Review by Justin Bell
Not since…well… not since pretty much ever have I “played with” a Duke as cool as this one. I daresay, at the risk of the venom from old school purists everywhere, that this is the greatest Duke that the line has seen. And I’m not just talking about this line, I’m talking about the G.I. Joe line in its entirety. It only took twenty-six years, six different “themes”, Lord knows how many tooling changes, articulation alterations, and design schemes, and we finally have my default, near-perfect version of G.I. Joe’s field commander.
Up to this point it was the Joe vs. COBRA version who hit that magic with me, but in my opinion, this figure for Duke tops that one in pretty much every single way. People who read my reviews will accuse me of hyperbole, and who knows, they’re probably right, but the fact remains that Duke has nearly every element of cool military fantasy figure that I love. And not only is his design fantastic, but he’s got articulation, weapons, and paint applications to boot. This IS Duke as he appears in my universe. Not a pretty boy blond boy scout, but a down and dirty conflicted Top Kick that isn’t perfect, but he “does okay”.
Of course the classic designs are iconic, but let’s not forget they were iconic in 1984, and things are a lot different now. G.I. Joe is a timeless property, but in order to remain that way, the designs and aesthetics need to stay contemporary and with the times, and getting a Duke that looks like it did twenty-four years ago isn’t a way to do that.
But this Duke isn’t just about look, it’s about sculpt, articulation, and design as well. He’s got fully articulated elbow joints that give him full range of motion for firing his weapons, and his hip joints do as well. From a terrific design scheme, to full blown articulation and nearly flawless sculpting, this is one of the best Anniversary style figures to date. It doesn’t matter one bit to me whether or not he’s reminiscent of a vintage style, I love the TOY most of all, and this is one awesome, awesome toy. If I had any gripe whatsoever, it would be with the holster that has a non-removable pistol. I’m not sure why Hasbro went this route, especially since they have recently gotten so great at sculpting the holsters for the weapons that the figures come with. That would make this figure absolutely perfect. As it stands, it’s about as close to perfect as you can get.
His accessories are very cool, too, with a nice state of the art machine gun, pistol, and knife, along with his very well-sculpted vest, this is a great looking figure from the weapon standpoint as well.
I don’t know…do I seem like I’m gushing? If it seems like it, that’s probably because I am. Yeah, I know, I’m a Hasbro fan boy, but Resolute has so far been the absolutely perfect storm for me. I love animated style, I love cartoons (especially serious action-oriented cartoons with more mature themes), I love a semi-futuristic warfare kind of environment, and I love G.I. Joe. How could it possibly get any better? I was a huge Sigma 6 fan, but always thought it would been the perfect toy line in a smaller scale. Now I have that wish, and so far, Hasbro has delivered in every possible way. Duke is simply fantastic.
GRADE: out of 5
More action shots:
Images from the collection of: Justin Bell
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