wrists, a hinge in the torso, swivel waist, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel-hinge ankles. He can hold his own with any unruly recruit! His right hand is sculpted as a fist, while his left is open slightly; all he needs now is a baton to hold.

Unless you count his removable elbow pads, Sgt. Slaughter doesn't have any accessories. What the package does include, however, are two pieces of a steel cage diorama - the "build" in "Build N' Brawl" refers to the fact that each figure in the series comes with some piece of scenery. Collect them all, and you can have a full ring for your tiny wrestlers to put on their show. Of course, if you're just buying this one figure so you can put him with your GI Joes, you can always pretend it's part of an obstacle course or something. Double-time it, maggots!

The prices on Jakks' WWE Build N' Brawl figures vary quite a bit from store to store, but you can expect to pay about as much for Sgt. Slaughter as you would for a Generation 3 Joe - maybe a bit less. The only downside to this figure is the minor size discrepency, but if you can get past that, this is a perfect addition to your GI Joe army. I will warn you, though, that with this one figure appealing to both wrestling and GI Joe fans, it has a good chance of being scalper bait. If you want one and you see it in the store, don't hesitate.

-- 05/01/09

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