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. From the commercials to the cartoon and comic, Destro’s introduction into the mythos was dramatic and highly entertaining. He was definitely one of my early got-have-it figures based on advertising and tie-ins. Man, Hasbro marketing was utterly diabolical!
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.