Sideshow Collectibles 12" Destro
Sideshow Collectibles now has a couple of years under their belt with the G.I. Joe license (unfortunately indications are they're taking a break in 2015) and the growth from their first offerings to their latest offering is quite evident. I don't own all of the Sideshow 12" figures, but without a doubt out of the ones I do own, Destro is my favorite.
I know there have been some frustrations from traditionalists who are concerned that this Destro doesn't jive with the classic version all that well, and I can see why. Thankfully (for my sake) I'm not quite so married to the vintage aesthetic, and I truly think this version of Destro is a great evolution. For example, if the third G.I. Joe movie decided to use the trenchcoat and mask configuration here, I would not have any complaints. This Destro uses one of the later generation bodies, so he's large, poseable and much more durable than some of the older releases.
Looking at the base figure, it's a pretty standard build, with a great updated version of Destro's familiar Berylium Steel visage, a black shirt, black pants and boots. He has a great holster on his right leg, and magnet-clasped magazine pouches on his left. It's a very simple, straight forward base figure, that is complimented by fantastic accessories and a great wardrobe on top. One of the best improvements to these figures throughout the years has been the magnet-clasp which works infinitely better than the velcro from times past. I should also note, since I spoke of his great head sculpt, the exclusive version of Destro comes with a spectacular vintage-looking spare head as well, full of angles and awesome retro greatness.
As I already mentioned, though, it's the wardrobe and accessories that make Destro what he is.
Destro can be dressed in various ways, from a quilted vest that's slightly reminiscent of his vintage look, while he has a terrific red-lined trenchcoat that looks more modernized. For some reason, this figure really gives me a great "modern arms dealer" vibe. Honestly, I prefer the trench coat look myself, though I think most folks know by now I'm not devoted strictly to vintage accuracy.
As you can see above, Destro also comes with his fantastic medallion...another great throwback to the original.
Speaking of throwbacks to the original, above you see the quilted vest, the old school helmet, and of course the trademark gauntlets that are amazingly well done. The hands pop off and these wrist guards slide on right over the shirt sleeves. Granted, he does look a little strange with the thick vest and no sleeves, but I can't think of many other ways Sideshow could have made the gauntlets work otherwise.
He also comes with his very familiar pistol, and what is, quite possibly, the best Sideshow related accessory I've seen... his briefcase.
This large metallic looking case has a hidden recessed area where his pistol can be stored disassembled. Along with the pistol, there's also a removable tablet computer, nice and industrial.
Destro is loaded for bear. Between the briefcase with pistol, a second pistol, his rocket and grenade gauntlets, several spare hands, the vest, the coat, an industrial smartphone to go with his tablet, plus the medallion, the spare head (with the exclusive purchase). Destro can be configured in many different ways and for many different purposes. The quality of the trench and vest is terrific, and the weapons are all really great. I don't feel like this stuff is too fragile, and one of the coolest things is that he's got places for almost all of his gear right on his body.
At the risk of falling over myself and heaping large amounts of praise on this figure, I say without hesitation that the Sideshow Collectibles Destro is one of the most fun 12" figures I own, which includes Hot Toys offerings. He is pricey, to be sure, but with all of these great accessories, just the right touch of modernization, yet some great vintage throwbacks, he strikes all the right chords. A fantastic figure, Sideshow Collectibles, and I suppose if you are stepping back from G.I. Joe, at least for a bit, this was a great way to make a splashy finish.