Since 1989, Destro has always been my favorite Cobra character. While I’ve never considered myself a completist, my love of Destro means that I have lot of different versions of Destro in my collection. When Destro was shown as a part of the Resolute set, I was very pleased. I liked the design they used in the show and the HAARP firefight was probably one of my favorite parts of the cartoon series. I’m glad that my Hastings managed to get these sets in, since I think I would have missed having this version of Destro in my collection since I was not that much of an online shopper when these sets first came out. I’ve since gotten over my fears of e-commerce, but at the time, I was still a pretty big shopping Luddite and I’m glad my aversion to buying things online didn’t prevent me from getting a really cool version of my favorite Cobra.
Destro’s look in Resolute was a bit of a departure for him, but I really do like it. The figure’s mold is all new since the existing parts library couldn’t really duplicate the look. Destro wore a buttoned up, relatively fancy long coat and these newly-sculpted parts pull off the look excellently. The mold is full of details, between nicely-sculpted wrinkles to make it look more realistic to the large jewel in his collar that echoes the original necklace Destro wore back in the day. The bottom half of the jacket does restrict Destro’s legs a bit, and I think that’s a bit of a shame. In Resolute, Destro was involved in a pretty heavy firefight while wearing this outfit. It would have been nice if the action figure could move as well as Destro did in the cartoon, but he really can’t. I applaud Hasbro for going the extra mile to make this figure from scratch, but the figure’s articulation is somewhat limited by its source material. It’s also kind of a shame that Destro’s legs get covered. The jackbooted legs look really sharp here but you don’t see much of them because of the length of his coat. I’m not if I should call this piece an accessory or another part of the figure, but since I usually talk about swappable heads in the sculpt part, I think I’ll mention it here: Destro also has an alternate arm. The original concept art for Resolute Destro showed that they were planning on having him be a cyborg. As I recall from the Joe Con panel, during the HAARP battle, Destro’s arm was going to get hit and underneath it was going to show a fully robotic arm. Even though that concept/scene didn’t make it to the final cut, the design team liked it enough to reference it in the figure. My Destro is on display with the alternate arm because I think it looks really cool. The sculptor packed in a lot of detail into that arm and I like the idea of Destro being a cyborg. Industrial accidents happen all the time in legal businesses, and I imagine working as a weapons designer for a high-tech terrorist organization would increase the chances of something bad happening on the job site. I’d bet that safety regulations aren’t exactly Destro’s top priority when it comes to his weapons testing sites. I can see Destro having M.A.R.S. design him a new arm after one such accident with the purpose of him being the test subject for M.A.R.S.’s new cyborg-soldier program. Destro also does something that I like my figures to be able to do, carry all his accessories on his body. The lower part of the coat has a pair of functional holsters built in to carry Destro’s two small pistols. I don’t know why, but I always smile a little when I learn a figure can hold all their accessories. The head is a new sculpt, but it falls in line enough with the other Destro figures that were released that it really doesn’t look like it. I don’t usually like anime-style figures in my Joe collection, but I kind of wish they would have given him a bit bigger chin like Destro had in the cartoon.
The colors for Destro are great, though on mine the execution in a few places was a bit sloppier than I’d like. Destro’s base color is a great dark blue. It looks very regal, yet very Cobra. As much as I like when Destro is more based around the Iron Grenadiers, I have to admit that this version of Destro screams “Cobra!” and I’m okay with that. The coat also has some deep red trim. Unfortunately, this is where most of the paint flaws on mine can be found. The red is applied decently on the upper body, but on the lower part of the coat, there’s some pretty bad red slop. It looks like Destro was moved into the box before the paint had dried and it smeared onto the dark blue coat. This problem also appears to have affected the torn coat on Destro’s robotic arm. While the red wasn’t that well executed, the rest of the small paint apps were done rather well. The silver buttons are quite sharp and the strap doesn’t bleed over onto the jacket like the red trim does.
Destro doesn’t have a lot of accessories (and is missing a rather important one in my opinion), but his gear load is still pretty nice. For close-quarters combat, Destro has a pair of small silver pistols. They look really sharp in his hands and they fit very well in his belt holsters so that’s kind of where they live because Destro’s other two accessories are so great. Destro carries a very nice, futuristic-looking assault rifle. I know I’ve seen a rifle like this somewhere in the real world, but this looks just different enough that I think the cartoon designers decided to tweak it a little to make it look more fantasy than reality. Again, it’s something that I can see being a prototype that Destro has kept for himself while the full production M.A.R.S. model won’t have quite as many features. The rifle also gets some attention from the paint team, with a glowing green sight and a black and gunmetal gray color scheme for the rifle itself. Destro also carries around a M.A.R.S. Industries briefcase. It’s a nice nod to the original Destro, but the design team built a brand new briefcase and it looks great. First of all, it hides a silver MP5 submachine gun. Secondly, it also doubles as a computer. I can just see Destro using thing to either show off product to his less-than-legal clientele or to hack into a secure government computer network. Again, the paint team gives it some attention, with glowing green display screens and some silver for the keyboard to make it stand out from the interior of the case. However, I do wish that the M.A.R.S. logo on the front of the briefcase would have gotten a little attention. That said, the briefcase is still great and it looks quite natural in Destro’s hand. My only wish is that they would have found a way to give Destro a bazooka. It’s been a while since I’ve watched Resolute but I’m pretty sure the Destro used a pretty wicked-looking rocket launcher during the HAARP battle as well. I can’t find a screen shot of it, but I’d still swear to it. I think the bazooka that Hasbro used for the 30th Annivesary Viper would have looked close enough to that design to pass for it and then Destro would have had all the gear from the HAARP firefight sequence. If someone has watched Resolute more recently, please let me know if Destro actually used something like that or if I’m just misremembering things.
The Resolute figures were a pleasant surprise for many reasons. First and foremost, I’m glad the Hasbro folks were able to get them out in some form to us. Talking with some of the designers on the floor at Joe Con in 2009, I know they wished they could have done more with the Resolute figures than the three that got released on single cards and the Resolute-branded box set, but much like the 30th Anniversary did with Retaliation, the Resolute line ran afoul of Rise of Cobra. They felt they couldn’t sell stores on a Resolute rebranding only to rebrand the line six months later for Rise of Cobra. Mercifully, these unique, source-accurate designs were still able to see the light of day. Secondly, I’m glad that in my area, I was able to find the sets at a brick and mortar store. I’d kind of written off adding the Resolute sets to my collection when I learned they were going to be an online-retailer only thing. I realize ecommerce has gotten a lot better since I got kind of burned by my first online Joe transaction, but I’m still rather reluctant to pull the trigger on online purchases. Finally, I’m impressed at how many new pieces were actually tooled up for these sets. Destro is an entirely new figure. I was pretty surprised when YoJoe said that the head was a new piece. I’d just assumed it was the same Destro head Hasbro had been using since the 25th Anniversary line, but there are enough subtle differences that it’s clear after some careful study that it’s a new piece. While the Joe brand has always been built around the idea of smart part reuse, I’m always glad to see that when existing parts can’t effectively pull off a look, Hasbro can invest a little money into doing things right. I only wish that some other figures would have gotten the new parts treatment to make them look better. Let’s be fair, until the Operation: Bear Trap con set, I never thought we’d see the Resolute Destro parts again. They’re pretty character and medium specific. However, I’m glad that they’ve been able to recoup the costs of designing a brand new Destro by farming the parts out to the GIJCC for a more winter-operations based Iron Grenadier. It fits and I like the idea of a group of Iron Grenadiers wearing similar coats to Destro, even if I can’t afford to add them into my collection.