G.I. Joe Spytroops Destro and Grunt

Tonight's guest review is from regular Coheteboy.  Between him and Sean, I have a ton of reviews in the queue!  But don't let that stop you from sending in your guest reviews as well - there's always room to fit in new ones!  It's all yours, David...

Hasbro's G.I.Joe vs. Cobra line is hitting the pegs with new product! The bulk of my collecting goes to Star Wars but since Hasbro does a better job getting their Joes out, I can't help but pick up some Joe packs here and there. Today's review has the focus on two characters that have been with the 4" figure line from the very beginning. That's right GRUNT and DESTRO each return... again. 

While the sculpt of DESTRO is entirely new, GRUNT was previously released this year with the BATTLE BLITZ, one of the smaller JOE vehicles. To do that is to shoot themselves in the foot. By putting the SAME figure in a 2pack AND a vehicle pack, you will encounter many many collectors who will pass on one or the other. It'll work for troop builders, but not for your average JOE (pun intended).

Packaging - ***1/2
The Spy Troops packaging is attractive and works very well. The card is is a decent small size even though two figures are packed together. The insert shows off some nice illustrations of the characters and serves as a file
card as well as housing a Joe comic #5 written by the legendary Larry Hama. The figures themselves are very visible through the bubble so collectors can find their toy in perfect shape if necessary. 

Sculpting - GRUNT: **, DESTRO: ***
GRUNT is an incredibly boring figure and it really doesn't feel like the same character that we all know. Same complaints here as mentioned in previous reviews: torso too short, legs too long, waist too high, arms too big, head too small. That pretty much describes Grunt. Nothing else. For those who remember the last Destro, you will be happy to hear that this new version is ONE HUNDRED TIMES BETTER. It's not perfect but it's a very good substitute. Fans who are still waiting for the remake of the original Destro will have to wait a little while longer. This latest DESTRO sports a stylish turtle-neck and slacks. The mask is a huge improvement over the previous version but is still missing something. In the end, this is a welcome version of everybody's favorite weapons supplier. 

Paint - ***
The paint application for the most part is very clean but very few at the same time. I'm uncertain if I had a problem with my GRUNT figure but his eyes are painted looking up. Doesn't look like a solidier ready to see battle. DESTRO has fewer paint applications but does feature a shiny head (go on, make your jokes). There's still a lot to be desired here but it isn't bad.

Articulation - ***
Both figures in this set have the standard issue 14-point articulation which consists of: ball-neck, ball-jointed shoulders, cut biceps, elbows, waist, legs, and knees. I took an entire star off because we have seen that the Joe figures are capable of additional points in the wrists, heel, and feet areas, which would make these figures a 20point wonder. Unfortunately that isn't the case here, but it's still good.

Accessories - ***1/2
What you can always count on with G.I.Joes are the accessories. GRUNT comes with Spy Troops gear in this set. Six of his accessories allow him to be disguised as a Cobra C.L.A.W.S soldier, though not very convincing! 
DESTRO comes with a removable belt with two holsters for two of his pistols. There are a few more weapons for Destro, making him more armed than ever before. 

Value - ***1/2
Two figures for $7.77 isn't a bad deal, especially if they have the amount of articulation that these figures do. But with the amount of articulation that we have seen possible on a few other Joe figures, I would pay $1-2 more if that were to become standard. 

Overall - ***
While GRUNT was an unnecessary pack-in, the new DESTRO made this set worth it for me. Definitely not one of the better sets to get out there but for the true JOE fans. 

Where to Buy:
This set was picked up at TARGET, but can also be found at TOYS'R'US and WAL-MART.


Figures from the collection of Coheteboy.

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