Real American Hero Collection Vehicle Driver - Dusty

Throughout my childhood, there have been many a Joe character used heavily in other medium that I just didn’t find a use for in my personal Joe universe. I was never a big Gung Ho fan as a kid (that has changed…). The Dreadnoks didn’t really do a whole lot for me (except Zartan). And Dusty…well, Dusty just didn’t fit in.

How has that changed? Well, it has…slightly.

With the introduction of the ’00 Dusty I became a Dusty fan. No longer was he just that refrigerator repairman-turned Desert Trooper…he was now an Airborne Ranger well versed in all kinds of warfare, and he found his niche in my universe. If there was a desert mission, well, he would be the man in charge. But now, even if there isn’t a desert mission, he’s got some skills that can come in handy, and a uniform to prove it!

This has become even more true with this version of Dusty.

While I don’t really understand why Hasbro designated Dusty as the Night Rhino driver, I guess it works all right. He fits with the vehicle, and the color schemes of the two mesh so well, that he will always be ingrained as the Night Rhino driver. But does he have more going for him than that?

First of all, let’s talk about the color scheme. Basic black and gray, you can’t go wrong with that. I have my days where I like to use garishly colored, sci-fi-esque larger than life characters…but I have my realism days as well. This Dusty fits well into those realism days. A simple, basic mold and an equally basic color scheme make for an all around well…basic figure. That’s not to say he’s not cool, he just doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. But as a Night fighter, that is most definitely a good thing.

Hasbro went with an amalgamation of sorts, using the most recent Dusty head, waist and legs, with Dial Tone’s torso and arms. They actually really all blend well together, and I think it was a wise choice. Some figures’ parts just look way to "cobbled together", but Dusty looks like he was meant to be. Very nicely done. Maintaining his ranger look, he now has a darker and more dangerous mold and coloring, and I think it really works for him.

The details really make this figure nice as well. The intricate grenade on black belts with the hint of paint-wipes to make them stand out. The thin line of gray around the base of the beret is another good touch, and of course the gloves look great!

His colors are another nice spot on the figure. They retain that excellent theory that Hasbro has been utilizing since coming back onto the scene in 2000. More muted, dulled colors, which really make the figure seem more realistic to me. Dusty fits into the 2000-2001 mold really well and I think he will become an intricate part of my team.

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