It’s cold. We’re all snowed in-even up here in Massachusetts. So what better way to warm up than with a review of Dusty, the G.I. Joe team’s premier desert specialist? And when I say premier, I mean I honestly can’t think of ANY other desert specialists on the team. Sure, characters frequently got redone in specialized desert color schemes, but none of them seemed to work exclusively in the field. There was Sandstorm, but he unfortunately went unreleased… sort of. As a result, he’s been a mainstay of the team since his introduction in 1985, and I don’t see that changing any time soon.
Dusty is, obviously, a part of the Desert Battle assortment which a lot of Joes seem to be getting shoehorned into-him, the second Duke, two of the Snake-Eyes figures, and the unreleased Ripcord were all designed for this assortment, and all they have to fight are a HISS tank, Storm Shadow, and Zartan! Meanwhile, poor Beachhead and Low-Light are up to their necks in Alley Vipers and Shock Troopers! Nice assignments, Hawk.
Dusty’s design marks a bit of a shift in the Pursuit of Cobra aesthetic. While most of the earlier Joes still retained some elements from the Rise of Cobra figures (mostly due to the reused tooling), Dusty marks sort of a return to a more “realistic” styling while still keeping a bunch of science fiction-y touches. Unlike his rather unfortunate counterpart from 2004’s Valor vs. Venom line, this really, really works.
Around his waist is some sort of hip armor with a lot of pouches. Normally one would think this would get in the way, but it surprisingly doesn’t. While it can’t be removed, it does not interfere with his pose-ability at all. It might cause him to be a bit elevated when sitting in a vehicle, but it’s surprisingly non-intrusive. Good work, Hasbro.
Like many other figures in the line, Dusty comes with alternate helmets/masks/head. His “standard” head is very nicely-detailed and probably one of the best sculpts I’ve seen in the line so far. It manages to look like an actual person while still looking interesting in its own right. The detail on the hair and everything is superb. He also has a helmet and goggles combination, with removable goggles, but unfortunately there’s no way to make him actually wear the goggles without it looking overly silly.
But, if you want a more useful head for our desert guy, there’s a perfect substitute. This alternate head comes complete with a full head wrap, hat, goggles, and a facemask. I’m not sure if the goggles are removable, and I don’t want to try because I’m afraid that if I do, I won’t be able to get the back on. It’s a great, useful head and definitely the one I’m going to display him with.
Dusty’s other accessories are really cool, too. He includes a neck wrap with a cloth cape that looks really cool, especially with the full face mask. While he may lack a large rifle, he comes with two small submachine guns of unknown make. They’re very cool looking, even though I can’t tell if they’re based on real weapons. He also has a roll of barbed wire. I have no clue why, since there’s really no way he can use it properly. Whatever, it’s still a cool accessory to see on a Joe.
But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t talk about this guy’s paint. Like Duke, he has actual weathering! It’s especially noticeable on his face and forearms, all covered in sand. It’s an awesome touch.
Once again, Pursuit of Cobra has delivered on unpredicted levels. While he’s completely useless in non-desert environments, I don’t care a single bit. This figure is awesome in almost every sense of the word and one of my favorite Pursuit of Cobra figures so far. Highly recommended. If you see this guy on our pegs, don’t hesitate.
Hmm, this Sandstorm guy looks kind of suspicious…