BARRICADE v.4 (2016)
This past Friday my second shipment from the G.I. Joe Club’s 4th Figure Subscription Service (FSS) arrived in the mail. It contained the Night Creeper Ice Ninja and Barricade. First up I’m going to take a look at Barricade.
When the FSS line-up is announced each year there are always some figures that I’m really excited about and others that I’m lukewarm on. My lack of excitement for a particular figure may stem from me having no personal attachment to the character, or because I don’t like the way the toy looks, or because it just feels redundant; like a Cobra Bat in yet another color variation. Barricade was one of those lukewarm figures for me this year. Fortunately, for the past three years, I have always found myself pleasantly surprised once I got those lukewarm FSS figures in my hands. Previous figures that I expected to dislike, like Alpine or Airtight, won me over in the end. Go back through my FSS figure reviews and I don’t think you’ll find a negative one.
Well that’s about to change because Barricade is a turd of a figure.
The original Barricade figure was released in 1992 which was after I had quit collecting Joes as a kid. He had a science-fictiony, Robo-Cop-esque look to him courtesy of his gold plated body armor and helmet with a red Visor akin to Cyclops of the X-Men. Underneath the helmet was a rather nerdy face with a side part in the hair. He was the Joe team’s “Bunker Buster” and it was the 90s (the era of over-sized spring-loaded weapons) so he came packaged with a massive missile launcher that no real person would ever be able to carry. Repaints of the original figure were released in 1993 and 2004. I have never owned any of those three Barricade figures so I have zero attachment to the character.
That is partly why Barricade was one of the characters I was least excited about when the FSS 4.0 line-up was announced at last year’s Joe Con. However, he was a character who hadn’t yet received a modern-era figure and I’m always happy to add unique characters to my collection even those I didn’t grow up with. I was hopeful that the Club would surprise me with an impressive figure.
Unfortunately, my lukewarm thoughts only got warmer (cooler? luker?) when the first mock-up images of the figure were shown a few weeks after the initial announcement. I did not care for the parts chosen to construct him. He was a blend of armored Cobra Commander arms on an Accelerator suit body from the Rise of Cobra toyline. The parts didn’t appear to come together very well and the helmet seemed to sit awkwardly on whatever head they used. Poor construction was strike number two against Barricade yet I tried to remain hopeful that the final product would be better than the photoshopped mock-up.
Well now I have him in hand and I can tell you that Barricade is even worse than I feared. The accelerator suit body (which I don’t love anyway) looks really weird with the Cobra Commander arms. The arms are just short enough to make it look like he’s got some sort of growth defect, like he’s a dwarf or a T-Rex or something. The helmet sits just as awkwardly as it appeared to in the promotional image and now I know why. The head they used is too damn big. Up until I opened this figure I had no idea what the head would look like. The Club hadn’t given us any hints as to what was under the helmet. It could have been a brand new head for all I knew which would have been a nice surprise. Even though the original Barricade head was pretty dorky looking I would’ve loved to discover a newly sculpted version of it, side-part and all, hidden underneath the ill-fitting accelerator suit helmet. Instead we got a repainted Chuckles head. I’ve previously ranted about how much I dislike this head in my reviews of Chuckles v.3 and Chuckles v.5. It’s an ugly misshapen head with big hair and a pervy expression it needs to remain covered up.
The other major thing that really drags this figure down is the paint job. I actually liked the shimmery metallic gold shown in the mock-up image but sadly the actual figure is completely devoid of shimmer. The armor is a flat rust color with a faint marbleization effect. It’s ugly and there is a lot of it. There isn’t enough blue to break it up. The original Barricade armor was simple and blocky and didn’t allow for much painted detail. This modern paint job may echo the original but the accelerator suit is so much more intricate than the original armor and its begging for additional paint apps. Some red or black highlights would’ve helped this figure immensely.
Barricade’s accessories are okay. He has a machine gun, a shotgun, a pistol that can be holstered on his leg, an axe, and a spring-loaded cannon with a tripod. The Cyclops/Robo-Cop helmet should’ve been Barricade’s signature piece and I really wish the Club had splurged to craft a new one. The accelerator suit helmet is a weak substitution. The lopsided red visor is especially ugly. It probably would’ve looked better had they used translucent plastic.
There’s no debating it. This is a fugly figure in both build and color. It is the worst figure the Club has produced since their horrible Iceberg of 2013. A massive disappointment. 3 out 10.