Retaliation week continues. Today I’ll be reviewing Roadblock. I would imagine that Roadblock is one of the most well-known of the Joes. He was an early release figure, first showing up in 1984, then again in 1986 with a brand new look and then again as part of the Tiger-Force sub-team in 1988. He was a mainstay of the Marvel comic book series and he was featured frequently in the animated series and prominently in the animated movie. Joe fans will remember that at the end of each episode of the show a different Joe would appear in a public service announcement warning kids about the dangers of skating on thin ice or petting stray dogs. Even non Joes fans though may be aware of the redubbed versions of these PSAs that hit youtube a few years ago. These sometimes hilarious redubbed PSAs became an internet sensation with one of the most popular being Roadblocks “stay away from downed power lines” becoming “body massage”. That body massage PSA has probably familiarized the general public with Roadblock more than anything else ever had. That’s about to change though. For the upcoming movie, G.I. JOE: RETALIATION the filmmakers have cast Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the Joe’s heavy machine gunner. I was a little worried about this news at first because I thought he might bring a cheese factor to the film that I didn’t want to see. The guy is cheesy. Around the same time this casting news came out, Dwayne could be seen in the trailer for Journey 2 bouncing cherries off his pecs at the audience in 3D. Other Rock films include the Scorpion King, The Gameplan and the Toothfairy so you see what I’m saying. However, despite his sometimes sketchy film choices you can’t deny the Rock’s likability. This dude has charisma and he’s bankable. Even his cheesy movies make money. As a Joe fan what I really want to see is the brand elevated in status, I want people to recognize it as a great brand full of awesome characters. I want to see G.I. Joe stand tall as the absolute best toy line out there as it was in its heyday of the mid 80s. And cheesy as he may be The Rock is the kind of guy who can help get us there. He’s the type of guy that will draw people to the theater who may have otherwise dismissed the Joe sequel. So I have fully embraced the Rock and welcome him to the G.I. Joe universe. After all Roadblock was a pretty cheesy character himself, even before he was whispering “body massage” to unaccompanied minors on a quiet desert road he was the Joe’s resident chef who spoke in rhymes.
Now Roadblock has always been a big black guy. What Dwayne Johnson lacks in pigment he makes up for in size. He’s got a truly intimidating stature. One thing I love about the modern G.I. Joe figures is that they now come in different sizes. Guys that are supposed to be big like Roadblock or Heavy Duty are big. Hasbro has delivered a larger body type for the larger characters which brings a degree of realism that the older figures didn’t have. This Roadblock makes use of the bigger body and wears it well. I think the proportions are great on this figure. The highlight of this figure is the head sculpt. Where the sculptors seem to struggle with Channing Tatum they nailed Dwayne Johnson. This thing is unmistakably The Rock. I wouldn’t be surprised if Wrestling fans end up scooping this figure up as it’s better looking than most of the Rock figures released under the WWE banner. The body design is nothing revolutionary but it doesn’t always have to be. The simple camo pants and tank top look great here, and the original Roadblock didn’t wear much more than this himself. The thing about this figure that had fans in an uproar when images were first shown, were his hands; specifically his right hand. For some reason Hasbro sculpted Roadblock’s hand with the handle of his gun in it. His big projectile launching gun than snaps onto the handle. It’s a weird choice. They’ve never done it before and I don’t know why they’d start now. It might’ve been done to allow the character to more realistically hold his oversized weapon without it falling out of his hands, I really don’t know. Whatever the reason it actually doesn’t bother me. I wouldn’t want it to become standard practice or anything but on this one figure who really cares. I know some fans are planning on skipping this figure because of it but they’ll be missing out on a pretty sweet toy. 7 out of 10.