Duke (Desert Ambush)

Joining GeneralsJoes reviews for the forseeable future is JoeBattleLines member "MaxPower". Max and I have been buddies since the Sigma 6 days, and it seems our tastes pretty closely mirror each others. When he offered to help ease the load of reviews, I couldn't help but take him up on it!

MAXPOWER: Duke, the man that most fans either love or hate, as Justin pointed out. Well I'm a ravid Duke fan because of his portrayal in Sigma Six. Now I'm here to review his first figure in the Rise Of Cobra series. This figure represents Duke before he joins the covert GIJoe team. How does he stack up? Well I gotta say he is a great figure that brings more with him than just another Duke version.

JUSTIN:Yeah, I gotta agree with you there. After the Anniversary line I would have said I was content to never see another Duke figure again as long as I live...now this new line's out, what? A week? And I've got three of them! And I love 'em all. Go figure.

MAXPOWER: This is the Desert Ambush version of Duke. First thing that jumps out at you is his 'Desert Storm' camo. It works very well and flows in and out of his outfit splitting up the sand/baige base with brown. He also has molded on kneepads colored in a pinkish sand color matching his boots which add to break up the colors. His undershirt/torso is missing the camo. But that likely wont matter as much because his tactical jacket does have the camo. Its a very generic camo that we've seen in our U.S. Troops use in the Middle East. I think that is a big positive, because the only thing distinguishing Duke from a generic desert geared soldier is his head, which leads to the potential army building factor for some.

MAXPOWER: So how is that head of his? I think the head looks great and has a great resemblence to the actor Tatum. He sports a light goatee unlike the clean shaven Reactive Armor Duke. Has a prominent scar on his right cheak and brown buzz cut hair. His wrinkles inbetween the eyes give him a very determined look, which I love because some figures have very bland facial expressions but not this Duke.

JUSTIN: Yeah, I'm really surprised just how well they captured Channing Tatum's likeness in this figure, which looks a bit thicker and more distinct than his other head sculpts. It came out really nice.

MAXPOWER: His accesories are very generic. Nothing really stands too out as unique but you do get stuff that makes sense. Remember Duke has not joined the GIJoe team yet so he is not going to be carrying flashy weaponry at this point. He gets a tactical assault rifle with grenade launcher, a pistol with scope, a missile launcher (which is not as obnoxious as other spring loaded weapons), a jacket, a helmet with night vision goggles, and a unique foot stand without the Joe logo. Very basic gear but it works. Also he has a very detailed backpack which fits him nice and tight even over that jacket. With that backpack comes a nano warhead which can fit in it, even has space for two if you have multiples. The nano warhead is a neat little accesory.

MAXPOWER: With his helmet and backpack on he completes the uniform. With the night vision goggles he could easily pass as a generic soldier. He has all the articulation we've gotten used to from the 25th Anniversary figures. He even surpasses several of those figures. He can bend his elbows 90 degrees, his legs and waist are not hindered by his jacket. He even has trigger fingers which add a lot to the aestetics of how he holds his weapons. Holding weapons... yes he can hold them and they stay on, even can do it two handed. He has a weapon port hole on his right thigh but none of his weapons have that compatible peg.

MAXPOWER: Overall he is a great figure. Even if you dont want to add another Duke to your roster he makes a great Desert Themed soldier. His rocket launcher can pass as usable as long as you keep the yellow missile out of it. Great paint and detailing add to what could have been just a simple bland sculpt. The jacket alone has tons of details around the collar, pokets, zipper and lining. He even has an exposed trigger finger on his right hand. A minor quible I've spotted is his night vision goggles still block his face even in the 'up' position. You can overcompensate that by tilting his helmet a bit higher. As a very fun figure to play with I recommend him.

JUSTIN: Surprisingly, I agree. I wasn't too keen on this figure when I first got my eyes on him, but he has grown on me. He makes for a great standard desert soldier, comes with some nice normal weaponry, and a lot of other great gear. If I have any complaints it's just that the paint apps aren't on his torso, but when you put his vest on, you lose some mobility. It's not a big deal, just a minor issue. Still, a cool figure regardless.

Buy this figure at Big Bad Toy Store!