G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra Combat Heroes Review – Duke & the Baroness

without comments

Growing up, my brother and I had a bucket full of G.I. Joes but one fateful day at the beach and an incoming tide, the bucket was lost to the depths of the ocean. With dozens of figures gone, we began playing with different toys and it would be almost two decades before I got back into G.I. Joe. After the success of Transformers and then the failure that was Transformers 2, I didn’t know what to think about the upcoming Rise of Cobra film. But my love of Combat Heroes meant I was going to get the figures.

G.I. Joe Combat Heroes follow the pattern of including a hero and a villain in each pack. This pack includes Duke and his former girlfriend, Baroness.

Duke is the Joe in this pack. Decked out in a green “reactive impact armor,” which isn’t accurate to the movie, helps set the figure apart visually from the other guys in the similar suits. All elements on Duke’s armor are sculpted, which seems odd because some noticeable areas are unprotected like his crotch and legs below the knee. So instead of just having painted sections, they’re raised. His left shoulder has the Joe decal printed on and it looks clean without being too obtrusive.

Duke pose is an interesting one that Hasbro seems to love. His left hand is pointing while his right is holding his gun. It’s similar to the pose Optimus Prime and Darth Vader have. Since Duke’s pose is mostly preset, he looks off if either of his arms are moved too far. Either he’s pointing or he’s doing the disco. Duke also moves at the waist and neck.

Duke was played by Channing Tatum, and the figure doesn’t exactly match but the style of the figures doesn’t exactly scream for accurate portrayals. Like Mace Windu, Duke looks different enough but the head by itself doesn’t seem like the actor. At least they remember to include his scar.

On the side of Cobra is every boy’s favorite librarian looking girl: the Baroness. While the film gave her some contrived plot about nanites in her blood controlling her, I can ignore the weird storyline and focus on the toy. Baroness is known for being one of the sexiest supervillains which can be hard to show when the toy line is intended for 3 year olds.

Of all the costumes in the movie, Baroness’s looks the most accurate to the cartoons. She’s dressed in a skintight black outfit and wearing glasses. But instead of just being in a single skintight, the design has been changed to add some more depth. Baroness is wearing a black outfit that reminds me of a skier’s racing uniform with a corset, gloves to the elbows and knee high boots. What really helps the figure though is that the corset, gloves and boots are all painted in glossy black while the rest of the figure is matted. It’s a great visual distinction that makes the plastic look like it is two different materials.

Baroness’s whole outfit is wonderfully textured and the details put into her outfit are great. She’s got two holsters on her hip for her two futuristic guns. Her face is well done too. Instead of trying to give her clear glasses (which you can’t at this scale effectively), Hasbro just gave her a thick pair of sunglasses that look good. Sure, they’re big but given what I’ve seen some girls wearing recently, they’re perfectly reasonable. But it means she doesn’t exactly look like Sienna Miller. In a rare move for a female figure, Baroness is actually articulated! She moves at the arms and her neck can rotate some but is blocked by her hair.

While the figure is mostly two different types of black, there are a few other painted details. Baroness’s belt buckle is perfectly painted bronze, and the Cobra insignia across her chest is clean and centered. The inside of her hands have a little bleeding from the silver pistols, but nothing out of the ordinary. The only area to watch out for is her face. The lips and sunglasses can easily get slightly off center, so check before you buy.

While neither Duke nor Baroness look much like their on-screen counterparts, that actually doesn’t seem to hurt the set in my eyes. From a storyline standpoint, these two work well together since Baroness was *SPOILER WARNING* Duke’s fiancé! Duke is a fine figure but Baroness is where this set really shines and it blows the cartoon version out of the water.

G.I. Joe the Rise of Cobra Combat Heroes Wave 1
Duke & the BaronessRipcord & Destro
Storm Shadow & Heavy DutyDuke & Cobra Commander
Neo-Viper & Snake EyesGeneral Hawk & Cobra Viper

Written by jestergoblin

March 23rd, 2010 at 12:05 am

In addition to commenting, be sure to stay up to date by visiting the Hasbro Heroes Forum!