Chinese Duke

Chinese Duke

In the 90‘s, Hasbro produced a line of GI Joe figures for China. The assortment consisted mainly of assorted 80‘s and 90‘s items, but a few releases stood out for being rather unique. Of them, there was a Tiger Force Flint made from V1 Falcon, a unique Major Bludd figure, and the Duke that is the focus of this profile.

On the surface, Duke seems more similar to his original V1 figure than the Major Bludd and Flint I mentioned. And in truth, he is quite similar to the original, but the main difference is that he uses the part recipe from Tiger Force Duke, just in V1 colors. The result is a figure that’s a near perfect representation of V1 Duke, but with a few different details that really makes it an interesting novelty as well.

Just like Tiger Force Duke, on this figure the arms are from Hit & Run, while the waist is from the Cobra Officer. The legs, head, and torso are the same as V1 Duke’s however. Until this writing, I actually forgot about the waist being different, and the main visual difference here is the elastic sleeves he features over the original cuffed ones.

V1 Duke ended up being one of those expensive main characters I put off buying through my early collecting years. Eventually I came across one of these Chinese Dukes and my need for the American figure diminished rapidly. Essentially, this figure provides you with almost everything the original does, only with a few odd sculpt changes that work to provide you with a more interesting collectible.

For the most part, his accessories are the same as the original’s as well. You get the same green helmet and gun, backpack, and binoculars. I really like these parts and am glad this figure includes them without changing anything. Subsequent releases of this sculpt lost more and more of the original parts, so it’s really nice that everything was included here one last time.

I don’t remember the last time I saw a Chinese Duke for sale. It probably was over a year ago, but at a time these were pretty common. I think I payed less than $15 for mine, and, if I had to say what I thought the figure is worth now based on that, I’d say about $15, and no more than $20 even for a carded example. These are out there and in collections, but a lack of interest in the brand right now is really creating a false since of scarcity. You almost never see this figure for sale, but the same can be said for plenty of the American items released at retail between ‘04 and ‘06, so let that speak for where we stand.

Chinese Duke Gi joe Hasbro vintage arah cobra commander snake eyes Chinese Duke Gi joe Hasbro vintage arah cobra commander snake eyes

Chinese Duke Links:

Forgotten Figures

Yo Joe

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2 Responses to Chinese Duke

  1. A-Man says:

    So where did that Cobra Officer waist go? Does it break as easily as Duke’s original waist.

    I forget there’s a Grunt V1 armed Duke that was released in Japan and maybe other places.

    I much prefer the rolled up sleeves, but wouldn’t mind having the Chinese, Japanese Dukes and any free Fireflies you have… lol.

  2. Battle Armor Dad says:

    This is a great Duke. I think of him as a tribute to both the Original and Tiger Force versions because of his colors and parts and he also because he used the Tiger Force card art. Hasbro used a more natural skin tone to paint his chest and hands then the strange yellow of the 1984 version. A good bargain especially if you can find him loose.

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