Duke (1994 Star Brigade)

When I cover figures from the spring-loaded missile launcher era of GI Joe, I normally don’t include the launcher in my pictures. They often seem like a tacked-on accessory, not to mention nigh impossible for most figures to hold unsupported. However in Duke’s case, the missile launcher works, and dare I say it–I like it.

Several of the ’94 Star Brigade figures offered up some nice new designs and accessory ideas, which was great to see after the ’93 series of Armor Tech and repainted molds. The final year of the RAH line gave us four Joes and two Cobras who were made up (at least partially) of new molds.

The mold looks appropriately like a battle-ready space suit, with the newly sculpted armored chest. Using Sky Creeper’s legs was an excellent choice, as they blend well into the space suit look and are obscure enough that they almost look like newly created parts as well.

The backpack and its integration of the helmet and missile launcher is what makes the figure one of my favorites of the Star Brigade sub-line. Not only does the backpack serve as the mounting point for the retractable helmet, but the missile launcher also pivots around for the figure to wield. The launcher (also thankfully not greatly oversized) can pivot back and clip onto the backpack when not in use. Small touches like this always boost a figure’s coolness factor for me. The only complaints for the figure with me are the lack of paint detail (again, common at the end of the line) and the overly bright color or the backpack/launcher.

This version also sports what I think is the best un-helmeted Duke head of the era. It’s an older looking take on the character and much better than earlier versions since the sculpt doesn’t feature either ’83’s grin or ’92’s Pinocchio nose.


  • This is definitely one of the better space suits I’ve seen. Great figure.

  • Howie Decker:

    This is definitely one of the better space suits I’ve seen. Great figure.

    And great headsculpt! Probably one of the best ARAH Duke’s face!

  • Exposed neck is a little dangerous for space.

    But, it was a good figure, sadly a scarce one, though.

  • Duke looks like a young Ron Paul. Thrasher also looks like Dudley Moore. So does Duke.

    Ron Paul, Thrasher, Duke and Dudley Moore are all the same person. There, I said it. I am now awaiting my prolonged detention and re-education from FEMA.

  • One or two of the RoC spring-loaded monstrosities were surprisingly useful, too.

    Meanwhile, I just spent some hours backtracking all the way to the start of what’s quickly become one of my all-time favorite websites.

    Don’t stop updating!

  • Great post, Honey, as usual! Keep up the terrific writting!

  • Great post, Honey, as usual! Keep up the terrific writing!

  • This is one of those figures that I wouldn’t have fully known about if I hadn’t read your reviews. He seemed cool enough going by the head sculpt since it’s so faithful to the original Duke, right down to his haircut. I’ve seen pictures of the carded figure and wondered why Hasbro didn’t reuse the head in later years. This is the first time I’ve seen his gear, however. Can someone say space marines? He looks like something out of Aliens with that launcher on. A quick accessory repaint from orange to something more suitable like black or silver would make this version of Duke near perfect. I’ll be looking out for him from now on.

  • I like the figure. I would like it more if some of the little details had been painted to better flesh them out. I am also not a fan of the helmet that attaches to the backpack. It doesn’t seem like it would have the appropriate pressure seal for deep space ass whooping.
    The head is one of the best in the line and fits Duke perfectly. Had ARAH gone beyond 1994, I would have loved for the mold to have been reused.

  • Steven B. Williams

    I agree with Nega T regarding the exposed neck, but for play-sake I’ll overlook that. The sculpture of the body is great as is the ball-jointed missile launcher/backpack combo (be nice to see something like that again).

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  • This was cool figure but I hated that helmet. Very cool drab space armor though. Not giant power armor like the others.

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