Possibly one of the most interesting head sculpts I’ve come across is this one. I found it on ebay for like ten bucks, and at the time I had no idea that Sideshow Toys was going to make 12″ figures of Indiana Jones. Which is the only reason why I wanted it. I wanted a Henry Jones!
So, I made a mold of this head and what you see here is most likely the 3rd head out of the batch. I made about 5. This one I epoxy-ed onto a 21st Century Toys body. From there the grey suit, from Toy Presidents Albert Einstein figure, really establishes the Henry Jones facade. I made the Bow-tie from black ribbon.
The Hat is from a Mold I made of the green Hornets derby. The suit case hails from the Leiji Matsumoto Arms Collection, and a pair of WWII Dragon Spectacles really finishes the toy off nicely.
Destro was always more menacing and I took him way more seriously than the Commander. After all I once read that the Commander’s personality was a bit of Hitler mixed with Yosemite Sam. I am not joking.
The writers literally wrote Cobra Commander to be an evil dictator. As the series progressed they realized that the character just wasn’t working out with that personality in the given scenario’s.
Enter Destro, he was the stabilizing evil genius, ever since the beginning of the series. And I think now that we’re all a lot older we can see that so much better. Subconsciously, everyone seems to respect and relate to that character more. I remember the first GI Joe mini series (I think it’s the one with the Weather Dominator) Cobra captures Duke, and Cobra Commanders immediate thought is gladiatorial competition! Of course! After all isn’t that a normal first response to POW’s?
So, they throw Duke into a pit with a ten foot tall wrestler. Each gladiator is controlled by a device around their head (like Batman’s the Mad Hatter) as Cobra Commander and Destro manipulate them each with a Joystick control mechanism that is reminiscent of an atari controller. Ah, so eighties.
At one point Destro makes it a point to say, “Ok, we’ve had our fun, now let’s just kill him and move on to the next phase of our plan.” At that point Cobra Commander flips the hell out and is insistent on controlling Duke until there’s no fight left in him. I guess he just wants to break his spirits. Destro is actually animated to appear annoyed. Which is a phenomenal leap for an early 80′s cartoon.
Who is Destro in the pantheon of Cobra? The action figure says Cobra’s Arms Dealer. Even the theme song says something like: “… GI Joe against Cobra and Destro, fighting to save the day … GI Joe, A real american hero …” etc. Seemingly, Destro’s status has been established to be at least equal to that of Cobra Commander. After doesn’t he later get his own Iron Grenadiers.
So, despite his distinct red “Cobra-like” jacket collar, he’s his own man. Not quite a terrorist, just an arms dealer. Who lives in a castle in Scotland. I always thought he was a black dude, but no, he’s Scottish. Which reminds me, on a side note they should get Sean Connery to play Destro in the upcoming movie. That’d be like taking two icons and mashing them together into a new fantastic icon super-hybrid … hurray!
Maybe that’ll be my next Destro: a Sean Connery version.
Right off the bat, I wanted to make the classic leaders of the Cobra organization. I sculpted the Cobra Commander “sack face” and then later on I sculpted a smooth face shield for another version of the Commander. When it came to Destro, I was about to sculpt the head and then I realized “wow, there are some amazing bald headed figs out there.”
I figured I could alter a pre-existing bald headed 12″ figure. And guess what: I did.
I wanted Destro to Command respect as soon as you see him. Therefore I custom made him from a 13” Martian Manhunter, this version of Destro is intended to stir up memories of the animated adaptation of the character, while carrying all the details of a new and modern toy. I sculpted his neck “collar”and his trademark medallion was realized with the help of an expensive Swarovski Crystal. Really. The Gloves are from a 12″ Boba Fett. The Boots are made from the mold I made of the Cavalry Boots, which I used for The Supreme Chancellor edition of Cobra Commander. The clothes are made from a pattern that I designed (and they took about 3 days to get right, as I took them apart often to make adjustments to the bulky DC Direct 13″ body.
Though Destro is an inch taller, when paired together with the Commander they just feel right to me. The Commander is about 1/4 inch shorter than my other 12″ fig’s, so Destro appears to tower over them. But he looks in scale, and scale is very very important to me. Not to brag, but the more I sculpt and the more I custome I’ve discovered that I have an uncanny knack for scale. I think it’s something I developed in school.
I studied comics and with comics you draw them about twice as big. When printed, they’re scale down to the general size that we’re all familiar with. I think from seeing this art every day for a long time (and in it’s varying scales) I’m able to judge with amazing accuracy. I only say “amazing” because sometimes I even surprise my self. I’m no robot but my guesses about scale are 99% accurate. Apologies for any arogance.
But the point is, I always felt like Destro was just bigger, like his very presence commands a silent respect. Subconsciencely this is achieved through height. Cobra Commander acts like yosemite Sam because he’s a little short, destro says little and commands a great legion because he’s tall like a Titan.
Ever step back, look at your toy collection and think, hhhhhhmmmmmm I need a rad Arms Dealer for my other 12″ action fig’s. But, where do I find such a fig?
Look no further! Destro has arrived!
SO, the big custom figs for us and our gaggle of friends would have to be that trinity of world domination that has plagued all of our collections. The “Axis Powers?” you must be thinking. But, no … I’m talking about Cobra Commander, Destro, and the Baroness.
After Supreme Chancellor Cobra Commander, and Face-shield Cobra Commander the next no-brainer character would be Destro. With the Baroness being in my future cross-hairs.