Duke (GI Joe Renegades)
I’ve never been a huge Duke fan. He just always seemed a little stuck up and bossy to me. I also wasn’t entirely sold on GI Joe: Renegades when it premiered. However, listening to the Justin from GeneralsJoes.com talk about it, I figure I’d give it a second chance. And I was extremely, glad I did.
I really like this younger incarnation of Duke. And it turns out when I watched Renegades from the beginning, I really loved it.
This is always a tricky prospect. When taking animation and putting it in 3D form, it either comes off looking really great or really not so great. All things considered, I’d put this in the really great camp.
I will say this isn’t a perfect translation of the animated character. There have been some things changed, I’m guessing to make him both more real world and to have parts to use for other figures.
The biggest difference I noticed was the missing shoulder pad from his right shoulder. Animated Duke only had one on the right side.
His general color scheme is off a tad, I think his pants should be brown and the knee pads don’t have as much contrast. That might vary in the episodes, though, so I’m not sure.
All that aside, the one thing that makes this Duke look like Renegades Duke is the vest. The flack jacket is his trademark from the series and they executed it really wall here. The shoulder straps, the high neck and pouches on front are all here.
The detail even continues around the back with pouch hanging from the vest. Really, I’m impressed that most GI Joe figures are detailed all the way around. It’s a true sign of creator love when a figure looks good from the back and not just what you can see in the blister.
I love the fact this flak jacket comes down in the front to offer some protection to his, uh, important parts. The wash really helps sell, it as well.
These are basically generic short sleeve generic arms, which is why I’m guessing the should pad is missing. They don’t look bad. They are a little thin at the wrists, not horribly, just a bit.
While Duke includes the new wrist articulation, there’s a trade off. His hands look a bit bulbous where they attach to the wrist. Due to the direction it pivots, I think the left looks worse than the right.
Duke’s head is pretty good. He’s got a pretty serious look on his face. The eyes are done really well, just have a nice quality to them. The hair looks to have a bit of product in it. For a blonde character, it has pretty nice wash on it to show up the details.
The one thing I’m not completely sold on are the boots. I have a pair of shoes that look like these, while they are Timberland, they aren’t something a soldier would wear. The contrast is nice, but they just look more like shoes than the boots I expect out of Duke. Also, I wouldn’t expect a soldier to have his pants cuffed like that.
So I actually had a minor quality issue here. I was doing some posing for the various pictures, and his left knee pad popped off. I panicked at first thinking the whole knee was broken. But, no the knee pad is separate piece pegged into the small knee piece. I will tell you that knee pad is very small and very hard to find on my carpet.
The articulation is everything you would expect from the current GI Joe line, including the wrist articulation mentioned above. The head is a bit more limited than I would like to have seen. Why? Read on my friends…
Duke comes with a gas mask. Yes, I believed he may have used one once or twice in the series. I might be completely wrong on that. Either way, it’s not bad. It fits to his head fairly tight, which I was concerned about in the package. If anything a bit too tight. With his head and the neck of his vest in combination, it was a bit tricky to get the clear eye lens down over his eyes. It can be done, be patient.
The rest of his accessories are weaponry. Four pistols and a rifle. Yes, that’s right. Four pistols. Two pistols I could understand. My only guess is they wanted to give him enough pistols to outfit the whole Renegades squad. I might have to make some sort of storage crate for three of them.
Why three? One is all he needs. And one pistol is different. It has a raised lug on one side to peg into his right leg. I should also mention these are the funky rectangular guns seen in the show and not a real modern gun.
The rifle is okay. It seems like it should have a front handle or something. It looks vaguely Renegades in style, being all blocky and square.
Okay, quality issue with the knee aside, I really kind of dig this figure. He’s a Duke that looks more ready to take action on the field than behind a desk. Yeah, he’s not perfect. But as a blend between realism and animation, I think they did a great job. The only thing that I find lacking is his accessories. Yes, Duke has five weapons. But four of them are essentially the same. It would have been nice to see some variety in them.