G.I. Joe vs. Cobra - Duke

When I first saw this two pack I exclaimed: "Wow! What a cool looking Cobra Commander!!" 

And that was pretty much it. It’s not that I didn’t like the Duke figure, but there was nothing about him that stood out. His colors were very monochromatic and his mold really did not explode off of the pegs. Now that I have him home and opened up, he has grown on me slightly, but still kind of pales in comparison to his 2002 brethren.

I do realize that to a certain extent, Duke is really supposed to represent the "everyman" or "all American man" in the the G.I. Joe world. Blonde hair, blue eyes, and all that. But I think Hasbro took in an extra step here. With his helmet, and featureless uniform, he really just looks like a generic trooper and not like someone in charge of an Elite fighting unit. He’s got the shoulder pads and proportions of the X-Men’s Cable and suffers from the same "arms the size of legs" downfall of the other 2002 figures.

Still, there are some good points. His facial/head/helmet sculpt is really nicely done. The blonde eyebrows and hair sticking out from under the helmet is a very nice touch. I think the green and gray colors do suit the Joe leader, and he’s got some okay splashes of color here and there.

The holster is effective enough, even though it does stick out a little bit. As with the other 2002 Joes, I love the cool placement of the logos in the different places.

Now while I don’t actively DISlike this particular figure, I just don’t think it really does much for me. His colors and mold are really nothing too special. His head is by far the best feature, and I may try to use it on an older body to make a new "old style" Duke. This blandness isn’t helped by the fact that it is a new sculpt 2002 figure, and doesn’t have the range of movement or poseability as it would otherwise. If it did have the O-Ring construction, it’s military style and normalness would be assets. Instead, in the 2002 world of "attitude", Duke just doesn’t have it.

I would still pick up this two pack simply for Cobra Commander, and Duke is definitely acceptable, but I look forward to the day that he gets a new sculpt with the O-Ring treatment.