ROAD PIG v4
One aspect of the G.I. Joe toy line that I loved was the wide array of sub-teams within the two main forces. Sometimes the sub-teams consisted of repaints of established character like Joe’s Tiger Force which was an elite combat team with a roster of well known Joes like Flint, Roadblock and Tripwire. The tiger force figures and vehicles were all repainted with a tiger stripe deco. Cobra had a similar sub-team called the Python Patrol which had name characters like Copperhead and a slew of specialist troopers repainted in a cross hatched python pattern that was apparently invisible to radar. These were neat and all but what I really liked were the sub-teams of entirely new characters, teams that sometimes operated outside of the Joe vs Cobra conflict. The Joes had Battle Force 2000, a squad of soldiers armed with lasers and futuristic vehicles. (Battle Force 2000 sounded very futury in 1987) and Destro had his Iron Grenadiers to fight for his own interests. The coolest and most expansive of the sub teams had to be the Dreadnoks. Led by Zartan the master of disguise, the Dreadnoks originally consisted of 3 swamp dwelling international punk rock bikers, Buzzer, Ripper and Torch. These 3 provided comic belief in the cartoons and were always fun to watch. The Dreadnoks quickly grew to include Monkeywrench, Thraser, and Zartan’s younger twin siblings Zandar and Zarana. My favourite new addition to the Dreadnok ranks was Roadpig. The original Roadpig figure was big and muscly which made him stand out from the crowd back then as most Joes were pretty much all the same size. He had a slew of cool accessories such as a wrist mounted crossbow, some road warrior inspired shoulder pads, a goalie blocker and best of all a cinder block on a stick. I got him for my birthday one year and just loved him. There was something very satisfying about having him clock a Joe in the face with that cinder block. I was very much anticipating his re-release in the modern era.
Well after several years the modern(aka anniversary) line began to wind down in 2011. With the upcoming Joe movie sequel hitting theaters this summer Hasbro wanted a few months to clean the slate before launching their new movie tie-in figures. I started to wonder if I would ever see modern interpretations of a few of my favourites that had been overlooked. Well just before the Joe line went on hiatus Hasbro announced that they would be releasing two 7 packs of figures exclusively through BigBadToyStore.com. The first pack consisted of Sgt. Slaughters Marauders, this set included 3 brand new modern era figures plus 4 repaints of previously released figures in their Marauder colors. The second pack was like a blessing from the Joe Gods, 7 brand new Dreadnoks that had never been released in the modern era, one having never been released ever. This set filled in all of the holes left in the Dreadnok gang. Thrasher! Zanzibar! Zanya! And of course my beloved Roadpig. What a fantastic update this is. Honestly I kinda liked the pudgy friendly face of the original but this version is leaner and meaner. The body is great, he retains his large stature and is full of great details like the tattoos on his arm and chest. The crazy weapons are still here but even better! The cinder block looks absolutely deadly and the fact that they painted the handle goes a long way when they could’ve kept it solid grey like the original. In place of the goalie blocker he has a mangled street sign to use as a shield. Totally awesome. I think this is a fantastic update to the character and this whole set is an absolute must have for any Joe fan. 9 out of 10.