Well, this is it: I've finally decided to start reposting my old "Alexx Shorts" G.I. Joe reviews. They're the reviews that lead to what eventually became this blog! I'll be posting them in straight copy-and-paste format, separating them with bold dotted lines so you know where they begin and end, and then I'll post some final thoughts on what I think of the figure currently.
For those unfamiliar: I used to take random pictures here and there, but by the time the Rise of Cobra toys came out, I was getting annoying with how much people had been bashing the figures which were clearly better than the previous 25th Anniversary offerings. I set out to show people how awesome they were, and things went from there, forming into "Alexx Shorts", named so because I thought I was going to keep to a short format with a few pictures. I did not do that.
Duke got a face lift?
...Does that say what I think it says?
Yes it does! Continuing on with the Dollar General figure reviews: I bring you Duke! More or less. Maybe more on the less side. Maybe not Duke.
There we go!
So I suppose there isn't much to say about this guy. You already have these parts, and most of them come from the 25th Anniversary figures. Thankfully, most of them are the good parts from that series! I can't break him down completely, but that is mostly an Original Thirteen body (meaning the basic gear and body that was made to look like the Original Thirteen Joes from the first wave of 3 3/4 G.I. Joes). The legs are a bit thicker than the rest of the body (though it doesn't throw off the look) and the shins (along with the gear) are all from various figures that have been made to look like a member of the Original Thirteen. None of it really matches any one guy, though. In terms of accessories:
He sorta matches Grunt. A little. I mean, same gun and a standard helmet. The harness is a Zap and Short Fuze thing (though they never made a Short Fuze with that harness) and the belt is pretty much standard. So who was this supposed to be?
Well, best I can assume is that this is mostly a Grunt figure. Maybe they needed a Duke in this Dollar General line, and this guy fit? One way or another I think we can all agree that this ain't Duke.
Just...not at all. There is someone else that it most certainly is, though!
Yeah, that's Dusty's head.
I dunno about you, but the lack of dust and the lighter colored hair makes him different enough for me - AND - I friggin' love this headsculpt! One of my top favorites from Pursuit of Cobra, honestly. It's nice to see it cleaned up here and I am glad to say that it works as someone else.
So, considering that he doesn't look like Duke and doesn't exactly match any one O-13 member...use this however you like! I mean seriously: This guy is so generic that he is the finest "insert yourself" figure ever! This "everyday joe" would have certainly been the "me" in my Joe stories back in the day, if I had 'em then ('course it helps that his hair is of a very similar blonde to mine).
In short: They call him Duke, but he looks more like Grunt, and plays like anyone you want.
But lets move back to those accessories:
"Duke" comes with an assault rifle, a pistol, and his helmet. The guns are from the 25th line, and the helmet sculpt originally came with Dusty, becuase...well, they already knew that it would fit him. And hey, since it does, you can throw Dusty's goggles on there if you want:
He holds both weapons perfectly, if you cut his index finger free from the rest of the hand. Those 25th hands were perfect, once the finger was cut. The finger slips right into the trigger guard!
The pistol can fit in either holster:
Although "fit" isn't really the word for it. Mostly it just rests in one of the holsters; the gun is too small to really fit snuggly in there, and it'll fall out if you tip the figure over. If you've got any of those 25th pistols left over from all your Original Thirteen types, then those'll fit perfectly - because they were specifically made for those holsters.
This guy is great! He's fun to play with, he holds anything, thanks to the only good hands out of the whole 25th line, and his accessories are fun enough.
And hey, if you wana finish off your Original Thirteen and make this guy Grunt - why not? He works great!
Of course, I tried to show that with a pic, but I realized that my "Original Thirteen" is really a rag-tag bunch of stand-ins that sorta work or are totally not there at all. So....a comic kinda came out of it.
As you can see, I did what I could. I know there's a Zap out there, but I didn't get that multipack and I haven't felt like tracking him down. There's also a Steeler, but well...the pics say it all: GOOD ENOUGH.
Now, before I finish this off, the head of this figure made me think of someone else as well.
NO not Duke! Though it doesn't look bad on that body.
No, I was thinking of this guy:
Cross Hair! The hair is bascially perfect! The face can work too, if you give it a little leeway. He's one of the unfortunate figures from the Spytroops area that will probably be ignored. Seems like barely anyone from that time can get a break, even though it was a wonderful time for brand new characters! I've been looking for a good stand-in for Cross Hair and I think this head finally gave me the swapping fuel that I needed!
Sadly I don't really have the other parts I need to really get the same look down. I can mimic it, but mostly I just tried for a similar idea, rather than trying to copy it.
Also that dang Joe Trooper from Retaliation is just the greatest Joe ever made, and I can't swap things with him without finding something that works every time. It's all just hit hit hit! Nothing looks bad!
But that's for another review. This figure is a great generic Joe toy and works for a number of things. He'll be great for your Cross Hair custom, he makes a great stand-in for Grunt, and best of all, he just overall works in any way you want to use him. Use him for parts, use him as a Green Shirt army builder, or use him as your personal insert for your own stories 'n such. Great figure! I highly suggest picking him up if the stars align and you actually manage to find these figures in the store.
Good old Not Duke! I seriously love this guy, but for parts. I just never got around to making a permanent swap with him (though I did buy a lot of doubles of the Joe Trooper). I have no idea why he's "Duke", but at least they put together a fine figure. I'm not sure he's worth tracking down nowadays, but he's a great generic trooper, and especially good for the time he was released: because he was cheap. If he's not cheap now, then he's definitely not worth it. If he is, go for it!