GI Joe Retaliation Roadblock
I’m not normally a GI Joe guy, but with GI Joe Retaliation’s release date approaching for a second time, I thought I’d give some of the toyline a look at. 10 figures into the line later… I may have a little overboard for not being “a GI Joe guy” as I keep trying to tell myself that. One figure I really wanted to pick up from Retaliation was Roadblock. Who wouldn’t want a 3.75 inch figure of the Rock? But is Roadblock a figure worth picking up? Let’s smell what he’s cooking…
I’m impressed with the sculpt work on the Retaliation line. The Rise of Cobra line is notorious for providing horrible sculpts of the lead actors of the movie, but Roadblock looks like an accurate representation of a 3.75 inch sculpt of Dwayne Johnson. At that scale it’s not a perfect match, but you can certainly tell who the figure is modeled after, unlike some of the RoC figures (I’m looking at you Baroness). The body spots some very nice sculpted detailing, including veins running along the arms.
With the positive elements the sculpt has going for it, there is one thing that can totally ruin this figure for you; the right hand. As part of the figure’s weapon gimmick, Roadblock’s right hand is molded as if he’s holding some sort of handheld heavy pistol. No matter how many angles I look at it from, it doesn’t look like any type of gun I know of, but more of a stub…which it basically is.
Roadblock comes with three accessories (a large missile firing canon, a gun/knife segment, and shoulder armor bit) that can combine into a huge shoulder cannon. As cool as that sounds, it’s not. The cannon is oversized, looks out of place for a GI Joe, and frankly, doesn’t work very well.
The larger cannon piece has fold out plate shielding and a firing missile launcher. I think it’s supposed to represent Roadblock’s heavy Gatling gun, but done in a futuristic style. The figure can hold the cannon by placing the right hand’s “stub” into a slot on the underside of the cannon piece. The port connection isn’t very tight or stable and leads to the piece falling out of the connection most of the time, which you’ll see is a trend with the rest of the accessory bits.
The mid size piece features and extending blade that pops out when connected to Roadblock’s right hand. The blade is really too small to be any kind of cool looking sword weapon and is a small combat knife at best that looks weird when attached to the hand. This piece also has a small pop out…something…on the side. I’m not sure what it is, so I’ll say it’s a laser targeter for now. Both the missile section and the blade section can combine together to form larger Gatling cannon…with a blade on the back. Roadblock can hold the combined cannon with the right stub, but again, it just looks weird.
The third piece is a small armor section that clips on to Roadblock’s right shoulder. This piece looks a bit neat, albeit out of place, when it’s just by itself, but it’s purpose turn the combined cannon into a shoulder mounted cannon for Roadblock to hold in an awkward pose. Honestly, just give the cannon to Marvel Universe Rocket Raccoon and call it a day. There’s a nicer way to upgrade this version of Roadblock into a proper GI Joe figure, which I’ll cover in the next section.
While not part of the Roadblock carded figure, one of the ways to substantially improved on this figure is to also purchase the 3 pack GI Joes Retaliation Ninja Dojo Set. Not only do you get a very good Beachhead and Kamakura Arashikage Ninja figure (They both have Pursuit of Cobra standard bodies), but a Night Ops Roadblock as well, which is key to improving the single carded Roadblock. Night Ops Roadblock comes with several accessories such as a Gatling Gun, Ammo Backpack and Combat Vest, but the most important thing that the figure comes with is two normal hands. That’s right, Night Ops Roadblock comes with a normal left and right hand, which are perfect for swapping out that horrible stub on the normal Roadblock figure to give him a normal set of hands to dramatically improve the figure. I like to call this set the Roadblock Upgrade Kit because that’s what it does. it turns a crappy mediocre figure into one that looks pretty cool next to your other GI Joes.
Roadblock has all of the articulation of a modern GI Joe figure…until you go below the knees. Roadblock has single jointed knees over double jointed ones, that so many of the modern Joe’s have had. There’s also no foot swivel or any other type of articulation from the knee pad to the boot. I’ve noticed that it’s like that for most of the RoC figures, unless it’s Snake Eyes (because well, he’s a Ninja) or one of the reused bodies from the Pursuit of Cobra line. Regardless of the lack of double jointed knee, Roadblock can still be put into a variety of cool action poses and lay the smack down on Cobra.
By itself, I can’t really recommend Roadblock, due to the right hand “stub” , especially with the wave 2 Battle Kata Roadblock coming out soon that looks more movie accurate than this one. However, if you do have the Ninja Dojo 3 pack and swap out the hands, it makes Roadblock into a pretty good figure with some very nice accessories. Since both Roadblock and the 3 pack are part of Wave 1 and you can wait a bit, wait until Battle Kata Roadblock comes out because as of right now, that figure looks to be better and more movie accurate than this one. If you can’t wait and want a 3.75 Dwayne Johnson on yourself, by all means pick this one and the 3 pack up. It’s more expensive than a single carded release but with all the stuff you get a modern interpretation of Roadblock loaded for bear that looks like The Rock, I think that’s worth it in the end.