How do you become an action figure for 3 different toy lines? Good question. Robert Rudolph Remus aka Sargent Slaughter has done just that. His likeness has been used for his WWE wrestling figures as well as his run on the G.I. Joe cartoon, comics, and toy line, and most recently for Action Force’s new line of military action figures. Not to mention novelty figures like Funko Pop or Vinyl Art Toys.
A long run
Sgt. Slaughter has been around in some sort of plastic form since the mid-eighties. His all-American persona has been a favorite for fans of all ages. From his early wrestling days to his stint on the G.I. Joe cartoon, he has been with us in some form for over 40 years! So it was just a matter of time before we got updated versions of Sgt. Slaughter outside of his Mattel wrestling figures.
Mr. Remus is one of the few wrestlers to own the rights to his alter ego. So it was not a surprise to find out that Valaverse had acquired the rights to produce a new military figure based on his likeness. As well, with the popularity of the G.I. Joe Classified line, we also knew that it was just a matter of time before we would be getting a Sgt. Slaughter figure under the G.I. Joe brand too.
But first out of the gate was The Valaverse Action Force iteration.
Who is Valaverse?
Valaverse was the brainchild of Bob Vala, a former designer at Hasbro. Using Kickstarter, he successfully funded his Action Force toy line. This line consisted of 6-inch military-style action figures. A ton of accessories and a backstory that rivals any Hollywood screenplay.
What’s the story morning glory?
Action Force is set in an alternate universe where the United States was disbanded and all 52 States had become independent Republics. The Republic of Texas, however, had declared itself a new empire known as “New Colonia”.
New Colonia, in a bid for dominance, began to invade its neighboring Republics. This forced the emergence of Super-Republics as well as the beginning of the war between them. During this time, a rebellion of elite men and women across the country began to fight back and restore freedom; they founded the Action Force.
The Action Figures
Valaverse’s Sgt. Slaughter action figure is nice. The box is perfect for in-box collectors. A nice large plastic window shows everything included inside the box. The left side of the box shows off the large Action Force logo while the right has some nice Sarge artwork. The back brings it all together with a classic layout. It shows us the images of other figures in the wave. A link to the website through a QR code. But for those of us who get a kick from nostalgic callouts, they included file cards and action points for future promotions!
The figure is a little stiff out of the box. A warm water bath would probably be recommended before posing. Articulation is great but not perfect. Usual ball joints, rockers, and swivels. Where it becomes a problem is when the joints are encumbered by plastic. As an example, the butterfly joint is useless because of Sarge’s military jacket. Accessories include 7 different hands, a pistol, a knife, sunglasses, a military fedora, and an Action Force stand.
The posing is nice. Beyond the limitations pointed out above, posing is decent. A few gripes would be the lack of accessories and the difficulty of putting on the glasses and fedora as they don’t seem to want to stay in place during posing. But with that said, I do like this figure. It is my first Valaverse figure. And I would have to admit, I am impressed.
Sgt. Slaughter has been a part of the G.I. Joe brand since the mid-eighties. He was first introduced in the “Arise, Serpentor, Arise!” story arch on the G.I. Joe cartoon. And he has been a part of the team ever since.
Hasbro, at the time, was looking for a real-life spokes person for the G.I. Joe line. Sargent Slaughter fit the bill perfectly. Sarge shares a story about how he and his lawyer showed up at Hasbro headquarters in his camouflaged limousine. They were there for a meeting initiated by Hasbro. But before stopping to head in, he had his limo driver drive slowly around the block a few times until people started to fill the streets. With a crowd of fans now eagerly awaiting his appearance, he finally had the limo stop. He greeted the fans before heading into Hasbro for his meeting. What an entrance!
The figure is exactly what we have come to expect from Hasbro. The box art is great. But no plastic window to show off what’s inside. The sides are your typical Classified box art fair. A nice full-face shot of the sarge while the other side boasts the number for this figure in the set and the military icons used to show Sarge’s strengths. The back has a couple of product shots with one showing you what you get in the box. A very accurate depiction.
The figure is impressive. The Classified figure decided to go with the tank top look over the military jacket. And it works! Joints seem fine on this figure. No real stiffness straight out of the box. Fully articulated with ball joints, rockers, and swivels. Much like the Valaverse figure. Unfortunately, the elbow does not go past 90 degrees. On the bright side, the butterfly joints work perfectly with this rendition. What I have been enjoying about the Classified line, especially with these new boxed figures is the number of accessories they have added. Sarge comes with 6 different hands, a whistle to hang around his neck, a baton, a rifle with a clip, sunglasses, a military fedora, and a mini figure!
The posing is exceptional. I had no issues with any of the accessories. They were easy to put on and stayed in place while posing.
Will the real Sargent Slaughter please stand up?
In conclusion, comparing the two figures, I would have to choose the Classified Sargent Slaughter over the Action Force variation. The Classified Series figures are a little bit taller. Comparing Sculpts, both are good but again, the G.I. Joe version just has a better form. Articulation is a tie. The Valaverse figure has issues with the butterfly joints for each shoulder as the jacket gets in the way, but the Joe version has elbows that only go to 90 degrees. Accessories, hands down Hasbro delivered. The only place in which Valaverse came out on top is the box. The plastic window and the file cards are a nice touch. But after it is all said and done, in my opinion, Hasbro’s Classified Series wins.
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Valaverse Action Force Sargent Slaughter