Variations on a Theme – Part 1: Fuera de la Ley (Argentinian Destro)

This latest series is dedicated to the wonderful(ly insane) world of toy collecting and will showcase variants: alternate versions of a given toy that differ from one another in ways ranging from subtle (stickers or paint applications) to more profound (materials used, plastic colors, or changes made to molds during production to correct design flaws or for purely aesthetic reasons).

We’ll be kicking things off with Fuera de la Ley by Plastirama Toys, the Argentinian version of Destro from the second wave of G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline releases in 1983. For reference purposes, your garden variety North American version of the figure is located on the left and the variant of the day on the right in the following picture:

"Nuestras cabezas son buenas y brillantes!"

There’re a couple of key features separating Destro and Fuera de la Ley, which I’ll be covering in order of decreasing obviousness (please note that the following list is not exhaustive):

1. The most prominent difference would be the shades of red used in their costumes: while Destro is giving off more of a ketchup vibe with his, Fuera de la Ley’s deep, dark crimson is reminiscent of the color of blood. Score one for Argentina in the badass department, though even this barely manages to offset the stupidity of the character’s indigenous name (which translates into English as the descriptive-yet-highly-unimaginative “Outside the Law”).

2. Destro’s shoulder rivets have been painted black while Fuera de la Ley’s retain their shiny metallic appearance.

3. In a classic example of blink-and-you’ll-miss it, these figures have different waistpieces. For some unknown reason, a black version of the one used for the 1983 incarnations of Doc and Duke was substituted for the standard Destro waistpiece.

Waistpieces (from left to right): Destro (1983), Fuera de la Ley (1983), Doc (1983), Duke (1983), and Gung-Ho (1983).

Note that the article on Fuera de la Ley on the Yo Joe! website – which is where I first learned about this variant – contains a factual error: while similar in appearance, Gung-Ho‘s waistpiece is not the same as Doc and Duke’s. Though both have belts sporting a cross-hatch pattern, the former has a square buckle and no pouches while the latter has a circular buckle and two front pouches. Also, Gung-Ho’s pants have a single vertical and horizontal crease while Doc and Duke’s have a double vertical crease.

Special thanks to G and the ever-helpful Trina Swank for Spanish language assistance.

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