Sideshow Collectibles 12" Dusty - A guest review by Mysterious Stranger

The G.I. Joe toy line started out as a more articulated version of the classic little green army men.  The Original 13 had the bazooka trooper, the commander, the machine gunner, etc.  Of course there was also the black clad commando and the female figure but for the most part those first figures were pretty much just your basic soldiers.  It wasn’t long though before the line expanded beyond the simple soldier into specialties like S.E.A.L., Mine Detector, Arctic Trooper and Astronaut.  And soon G.I. Joe had grown from a small elite unit into an army of every specialty and environmental expert you could think of.  One of the most visually distinct of these environmental troopers was the original Desert Trooper – Dusty.

Like Stalker, Dusty is one of those figures from the ARAH line that never really appealed to me as a kid.   I knew of the character from the cartoon episodes that featured him but he just never really hit my radar.  And honestly I’m feeling the same way about this new figure from Sideshow.  Don’t get me wrong, Sideshow’s Dusty is every bit as incredible as the others in this line.  It’s just that the character doesn’t excite me in the same way that Hawk and Rock ‘n’ Roll do.  Anyway, on to the figure.

Dusty, as you might have guessed from the photos, is based on the ARAH version 1 figure.  He’s decked out in a modern style desert camo uniform and comes equipped with a lot of great gear.  The uniform is the first we’ve seen to feature a long sleeve BDU shirt which might seem odd for a desert trooper but if you’ve ever been sunburnt you can appreciate the need to cover up.  The new shirt is really well done and the fit is good all around.  He has the Velcro swatches on the sleeves and front of the shirt for you to customize with the plethora of unite and name patches included.  The pants feature the new drawstring ankles as opposed to the elastic of the early figures, which isn’t my favorite change but I can live with it.

Dusty’s helmet has the iconic neck covering flaps hanging off the back as part of the helmet cover.  They hang well and can be adjusted easily for different poses.  His goggles also fit nicely over the helmet and can be adjusted to fit around his head as well.  Dusty also comes with a flocked tan beret, perhaps as a nod to his figure from the 90’s?  His webgear holds two canteens and has a few pouches for his spare ammo clips and grenades.  He also has a knife sheath that straps to his ankle.  It takes a little futzing to get the ankle sheath to fit just right but it can get there with some work.

Dusty comes loaded with gear.  He has the standard cartoon laser rifle, his classic FAMAS rifle with attachments and spare ammo clips, pistol with spare clip, knife, assorted grenades, two canteens and a great backpack to carry everything in.
The FAMAS rifle has a few different attachments for the end of the barrel – a regular rifle barrel tip, a second barrel tip for attaching the included silencer and the exclusive item, a rifle propelled grenade.  These are great items that add some value and display options to the figure.
Speaking of displays, Dusty comes with the standard Sideshow figure stand with the G.I. Joe emblem on it.  But Sideshow went a step further and included the soft plastic sand overlay that came with the Cobra Desert Troopers.  This is one of those little things that Sideshow does that goes above and beyond to create a really great collectible.

The head sculpt is where I have the most issues.  The sculpt itself is a solid basic soldier.  He’s got nice short cropped hair and a sculpted moustache and goatee (has Dusty ever had facial hair?) and his facial expression is passive but serious.  It’s a very solid sculpt and I really like it a lot.  My problem is with the paint application.  Sideshow attempted to replicate the ARAH figures face paint but in a more modern style.  What was intended to be brown grease paint splotches is instead a mess that makes him look more dirty that anything else.  I’m not sure if there was a paint wash applied after the fact but whatever technique was used just isn’t working for me.  You can see the basis for the face paint under what I’m going to call the paint wash but the lines are smeared and it just looks bad.  A somewhat positive side effect of this is that he looks like he’s been in the desert for quite a while but I don’t believe that was their intention and it doesn’t work.  A lighter application of the dirty wash and some cleaner lines on the paint splotches and I think he’d look a lot better.  This just shows you that a great sculpt can be rendered mediocre by poor paint applications.

Face paint issues aside, Sideshow’s 1/6 Dusty is a really solid figure.  He has a great uniform with a new shirt, a very nice classic styled weapon, tons of gear and it all comes together to create a great desert trooper.  While he was never a figure I had as a kid or a character I cared about before now, Sideshow has done a fantastic job bringing Dusty into the 1/6 scale world.  Had the face paint been done more cleanly he’d be a 5 star figure but I have to deduct for that so he gets a solid 4 stars.