Before going to China Square Central two Sundays ago, I prepped myself up for what could possibly be the biggest toy splurge of my life. I had set aside a huge budget for toys and I was willing to blow it all in one day if that was what it would take to plug some glaring holes in my collection. Alas, most of the figs that I need stayed elusive and I was only able to use less than ten percent of my budget during our CSC visit. I was really disappointed not to find my targets there but my frustration turned into excitement when I found this 2009 SDCC-exclusive Clan McCullen Destro two-pack in one of the shops on the second floor! I checked the whole thing out for damages or any other oddities and after confirming that it's in fantastic condition, I pulled the triger on the deal. It may be hard to believe but the seller actually sold this bad boy to me for only 40 SGD (1360 PHP or 31 USD)! 1360 PHP for one of the best G.I. Joe exclusives ever? No-brainer! So, even though I didn't get to buy a ton of stuff at CSC, the visit was definitely worthwhile.
I'm still contemplating on whether to set the figures loose or not, so please pardon my inability to talk extensively about them. Still, allow me to share some limited insights about certain aspects of this stuff.
This set's packaging is absolutely ridiculous! Yes, it has an outer box that is very prone to damage but it also has an impressive book-themed inner box that rests safely inside!
Both boxes feature the McCullen clan's coat of arms heavily. The front of the outer box also shows an approval stamp from the Cobra Office of Propaganda while the back of the inner box has a bogus G.I. Joe evidence sticker tag on it.
Upon turning the inner box's front cover, there's a family tree of some sort that states a decent amount of information about each of the McCullens of old (James McCullen I to James McCullen XIII). Illustrations of various weapons supposedly designed by the venerable McCullens serve as a background.
The faux pages of the book house the two Destro figures. The James McCullen IX figure occupies the left compartment while the James McCullen XXIV fig owns the right.
The James McCullen IX fig is huge! Even without the iron mask on, it's already as tall as the ROC Night Adder fig but I guess that's acceptable since it portrays a guy who is all covered up in armor. The head sculpt looks fantastic and the figure is loaded with accessories in the form of a mask, a pistol, a rapier, a halberd, a flag (that is designed to attach to the halberd), and a display stand.
The real star of this set is the James McCullen XXIV fig, though. It's the only Rise of Cobra Destro fig that features a head sculpt with Christopher Eccleston's likeness and that fact alone provides enough reason to snag this set. James XXIV is dressed to kill and even though the removable vest looks bulky, it doesn't really look bad. The figure comes with a lot of accessories too, including a MARS briefcase, a submachine gun, a nanomite injector, a chromed head, a chromed pistol, two chromed rifles, and a dislpay stand.
The trays storing the carded figures can be removed from the inner box by simply pushing them out (there are two holes at the bottom of the inner box to accomplish this task). Four elastic bands hold each carded figure firmly in place on the tray.
Behind the book's rear cover, another family tree of some sort is shown but this time, it's all about the somewhat modern-day McCullens (James McCullen XIV to James McCullen XXIV). Blueprints of some relatively new weapons and vehicles (including those that belong to the Joes) serve as a background.
So, that's about it. For only 40 SGD, this set is really a steal! G.I. Joe: Retaliation promises to change a lot of things from the first movie but I don't think it will lessen this set's greatness. This one is a must-have whether you liked the first movie or not.