Oh, Duke… as I’ve said before I’m not a Duke fan. The Joe team belongs to Hawk, no questions asked. But, the Renegades cartoon made Duke somewhat cool, by playing him off as a different character. He seems to work better as a “main character” type, the inexperienced greenhorn who’s new to the team, not the commander. But, like him or hate him, I’m kind of obligated to have him on my team because of his role in the franchise’s history. I don’t mind this so much, so long as the figures themselves are good… and this one certainly is.
Unlike the Renegades Cobra Commander who had more of an animated look to him, Renegades Duke goes for a more “intermediate” style, and it really works. His outfit is clearly that of the cartoon, but a few touches make him look like any other Duke figure. And that’s a good thing! Mixing animated and “realistic” styles never really works for me. I can’t put my finger on it, but it just looks weird to imagine an Autobot team that has Classics Optimus, Animated Jazz, and Movie Bumblebee standing side-by-side. That’s why I never got into the Clone Wars toys: I didn’t have enough Star Wars figures to try going for two separate collections.
Duke’s head sculpt is one of the best head sculpts for the character I’ve ever seen. It’s not QUITE as good as the Pursuit of Cobra Jungle version or the 2005 Comic Pack figure, but it’s up there. His eyes are very blue and his hair even has some drybrush work to it to give it more “life.” I’m also glad they didn’t give him a tan. The whole “Jersey Shore” look unfortunately turned a lot of people off Renegades before the show aired, and that was a damn shame. Continue reading