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Crime Boss Destro

 

"The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Jerry Reed (no, not that Jerry Reed!) with a great guest review of a great Sigma 6 figure - tell us all about it, JR! 

Hey all,
Jerry Reed here (AKA Barbecue17) with a review of one the newest G. I. Joe 8 inch figures, Crime Boss Destro! As some of you may already know, the 8 inch figures are no longer called G.I. Joe: Sigma 6, but now just G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero 8-inch. With the transition of the line away from the Sigma 6 theme, we are now seeing some brand new characters and villains and a departure from the Sigma suited style of the earlier figures. The line also now includes Kung-Fu grip, which is a spring loaded feature on the figures right hand that keeps the hand closed around a number of different sized accessories. 






This newest wave consists of 5 figures: Samurai Snake Eyes, Windfire Cobra Commander, Crime Boss Destro, Dojo Training Snake Eyes, and the Dark Ninja Master. While this overall is a pretty interesting wave, it is also pretty unusual in that it has two versions of the same character, more villains than heroes, and an all new character (the Dark Ninja Master.) I just received my case of these new figures from the G.I. Joe Collectorís Club and Iím anxious to review them, starting here with my favorite figure, Crime Boss Destro!

Packaging - ****
Youíll only see one picture of an unopened figure coming from me, because I ripped into these figures before I had a chance to take any pictures, and if you own any of these 8 inch Joe figures, Iím sure you can sympathize with me: These are meant to be played with, plain and simple! But just so you can see how cool the packaging is, I am including a picture. The picture is of Flint from the previous wave, which I just happen to have sitting around as an example. Destro here is one of the Commando size figures (more accessories, some cloth pieces, and a carrying case.) The carrying case included has changed now, as it is red and of a completely different design than the original grey cases. The figure is nicely posed in the box with a cool backdrop that looks like a bank vault, a small file card like write up is on the back of the package, and other figures from the wave are pictured as well. I love the packaging on all of the 8 inch Joe toys, as they really capture your attention!

Now getting these figures out of the package, well, it is going to take you some time. Probably around 3 twist ties, 4 or 5 plastic bands, and lots of tape will need to be cut to get into each package. These figures are pretty durable, so you donít really need to worry about breaking much unless it is a more brittle piece, such as Destroís projectile. Make sure to have a sharp pocket knife and some good wire cutters handy for this task.

Sculpting - ***
One thing to note is that the 8-inch Joes have their own style; not really a super detailed NECA/McFarlane style, but definitely more of an anime style. Also, a lot of the detail for these figures comes from the accessories that they are able to wear. This version of Destro is outfitted with a gasmask that attaches to his face with an elastic strap, a pair of maroon pants with attached kneepads, and a brown plastic bandolier. Underneath all this armor is a fairly basic sculpt, which is actually the exact same figure as the original Sigma 6 Destro.

Destro is quite a large figure, as he towers most of the other 8 inch Sigma 6 figures. He isnít really bulky, but definitely muscular, which you can see from his sculpt. Some nice, hard lines really expose just how ripped this guy is. The fact that this version appears to depict Destro in a sleeveless shirt goes even further to make Destro a guy you just donít want to get into it with. 

Miscellaneous sculpted details are generally at a minimum on 8 inch Joe figures, but Destro does have a few: his choker collar, knee pads, boot laces, and belt. But while these were made to stand out on the original Destro figure through the use of paint applications, they are not given the same treatment here. When it comes down to it, though, that really doesnít matter, as those areas are mostly covered by Destroís pants and bandolier.
The head sculpt on this Destro is probably my favorite Destro head sculpt. The expression is not quite neutral, but not quite angry either. Coupled with the menacing red eyes on the mask, and this lack of extreme expression really strikes me as the perfect representation of everyoneís favorite Scottish arms dealer.
The last thing Iíll point out is Destroís right hand. Like all of the 8 inch Joe figures released since early summer of 2007, Destro now has Kung Fu Grip, and Iím glad to say that it is a great added feature. The gripping right hand allows Destro to hold all the accessories he comes with in his right hand, from the chunky bars of gold to the thin wads of cash. His right trigger finger is nicely separated from the rest of his hand, too, allowing him to convincingly hold any one of his three firearms.

Paint - **1/2
Once again, the 8 inch Joe figures definitely subscribe to a minimalist style in terms of paint applications, but that is really part of their design, as they accurately mimic the depictions of the characters from the cartoon and the online comic. Still, Destro has far less paint applications than most other figures. His body parts are all molded in colored plastic, with the only paint applications being on Destroís arms, right hand, and head. Destroís arms are molded in a silvery-grey plastic with some barely noticeable bronze paint applications on his shoulder pads and forearms. The silvery-grey color looks good, but upon closer inspection, it has some swirls in it that just look a little off. Lastly, Destroís right hand has a red mark on its back (which all of the Kung Fu Grip figures have) and his head has a cool chromed finish and red eyes. It is interesting to note that unlike the original Sigma 6 Destro, Crime Boss Destroís entire head is not chromed, only the middle portion of it. It does give the figure a different look, which is actually quite interesting and striking. The particular colors for this figure really match the colors of the 8 inch Iron Grenadiers, giving us a Destro that nicely matches the style of his troops.

Articulation - ****
Destro may not be as articulated as some figures, but honestly, he is as articulated as I need him to be. Best of all, his joints are tight enough that they stay in place, but loose enough that you donít have to struggle with him to get him in a good pose. These toys are made to hold up to the worst abuse imaginable.

Destro has a nice ball jointed head that gives him a decent range of movement. His neck isnít too long, so he doesnít quite possess the ability to look everywhere, but it is quite adequate. His shoulders and hips are also ball jointed, with additional joints at the elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, mid-torso, and a cut waist joint. All in All, there is plenty of articulation which allows Destro to both assume many battle poses and to convincingly hold his accessories, and best of all, with no fear of breakage. 

Accessories - ****
Generally, the 8 inch Joe figures do not disappoint when it comes to accessories and Destro is no exception. In fact, he might have one of the nicest accessory sets that Iíve received with an action figure in a long time.

The story behind this Destro figure, as told on the back of the package, is that Destro robs banks for money to fund his weapons development projects. While this really clashes with the established character of Destro as a wealthy aristocrat and a businessman, it does allow for some fun accessories. Destro actually comes with a bank safe deposit box loaded with wads of cash and gold bars! The safety deposit box can slide open and comes with 4 large gold bars and 4 wads of cash that can be removed. This is a really fun and unique accessory that reminds me of one of my favorite accessories as a kid, the opening safe that came with a figure from the Kenner Police Academy line. Every time I open this safe deposit box and take out the money, I am hit with the warm nostalgia of my childhood, and really, isnít that why most of us still play with toys? 

How is Destro going to get all of that money? Ask politely? Heck, no! Destro comes with his own arsenal of 3 guns to make negotiations move a little quicker. His smallest gun, but perhaps coolest, is what appears to be a .50 caliber pistol with a scope on it, nicely molded in silver with a black painted scope. When the need calls for an automatic weapon, Destro can use his included Uzi, which included a peg for use with any Sigma port. Lastly, Destro is armed with what appears to be a tactical shotgun. The weapon is nicely proportioned to Destro, and also has some nice red and black paint details on it. The shotgun is capable of firing what appears to be an electric bolo of some kind, which is actually capable of traveling a decent range. 

As I mentioned earlier, much of Destroís appearance can be credited to his wearable accessories: a pair of red cloth pants with attached knee pads and cloth loops for attaching his grenades, a bandolier with sculpted on shotgun shells and Sigma ports (the little holes that allow accessories with pegs to be attached to the figure in a variety of ways,) and his gas mask. The gas mask fits over Destroís face via an elastic strap and really contributes to the menacing appeal of this figure. Just so he can put that gas mask to work, Destro also comes with 2 gas grenades that can either be attached to the loops on Destroís pants or plugged into the Sigma ports on his bandolier. The grenades are extremely cool, and make a great addition to round out this figure.

Lastly, Destro included the footlocker that all of the Commando size figures come with. The style of this footlocker is different from the past cases, but still provides a cool place where all of Destroís accessories can be stored neatly and safely.

Value - ***
Frankly, toys are expensive these days, especially many collectorsí lines. These days, you are lucky if $15 gets you an action figure, much less one with a slew of awesome accessories. For the price, I think Crime Boss Destro is one of the best deals out there!

Fun Factor - ****
I absolutely adore the 8 inch G.I. Joe figures, because while they are fun to display and look at, theyíre also incredibly fun to play around with. I find myself constantly repositioning Destro with his different weapons and endlessly shuffling around the safe deposit box, filling it with different amounts of cash and gold. I collect a lot of different toy lines, including many that fall more in the category of ďcollectors line,Ē but there is something to be for a toy that you can endlessly play with and have no fear of breakage or paint wear. Do some kid you know that loves action figures a favor and pick one of these up for them.

Things to Watch Out For:
Destro does have some small parts, so watch out if you are giving him to a young child. (Those shiny gold bars might tempt someone into thinking they are gold foil wrapped chocolates!).

Overall - ****
Crime Boss Destro is one of my favorite figures in the entire 8 inch line because of his excellent accessories! He is not going to appeal to everyone since the figure really deviates from the traditional depiction of the character, but there should still be no question that this is a great action figure!

Score Recap:
Packaging: ****
Sculpt: ***
Paint: **1/2
Articulation: ****
Accessories: ****
Fun Factor: ****
Value: ***
Overall: ****


Figure from the collection of Jerry Reed.

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