A few years back, 1:18 scale weapons designers Marauder, Inc debuted their premiere line of action figures with the Marauder Task Force, a collection of realistic military toys featuring incredibly detailed sculpts courtesy of Boss Fight Studio, along with a creative modular accessory system that allowed for optimal customization of each figure’s gear, armor, and weaponry.
Marauder Task Force was a fantastic first release, and one of the only things that held it back was the lack of any female soldiers in the lineup. Marauder addressed that with their sophomore wave, though, featuring an entirely new crew of troops… almost all of which are women.
This choice is sort of revolutionary, in a number of ways. Even though we’ve seen a number of female-centric action figure lines debut in 2016 (such as the awesome DC Super Hero Girls and Ghostbusters lines by Mattel, as well as the Wisdom Wave from I Am Elemental) the latest collection of Marauder Task Force figures– dubbed “the Valkyries”– carves out its own place in toy history as the first line of military themed toys to almost exclusively spotlight women.
The Valkyries began as a Kickstarter campaign, which was not only funded but allowed for a multitude of Stretch Goals to be met, resulting in a lineup of 3.75″ action figures even more diverse than MTF’s launch wave. By the end of the campaign, Marauder hit their goal and surpassed it, unlocking many variations of the core figure line, as well as some new colorways for the male Marauders featured in the first Kickstarter campaign. Ultimately, this campaign made way for an incredibly robust assortment of soldiers, in a variety of colors, genders, and armaments.
Marauder’s initial release only included about half of the figures from this Kickstarter campaign, which means many are still pending release in early 2017, but my first shipment included the Desert, Night-Ops, Urban-Ops, and Recon-Ops Valkyries, as well as the Steady Cam Gunner figure. As soon as I opened this package, I could tell the quality of the Valkyries matched the initial wave of MTF figures perfectly.
From the multitude of accessories, armor and web gear, to the unique headsculpts featured on each figure, it is obvious Marauder’s modular concept was front and center again in these new designs. The female figures in this assortment featured the same attention to detail and intricacy of accessories as their male counterparts from the first wave, while expanding on the core theme of each division.
Whether you prefer this new wave moves in a brand new direction, or provides a direct female analog to a male counterpart, the Valkyries line has something for everyone. The Desert Ops figure is the closest 1:1 analog, with the female figure matching the male in a very uniform way. From her helmet, to modular web gear, or even the tan-and-brown camo of her outfit, this figure fits in perfectly alongside her male counterpart.
The grey Urban Ops figure is similarly designed to coordinate with her male counterpart. Despite her full face mask, this figure rings true as authentically female thanks to the well done paint apps on her eyes, and her helmet, vest, and assortment of plugs to house modular accessories leave her as versatile as the previous Urban Ops figure.
Our biggest departure is the Stealth Ops figure. While the male version focused on a Snake Eyes-esque design, the female Stealth Trooper leans more toward a ninja aesthetic, complete with a rubber hood and pared-back web gear which simplifies the silhouette of the figure.
The Recon-Ops Valkyrie features a distinct green, tan, and brown camo pattern, and the end result is great. This figure is probably the most realistic of the group, and serves as a worthwhile departure from the aesthetics we saw in Series One. The end result is a unique and great new soldier to add to the ranks of the overall collection.
Our only new male figure in this wave is the Steady Cam Gunner, and he’s a great addition. It’s amazing how a new set of forearms, head, and armor can completely evolve this guy beyond a simple repaint of the original MTF base body, but here we are. The Steady Cam gun itself is a well sculpted piece, with a ball joint armature to connect the gun to the figure’s all new body armor… a layout enhanced with a new armored helmet complete with face plate.
Most of this guy’s tooling is dedicated exclusively to his heavy munitions, but I think Marauder will get quite a bit of mileage out of the new forearms– with quarter sleeve folded fatigues– which also debut with the Steady Cam Gunner. These new forearms feel like the wave’s most versatile new pieces in terms of the male MTF figures, and they are rendered perfectly for both this figure as well as alternate parts for any of the first series of action figures.
I like that Marauder added women who fit in perfectly with their male counterparts, while also expanding beyond a simple gender binary switch with some of the new figures. New ranks, camo patterns, and specialized accessories add more depth and variety to the overall collection, as well as a greater range of pieces to build your perfect custom MTF army.
The Valkyries were a perfect choice for Marauder’s second wave of figures, as they add new parts, new divisions, and an entirely new gender to the MTF team. Like the originals, the sculpting, articulation, and design of the modular accessories on these figures is very well done, and the new gear is phenomenal. Not only do the Valkyries pack lots of holsters, pouches, and other plug-in equipment, they each feature a cool new combat knife, and all new accessories like a camel backpack, an iPad, a sniper rifle holster, a satchel, and explosives with a detonator.
Even the figures themselves offer more diversity than the earlier MTF sculpts, thanks to cool features like alternate armored forearms and t-shirted arms and torsos. With all these extra pieces, weapons, and accessories, the ability to customize and create your ideal MTF squad is practically limitless!
The MTF Valkyries will be available on Marauder’s web store this Spring, once all the outstanding Kickstarter figures have been shipped. If you’re into 1:18 military toys, Marauder’s figures are some of the best on the market, and they’re well worth your attention. That goes double for the Valkyries!