Conrad “Duke” Hauser (Reactive Impact Armor)

November 19, 2009 | By | Reply More


RIA Duke 2

After getting the previous version of Duke (the Desert Ambush version), I was not too interested on picking up this one too, but after seeing it in person, I decided to take the plunge and get it.

So, Hasbro released the Conrad “Duke” Hauser (Reactive Impact Armor) figure  as part of the second wave of figures from the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra line. RIA Duke 6This version depicts Duke as he appears much later in the movie, wearing the Reactive Impact Armor kit.

Supposedly, this type of armor has panels that harden whenever they are hit with enough kinetic force, like say, from a bullet or a piece of shrapnel. As usual with G.I. Joe science, it is not easy to separate sound scientific concepts from color text, but it still makes for an appealing figure design.

The Reactive Armor body suit looks like a cross between a scuba diving suit and off-road biker gear. Well defined armor panels are sculpted on torso and arms, although maintaining a slim profile.

From the waist down, Duke wears black BDU pants with straps and pockets sculpted on along with thigh armor panels and a sheath for a knife on his right calf.

The overall feel of the figure complies with  the commando/ninja archetype, although the overall feel is closer to Sam Fisher (from the Splinter Cell series of games) than it is Snake Eyes.

And speaking of faces, the head is NOT the same that was used for the Desert Ambush version, even though both have a very close resemblance to actor Channing Tatum. The Reactive Armor Duke has a much leaner face, and the paint operations are also slightly different.

RIA Duke 5The head is molded in black plastic with the skin painted on top, and it’s still on the paler side of things; the eyes are cleanly painted, but this time the pupils look way too small, giving to the figure something of a creepy stare.

The right cheek scar is also there, but the paint on it doesn’t match the placement of the sculpted scar. For this version Duke loses the five o’clock shadow effect, which I kind of liked on the other figure.

The body is molded all in black plastic, with a slight drybrush of gray paint applied to the armored panels for highlights. I am not a big fan of the drybrushing on smooth surfaces, as it often ends up looking sloppy, but overall it looks acceptable and there are also gloss black applications to gloves and boots that help offset the dusty look.

The Reactive Impact Armor  Duke is articulated pretty much the same as the 25th Anniversary Collection figures, with:

RIA Duke 3• Ball jointed neck. Allows for free swivel and good range of tilt all around.

• Peg & hinge shoulders. Excellent motion range all around.

• Peg & hinge elbows. Bend 90° back and forth and allows 360° sideways rotation on both arms.

• Swivel wrists. Free swiveling range for both hands.

• Ball mounted torso. Free 360° swivel and decent tilting back/forth  and sideways.

• Ball jointed hips. Pretty good motion range all around.

• Double hinged knees. These bend beyond 90° and are quite well hidden from view.

• Peg & hinge ankles. Good range of motion back and forth and free 360° swivel.

Since this figure design is so slim, the overall motion range is quite good. Duke can grab a rifle realistically in both hands, kneel or sit without much trouble, and his thin frame can accept accessories like vests and backpacks from other figures just fine. On the other hand, RIA Duke looks too lanky when compared to the Desert Ambush version and the hip joints tend to stand out too much when looked at from the front.

RIA Duke 4And speaking of accessories, this figure ships with a very nice selection, consisting of two submachine guns (one in a bullpup configuration and another that looks like a sawn-off MP7), a pistol, a short-bladed knife, a display base and the de rigeur oversized launcher.

The personal weapons are all molded from black plastic (possibly polypropilene from the feel of it), and all fit securely in the hands. The base is also made from the same material as the black guns and is shaped like a dog-tag, with a rectangular bump texture on the top and the G.I. Joe logo on the bottom side. On the front it has the name of the character painted on in silver and there are two pegs for the figure’s feet on top.

RIA Duke’s missile launcher is a hi-tech looking piece that incorporates a small gatling gun on one side  with a bright yellow projectile. Not the prettiest design but at least the thing shoots with enough force to be entertaining.

So, I ended up liking this figure very much. It does feel rather thin when compared to the 25th Anniversary Joes, and it’s rather inconsistent with the proportions of the Desert Ambush version, but up to this point the execution on the movie figures has been quite satisfying for me.

Errex Score: 95/100

RIA Duke 7

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Category: GI Joe, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I’ve been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.

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