Saturday, April 8, 2023

Action Figure Barbecue: Gabriel "Barbecue" Kelly (Mad Marauders) from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   Back in 2021 I reviewed the standard G.I. Joe: Classified Series Gabriel "Barbecue" Kelly and I had a lot of fun with the review since, yes, my moniker of Barbecue17 was inspired by the character. As a kid my mom and I were visiting my grandma and while out shopping I somehow saw Barbecue listed on the back of a 1985 card and something about the name and the figure appealed to me. Now this would have been in 1986 or 1987, as that was when I was first getting into G.I. Joe. My grandmother's sister was with us on a shopping trip (my mom and grandma would go on day long shopping trips) and she kept making jokes that "we have to find this kid Barbecue." I think at that time the 1985 figures were probably mostly out of stores and it was unsuccessful but at some point my dad and I stumbled upon him at a store. I just always liked him, believing he fought with a little pistol-like flamethrower. Now, skip forward to 1998 when I was in eighth grade and had gotten back into collecting G.I. Joes and just loved my vintage Barbecue again. Around 2000 I made my first AOL instant messenger name and I decided to go with Barbecue17. I started using it as my Halo name in college Halo tournaments and as my name at JoeBattlelines when I started collecting Sigma 6 and the rest is history. Now you know! 
   Anyways, Barbecue was released in 1989 as part of Slaughter's Marauders, a camouflaged subset of repainted figures. I never owned Barbecue but I did get the Slaughter's Marauders Mutt & Junkyard. Hasbro is using the subset, now calling it Mad Marauders, and Barbecue is the first member. This guy is a straight repaint of the 2021 figure but since it's Barbecue I had to have it. Let's take a look at the Mad Marauder version of Gabriel "Barbecue" Kelly after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/2 inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed drop down hips, balljointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck base, hinged neck, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: 2 axes, sprayer gun, hose, and backpack.

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars.


* The Mad Marauders Barbecue is on the left while the standard Barbecue is on the right. What's the difference? The paint. Rather than his classic red, black, and grey, the Mad Marauders version uses the green, brown, and blue camouflage of the vintage figure. It's quite sharp looking with the blue giving things an extra pop. 
The Positives:

* Barbecue's sculpt is definitely a fairy straight up update of the vintage G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero version of Barbecue that I had as a kid, though this time around he's sporting the Slaughter's Marauders/ Mad Marauders green, brown, and blue color scheme. It's quite sharp and rather than make it swirly, his different uniform parts are assigned different colors. It's a nice mixture of a more military look while still having a great splash of color. The basic Barbecue figure is built using Destro but is more padded and has more gear on his suit and costume. He appropriately looks bulky, like someone wearing a pretty heavy duty suit, with lots of bits of gear and such. 

* Barbecue is the first member of the G.I. Joe team in the Classified Series, other than Snake Eyes, to not come with an unhelmeted/ unmasked portrait. That would have been a really nice inclusion but the helmet still looks really cool. I'm digging the details on the helmet and the goggles and facepiece all look excellent. 

* Barbecue's outfit is covered with excellent detail to show off his various pieces of safety gear and storage pouches. Besides the necessary breathing tank on the chest he's got lots of armored plating and pouches for useful gear all over his torso. I imagine he's carrying safety gear, lockpicking tools, first aid equipment, and other useful stuff. 

* Barbecue has the same articulation as most other figures in the line, so he's able to move and take posses quite well. He's not quite as smooth as most newer figures since parts of him are based on a body from the first series of figures, but overall everything moves just fine with a solid range of motion. 

* Barbecue comes toting this really cool backpack that has tanks filled with various fire suppressants. There are even some fantastically detailed icons to show off what sort of fire  the tanks can be used for (chemical, wood, oil, etc.) and here the tanks are blue and the base of the pack is black. There' a removable, flexible hose that extends from the backpack to the....

* Sprayer gun. To deliver the fire suppressant Barbecue comes with a fantastically long hose and a pistol-like sprayer gun. 

*  Barbecue comes packing two axes, the first of which is shorter, but packaged with features. Is this a high-tech axe or what? Spiked knuckles? A skull cracker on the bottom? A blade that looks like it's from the future? Yeah, this is the stuff all right.

* The second axe is longer and more traditional, although it still has a very modern aesthetic to it.

*  When not using Barbecue's sprayer gun you can holster it in his left hip. The holster is a separate piece but it isn't easily removable.

* The smaller axe can fit into a clip on his right hip so it's always nearby and at the ready. The cip is attached to a leg strap that is also a separate piece, but also isn't easily removable. 

* The large axe clips perfectly into a slot on the backpack so Barbecue can have his hands free for other endeavors. 

The Negatives:

* While the colors on the Mad Marauders Barbecue are more elaborate than on the basic figure, some of the smaller paint details are missing. The basic figure has a paint app on the oxygen tank on Barbecue's chest and a gauge of some sort on the black band on his right bicep. Sadly, those little details are both missing on this version.

  While I don't like the repainted Mad Marauders version of Barbecue as much as the standard figure, he's still a very solid figure and a worthy variant. My only real gripes are that he's missing the smaller details that the first figure had like the dial on his right bicep and he's a repaint that will cost you more than the base figure did a year and a half ago. Still, great accessories and a cool design, plus the Mad Marauders color scheme is actually pretty unique and might fit in better with some displays. Barbecue is a Great and a 1/2 release and worth considering if you can't get enough Barbecue. 


  1. Like the original Barbecue, this figure burns in action and poseability!

    Also i thought that actually voth Barbecues can work as troop builders. Standard ones as some improvised flamethrower soldiers for other lines, and the Mad Marauders Barbecue as a "Lyquid Nitrogen Soldier", for the blue-green counterpart of colors.

    Still, hope in a future, apart of considering the Valaverse options, i can get a Barbecue for myself too. Nice review as always!

  2. I found my childhood Barbecue figure on the floor at my local department store.

    1. That's pretty cool! Was it still in the package or just a loose figure that some other kid dropped?

  3. Hi, I like the review! Definitely an excellent take on the "Marauders" colors. I like that they played with the sculpt by carrying the green down the outside of his waist and thighs, easily my favorite reimagined aspect of this new version.

    Regarding the "gauge" detail that would be on the arm band, I think that marking from both the 1985 and 2021 versions was meant to be the sun insignia of the "Sunset" Brigade ( It was also removed from the 1989 "Slaughter's Marauders" version. Would've been neat if they could've kept it for Classified, but alas.

    1. Huh. That is really interesting and I can definitely see it. It's really clear on the art from the Order of Battle book, too:

      That's a cool find. How did you discover that? Did you recognize the shoulder insignia?

  4. Cool story about how you got your "internet" name. I like the original version of Barbecue better, but this color palette is kind of cool. May snag him if I see him out in the wild.

    1. Yeah, the original color works really well as red and grey just look so good together like that but the camo is nicely done here, especially as the color aren't just random and swirly like on the vintage toy but are tied to the different components.


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