Barrel Roll (2005)

Barrel Roll was the case of a figure whose update was a pretty far cry, design-wise, from the original. The first figure looked like a young hotshot character, and his uniform supported that idea. Outfitted in a loose fitting uniform, done up in blue and grey, he seemed to be geared more towards the pseudo-military/adventure side of GI Joe. He even had his sleeves rolled up.

Enter the DTC version from just few years later. This time, the military aspect comes through more clearly. He’s still obviously both a sniper and a pilot, but he appears to have become a bit more button down, at least in the way he’s outfitted.

Barrel Roll’s face sculpt seems older as well. The previous figure was more fresh faced, with styled hair. This version looks older and more stoic, and he’s gotten a pretty severe haircut. He looks like a man who has spent a few years gaining experience with the team. That’s not a bad thing, just different.

The uniform and gear is also different, this time reflecting a paratrooper look, with flight suit, helmet and web gear. I still can’t get past the helmet however. I know it’s based on a real helmet, but the way it fits on his head is strange, like it’s on backwards. I also can’t help but think of a bowling ball when I see it. The sculpt of the figure tends toward realism, a change seen in other DTC figures, and a harbinger of the new style to come with the 25th anniversary series. The construction also hints at this new era, with hidden rivets and extra articulation.

The rifle is the only thing that’s a little out there in terms of its look. Obviously a high powered sniper rifle, it’s also quite hefty, and the figure has a bit of trouble holding it in a realistic position.

7 comments

  • First thing I thought …. bowling ball. Kind of a weird look. I think the rifle is based on the 50 cal sniper rifle that can hit from a mile away…kinda cool.

  • This figure’s got a minor parts reuse history: his arms were used for the DTC SAW-Viper and Joe Colton, while the entire mold sans the head was used for the Club-exclusive DTC Airtight. This figure’s going to be the basis for the Figure Subscription Service version of Barrel Roll.

  • “Do a barrel roll”

  • I never warmed up to the helmet. It fit in loosely and did look like a freaking bowling ball. The figure itself seems like a precursor to the stuff we’re getting now in terms of your average, anonymous greenshirt.

    Barrel Roll had an interesting storyline in the comics but it all went out the window after IDW took over the publishing license.

  • This guy looks a lot better than I had thought before (back in 2005).

    Kind of a strange year for me, I made the choice to go all classic o-ring back when the “new-sculpt” era started (still ended up with lots of GVC, etc.).

    There were some really great “new sculpt” figures that came out, and I think everything was starting to sort of gel with the end of the main line and start of “DTC.”

    The 2005 Snake Eyes, Bombstrike, Major Barrage, and our figure of topic, Barrel Roll, all seemed like figures I darn near seamlessly add to my classic oring collection.

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