Okay—let’s put ourselves into the position of the team at Hasbro tasked with designing the 2012 G.I. Joe/Transformers crossover exclusive. You’ve already managed to turn a G.I. Joe Retaliation HISS tank into Shockwave—a mighty Decepticon warrior. However, that just doesn’t seem to be enough. You’ve got to not only meet the expectations set by last year’s exclusive but you’ve got to exceed them if at all possible. Tying Cobra Commander to Starscream last year made perfect sense—after all, they were partnered up in the Devil’s Due Vol 1 series. So, how do you build a connection between the coldly logical Shockwave and the honorable Scottish arms dealer? Simple: you use money.
To produce Destro, the Pawtucket team dipped into a variety of tooling sources. The recipe seems to include the legs of the Renegades Cobra Troopers, the arms and under torso of the 30 th Anniversary Techno-Vipers, the infamous Arctic Destro head, and a heavily padded vest. Mold it all in dark purple, toss on a Decepticon logo that matches the ones on the sides of Shockwave and you’ve got yourself a robotic-tied James McCullen figure! It’s a simple and effective parts combination that works to provide a version of Destro not seen before. I’ve always thought of Destro as a hands-on weapons engineer. He’s not merely content to let Scrap Iron do all of the R&D work in the labs—and he’s certainly not above taking a new prototype out for some quality time on the firing range. In my eyes—if that is the type of man that Destro is then this is EXACTLY the type of uniform that he might wear. The Decepticon logo is merely a way to placate his latest customers—even if they are from another world. I like it—and I’d love to see this design translated into the main line as well.
Okay, so that’s Destro but why is he here again? Surely it’s not because of the neon-green Techno-Viper rifle that was included with him. After all, he’s not Sci-Fi right? The Laird of clan McCullen has always opted for darker hues after all. That’s right—it’s because of the money! Fans of the 30th anniversary line will remember the second version of Destro to be released—the one with the BFG, harness, and briefcase full of cash. In this instance, the briefcase and its bundles of Euros and US Dollars is back—but with a twist. In order to ensure that Destro knows where his money is coming from, the case is reproduced in purple with a not-so-subtle Decepticon logo emblazoned on the front. So, not only is James forced to wear a symbol of allegiance on his body armor but he’s got it on his Halliburton briefcase as well. It’s impractical, it’s over-the-top, and I love every cheese-tastic minute of it. (Yes, that’s right—“cheese-tastic” has officially entered into the English language. I used it in a sentences and it’s too late to take it back now.) Personally, I’d love to see a few more uses of this case and its contents just so I can amass 1:18 piles of money for the Baroness to roll around it. (C’mon—you know that I’m not the only one that thought of this. You’re all a bunch of sickos!)
I’ll just say it—I like this figure. If I had to pick a “weakest link” in this set it would be him but that’s only because the rest of the set is so inspired. As far as figures go, this is a pretty fun albeit very specific version of Destro with all of the articulation that fans have come to expect in the 30 th Era line. (We’ve come so far from the 25th and the “Duke arms”…) Sure, he’s got a neon-green rifle but he looks completely fantastic with the tank. Besides, if Cobra Commander got a jet then Destro better be paired up with something to shoot it down.
Don’t touch that dial—there’s still more G.I. Joe/Transformers goodness ahead!