Duke - Dollar Store Exclusive

NOTE - I am in the midst of moving, so unfortunately most of my figures are packed away. As a result, comparison shots are not available. YoJoe.com has been kind enough to allow me to mirror some of their images to show some comparisons. Be sure to check out their very nicely revamped action figure archive for full G.I. Joe figure goodness!

I think many folks would argue the "Dukeness" of this particular figure, but I think customizers would still be thrilled that it is available. Let's face it, the original figure they were using as part of the "Original 13" project from the 25th Anniversary line got pretty played out and lost some of its luster. When Hasbro designers chose to revitalize it for the Wave 14 Zap, the line was canceled, and while Zap appeared in a Cobra Island 7-Pack, he wasn't all that easily accessible and the template for most future Original 13 updates was a bit out of reach.

Well, now, even though he's being called Duke, this figure can serve several purposes, as an upgrade for any Original 13 figures you want to improve, but also he looks pretty cool as an old school Original 13 style Duke as well. The articulation on this figure is quite nice, with great range of motion in the knees and elbows. Yeah, this figure is pre-multi joint wrists, so none of those or the rocker ankles, but he retains all of the critical articulation required to do most of what he needs to do.

The head sculpt works pretty well, too, even if the head and helmet are from the Pursuit of Cobra Dusty. This figure looks to be the epitome of a generic soldier or Green Shirt, and I applaud him being included here, even if he is labeled as "Duke".

Duke comes with a standard issue M-16, pistol, awesome looking combat helmet and the webgear that normally goes with Zap. If the webgear had been formatted more like the original Grunt was, I would say this figure could pass for Robert Graves straight out of the package, even though Grunt's original uniform was more gray than green. He also comes with a great helmet originally packaged with Dusty as well, and a pistol for one of his holsters. That does still leave a single holster unoccupied, but that is not a deal breaker by a long shot.

I actually like this figure a lot more than I thought I would. I was pretty sure he would kind of be a throw away, but the more I interact with him, the more I really enjoy the aesthetics and the feel of the figure itself. It moves well, it looks great, and I enjoy the figure immensely. I know back with the 25th Anniversary comic packs, it seemed like Hasbro tried to shoehorn Duke into the original 13, and I didn't really buy it back then. I buy it much more now, and am more willing to find a place for him based on this fantastic figure.