G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Roadblock
Like the previous version of this figure I reviewed, Roadblock feels like a figure that should be far better than he ultimately ends up being. Tooling is terrific, paint apps are pretty nice, and the face sculpt likeness is nearly perfect. But for the overall package there are some down points to this figure as well, which ultimately impact the long term longevity of this figure.
Don't get me wrong, the overall sculpting and design is pretty phenomenal. He's got a great "Rock" likeness and the figure itself is huge, towering over pretty much every other figure from G.I. Joe: Retaliation and beyond. He's got a great tank top, very impressive musculature, and even though it is a very straight forward and simple aesthetic, the execution is darn near flawless.
Until you get to all the fun stuff. Sure, we all love figures that look cool, but G.I. Joe's key selling point has always been the "moveable fighting man" and while Roadblock is pretty moveable, he's not nearly as moveable as he could otherwise be. Instead of the double joint knees we've become used to over the past several years, Roadblock is saddled with single joints. Honestly, not a drastic difference, to be honest.
He has the same swivel wrists as we're used to, but one hand is permanently squeezing a strange contraption that plugs into his rocket launcher, which makes that hand more or less useless for any other functions. Yes, of course there are options for swapping the hand out, which I showed with my previous review, and that does make a nice difference, but I'll be honest, looking at the fantastic movie-accurate Roadblock supposedly coming with Wave 2 makes me just want to be patient for that one rather than drastically modifying this one.
And then there are the accessories. Roadblock comes with a mountain of a rocket launcher that splits into two smaller weapons, though neither of them are any fun. The rear half can plug into his hand module to thrust out a blue knife blade, while the larger section extends some weird shields when he plugs into that one. Then you can combine the two pieces into one huge ICBM shoulder-mounted nuclear rocket launcher of death. Roadblock even comes with an armored shoulder pad to hook this bad boy on to.
I've often said if you don't like the spring-loaded launchers, you can just toss 'em aside. Well, in Roadblock's case, if you toss the spring-loaded launcher aside, he's got nothing. That is the only weapon he comes with.
Sure, I think we all complained about the spring-loaded launchers in the Rise of Cobra, but at least Hasbro put some effort into making them aesthetically pleasing...the launchers in Retaliation almost seem to be trying to outdo themselves for massively oversized monstrosities.
At the end of the day, this isn't a terrible figure, but suffers from a distinct lack of articulation, lack of decent accessories, and has been drastically outshined by a figure who should see release in a month or two. I can't think of many reasons to recommend this figure beyond a completist "gotta have them all" mentality. I know I gave this figure quite a bit more love in my 3-Pack review, and while I still believe the foundation for a great figure is here, there are too many detractions to earn it a qualified recommendation.
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