Mighty Muggs GI Joe
Destro
5 Inch Scale
By: Hasbro
2009
$9.99

When it comes to Hasbro’s Mighty Muggs, I sort of run hot and cold on them. While I think the concept is certainly cool, I am less impressed each time I get one in hand. On the opposite of that, when I see them in stores I can’t help but be drawn to their “cuteness” and collector appeal. I think my major issue might be that these simply aren’t toys.

Born in Callander, Scotland, Destro’s full name is James McCullen Destro XXIV, and he is Laird of Castle Destro in the Scottish Highlands. The Destro clan has designed and sold weapons for centuries, and Destro is the head of their current incarnation: M.A.R.S. (Military Armament Research Syndicate). He wears a mask forged from beryllium steel, a tradition dating back to the English Civil War, when an ancestor of his was caught selling weapons to both sides.

Destro has always been one of the coolest GI Joe characters and surprisingly there hasn’t been a ton of tinkering with him through the years. Often times with a popular character, you find that creators want to expand on their backstory and character to the point where a lot of the allure and mystery that once made the character cool is gone. This is known as the Boba Fett Effect. While we’ve learned a lot about Destro, he’s never jumped any sharks. Well unless you count being a Mighty Mugg a shark, which in that case he’s definitely doing a Fonz over it.

Packaging:
All Muggs come in an attractive window box. It’s just snazzy enough to entice the hardcore collectors, but also simple enough that regular joes (no pun intended) will have no problem tossing the box aside as trash. No matter which way you fall on the spectrum, you’re bound to appreciate the package.


Destro’s box has a added cool feature that the little picture of him actually uses a metallic silver coating on the head. Peter Laird lobbied for 25 years to get Playmates to make a vac-metallized Fugitoid figure and here Hasbro does it as a throw away on their box. Impressive.


Slightly less impressive is the twisted mangle of bands, tape and cords holding this guy and his accessories in. Note to Hasbro, this figure is in a box, he really doesn’t need all that extra crap holding him in. Are kids really stealing this many figures? Then again, Poe Ghostal has a nearly weekly feature that basically highlights stolen figures so perhaps this sort of security is needed.

Sculpt:
I guess with Muggs, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Much like DCUC, Mighty Muggs consist of one body repainted over and over to be new characters. Okay, that’s both unfair to DCUC and Mighty Muggs, but you get the point. It’s the paint that separates most of these guys.


The good news is that the paint work here is quite good. It’s not amazing or anything, but it’s good enough to impress you. Much like the box, the head of Destro is chromed. Hasbro were very smart in how they achieved this effect, only making certain parts of the head metallic to give the illusion of shadow and depth.


Less impressive is the material used. There’s some debate on if these figures are true vinyl or not, but they are certainly hollow and feel almost like glass. When you see the Muggs on the shelf you almost expect them to be harder… Like a coin bank or something, but they feel very light and just not as durable as you might hope. Then again, that’s more of a “feeling” thing and less of a fact thing. They actually seem fairly durable.

Articulation:
The articulation on these guys suck. Some designer vinyl figures have no articulation and these figures definitely hit as many articulation points as most vinyl figures… But I can’t help but feel a little “blah” about them. You end up with a cut neck and cut arms. Huzzah?


Your posing options are limited. Again, I guess I have a problem with toys that aren’t really toys. There just isn’t much play value here. Which is a shame honestly, because in hindsight it appears as though lots of kids actually bought Mighty Muggs. Maybe the line would have done better if they offered more.

Accessories:
Kudos to Hasbro as Destro actually comes with a gun based off his original 1983 black laser gun. What would have been even cooler is if he came with a briefcase like the original figure did. The gun while cool, was warped on mine.


It’s good to get something with these guys, but at about $10 there is definitely a feeling that you aren’t getting a lot in terms of value. At least from my perspective.

Value:
What can I say… I like the idea of Mighty Muggs but in hand they never quite live up to my expectations. I’m a toy collector. When I buy a toy, I think of myself as if I was 10. Would I have liked this figure then? Probably not. It’s a neat low end statue and if you can look at it purely as that, it’s pretty cool.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 7
Articulation – 3
Accessories – Laser Gun
Value – 6
Overall – 6 out of 10


The lack of articulation, accessories or play value ultimately bring this down to a pretty average score. It’s a fun collectible, but there isn’t much you can do with it. I prefer to have just a little more. If Hasbro would have tried just a tad more, I think the concept of the Muggs could have been a lot better. The potential was there, but it just comes up a little short from where I’d really want it.

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