Destro (2003)

The 2000’s new sculpt era produced a fair number of re-imaginings of classic core characters. Early in the line, Duke, Cobra Commander, Snake-Eyes, Destro and Storm Shadow received updates that drew some inspiration from their Real American Hero counterparts. Even lesser known figures enjoyed some new molds that differed from the old versions.

As the line expanded to its second year and went into the Spy Troops series, Destro was given this new look that was a huge departure from the stylish comic book super-villain look for which he had become known. I suppose you could call it a civilian version, or as civilian as a guy with a chrome-plated head could get. I actually see it as a hipper alternative to the funky leopard look of 1997 and refer to it as “Spy Villain” Destro. It’s as if he’d been cast as the villain in a late 60’s Eurospy film:

Duke: “Do you expect me to talk, Destro?”
Destro: “No, Mr. Hauser, I expect you to die.”

This Destro is not to be outdone in firepower as well as style, and he packs two gargantuan pistolas in his Cobra themed belt and holsters. He’s also carrying a tactical shotgun, just in case.

He’s dressed down from the huge red collar, open shirt, jackboots and missile launching gauntlets and adopted a more urban contemporary style. If he had wanted to go full subdued, he could have donned the black reflective mask seen in a later comic pack variant (now that I think about it, I wonder if it fits?) But you still can’t take all the flash out of the man, as he still sports a Big Ass Medallion. He looks like he could host a swingin’ MARS arms deal after-party on late night cable:

“It’s MARS After Dark, coming live from the Silent Castle all the way to your pad. Now welcome your host: the shiny headbone of hotness, the reflective rapscallion of illicit arms manufacturing–your friend and mine–James ‘Don’t-Call-Me-Pimp-Daddy’ McCullen XXIV Destro!!”

Cue funk band.


  • Ha, cue the funk indeed. Great review.

  • There weren’t many reimagined figures from the new sculpt line that really stood out. But, I think this design for Destro was perfectly in line with the Destro character and something that gave me a little faith that the Joe team of the time could come up with something interesting. (Though it proved to be misplaced.)

    I also see this as a younger Destro. This is the guy hanging out at Studio 54 and sipping malt liquor with Billy Dee Williams. Honestly, I wish some writer had explored this time of Destro’s characterization. But, I suppose that’s not to be.

  • Steven B. Williams

    We can call this one ‘Bling Daddy Destro’. The only way this figure could of been any cooler is if they would of painted parts of the pistols a silver color (or…dare I say it…vacuum metallized the pistols).

  • I could see using this figure as Alexander, Destro’s son.

  • It’s Shaft Destro. “Who’s the cat that won’t cop out / When there’s danger all about? / SHAFT DESTRO! / Right On!”

    A nice figure for its time, although he’s a little thin around the waist as most of his compatriots and opponents from the new sculpt era tended to be. I don’t like his mask, though. It looks like its developed a severe case of metal warts.

  • They should give this guy the modern treatment. It’s a great design.

  • Mike Hyland:

    I could see using this figure as Alexander, Destro’s son.

    I agree!

  • I forgot all about this version of Destro until today. So damn cool yet lost to the sands of time it seems.

  • Mod Destro. Would’ve been cooler if he had swivel wrists (and better proportions, etc). Too bad we never got the DVD pack recolor with the red shirt.

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