When pictures first started appearing online for the GI Joe: Retaliation "Ultimate" Duke, I figured that he was going to be a pretty decent figure. Loaded with gear and ready for some easy custom work.
Duke is also burdened by the Tatum head sculpt, but, thankfully, that can be easily swapped out.
I was able to pick up two from Kokomo Toys and almost got a couple more, but hesitation caused me to miss adding a couple more to my team. Oh well, maybe they'll actually hit a local retail chain someday.
Three Walmarts, two Targets, and a Toys-R-Us and no one has them on the shelves. Target apparently dropped GI Joe from their action figure side counter. That's fine, gives me a reason to avoid Target for a while.
Overall, Hasbro produced a pretty damn good figure. Using the vest and helmet initially seen on Agent Mouse and legs from the RET GI Joe Trooper get him moving in the right direction. I'm sure his torso and arms are from someone else, but I'm not focused enough to figure out where they came from.
The biggest drawback is that his arms can't be moved in close to his body. The vest inhibits movement and also makes it a little difficult for a two-handed weapon pose.
The extra head comes from the Night Fox figure/driver from the Ninja Combat Cruiser. Such a piece of five-point articulated crap. Well detailed, but just crap.
The problem with the head is that the Night Fox figure is actually quite a bit shorter than a standard Joe. So when you use his head on a different body, the head appears much smaller. Given that it is helmeted, this guy has a tiny head!
Nice try, Hasbro - seriously. But these extra heads are going into the parts bin along with the other Night Fox heads.
These guys make for a great addition to the Retaliation team. When I took this picture, I had not come up with a decent head to swap. I finally decided on the Dollar General "Duke" figure as a good substitute. The skin tones are pretty close and the helmet fits nicely on the head. While both figures have Duke heads, neither will be Duke in my weird world of GI Joe.
The picture also shows what I have done with the two extra Mouse figures. One has the only redeeming piece from the Tread Ripper train wreck - the driver's head. The other has General Hawk's head from the Rise of Cobra line. So is this guy General Hawk or is the Pursuit of Cobra version General Hawk? That's a topic for another post for another day.
Two thumbs up for GI Joe: Retaliation Ultimate Duke! Well done, Hasbro, well done!