Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Action Figure Review: Duke & RAM from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   The series 1 Duke was the first figure in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series that I picked up and reviewed. While I skipped the "Field Variant" repaint, I definitely wanted this Tiger Force version, both because I love the Tiger Force look and because this was the version of Duke that I had as a kid. Getting into G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero later in the line (because I wasn't born until 1983), the Tiger Force subset gave me a chance to get some of the G.I. Joe mainstays who had disappeared from store shelves by the time I was collecting. The Target exclusive Tiger Force vs Python Patrol figures have been much easier to find than past releases, which is really nice. I've seen this set a few times in stores, so hopefully you can find one if you're looking for him. Let's take a look at Duke and the Tiger Force version of the RAM cycle after the break...

The Facts: Duke

Height: 6 1/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed drop down hips, balljointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck base, hinged neck, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Submachine gun, magazine, pistol, holster, bandolier, backpack, and binoculars.

The Facts: RAM

Length: 7 5/8ths inches

Articulation: Rolling wheels, hinged kickstand, swiveling fork, and balljointed handlebars.

Accessories: Gatling gun and 2-piece housing.

Non-Scalper Price: $42 dollars

The Positives:

* This version of Duke is just a repaint of the original version but I really love the colors of the Tiger Force outfit. The outfit is a bit more muted than the original figure with an OD green shirt and grey gloves and boots, but the tan pants and red collar really do add a nice splash of color. Duke looks fantastic here and still looks up to par with the newest releases in the line. His belt is still really cool and while not removable, it's a cool piece. The vintage Tiger Force Duke wasn't actually a straight repaint, as it used the arms from Hit & Run and a Cobra Officer waist.

* Like the first figure, Duke's headsculpt is excellent and looks very classic with some modern flourishes. Duke has typically always been blonde haired and blue eyed, and that's what we get here. The modern haircut is pretty cool, too, with a lot of detail. His scars aren't as prominent here, but they're present. He also doesn't have the brown hair that the vintage figure had, but I consider that a plus. It's weird that Hawk and Duke apparently went around dying their hair in the vintage line.

* Duke still has the removable bandolier with a Joe Pro attached. I wish more figures had them as they're just a cool, unifying feature for the team. I do hate that Hasbro seems to be abandoning some of the details like this that made the Classified Series originally feel so modern and tactical.

* Duke's knee and shin guards are just solid black now, but I love the color and how they mesh with the stripes on his pants. Those tan combat pants just look so cool. Nice detail and a great color scheme.

* Nothing new here articulation-wise. Duke still has excellent articulation and a sturdy build. He moves well, can take a nice variety of poses, and looks great on the RAM cycle, which he rides with ease.

* Duke's backpack has a more muted green and gray color scheme this time around. It's still sculpted with plenty with pouches and seams, an entrenching tool (not removable), and some canteens. It simply plugs into his back and stays on securely.

* Duke's small, very modern binoculars are included here, too. They're molded in black this time and have a lot of detail for such  a small accessory.

* Those binoculars can plug into a spot on Duke's belt for easy storage. I just love stuff like this!

* I really like the rifle that the first Duke figure came with but this Tiger Force version of Duke comes with a recreation of the weapon that the vintage figure had (which he shared with the vintage Stalker). It was called the M-32 in the vintage line, but that's not a real weapon, though it looks rather realistic. (There are some guns designated M32, but not this. There's a grenade launcher, for one). This is a nice SMG, though, and Duke looks great holding it.

* The magazine is removable, too. Pops in and out nicely.

* Duke also comes with the pistol we've seen with a few of the Joes and even the Vipers. It's a cool sculpt with a nice mix of real world firearm aesthetics and a bit of a futuristic/ ultra modern tech.

* The removable holster on Duke's right hip holds the pistol perfectly.

* The RAM Cycle was part of the original 1982 series of G.I. Joe figures and it matches it's vintage counterpart quite well; it's a simple motorcycle with a detachable Gatling gun sidecar. I actually looked and there never was a Tiger Force repaint of the RAM before. I thought for sure that the G.I. Joe Collector Club would have released one at some point, but they never did. It's quite eye catching.

* The handlebars have some really well detailed instruments on them with paint apps that looks neat and clean for such small details. The handlebars are on balljoints to allow for some flexibility when posing a figure on the bike. It really makes it easier to position figures on the bike.

* There's a lot of fantastic detail on the sides of the bike including the visible engine, tail pipes, and lots of little labels, like the wrench to denote the presence of a tool kit.

* The Tiger Force paintjob is really sweet. I love that vicious looking face, the cool Tiger Force team logo, and the G.I. Joe logo. Everything looks really impressive.

* You've also got a functional kickstand on the bottom. It works great, though you won't need it with the sidecar attached.

* The gatling gun is housed inside this attachable "sidecar" with a rolling wheel. It fits on the right side of the RAM and allows the vehicle to deliver some needed firepower into the field. It's also really bright and matches the red, yellow, and black Tiger Force aesthetic that most of the vintage vehicles had.

* The sidecar housing can disassemble and inside you'll find the same weapon that Heavy Artillery Roadblock and Breaker's RAM cycle came with, but this time the gun is molded in red with black details. It's also emblazoned with the Tiger Force logo.

* Duke looks great riding on the RAM cycle. With the foot pegs and the balljointed handlebars, it's easy to get a figure on the bike in a great pose.

The Negatives:

* Duke's hairline is a bit messy and isn't painted as clean as the original version. Bummer.

   This is really an excellent set. Duke is a very solid repaint who still has some great accessories (even if I prefer the series one rifle over the submachine gun here) and the RAM Cycle is much improved from the previous release just because it has a more interesting paint job. I'm a Tiger Force fan and I really like this set. A helmet would have been nice for Duke, both as a nod to the vintage figure and for motorcycle safety, but overall there's not much to complain about. This is a Great and a 1/2 set that's loaded with cool accessories and a lot of play value. Tiger Force unite!

If you're a fan of Duke then check out my review of the G.I. Joe: Classified Series standard Duke.

If you want to take the RAM for a ride then also check out my review of the G.I. Joe: Classified Series Alvin "Breaker" Kibbey with the RAM Cycle.

For more G.I. Joe: Classified Series reviews check out the following:


  1. Not gonna lie, i like both RAM designs, but the price of the Duke one being 20€ higher from Albin's RAM only because Duke's is a Tiger Force exclussive...

    For that price i can get a Korean Tiger M46 Ripper Patton model, and the Ripper Patton will also come with a Tiger paint without being a Target exclussive! Hahaha!

    1. Oddly enough, at Target over here the Tiger Force and Python Patrol figures are still sold at the previous price, so the set was only $41.99 and the standard figures are around $22 dollars. Probably because they launched preorders almost a year in advance of these figures releasing.

  2. I picked this set up, and one thing I was disappointed by, and had not previously realized, was that these figures have inconsistently sized peg holes in their feet. I realy wanted to put Tiger Force Outback on the bike, because something about a guy with a tiger t-shirt on a tiger bike who looks like Sam Elliott tickles my fancy, but alas, the bike's pegs are too wide for his feet.

    1. Are you sure the pegs are inconsistent? I have 4 Classified figures and all of them have the same peg hole size...

    2. I'm not saying every figure has different sized peg holes, just that there seem to be two different sized peg holes, as again, Outback's peg holes are too small for the RAM's pegs.

    3. Could definitely be the boot style. Interesting that Hasbro would do that. Probably easy enough to simply work the holes a bit larger to make them fit, though.


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