The Power of Packaging: 1984 Duke
Love or hate Duke, you can’t help but admire a nicely done 80s Joe cardback. Some might say this should have been an action shot like his team mates, but I like the simple and heroic pose. Boys want a leader in their play patterns, and Duke filled the bill. Sure, Hasbro could have done another Hawk, but looking at the refreshed specialties going forward from 1983, it’s obvious that the focus was on creating new characters to take the place of the originals.
I was jazzed to get Duke back in the day, since he looked the part of field leader. Was I seduced by the Sunbow toon and the allure of a mail-in exclusive? Of course. If impressionable kids like me hadn’t been taken in by the Real American Hero mystique, the diabolical minds of the Joe team’s marketing point would have failed in their mission. I say well done, from a Duke fan.