G.I. Joe: Resolute Destro
The minute I saw the concept art for the Resolute Destro, I knew I was going to love this thing...his towering frame and his cool ass cyborg arm were just two things I really liked about his appearence. He was one of the primary reasons why I wanted Resolute toys...and with the latest Q & A many of those hopes and dreams were smashed, so I cashed in a Father's Day gift with the wife.
Yes, I know I've spoken out on the international auctions in recent days, but with the news that these figures were not slated to be released in 2009, I couldn't help but take the plunge. I'm sure in some angles that makes me a hypocrite, but I have to rationalize this in my head somehow...
Of course, as awesome as the concept art looked, I still wasn't sure how it would translate into toy form, especially in the 3 3/4" scale. I'm thrilled to report that Hasbro translated the character not only well...but exceptionally well. Exceptional. But Hasbro went one step further and not only gave us a great looking Resolute Destro, but an absolutely fantastic update to the timeless Joe character that could work seamlessly into anyone's G.I. Joe collection. With a swappable arm, and the familiar "normal" Destro head, this figure could work in your standard Real American Hero universe, or you can do a head swap with the Pilot Destro and slap the arm on there to "soup him up" a little bit.
Of course the figure's not perfect. Part of the reason I love this Destro is because he looks very "battle ready". I love how he very closely resembles the Crimson Guard look, or one of the updated COBRA Commanders, but with the twin holsters and machine gun, he can be a versatile field commander for COBRA troopers or Iron Grenadiers. However, with this ankle-length coat, his hip movement is restricted to nothing, which of course limits his usability significantly. It wouldn't be quite so bad if the bottom half of the jacket was removable, but unless you take the figure apart, that is not possible.
But there is so much to love with this figure as well. The aforementioned twin holsters (with removable pistols), the range of motion in his elbows, the detailing throughout the uniform...it's all fantastic. Even the colors. They're a wild departure from Destro's more standard look, but they still work and look really, really nice. If this were a general release figure, I would mess around with the jacket to see what the customizing options are there, but at this point, it's staying as is.
Destro's accessory compliment is another highlight...absolutely terrific. The two smaller pistols fit seamlessly into the two holsters, and his briefcase is an absolute marvel. The submachine gun nests perfectly into the armored case, and the sculpted computer into the other half with the flip-up monitor...damn. This is good stuff. Perfect for a character like Destro, who could just as easily be doing research, bank transfers, or unloading his weapon into rival arms dealers.
Then you have the removable arm...I wasn't sure how it would work, but honestly, it's great. The arm pops off pretty easily and swaps out just as easily, to give you a "battle damaged" version of the character. The detail work throughout the arm looks great as well. I would have really loved to have seen the rocket launcher exposed and sculpted onto the arm, but I can't be too picky, the figure looks so good as it is.
So, putting the pieces all together, it really doesn't get much better than this. Yeah, the restricted motion in his legs does stink, and I really hope this figure gets released mass retail so I can experiment with some customizing. But at this point, even as is, this is a beautiful looking action figure and it would be a real shame if he doesn't get worked into the line somewhere. Destro has been getting some real love recently, with the Battle Pack #2 version, the movie version, the upcoming SDCC one, and this one. So many great versions of this single great character is something that I'm not sure we've seen in the past. Hasbro's really on a roll, and seems to "grasp" the essence of Destro and is able to give us great versions of him.
I'm holding out all hope that this figure gets released, it definitely deserves a wide audience.
GRADE: out of FIVE