When you hear the name Roadblock, this guy is pretty much what you expect. He is a huge, imposing figure at the 6″ scale and while he’s not aesthetically perfect, he does bring some interesting things to the table.
The first thing you notice as you purchased and rip open your G.I. Joe: Classified figures is that they are extremely varied in size and shape, which is awesome. For a long time, G.I. Joe figures were built off of a common “buck” meaning every figure was constructed to be relatively the same height and size, with only slight variations here and there.
While the modern era did work to change that somewhat, the formula of re-using parts for different characters often meant that heights and figure sizes weren’t always represented 100% accurately (Leatherneck I’m looking at you).
Now, at least for the moment, with each figure in this first assortment being uniquely sculpted and tooled, you end up with some really great variation, and at the top of that scale is Roadblock.
Standing a full head taller and with huge arms and legs, Roadblock immediately separates himself from the crowd as the guy carrying the heavy weapon (more talk about that particular weapon later).
There’s something about the size and weight of this figure that’s a ton of fun, and feels different somehow than previous iterations of the character. This is a Roadblock who feels like a Roadblock and in a group shot he’s clearly the focal point.
Looking at design first, Roadblock looks pretty good, though not perfect. As mentioned, the sculpting is fantastic, the overall size is spot-on, and he has a ton of redeeming qualities. The vest is an excellent throwback to the 1986 version of the character and I love the fingerless gloves, the removable knife and the plain military style pants are great as well.
He’s got a great tattoo on his left arm as well, which is very nicely designed and a great touch for the figure.
But things aren’t all sunshine and roses. Lots of folks out there have had complaints about the paint scheme of the figures, and I don’t really have a huge problem with it necessarily. I think some elements of vibrant colors, as long as they make sense, are good for the figure and bring some pleasing aesthetics to what might normally be a bunch of greens and browns.
Speaking of greens, that’s the color that makes up most of Roadblock’s uniform and it works well, but then they introduce some gold in the boot armor and the kneepad which feels a little jarring. It’s not terrible, I don’t hate it, it just seems a little out of place.
I do like the sculpted boot armor, however, unlike many of the more vocal fans out there. I see G.I. Joe as having very strong influences from science-fiction and future tech, and I don’t want to see salvish military recreations. The armored boots work well for that, I just think the vibrant gold maybe wasn’t the best choice.
I’m also a little conflicted about the vest. After so many years of modern era figures, a guy like this with a cool vest that is not removable seems like an odd decision. I mean, you can cut it off of him, sure, but once you do that, it’s gone and you’re not going to get it back together. On the flip side, though, nothing drove me crazier during the modern era than people with the vest clasps that just would not close, so in that way I almost prefer it like this for aesthetic reasons.
Like I said, conflicted. The perfect solution would be to use a clasp system that kept it closed effectively, but still allowed it to be removable. I would think on a larger figure like this, that wouldn’t be so difficult.
All of this being said, however, I do think the overall design aesthetic is solid. A nice combination of military and sci-fi, and the character is immediately recognizable as Roadblock.
Great sculpting from head to toe, I love the boots, the vest is great, I’m just not sold on the bright gold and wish they’d done a little something else to make the vest removable.
All in all, tough to argue with the articulation. Roadblock’s got pretty close to the same range of motion as Snake Eyes, which is pretty impressive for a larger figure.
If I have any complaints, the rubber vest prevents some significant range of motion in the torso, which isn’t a deal breaker by any means, but it does have an impact.
From the butterfly shoulders to the ball-jointed neck and waist, the drop-down hips, double jointed knees, swivel calves and rocker ankles, Roadblock has everything covered.
Now, with the figure’s somewhat larger stature, his range of motion isn’t quite as impressive as Snake Eyes, but, you know… he’s not a ninja, so. He can achieve any pose I attempt and can hold his balance remarkably well, even while holding his massive rail gun.
Speaking of his massive rail gun…
First and foremost, my GeneralsJoes hot take – The M2 Browning is a World War I era weapon and it’s completely insane and ridiculous to think that Roadblock would be carrying that weapon in the G.I. Joe universe where there are jet packs, laser guns, and android troopers.
Yes, I know it’s still in service, but G.I. Joe is about future-tech. The Ma-Deuce is about as far from future tech as you can get. Let go of your nostalgia.
Whew. Okay. I feel better.
Now, just because I’m not all broken hearted about a lack of a six inch scale M2, doesn’t mean I think this gun is good. This gun is clunky, weirdly designed and overall– just not much fun. I think Hasbro could have certainly done something that wasn’t a realistic heavy machine gun, but was also better than whatever this thing is.
The huge weapon Roadblock comes with also comes with a removable magazine and there’s a removable knife that fits into the sheath on Roadblock’s vest.
The handle of the knife is way too small to actually be held by Roadblock, however.
All things considered, a character who is at least somewhat defined by his accessories (he’s a heavy weapons specialist, after all) does not come with very good accessories. That’s a pretty big miss in my book, though thankfully it’s just about the only big miss in the first wave of G.I. Joe: Classified figures.
Anyone who was a fan of G.I. Joe during the Rise of COBRA era knows Mike Thompson’s work well, and I’m thrilled that Hasbro tapped him to work on this series, too. Roadblock’s artwork is top notch. Mike did a spectacular job on it, as we should all come to expect. Once again there isn’t a whole lot of consistency across different packages, but at least as a one-off this works well.
It feels like I’ve been waiting forever for the G.I. Joe: Classified line to hit, and by and large, I’ve been impressed. Roadblock is probably my least favorite of Wave 1, mostly because of his accessories, but he’s still a wicked fun action figure and what feels like a good representation of the familiar character.
G.I. Joe Classified Roadblock
This figure isn’t perfect, but still a very enjoyable addition to the G.I. Joe: Classified roster. Roadblock’s imposing size, vintage callbacks and intricate tattoo on his left arm are all great tweaks to a character that has remained a focal point of G.I. Joe history. While I’m seeing many complaints about his accessories, I will acknowledge their flaws, but I’m still glad to see them looking forward instead of backwards.
Roadblock is great… I don’t mind so much that the vest is not removable as I feel this keeps the best more fitted and any clasps would make it visually bulky (maybe). Like you, I think the 50 cal heavy machine gun is dated and actually impractical. I like the future tech approach but that said, the rail gun could have been a lot better.. it’s just weird. For his knee and shin guards, I wish they would have used the same muted gold color as on Duke… the muted gold color works much better (I’ll be customizing my Roadblock as such). I’m am very much excited about this line and thanks for the great review!
I totally agree on the choice of weaponry. For a heavy weapons expert, I wish that he came with something belt fed. The magazine in this weapon seems a wee bit puny. I guess Hasbro will leave it up to our imaginations as to what one round from that rail gun will do. Still super excited to get mine.