Destro (1983)

When I got my first couple of Joe figures I was having fun with toys that were something new and fresh after years of Star Wars fanaticism. It took the addition of the 1983 series to totally bring me around to being a Joe fan first and foremost. At a time when early looks at new product just couldn’t happen, new toys simply showed up in the toy department. What a concept–not knowing what’s coming out months in advance! After the first series of mostly green army men, new specialties and new uniforms showed up to wow 10 year-old me, and no figure embodied that sucker punch of coolness like Destro.

This original version of the steel domed mack of Cobra continues to be my favorite rendition of the character. He was imposing in both looks and size when compared to other figures, especially the comparatively smaller Cobra Commander. His portrayal in the animated series only cemented his coolness for me. The 1988 version took the character in an interesting new direction, but it didn’t quite have the same affect on me. Even the 25th Anniversary version with all its modern accoutrements couldn’t capture the magic of this figure. Is my opinion clouded by nostalgia? Yes. And I don’t care.

9 comments

  • Same here. It was 1983 that really did it for me as well. I think I had two Destro figures within a year after wearing the first one out. He was simply awesome! The chromed head, his height, cool accessories, and the fact that he stood out nicely. Everything clicked with this guy. I read somewhere long ago that Destro was the hottest selling figure of 1983 and I wouldn’t doubt it. He is easily one of the classics.

  • Destro was a birthday present for my 10th birthday. Ah the good old days!

  • 83 is what got me hooked too. Snow job was my “oh, man” moment.

  • Now THIS is a cool figure. Anyone else feel the sniper rifle in his briefcase should’ve been removable?

  • The ’70s super villain vibe was great, and that backpack full of weapons totally intrigued me! I would stare into it wondering how he’d use them. I liked how the modular M-4 resembles Airborne’s.

  • 83 sold me on Joe over Star Wars as well. For me, it was Airborne that put me over the top. But, the whole notion of the Destro was great. I still remember playing in my friends front yard in the summer of 83. Destro would fly the Fang around blast any random figures that were lying all over the place. It was great fun….until I had the copter do a loop and Destro’s pistol fell into the grass. Oops. After my friend cried a bit, I managed to find it. But, I was more careful after that.

  • First saw Destro in the 1983 catalog “folder” that came with the APC.

    He was holding Bludd’s gun.

    But that 1983 folder was mind-blowingly awesome. All the new stuff, the first Cobra vehicles, the original joes with something called “swivel arm battle grip”.

  • 1983 really brought GI Joe into a nice an interesting point. Destro was central to that (as was Major Bludd and others). The new figures brought with them color (and not in a way that was a turn off like the 90’s years). The fig also has AWESOME details (Wrist Rockets, Granades, necklace) that just makes the figure incredible IMO.

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