Destro (2004)

Destro changed up his style with this release, opting for a longer, almost safari type jacket done up in grey. We’re so used to Destro’s original uniform, with its mix of Disco and supervillain sleek, that any deviation seems odd. However, this more militaristic look also suits him, and is one that I wouldn’t mind seeing the character revisit. I also liked the rivet head design. which made its first appearance on the previous year’s Urban Comteporary MARS After Dark Destro. Actually, the design here could work well for an Adventure Team era Destro. Maybe James McCullen Destro XXIII was running around dealing weapons in the early 70s.

The issue isn’t the design of the duds, it’s the execution of the construction. It’s been a while since I covered a new sculpt era figure, so if you’re not familiar with the figures of the time, know that the things that look funky on this toy were pretty common within the GI Joe line of the day. Large shoulders, small hands and heads, and disproportionate torsos and legs hurt what were otherwise solid figure designs. Whether it was all by accident or design, who knows, but the era isn’t generally well regarded among Joe fans. I have a soft spot for the time, especially the Valor vs. Venom period, as it was the last major GI Joe push at retail before the recent attempts at using a film franchise to drive GI Joe’s marketing.

To me, the figure construction of the new sculpt era isn’t inherently worthless, if you consider it as a natural evolution of what came before, and what would come later. The toys and the storylines were also pretty fun, for the most part, and there was no shortage of play value during those years. Another positive side of the newer figures came from the softer plastic. The issues of broken figure thumbs and crotches was basically ended. A possible downside is the unknown about how well the plastic will age. I hope they don’t start breaking down and getting sticky like some of my vintage Star Wars figures. How can I face the possibility of a world without an Action Attack banana headed Kamakura in my collection?


  • The head unfortunately does not bend that well on this figure. The mold only saw one reuse when its arms were put on the DTC Range-Viper.

    I recently won this figure off of Listia, as I happened to have his shotgun at the time. Don’t believe I’ll be needing the flare guns though.

    I just realized that the mold would’ve been great to use for the DTC line as two Joes–new sculpt versions of Windchill and Major Storm. Windchill, using this figure’s torso and arms, the waist and legs from the CLAWS Commander (which were also used for the DTC Crimson Guard and Interrogator), and a new head, could’ve been the driver of the 2006 Ice Sabre instead of Frostbite, and Major Storm (using a new head atop the whole body–hey, the original Major Storm used Windchill’s torso and arms…) could’ve come with the 2005 ROCC instead of Long Range (who then could’ve been a single-card figure with the Sigma Six version’s specialty).

  • I so want to like this figure. I really do. But, I just can’t.

  • I’ll freely admit, this figure is why I have Banana-Headed Kamakura in my collection. I really like the original Kamakura, but this Destro struck me as so cool (or at least better than the SpyTroops version) that I needed to have it. It was my default new sculpt Destro since it had more of an Iron Grenadier vibe than the other new Destros.

  • I actually liked the Spy Troops Destro. I thought it was one of the more original designs of the entire new sculpt era. Seeing this guy so soon after that figure, though, really was the end of the new sculpt figures for me. It was just too much of the same.

  • look at those tiny feet!!!

  • In the “new sculpt” era I just can’t get over the giant shoulders.

    In the “modern era” I just can’t get over the skinny necks, split torsos, tiny hips and protruding thigh ball joints.

    I really want to like anything past o-ring, but every time I look at the newer sculpts I see these problems. Someone help me feel better about it….

  • How well will they age? Not so well thus far.

    Yes, the crotches can still break. Not as often, but they are still harder plastic.

    The hard plastic knee “pegs” can break just like ARAH. Happened to one figure of mine already.

    “New sculpt” suffers from cracking torsos possibly due to soft plastic heads expanding against a tight screwed hard plastic torsos. Zarana is very rpone to this, even MOC examples show it. This problem has ruined about half my comic pack figures, too, which used soft plastic for the new heads on the ARAH era bodies. They haven’t split in half…yet, who knows how far it will go? What’s the option leave your figures disassembled? Sand down the necks?

  • A good Destro head sculpt, I just prefer it on the “Shaft” version.

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