For reasons unknown to me, Roadblock was always one of my favorite characters in G.I. Joe. I could never really understand why—heck, he only had, what, one GOOD mold during the entire O-ring era of G.I. Joe? I don’t know, there was just something appealing to me about a gigantic, muscular black guy who spends half of his time carrying around a big machine gun not meant to be used as a handheld weapon, and the other half as a master chef. Sure, he did all those godawful rhymes in the cartoon, but well, I tend to disregard the cartoon whenever I can. Roadblock was… just awesome.
When I first heard that Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was playing Roadblock, I was a smidge skeptical. I just wasn’t sold. Yeah, he was big enough, but he just didn’t have… the look. Maybe it was his skin tone, or hair color, or something, but I just wasn’t sold on the idea. But, I tend to keep an open mind, and you know what? Once I finally got to see him in costume, my opinion shifted. One look at him said “That’s Roadblock.” And all things considered, I was pretty happy.
This is the second figure Roadblock has received in the Retaliation line so far, and it’s a certain improvement over the first one. This figure actually has two functional hands as opposed to a stupid gimmick hand that lacks any functionality whatsoever. Apparently early production samples had him with two of those hands, but thankfully, that’s not the case for the final toy.
I really like the head sculpt for this figure. While I think it could be a bit better, maybe with The Rock’s trademark “one eye bigger than the other” expression, it’s good for what it is. I actually like the lighter facial hair color here—it makes it look like he’s been out on patrol for awhile, going along with the whole “Night Ops” look.
Roadblock’s color scheme is very dark and subdued, and it works. The camo patterns on his arms, body, and head are well-applied and don’t seem too excessive or lacking. He also has an Arashikage symbol on his chest… that’s something I really hope the new movie clears up. I just… can’t see Roadblock as a ninja…
Of course, I have to talk about the articulation. Roadblock lacks a wrist hinge and… pretty much every leg joint introduced since the start of 25th is gone. It’s unfortunate, but at least he’s not missing any joints that even the old figures had. Maybe I’ll try customizing one with a Night Adder or something someday…
His weapon layout isn’t as good as his packmates, but for Roadblock, it works. He has RoC Heavy Duty’s gatling gun, a smaller machine gun, and, unfortunately, a gigantic missile launcher. At least it didn’t take the place of a gatling, however. He also has the same vest as Night Adder and Resolute Roadblock, which is very cool and suits him perfectly.
Roadblock is a little better than Kamakura, but he still isn’t perfect. He’s a hell of a lot better than the single pack figure out right now, and I think until next year, he’s going to have to do. I still have one figure to cover, but if you’re already convinced, make sure to pick up your set at FPNYC!