Tagged: Duke

Renegades Duke Review

By Loran

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

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Transformers Generation Warpath

By Loran

Don’t you hate it when Hasbro saves the awesome stuff for last?

I never really had this problem up until a few years ago, with the G.I. Joe movie figures. The last wave—the one with City Strike Snake-Eyes and Duke, Jungle Ripcord, etc was IMPOSSIBLE for me to find here (I never even SAW the Desert Viper at regular stores). Some of the figures from the last wave of Revenge of the Fallen never showed up here, either. It’s really just a case of stores being clogged up with so much older crap (LIKE MUDFLAP) that they don’t order new stuff. It sucks, but that’s unfortunately how it is. Remember folks—for each crappy figure you pick up, you bring the stores one step closer to putting out the awesome stuff!

Warpath here was the unfortunate victim with Transformers Generations, and a damn shame because he is AWESOME. Continue reading

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Review: G.I. Joe Jungle Strike Duke

By Loran

If there’s one character in G.I. Joe I can’t stand, it’s Duke.

Yeah, I know, he’s the leader. But he isn’t the leader, Hawk is! I’ll never understand why the Sunbow cartoon chose to make him the leader over Hawk, to the point where Flint (who outranks Duke) took orders from him. Maybe it’s because they wanted to sell the new toy, I don’t know. Duke’s gotten countless figures over the years-maybe not as much as Snake-Eyes, but damn he’s coming close. The advent of Rise of Cobra added more to it, but it gave us a glimmer of hope: it was time for some awesome Duke figures.

Enter Jungle Strike Duke. When this figure was first shown at Joecon 2009, he looked a little different-for one, he had a movie-style head. Because so many stores over-ordered Joe figures from the movie, they were left with an enormous glut of product, and as such, Hasbro decided to change their marketing strategy and return to a modernized version of the classic looks-and I think that idea was a total home run.

Jungle Strike Duke is an AWESOME looking figure. The camo pattern on his legs is really nicely done, and Hasbro managed to keep that going by painting some on his bare-skinned arms, avoiding a problem a lot of heavy-camouflaged figures had in the past. They even went as far to add some mud splatter near his and the bottom of his pants-awesome little detail.

Duke’s tooling is not entirely new, as he uses the same torso as his Rise of Cobra counterpart. For what it is, it works, and to be honest, I never had any problems with the Reactive Impact Armor concept. The armor has a VERY nice drybrush effect on it, giving it the image of something very worn. It even extends to the team logo on his chest, making it seem more “authentic”. Continue reading

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