Friday, March 18, 2011

REVIEW: GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra - Heavy Duty (Reactive Impact Armor)

Heavy Duty - Reactive Impact Armor | Produced by Hasbro | Released July 2009

Heavy Duty supports the GI Joe team with his tactical expertise and muscular might. Already a formidable fighter, he becomes even more powerful when he wears advanced body armor that is light and flexible yet easily deflects weapons fire.

Packaging Shots

Heavy Duty (Reactive Impact Armor)
From the Rise of Cobra movie, this figure depicts Heavy Duty in the - as you may have guessed - Reactive Impact Armor. We've already seen Duke in this outfit, so this is no doubt just the same figure with a new head sculpt, right? Erm, no. Hasbro has actually created an entirely new body sculpt for this figure and, what's more, they've done a great job with it.

Heavy Duty is a big, hefty sculpt with a lot of weight to him. Even without his imposing weaponry (see below) he's still a figure that radiates strength and has a strong presence. He stands about half a head taller than the Pursuit of Cobra Joes and that's not taking into account his thinner base. This is a big figure.

There's a fair amount of detail on the core sculpt. The basic armour is augmented with a sidearm holster, into which his pistol (see Extras, below) fits very snuggly and there's some really quite intricate detailing on the armour - webbing harnesses hold the pieces in place at the shoulder and there's a little seam where the under-suit zips up at the neck. His left wrist features a covered watch and he even has bootlaces. 

I don't think I've seen a Joe as well-built as Heavy Duty and it's great to see Hasbro not doing as I suggested and simply swapping heads on a stock body.

Speaking of heads, the sculpt here is excellent. Unlike Baroness, this figure not only looks like a real person but also looks quite like his on-screen counterpart (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje), although I think the figure's head is just a little narrower than it should be. That aside though, the head looks great, with real character in the ''don't mess with me'' look to it.

Articulation is good and he's very flexible. As you can see from the above pictures, he can hold all of his enclosed weaponry with ease, although the mini-gun's belt feed takes some wiggling to get to stay in-place.

Paint is also good. The suit is dented and pranged and the silver, wash/scrub effect really accentuates the battle-hardened look of Heavy Duty. It's also very well applied to the head, the only minor point being - on my figure - a slight mis-app of silver paint on his jaw where the painter was colouring his earring. The rest is very well applied though and looks great.

Heavy Duty is the GI Joe team's heavy ordinance expert and as such, brings quite a few toys to the party.

In terms of basic weapons, there's a pistol, a 40mm riot gun/grenade launcher, a shoulder-mounted rocket launcher (which, like all Rise of Cobra oversized weapons, actually fires) and his signature M230-A2 Automatic Cannon Chain Gun.

The chain gun includes an ammo feed and backpack, all of which fit together nicely, although you may find some poses will cause the belt feed to spring out of the pack or gun (or sometimes both.)

He also includes his own personalised, dog tag-style stand.

Final Thoughts
I have to admit, I bought Heavy Duty simply as a numbers maker-upper. I'd not seen the figure online anywhere or paid it that much heed and - when I saw it for sale - added it to my basket simply because he was cheap. I was certainly not expecting a figure of this quality and am very pleasantly surprised by just how good he is.

The build of Heavy Duty makes him stand-out for starters and is a great sculpt. He's robust, chunky and just so freaking big. But then add to that the great - albeit simple - accessories like the chain gun and he steps-up to another level.

I was disappointed with Duke's poor head sculpt and skinny look and Hasbro really dropped the ball with Baroness' face, so I'm pleased to report that Heavy Duty is a vastly superior toy to both those figures.

OK, so he may not be ultra-exciting or do much, but what Heavy Duty does, he does very well. He looks great, his accessories all work and he's a really well-crafted, well-sculpted figure that works as a display toy and a plaything.

He's probably one of the best of the Rise of Cobra figures I've seen. Even his gimmicky rocket launcher looks good on him.

Production QualityB+
Final ScoreA-

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