Duke (2013 Dollar General Repaint)
I was initially nonplussed by the photos of this repaint when they first appeared. I guess I was so blinded by the orange sherbet Storm Shadow and vivid Cobra Trooper that I didn’t take much notice of poor Duke. Then again, it could be due to the fact that I didn’t find much of interest in his original release, outside of reminding me of the dorky Infantry Division set of the early 2000s. Those goateed goofballs still have a place in my heart, for some strange reason. A second look at this guy has at least brought me around to seeing the potential to turn this figure into any number of generic Joes.
Most notably, it makes for a pretty decent 25th anniversary style Short-Fuze, even though the head is based on a Pursuit of Cobra figure. The rest of the body is pure 25th blah. Those arms and the torso cut just continue to grate on me. I don’t want to start a flame war, but how many times do you actually utilize the torso cut when posing a modern figure? Is it really more useful than waist articulation? I think it breaks up the mold in weird ways most of the time. In fairness, the entire presentation is much better than the official release from 2008. The helmet’s an improvement, and though it’s not accurate to the 1982-83 style, at least it doesn’t fall of his head if you look at it crossways. He’s also wearing those cool ’82-83 style boots. They’re totally 80s-future-snazzy. I gotta get me a pair.