A couple of posts back I reviewed Hasbro’s 2008 Doc figure which was only the second ever Doc figure; the original was released in 1983. I really like the 1983 figure so when the 25th anniversary line kicked-off in 2007 I was hoping for a modern-era version of Doc that would live up to my lofty expectations. Sadly the 2008 figure fell short in a couple of areas such as its lanky body, its pea-sized head and some shoddy construction (Duke arms).
Last year Marauder “Gun Runners” Inc., a company known for making unique G.I. Joe sized weapons and accessories, launched their own series of customizable action figures known as the Marauder Task Force (MTF). The line consisted of a single military style body available in 8 different colours and a slew of swappable pieces. I backed the kickstarter campaign that funded the project by pre-ordering all 8 varieties. When they finally arrived in the mail I decided to display my figures in their full colour uniforms (a solid red guy, a solid green guy, etc.) with a few tweaks here and there. I previously reviewed the all-green field-ops trooper.
Shortly after Marauder Inc. successfully funded their initial action figure project they announced a second campaign called MTF: Valkyries consisting of a variety of female figures. I backed that one too and pre-ordered all the figures. I’m still waiting on the female figures but also included in the second series were 5 new colour variations of the original MTF male. Since they didn’t require any new molds Marauder Inc. was able to ship out the new males shortly after Valkyries was successfully funded. When mine arrived I again decided to display each of the figures in their solid colour uniforms (solid brown, solid orange etc.).
In the time between the two campaigns Marauder also added additional accessories to their catalogue such as african-american, hispanic, and bearded heads and goggles. All the parts are available for individual purchase on their website right down to the pockets and knife sheaths. With such a wide variety of parts available I began to see the customizing possibilities. Not only could I build original characters but perhaps I could improve on some of Hasbro’s underwhelming releases. The first figure that came to mind was Doc. With he and 4 other potential custom ideas in mind I placed an order for all the parts I thought I’d need. To my surprise those parts arrived this past Friday, a mere 10 days after I placed the order which is pretty crazy because usually stuff takes forever to arrive here in Canada.
There isn’t an MTF body in the exact shade I needed to reproduce Doc’s tan uniform but I figured the new brown body would be close enough. I also ordered the clean shaven african-american head, the green-lensed goggles which would serve as his trademark green glasses, a tan helmet, tan webgear, a white scarf to replicate Doc’s white undershirt, and a series of red and white pouches to spruce up his uniform. I eagerly assembled my figure just as I had envisioned him and the end result was…meh.
In the case of Doc I would say my attempt at a custom was a failure. It’s not a bad looking figure but I don’t see Doc when I look at it. For one thing he looks too combat-ready. The goggles are clearly not sunglasses and the helmet doesn’t fit great when they’re on his head. The scarf looked out of place and nothing like an undershirt so I subsequently removed it. The lack of red crosses on the shirt detracts from the concept and the red and wite pouches don’t make up for them the way I hoped they would.
Lastly the face doesn’t look like Doc to me. Not that Doc has any defining facial characteristics that are absent here, other than the glasses, but I just don’t see him in this face. This is the only unmasked head Marauder Inc. has available on its site and they have it in multiple skin tones and with different hair colours. I’ve had 5 or 6 caucasian variations of this head in my collection for months now (blonde, brunette, ginger, etc) and I guess it’s hard for me to see it as a black guy now. I think this Doc will require a new head sculpt before I can see him as a true individual. Though even if this was a unique head sculpt the skin tone is too light for Doc anyway.
I will consider this figure a work in progress and as Marauder releases new pieces I will continue to improve it. Perhaps a solid tan body or a side satchel would help. Maybe actual glasses instead of goggles or darker skin would make the difference. I’m a little disappointed that this custom didn’t match what I saw in my mind’s eye when i ordered the parts but it was fun to attempt anyway. If you don’t own any of these figures yet you need to get some. I’ll share my others customs soon. 7 out of 10.