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Profit Director Destro

GI Joe Classified Series
by yo go re

Call this figure Kat Williams, because its entire value lies in pretending to be a pimp.

Destro is the arms supplier for Cobra and head of a paramilitary organization known as the Iron Grenadiers. With the Iron Grenadiers doing his bidding and his global weapons empire printing money, the orchestrator of evil is free to spend time in his secret underground lounge lair, a grotto playground that showcases the reckless indulgence you'd expect from a warlord with a bank account larger than 40% of the world's GDPs. It is rumored to include: a computerized fountain spouting a breathtaking ballet of liquid beryllium steel, a jacuzzi where visitors can literally bathe in gold, and a giant aquarium stocked with submarines. His garage is filled with equally extravagant rides, including a custom H.I.S.S. tank with velvet seating, bearskin floor rugs, and hydraulic treads; and a custom VTOL jet designed for the sole purpose of "dropping bombs on the dance floor."

In 1997, Hasbro released their fifth version of Destro in a three-pack with Baroness and Combra Commander. All three had odd colors - CC was wearing his Battle Armor except it was painted blue, Baroness was wearing blue, and Destro was wearing a suit that basically swapped the places of his traditional red and black - but there was one version of this set that was even weirder. As a joke, painter Steve Masso created a paint master that gave Destro leopard-print accents. The projector's directo, John Boyce, thought it was over-the-top... but in a good way, and approved it. The factory got to work in late September/early October, and sent a few production samples back to the US, at which point marketing manager Vinnie D'Alleva felt the design was pushing things too much, and might hurt sales among fans. So production was halted for a few weeks while the paint master was changed (basically just turning the leopard parts into solid black), and production resumed before Halloween. A few hundred of the "incorrect" Destros were produced, and some actually made it to the packaging stage - a portion of those accidentally shipped to the US and made it onto store shelves. And when the variation was brought to light, the fans nicknamed it "Pimp Daddy" Destro - or "PDD" for short. Hasbro honored that figure's 10th anniversary with an SDCC exclusive in 2007, and now the Classified Series has its own PDD; Profit Director Destro.

This Destro uses all the same molds as the existing figure - quite convenient for us, since it means we can just usher you over to that review and let you find all the pertinent info there. What it means is that the sculpt is detailed, with a modern take on the classic costume... or at least the classic costume shapes, since the colors are entirely different.

Profit Director takes his color cues from Pimp Daddy - both the 1997 and 2007 versions, in fact! The SDCC release had two variations: one with a silver head like the orginal, and one with golden. Someone at Hasbro must have thought that looked better (it does), because the 6" version goes for the gold. The majority of his suit is a dark maroon, with bright red reserved for the bracers and holster. His gloves, boots, kneepads, belt, and the outside of his collar are all black and gun metal grey. And of course we mustn't forget the animal print.

Although they look superficially similar, there are big differences between the coat patterns of cheetahs, leopards, and jaguars: cheetahs have little plain dots; jaguars have irregular small dots, surrounded by larger dots that blend together to form big individual rosettes; leopards split the difference, getting rounded shapes without the tiny spots in the center. Armed with that knowledge, we can see Destro is trimming his outfit in leopard skin. The interior of the collar, the area immediately beneath the belt, and the panels on the outside of his legs are all painted cream, then decorated with black horseshoe-shaped splotches. The layout isn't exactly the same as the '97 PDD, but it references it well while utilizing the lines of the modern sculpt.

Upping the "fabulous" quotient of this outfit, though? He adorns it with a cape! That's not something seen on any of the previous ones, unless you count the 2013 Kre-O exclusive (which is where we copied the bio up top from, since it's not like the website would have any different info than we already shared, and that was funnier/more topical than the text on the 1997 filecard). The Kreon's cape was just plain red. This is also a red cape, but it's got fur trim around the shoulders, a thick gold chain across the chest, and the pelt of a leopard draped against the back. Like, seriously, it still has its paws and tail - this isn't just a pattern. It's even sculpted with a fur texture. It never hurts to remember that even if this is supposed to be a fun exclusive, and if he's supposed to have a sense of personal honor, Destro's still a bad guy.

A few of the accessories are taken from the normal release - namely, his pistol, and his disappointing briefcase. They're both gold now, and the briefcase still doesn't have any play features other than a weak hinge. The new things beyond the cape include a pair of totally boss faded sunglasses, and a stack of money that he has set on fire! Outstanding! The fire looks a little cheap, because it's just solid orange, but there's not a lot they could have done to fix that. We will say, however, that we'd have been perfectly happy to lose the briefcase if it meant he got a big, wide-brimmed hat with leopard print underneath and a big feather sticking off the side. The new parts were all sculpted by Dennis Chan, like the original figure was, so they fit right in with what we already had.

If Snake-Eyes was going to be an SDCC exclusive, Profit Director Destro was probably meant for NYCC - if it had happened this year, it would have been last weekend. While his packaging is the same shape as all the others', it foregoes the red/blue colorscheme and military graphics for a cartoony image of the man himself and graphic design that has a totally '80s vibe to it - artist James White's usual gimmick. It totally suits the silliness of the character, and helps take the edge off the totally serious sculpt. The logo and the release number (#15) are given gold foil, to help make the box look more special. Like we said, this was probably going to be a con exclusive.

Profit Director Destro feels a little goofy to be included in the line this early, but we shouldn't hold that against him. The colors are a decent homage to an infamous rarity in the line's history, and the new accessories make this more than just a repaint.

-- 10/16/20

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