G.I. Joe Classified Roadblock
By Hervé St-Louis
July 26, 2020 - 13:29
Cover Artist(s): Mike Thompson
$19.99 USD, $29.99 CAD
As of this writing, the first Roadblock variant has been announced as an exclusive toys toy sold by the Target chain of stores. It is somewhat surprising as it feels that this version of Roadblock was the least popular of the initial wave of G.I. Joe Classified thanks to his detailing and wacky big gun. Roadblock was one of the first G.I. Joe to be resold with a new mould by Hasbro, back in the 1980s when a new version dropping the camo wife-beater shirt for a bulletproof vest was introduced in the 1986 line.
This version of Roadblock takes much more from the 1986 version than any other. His vest is green, and he wears grey pants, although they are much darker than the 1986 Roadblock’s. Roadblock is bald and sports a beard much like many of the latter versions of the character, like some where he was portrayed in film by The Rock. While I don’t mind the beard, I would prefer just a mustache. Here, he is sleeveless, much like the 1984 version. I am not sure where the left shoulder tattoo came from. He had none in his earlier appearances.
As mentioned above, the gold-coloured shin guards and kneepad are not great looking. The green of his vest is dull. Because of his very dark skin, a lighter colour might have helped him stand out much more. His great sculpt can only be perceived well in bright sunlight. The tattoo could have been a lighter blue or even red as it is not very visible on Roadblock’s dark skin.
So far, Roadblock is the tallest G.I. Joe Classified action figure. I have seen a review with a Gung Ho that shows them to be about the same, but it was hard to verify as the latter still had his removable hat on. Since Gung Ho reuses much of the same parts as Roadblock, according to that source, it will be interesting to compare them. I would prefer Roadblock to be slightly taller than Gung Ho while being much shorter than an eventual Road Pig Dreadnought action figure. No one should be taller than Road Pig.
Roadblock is very top heavy, so he is quite stable even when posed. His legs are massive and thick and cable of supporting his weight easily. However, he can be topped when not on solid and flat ground. Because he does not have a backpack, he can be more stable, but do watch out for how you pose him with his heavy machine gun as that prop can destabilize him.
Of course, Roadblock, like G.I. Joe Classified action figures can do a Van Damme split, rock their legs forward, back, and from the external end of the socket. Said socket also has a double hinge feature adding mobility to the thighs. It is as if the leg was extended out of its socket. It helps with the Van Damme. Roadblock has a thigh curl allowing the thighs to rotate on themselves. He has double knees articulations giving him more range. On my action figure, all leg articulations are stiff, especially for the left knee with the kneepad and I feel that it could break the toy to put more pressure. The situation could improve on its own in the winter. Roadblock also has calves’ curls, which much like the thigh articulations allow the character’s calves to rotate on themselves. The curls are well hidden by the boots and the shin guards. The ankles are interesting as they have front and back motions as well as pivot features allowing the ankles to flip and leave the soles flat on the ground at all times, if needed. These help stabilize the action figure a lot.
Roadblock’s arms have butterflies hinges giving them the ability to compress inward on the chest. He has regular shoulder extensions and rotations giving him somewhat limited range of motion. He cannot, for example, raise his shoulders beyond about 90 degrees. Bicep curls help rotate the forearms and handle weapons easily. With two-jointed elbow articulations, he can squeeze his arms close to his face or even approach his pocketknife located on his vest. Roadblock has wrist curls with an additional up and down articulation. It is noteworthy that each G.I. Joe Classified has different secondary wrist articulations that adapts to the props they handle the most. Most of the articulations, as mentioned in the case of the legs are stiff. It may fee odd that such a huge guy has so much potential flexibility. I don’t mind it at all. The engineering on these toys is improving vastly. When I reviewed action figures in the 2002 or the 2010s, only a few, like Toybiz’s Marvel legends had so much but they tended to look like puppets, sacrificing the sculpt for mobility.
Roadblock comes with a dagger, a heavy machine gun, and a cartridge that plugs into the gun. The machine gun is probably what discouraged many collectors about this action figure. It looks like a futuristic laser gun instead of a real heavy mach9ine gun that can do damage. I don’t like it either. It is almost as tall as the character and has to be handled with both hands, much like the real thing. But it does not come with a stand that can help Roadblock lift it or position it while he is about to shoot his opponents. That’s a feature that the first Roadblock’s machine gun had. A tripod would help make him more military accurate. Unfortunately, Hasbro is not interested in pretending that these G.I. Joe Classified are anything like real soldiers.
The packaging is the new standard G.I. Joe Classified box with original art, and coded specialties on the side but without any specific biography for Roadblock on the package.
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