Anyone who follows my reviews or my dio-stories knows that I’m a big fan of Barrel Roll from the Spy Troops era, and am, in fact, a huge fan of the whole Stall family dynamic. From Barrel Roll and Blackout’s conflit, tying in the whole sister angle with Bombstrike…sure it’s unlikely that three separate siblings would all happen to join G.I. Joe and/or COBRA and face off against each other, but it was still a cool story and an interesting subplot, even if not fully explored. I like to think Brandon Jerwa obviously had it on his mind when he was penning the G.I. Joe title, but I’m not sure he ever got the chance to fully develop it.
At any rate…the utter distaste that most fans have for the new sculpt era has left a lot of great stuff on the table, as it’s fairly unlikely that Hasbro will dip into that pool for source material. Yeah, they did the “Greatest Battles” 4-Pack, but let’s face it, that was pretty much just an excuse to release another Duke, COBRA Commander, Snake Eyes, and Storm Shadow.
Lots of folks have identified the Resolute Duke figure that showed up in the 5-Pack as being a potential Barrel Roll, and I can see that. The original figure was labelled a “high altitude sniper” and came with some COBRA pilot gear…the second figure actually came with a jetpack. When Barrel Roll showed up in the Sigma 6 toyline, he actually had a remarkably similar paint scheme to the Resolute Duke from the 5-Pack as well. But this is all just a roundabout way of me being giddy that someone finally gave us a decent 25th Anniversary Barrel Roll custom, and it’s only fitting that it’s longtime “friend of the site” Mysterious Stranger.
He posted the custom here on JoeBattleLines, and damned if I don’t freaking love it. He took the familiar Resolute Duke with the jetpack, gave him a sculpted head from Broken Arrow Toys, the Ace legs (which look PERFECT in comparison to the original version) and then painted the figure to more closely resemble the original Spy Troops look of the character. The end result is a fantastic update to the Barrel Roll character that blends perfectly with the 25th Anniversary, yet is also a nice representation of the Spy Troops era.
Great job on this one! Love it. Now do a Blackout, dammit.