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GI Joe: Pursuit of Cobra
by yo go re

Considering that one of the four "themes" of the GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra line is "Desert Battle," it's no surprise that-- wait, didn't we already use this intro?

Dusty is a desert combat specialist on the GI Joe team. He knows how to fight effectively in deserts, where there is no water, extreme daytime heat, freezing desert nights and harsh sandstorms. He has adapted his machine gun for desert use and can expertly capture the enemy with a well-placed barbed wire trap.

The Real American Hero version of Dusty really didn't have much of a personality. He was a good soldier, and he loved his mom, but those two features could describe just about any Joe, couldn't they? Hell, any kids' character in the '80s, really - they were all clean-cut, upstanding citizens like that. On the cartoon, Dusty even got to be at the center of a rare two-parter, and it was still less about him than about the weekly MacGuffin. Like any Joe that didn't become the star of the show, he was basically a distinctive uniform with a personality quirk.

For the Pursuit of Cobra line, Dusty's old distinctive uniform has been done away with. No more long-sleeved desert camo! He's still wearing a fairly normal gear - no Super Desert Gear Water Armor or anything silly like that. It's a true update of his old design: realistic military togs, adapted for the desert.

He's done all in tones of brown, as you'd expect; it's not a camo pattern, but he'd clearly blend into the sand. The figure's sculpt is entirely new, giving Dusty some highly detailed boots, baggy pants with plenty of pockets, oval kneepads, a shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a bit of armor on the shoulders, and full-sized gloves. The shirt is covered by an armored vest (that's actually the same color, making it hard to notice), which has very impressive detailing of its own. He has a huge utility belt, and while it's separate, it's also non-removable. The belt itself isn't too bad - the armored panels hanging off the sides are a different matter.

The "everything's brown" mandate extends to Dusty's skin, as well. He's been hanging out in the desert, so of course he's coveredin a fine layer of grit. His arms and face are a light brown that's obviously meant to be dirt, not skintone. The neck didn't get the same "dirty" apps, but you won't usually be able to see it, so that's not a big problem unless you're exceedingly nitpicky.

We're not actually done with Dusty's uniform, yet. He has a dark grey scarf/headwrap thing around his neck, and a long linen cape down his back (which is why you won't see his neck much). He has a helmet with removable goggles on the forehead. You can move them down over the eyes, but they'll never get tight against his face - still looks good.

There's a second replacement head included in the set, as well, and unexpectedly, it's that head shown on the packaging art and, by extension, the filecard. This head looks like a guy who's going to play paintball, with a tan hood pulled up over a ballcap, clear goggles, and a brown facemask that's probably designed to let him keep breathing even during heavy sandstorms. But still, paintball.

His weapons include a TDI KRISS Super V Vector SMG and some other gun that may be a submachine gun or some kind of pistol-t0-carbine conversion kit. Since his filecard mentioned barbed wire traps, he also comes with a first-ever Joe accessory: a roll of concertina wire (named after the pseudo-accordian because of the way it unspools).

Part of the second series of Pursuit of Cobra toys, Dusty is a prime example of why the line was named the best toyline of 2010: great sculpt, great accessories, and a design that's an update of the character without being a copy of the old toy. This is another good entry in the line!

-- 01/07/11

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