|HEAVY MACHINE GUNNER|
|Code Name: ROADBLOCK|
One of the most famous G.I. Joe characters, Roadblock was one of the few popular enough to warrant an almost instant revamp. The original toy came out in 1984, and was followed in 1986 by a new white-clad version. This also triggered a change in the character in the cartoon - initially he'd rhymed the odd sentence or two, but the second version did it at all times as a seemingly involuntary brain impediment, even when he was wandering around the Himalayas, blinded and carrying a mutated snake. This change probably roughly correlates with Roadblock's personality degradation in the comics. Initially Hama scripted him as a verbose gastronome (after a mind-numbingly stupid introduction), but he later degenerated into the big strong black guy, with added right-wing leanings - notably threatening to kill an unarmed civilian for setting fire to an American flag. What a dick.
Figure-wise, both of the original 1980s versions were homaged for the 25th Anniversary line. I went for the first version with the green and orange costume, because while I wasn't keen on the character at least this one didn't speak in verse the whole time. And it was cheaper. It originally came with the character's trademark tripod-mounted Browning .303 machine gun, but it was a) green and b) oversized. Well, it could well be to scale, but it looks stupid. So, instead I grabbed one from the original figure, which is black and slightly less comical.
This might not have been a brilliant idea, because Roadblock is a bit cartoony anyway. The proportions aren't bad for the body, he's big without looking like a wrestler or anything embarrassing like that. But his head is dreadful, looking like a peanut (a quick check reveals it is actually slightly smaller than most 25th figures), plus he has this simplistic retarded child smile.
One smart thing is that Roadblock's backpack is counterweighted to make up for his comical machine gun, which gives the figure good balance. I don't know, maybe someone who didn't dislike Roadblock already would find more joy from this figure, but I find he's just too difficult to take seriously.