Wednesday, March 9, 2011

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

Duke - Reactive Impact Armor | Produced by Hasbro | Released July 2009

From the GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra movie tie-in line comes Duke in his Reactive Impact Armor. 


This rendition of Duke comes from the Rise of Cobra movie and so his appearance is somewhat different to that of, say, the Jungle Assault Duke or any other toy/comic likeness of the character. As a sculpt of Channing Tatum it's not bad, although he appears clean-shaven here, whereas the card art shows him with a stubbly goatee.

The other thing is, this is quite a sloppy sculpt. There are hard molding lines down either side and his head just looks squashed. It's too long and his nose, especially, looks very skinny. The figure would benefit from a new head sculpt, as you can see here, with the original head compared to the Jungle Assault Duke on the same body.

Speaking of the body, the sculpt is... interesting. I know it's supposed to be a tight-fitting costume but it's also supposed to be armoured and so I'd expect a little more bulk about it. As it is, he looks more like a mime than some kind of futuristic soldier. 

Duke's right ankle/lower-leg includes a knife sheath (with removable knife) that works well. Oddly though his belt features a pistol holster with a molded-in pistol that cannot be removed. This is strange, given he's equipped with a pistol, too. I'd have liked to see a working holster to compliment the knife sheath.

There are some nice panels of detail and there's plenty going on, with a variety of straps and armour plates covering the body (a body that's also used on the Sandstorm figure.) There's not really much wrong with the sculpt, aside from the slightness of the build and I'd have preferred to see just a little more meat on Duke's bones.

Articulation is good, with a nice range of movement and joints that are firm but flexible. He can be posed quite nicely and the slimness of his body is a plus here, as it means there are no sculpted pieces to get in the way when posing.

Paint is cleanly applied and well done. The figure's body is mostly black with some grey highlights and a nice sponge/dry-brush effect used to accentuate the armour plating. The only downside is it appears to have been applied to individual pieces prior to construction and - as a result - there are some areas of paint that come to an abrupt halt when two pieces meet.

The facial details are cleanly applied on the whole, although my Duke has some splash-over on his hair from his face paint. 

Duke comes with an automatic pistol, two assault rifles, a boot dagger and an oversized rocket launcher (that does actually launch a rocket.)

The black plastic accessories look fine with the figure but the missile launcher looks like an afterthought, thanks to its grey plastic and yellow missile. But these weapons were the gimmick of the Rise of Cobra toys and I guess they're fun for kids.

At least Duke can hold his launcher in a relatively normal pose, unlike Storm Shadow.

Duke also includes his own stand.

Final Thoughts
Average-to-disappointing probably best sums-up the Reactive Impact Armor Duke. There's nothing really that wrong with him (aside from his dodgy head sculpt) but there's nothing here either that's going to make you run-out and want to pick him up. He's a potboiler of a figure, a shelf-filler and not much else.

If you can find him cheap - as I did - you might get some enjoyment out of owning him and he does have some good points. The armour is well painted and the design is nice (even if he looks too skinny in it.) Just don't really build your hopes up and you'll probably not be too disappointed.

Production QualityB
Final ScoreC+

Image Gallery


  1. Duke does nothing for me here but with his Jungle Assault head added he has almost a Solid Snake feel to him like from Metal Gear.

  2. THAT'S IT! I was looking at the Jungle Assault head on that body and trying to work-out what he reminded me of...

    I might see about getting another PoC Duke and doing a head-swap. :)

  3. If you do that head swap i want to see pictures.

  4. Will do. I'm hoping to find that particular figure tonight if I get a chance, so we'll see...


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