City Strike Destro | Produced by Hasbro | Released March 2011
Destro designs and manufactures advanced weaponry and supplies weapons to Cobra. He demonstrates his latest high-powered plasma rifles by leading Shock Troopers in an attack on GI Joe trooper Low-Light, who has infiltrated a Cobra warehouse in an urban city. Destro has to quickly change his plans when he finds out that Low-Light knows they are there - and is waiting for them.
Destro comes in the standard GI Joe packaging: a clear blister-pack glued onto an individually-printed card. It's eye-catching and keeps the figure safe in-transit.
Destro is an excellent, chunky figure that feels very sturdy and is very solidly constructed but is no slouch in the detail department, either.
Destro is clad in red and black combat fatigues with dark grey, armoured accessories. And of course, his trademark chrome mask is here in all its glory (and it looks superb.)
Although I'd generally discuss these pieces in the Extras section, they're so integral to the figure that I'll be including them in the main Review. A padded vest forms the core of the figure's armour. The vest is well detailed, with straps, harnesses and panels all being picked-out nicely in the mold. A munitions belt is strapped around his waist and a second belt (with holster) keeps everything else secured.
A soft plastic shoulder plate clips into the vest and covers from collar to elbow. Although this restricts movement - as you'd expect - the piece looks superb, giving Destro a very nice asymmetrical silhouette and heavily-armoured look.
His shins are also clad in armour, with two rubbery-plastic pieces that can be slipped on or off quite easily - there's a simple C-shaped connector at the base that grips the ankle and keeps the piece in place very well. Studs and panel-details are well-defined and add an extra level of depth to the pieces.
The paintwork on the armour plates is excellent, especially on the shoulder and shin plates, with scuff marks and a great silver dry brush effect used to make the pieces look like real metal. Whilst the vest lacks these details, it still looks good, with nicely-applied paint on the straps and paneling.
The rest of the figure is also very well painted, with the camo effect being cleanly and effectively applied and Destro's eyes being nicely picked-out with a dark paint application. The detailing on his boot soles is particularly well-done and shows the level of attention to detail that's been given to the whole figure.
Articulation - with the exception of the left shoulder, which is restricted by the armour plate - is good and Destro's joints are firm. What's particularly good is that his hands are well-sculpted, allowing him to grip all of his equipment well.
I've already covered the armour (which comes attached but can be removed) but there's much more to Destro including - as I'm sure you've already noticed - the gimbal-mounted mini-gun.
The gun features three removable parts (two gimbal-mounting pieces and a belt of ammo), which fit together snuggly but without feeling as if they're being forced together. The mount retains a wide range of mobility but is tooled to allow it to remain in place when posed. The multi-barrels even rotate at the twist of a knob on the weapon's rear.
Destro also comes with a handgun (that fits perfectly into his belt-mounted holster) plus a hinged and snap-shut briefcase filled with cash. The upper section's cash is a solid piece attached to the case but the lower half features twelve bundles of cash - six of US Dollars, six of Euros. The bundles are not only very well painted (with either side featuring a different face) but also include grooves to give the effect of the bundles featuring individual notes. It's a superb detail that works well and is not only a great collector-piece detail but I could also imagine would be a great plaything for kids.
Destro also includes his own individual stand (which gives his full name - James McCullen Destro XXIV - rather than the usual codename-only.)
After the slight disappointment of Shadow Tracker and Low-Light - both figures that feature a lot of equipment that's either cumbersome or fragile - I was worried when I saw how well-equipped City Strike Destro was and feared he might be another nice figure spoiled by poorly-executed extras or ill-fitting pieces. Thankfully I was wrong: everything fits together, feels solid and works well.
The figure feels as if every piece was designed in-tandem. Each works with the other, from the way the shoulder plate clips over the vest to the way his hand is sculpted to fit the mini-gun's firing mechanism. It all just fits together and almost feels like a Microman toy in the level of attention to detail and execution. I never once felt worried I was going to break or lose any pieces when I was posing and photographing Destro, despite the high level of detail and intricacy of some of the parts.
All that wouldn't mean anything though if Destro didn't look good. But he does. The figure has an excellent, chunky and threatening look and feel to it. Paint is well-applied (the armour plates are particularly good) and his metallic face mask just gives him that final pop. (Before I started collecting Joes my wife actually pointed to a Destro and said, ''why not collect them? He looks just like a Microman.'')
City Strike Destro's production sets a new standard for the GI Joe figures and I hope to see more figures rise to this new benchmark.