G.I. Joe Clasified Heavy Artillery Roadblock
By Hervé St-Louis
January 12, 2022 - 23:37
Roadblock is a popular G.I. Joe character, often represented as one of the core members of the team when the line up is limited. He was the heavy machinery gunner of the Joe team but is now its heavy artillery soldier. This is the fourth attempt at a Roadblock action figure in the Classified line, as previous ones were not well received by collectors.
The first was a head scratcher as he looked like the 1986 Roadblock action figure but with bright colours and a weird weapon. Months later, Hasbro introduced another exclusive Roadblock action figure which was exclusive to Target stores in the United States, and Toys R Us in Canada. And then again, a few months later, Hasbro released a redeco of the first Roadblock with muted and darker colours. Each of these toys has been peg warmers and continue to be available in many stores, unlike the other characters released at the same time.
Collectors complained that this was not the figure that they wanted. That he did not look like the Roadblock of old. Thus, Hasbro released the Heavy Artillery Roadblock, the fourth in the line as an Amazon exclusive that was supposed ton address criticism from the collecting community. Finally, it seems that Hasbro’s G.I. Joe team got the message and delivered the character that collectors wanted. The action figure is not a completely new design and new sculpt but it takes the best from the old Roadblock moulds and in a much-improved design. Let’s find out how they did it.
This Roadblock is an amalgam of actor Terry Crews and the Roadblock from the 1980s G.I. Joe A Real American Hero cartoon series. He really looks like Terry Crews which for years has been fan-cast as Roadblock in potential G.I. Joe movies. There’s nothing wrong with that. He sports the classic Roadblock camouflage camisole, brown pants, but also a helmet, covering his bald head, like the original figure.
I’m not sure why Hasbro decided to go with the other head sculpt for the first Roadblock
. Had it had the new head, it might have been a winner with fans, despite the odd uniform and unrealistic machine gun. An important aspect of this figure is that the goatee and moustache are the right ones, much like the old cartoon. The full bearded look is not the right one.
As I have written when I reviewed the Cobra Island Roadblock
, that figure was not Roadblock to me. It was his cousin Heavy Duty. The first Roadblock can be the grenadier Hardball. I don’t expect to see a Hardball action figure anytime soon, so he’s the perfect stand in in my collection. The latest Roadblock is the real deal for this collector!
Much of the sculpt from the original Roadblock is reused. The arms and legs are the same, except for a missing kneepad on the left knee. What has changed, is the head and the torso. The head as mentioned above, is quite good with a mild grimace. The torso is much longer and muscular than the previous one used for Roadblock. The fabric pattern is moulded in. I wonder with who Hasbro can reuse this new torso. Because of the length of the torso, Roadblock towers over the previous releases and Gung Ho
who was always meant to be significantly shorter than him.
The long torso means that his legs look too short, especially as the pants are visually shortened with a belt. The arms are the same ones, but they look better with him than the previous release where they might have been too long. Much like the previous Roadblock figures, the feet are way too short for his stature.
Roadblock is cast in his original plastic, so without much paint except for his camo shirt which has a very thick layer of paint, covering his skin tone underneath. Surprisingly for Hasbro, his top has the camouflage pattern even on his back. That’s rare for Hasbro which often likes to cut corners. The helmet also has two colours. Black appears to be the base colour, and green the painted exterior. Hasbro use 3D painting on Roadblock’s face giving him piercing eyes.
The Heavy Artillery Roadblock is the tallest G.I. Joe Classified figure so far. He should be the second tallest after Roadpig. I like how he towers over his two previous elves. He clearly is not the same guy! He doesn’t even look like them! For a G.I. Joe Classified, Roadblock is tall, but for most seven-inch lines, he is rather short. Nevertheless, he looks great next to other Classified figures.
The figure is quite stable despite being top-heavy and having small feet.
Unlike other G.I. Joe Classified action figures, Roadblock does not wiggle much and has a tight diaphragm articulation. I don’t like the gap in the drop-down hips. It feels like they are always extended even if they are not. While he can pivot at the waist, it is limited by his harness and straps that are attached at the waist. He can still rock from his waist though.
Something that makes Roadblock’s handling of his Gatling gun more complicated are his two in and out palm articulations. He would need a up or down to help him carry his Gatling gun which is huge and can only be grabbed at specific spots. Still, the wrists have swivels.
Roadblock has the typical joint articulations with double elbows that have a good range and double knees that are too tight to move easily. He has bicep curls, swivels at the shoulders that can also extend to about 90 degrees. His butterfly joints are not very useful, being so limited. His neck is a separate piece that is slightly more mobile than that of the previous Roadblocks. But the head, on a ball joint, can look up and down easily while rocking on all sides.
Roadblock’s plastic is very good and probably PVC. I find his fingers stiff though and I suggest heating them with a dryer or hot water if you plan on having his use his Gatling gun.
The main props Roadblock that came with are a Gatling gun and a helmet. It’s a nice helmet but it will not fit the heads of other figures such as Duke
, being a bit too large. The helmet does not protect his ears enough, which is necessary with the Gatling gun he uses. The Gatling gun, by the way, is the same one used with Breaker and his RAM cycle
. They can be exchanged, if you prefer having Roadblock’s khaki green Gatling gun with the motorcycle and giving the grey one to gunner. The one difference with Breaker’s Gatling gun is the stock that loads the Gatling gun. The RAM cycle does not have one. The Gatling gun’s turret spins.
The problem with the Gatling gun is that much like the original Roadblock, his hands are too stiff and too tight to properly hold the Gatling gun. I am afraid of breaking his fingers while trying to have him properly carry the Gatling gun. That’s not good at all. The other props are a handgun and a holster pre-attached on his right thigh. Even the pistol is too tight for Roadblock’s hands. Roadblock does not wear a vest unlike most Joes, but he has a harness that turns into a belt that contain a huge pouch in the back and some grenades on the torso.
Roadblock came in the usual G.I. Joe Classified box with a composite image of various characters in the back and a wide-open window in the front.
The Heavy Artillery Roadblock was sold for $22.99 USD and $33.99 CAD. It was the lowest price that one could get him at. Anyone who paid more while ordering through Amazon bought it from one of those resellers that have drop ship accounts with Amazon.
Unfortunately, the first issue of the Heavy Artillery Roadblock was an Amazon exclusive. Collectors in the United States got their orders a month earlier in late July while Canadians who ordered through Amazon Canada had to wait for late September, early October. When the initial orders for Roadblock were advertised on various Amazon sites, collectors had to order their figures and wait. Since fulfilling the orders Amazon has not re-released other stock. Hasbro Pulse had a limited amount but anything popular with G.I. Joe always runs out in less than an hour there.
The only way to get a Heavy Artillery Roadblock action figure is through the secondary market and that may cost you a lot. I’m hoping that Hasbro releases this figure in the future, perhaps as a Tiger Force variant and later, the original again as a Retro-carded figure. This is the Roadblock collectors wanted. The irony is that for once, he is not peg-warming store aisles or online stores.
Rating: 9 /10
Last Updated: February 21, 2022 - 09:41