Destro V1, 1983

When I first got into completing my vintage ARAH collection in the late 2000‘s, many of my early acquisitions were vehicle drivers such as the Lampreys and other oddballs like Techno Vipers, partly because these figures were cheap and helped me grow my fledgling Cobra army. I did have some characters I sought in high priority for one reason or another, and one of said characters was V1 Destro.

GI Joe vintage action figure action force Destro Iron Grenadiers ARAH Hasbro 1983 version one

As a kid, I had V3, V4, and V5 who were all frequent players in my childhood battles. In fact, Destro would more often be leading Cobra than Cobra Commander, as I preferred any villain with a robotic appearance and Destro fit that bill nicely (especially his Armor Tech toy). I also really enjoyed his appearances in the Sunbow cartoon, so he was essentially my favorite Cobra in my early days.

As such, his V1 figure was one of the first I set out to acquire after V1 Major Bludd. The ones from my childhood were nice, but the appeal quickly wore off of the Armor Tech figure, and I was never fond of the small head on the V3 mold. Most later Destros were derived from that mold as well, leaving me with only the V2 Iron Grenadier figure and this one as palatable alternatives.

Destro’s design is fairly eccentric with his open-chested jacket and medallion he wears, but the absurdities of his appearance are something I’m somewhat numb to. Compared to other early Cobras like the Cobra Troopers and Major Bludd, this is a pretty silly look for a character. But, it works for Destro and there’s no other design for the character I prefer over it. It’s odd, but when you look at him as being an 80‘s comic book antagonist, he’s far from out of place.

There are some weaker areas in V1 Destro’s sculpt. Namely, I feel as though the chest and waist details are a little on the soft side, even when compared to his contemporaries. The best element of the figure is by far his head. It’s one of the few Destro toys that wears an appropriately sized mask, and the use of chrome on it made for a very unique figure.

For accessories, he included a laser pistol, and a backpack/ gun case. I still only own the accessory pack version of his pistol, but I really dig the look of it. Not a lot of figures came with pistols in the early part of the line, so it seems to carry a sort of distinction that denotes the importance of a character. The backpack opens up and reveals a disassembled M16 in storage, a very nice detail that added a little more play value to the part, though personally I’ve always thought he looks a little strange wearing it.

Complete Destro’s range from from $20 to $30 dollars, but it’s more common you see them run towards the later. If you sacrifice the pistol, the figure can be had more easily for about $8 to $10. If you go the cheaper route and don’t care about his pistol, there’s a dark blue accessory pack version that makes a decent stand-in.

GI Joe vintage action figure action force Destro Iron Grenadiers ARAH Hasbro 1983 version one GI Joe vintage action figure action force Destro Iron Grenadiers ARAH Hasbro 1983 version one

Destro V1, 1983 Links:

Destro by RTG at ARAH Gallery

Yo Joe

Forgotten Figures

3D Joes

When It Was Cool

Destro Diorama by Outrider

Destro Diorama by Scarrviper

Destro Diorama by Xander

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Destro V1, 1983

  1. A-Man says:

    They gave him Bludd’s gun in the commercial and product folder.

    Classic figure. This one and the IG one were the only great Destros, and I mean across the boards on 3 3/4″/Modern.

    I never know how take Destro as a character, the comic book Destro became too noble to be evil but is incapable of escaping the villain camp. Or the Sunbow toon, where instead of taking power himself he backs the creation of Serpentor, then doubts him, but then in the animated movie is back bashing Cobra Commander. Dic had a more right hand man approach to Destro, content to be second in command (since there were no other rivals left). The toy line had him go his own way with the IG’s, then rebooted him back to Cobra. Every cartoon season and miniseries has Destro, you can only escape his influence with the first 10 GI JOE comic issues and GI JOE RETALIATION (barely a cameo aside). He feels played out, but he’s not the Cobra character like that.

  2. Matt Owen says:

    I prefer his Iron Grenadier version but the original Destro is a classic figure, too.

  3. djv says:

    This toy is a beautiful work of weirdo art. I randomly got one when I saw it at a good price (though it has the accessory pack gun, which I’m fine with– even if other nerds who look at photos on the internet can’t seem to stop telling me it’s the “wrong gun.”). I had a v2 Destro, who is my favorite, and wasn’t really looking for more versions of the character.

    But I’m SO GLAD I got him. I don’t have much from 82-84, but man oh man he is a brilliant and bizarre figure. I actually have him on display, which I don’t do with many GI Joe figures.

  4. R.T.G. says:

    I like v1 Destro, quite a bit. His added height is one of those little details that separate G.I. Joe as the best, of its genre.

    A repaint of this Destro would’ve been pretty cool. There’s a few schemes that would work for the mold, I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *