G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)
Alright, we took a slight detour over to the Cobra side of things yesterday, but today we’re returning back to the Joes with perhaps the most Joe-y Joe there is, Conrad “Duke” Hauser. Since joining the teams ranks in 1983, Duke has pretty much been the face of the franchise, taking a major role in the the last several revisions of the franchise as well. He’s also nowhere near as cool as anyone else on the team, but I guess we’ll try not to hold that against him.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Duke is figure 04 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line. Initially, he was supposed to be heavier packed alongside Snake Eyes, but when the cases dropped to 6 figures instead of 8, he went down to one per case. It’s okay, though; it’s just Duke. It’s not that big a deal. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation. In terms of posablilty, he falls between Snake Eyes and Roadblock, being not quite as agile as Snake Eyes, but still getting a little more range than Roadblock. Much like yesterday’s Destro, Duke’s a more faithful recreation of his old figure than the others in the set. There are still a handful of changes, of course, to help bring him more in line with the slight sci-fi flair of the rest of the updated line, and to just sort of modernize him a bit. I know some people weren’t big on the shin armor, but it feels rather Aliens-like to me, and I’m definitely down for that. The head sculpt has gotten a little bit of flak from collectors who think he either has too modern of a haircut or looks a little too young for Duke. I myself quite like the sculpt. It’s got a little bit of a John Cena vibe to it, which actually works surprisingly well. I also like that they’ve kept the scar that Duke frequently sports (in reference to the original Joes, of course), though it’s been moved up to his eyebrow instead of his cheek. The overall end result definitely amounts to a very Duke-esque figure, and I can definitely get behind that. Duke’s paint work is rough; definitely the roughest of this bunch. My figure’s got quite a bit of slop on his uniform, especially at the top of the shirt and on the gloves. Like I said, it’s rough. At least mine has a decent looking face, which I can’t say for every other Duke that All Time got in. I don’t know if there are line-wide issues with him or what, but he definitely ended up way worse on this front than the rest of the group. Duke’s accessory selection is almost a match for his V1 figure’s set-up. He gets a rifle, a pistol, a back pack, and a small pair of binoculars. The rifle and pistol are again more sci-fi-esque designs, though I really dig how they’ve matched the silhouette of the rifle to the vintage counterpart’s sub machine gun. I also really like how the binoculars clip onto his belt. About the only thing this guy’s missing for the full vintage set-up is a helmet, and that’s honestly never been a very intrinsically Duke piece. I definitely can’t knock what he’s got here.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Classically, I’m not the biggest Duke fan, but of the Toy Fair reveals, he was probably the one who impressed me the most, because I think he’s a very nice merging of classic with modern. The final figure has to contend with some production errors, which makes him a little touchy in some spots, but I’m overall quite happy with the end result. I suppose he’ll be a suitable leader to my Joes for now. You know, until Hawk arrives and I kick this guy to the curb.