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Hasbro G.I. Joe Retro Card Series: Destro Action Figure Review

Image © Dan's ToyBox 2023

What's up everybody? Glad to have you here for another Dan's ToyBox review. Today we're looking at the Hasbro G.I. Joe Retro Series Destro action figure. As you know, I've begun to increase my Joe collection and, naturally, have been watching reviews of figures I don't have, as yet. I'm honestly concerned about some of the QC issues with specific figures, like Cover Girl and Zarana. I have not decided just how extensive my Joe collection will become, but know that whatever I add, you'll all be reading my thoughts on them.

The Military Armaments Research System, known simply as M.A.R.S. has been owned by 20 generations of the McCullen family. James McCullen XXIV is the current owner/CEO of the company. In his ruthless alias as Destro, he is also a member of the inner circle of the worldwide terrorist organization, Cobra. This relationship essentially guaranteed that M.A.R.S. would provide weaponry for Cobra and Destro would reap the handsome benefits from it. Destro revels in his role as a Weapons Manufacturer as well as his skills as a Saboteur. There is a relationship between Destro and the Baroness, which the mysterious warmonger has often attempted to use to his advantage to gain more power within Cobra. Clad in a Beryllium Steel mask, which hides his features, Destro plots his next move with a cunning mind and lethal motives. Destro appeared in action figure form for the first time in 1983 and though we do not see his face, he appears as Cobra Commander's "Specialist" in issue #11 of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero released in May 1983 as well.

We will focus on the Accessories, Appearance, Articulation, and Affordability of the figure. Each category will receive an individual rating before the figure receives the overall grade of zero to 10 ToyBoxes. Please remember, though I try to be as objective as possible, these reviews are solely based on my opinion. My goal is to help you, my fellow collectors, decide if a figure is worth purchasing for your own collecting enjoyment.


The Retro Card Destro action figure comes with two pistols, a briefcase, and a pegged display stand, with a sculpted Cobra logo. The smaller of the two handguns appears to be a more conventional weapon, which fits nicely in his holster. The larger pistol is more of a futuristic looking firearm, indicating the advanced style of weaponry Destro manufactures. Both guns are sculpted with plenty of detail and look great in hand. The briefcase opens and features stacks of cash on one side and a portable computer system on the other. The level of sculpted detail is fairly nice as well, when looking at the briefcase, close up.

I actually quite enjoy the look of the computer system, complete with the blue monitor screen featuring the M.A.R.S. logo. I wouldn't have been disappointed with a bit more detail on the cash, but overall, it's a good-looking accessory. Finally, the display stand comes with the Cobra emblem sculpted on and two pegs, which can plug into Destro's feet. (Or really, any other Cobra for that matter.) The accessories are very similar to those that Destro originally came with when first released back in 1983, giving this a nice sense of nostalgia, with an updated look. I actually feel that this is perfect for the figure and captures the essence of the character. Destro earns a solid 8 out of 10 for accessories. Having an extra hand or two, preferably one that better fits the briefcase handle, would have pushed this up another notch.


This is the classic Destro that I remember from my childhood, albeit with some updated features. As intended, the silver, expressionless mask serves as a chilling reminder of the cold, calculating mind behind it. There is just a bit of black paint application on the eyebrows and the eye slits themselves to help us see his pupils and highlight the eyes. The red family crest amulet he wears is a separate piece and the silver chain links give just a hint of realism, in spite of being so small. Even the bolts around the base of his mask are details we are happy to see! There is a LOT of sculpting going on in the figure, which only serves to add to the realistic look and feel of his outfit. There is a noticeable difference between his torso and the arms/legs finish. The upper body does have some semi-gloss to it, while his arms, lower torso and legs are more of a matte black. It's tough to see if you don't have him under good lighting or if you are just glancing, but it's enough to trigger something in your brain. The silver gloves and gauntlets are also sculpted exceptionally well, showing great care in the details. His wrist rockets are bright red, and though sculpted nicely need some wash to give each rocket depth. His belt and retaining strap for the holster are the same gray as his boots and lack a wash, which would help bring out more details. There is a tiny bit of silver accent applied to the buckles on the sides of his boots, but you really need to look closely to see it. His belt buckle does have a neatly applied red insignia, which stands out better than you'd expect. His holster is molded red, with some fine detail sculpted as well, but again, the lack of a wash effectively hides some of the neat, sculpted details. I know I'm being picky over the wash, but the amount of detail put into this figure, really needs highlighted, I feel. Still though, minor gripes aside, I do like how Destro looks, and this modernized appearance does justice to the original character design. 9 out of 10 easy for appearance!


With the bulk of the Joe figures I already have, Destro fits right in, in terms of articulation. His head turns easily and can look down to a degree. The head tilt is aided in part, by a neck joint. Now, unfortunately, the design of his mask does actually limit the neck from going too far forward, but still, every little bit helps. Unfortunately, he cannot look up very well at all, which is kind of disappointing. His shoulders rotate a full 360 degrees and can raise to just past a decent T pose. The sculpted design actually prevents the arms from raising higher, unless you are able to press it in just a bit. I wouldn't try it though, unless you are hoping to damage the figure. There is a very minimal butterfly joint which does allow for just the slightest movement forward and backward for the arms. His bicep swivel works just fine and has no hindrance. The elbows are double-jointed, but thanks to the design of his gauntlets, are limited to just a bit past 90 degrees in bending. The upper diaphragm joint is simply a forward/backward hinge, which does move nicely. Thankfully, the sculpting continues up underneath the hinge area, which helps maintain a bit of illusion on the figure. His waist twist works just fine, even underneath the belt. Much to my great surprise, his legs feature drop down functions at the hips which allow him to do a full split. The holster is on a floating strap around the leg, which is attached to the belt by another strap, enabling the holster to slide when the legs is posed! Both legs can kick forward very well, though they do turn outward just a bit. The upper thigh cut works well enough, allowing the leg to be swiveled. The double-jointed knees are fine and allow for near heel to back contact. There is a boot cut, which works fine and very generous ankle pivot and hinge, which helps get him into some nice crouching or running poses! I think the only major complaint I have with the figure is that the diaphragm hinge is loose, it's not terrible, but it's very noticeable when I pick him up or start posing him. This was probably one of the easiest times I've had posing a new figure when I first opened it and am happy enough to give Destro a good 8.5 out of 10 for articulation. If the torso was a bit tighter, he'd jump to a 9 without a doubt.


Well, you won't need a briefcase full of cash to get your hands on the Hasbro G.I. Joe Retro Series: Destro. I found mine at Walmart for $24.99. I did think it a bit odd that the Retro series was $3 more than the Classified figures they had, but I'm assuming the latter were on sale. As this seems to be the general price point for 1/12 scale action figures, I suppose I really can't complain. The Retro series is still on a card with a clear plastic bubble and somehow are the same price as the windowless packaging, so with that in mind, I'll say he's worth the price of admission to the tune of 7 out of 10 for affordability.

Overall, I'm kind of surprised at how much I enjoy this figure. There really is a lot of good that outweighs the few negatives with the one I purchased. Taking everything into account, I'm proud to give the Hasbro G.I. Joe Retro Series Destro an overall score of:

8.5 out of 10 ToyBoxes!

This Destro figure is really nice and I am definitely glad that I added him to my collection! I think any fan of G.I. Joe would be pleased to have this figure on their display shelves as well. Thank you, as always! Until our next review... GEEK OUT!!!


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