Battle-Kata Roadblock (2013)

Roadblock in GI Joe Retaliaton is apparently a man who’s well prepared. His latest action figure sure is. He comes equipped with what’s called Battle-Kata, a sort of Swiss Army by way of Lego weapons system. It sounded like a goofy concept when I first heard about and saw it (especially the wave one version of it) but the toy feature loving side of me is coming around to this new presentation. At least this Roadblock isn’t afflicted with plastic block permanently fused to his hands.

The weapons here include two different snap in blades, as well as what I can best describe as a baton. The handles also plug into what appear to be more traditional handguns as well. All of the blades store in his vest and leg holster. That’s a neat feature that I always rave about. I like this vest much more than the weird faux-Dune stillsuits of the first film.  The holsters are the only things that stick out, quite literally, but that’s to be expected with the large Battle-Kata weapons. The knife  blades are teeny-tiny, like many modern GI Joe weapons, so be careful that you don’t lose them in the carpet, or suck them up your nose. With this new weapons technology, it looks like Roadblock can bring a knife, a gun, and a stick to a gunfight. He’s also equipped with his signature heavy machine gun, in case you forgot his original action figure origins.

Not only is this figure brandishing a more collector friendly version of Battle-Kata, but it also happens to be a more movie accurate rendition of the character than the first version. The likeness of The Rock is very well done, and he’s of a fairly towering height. Most of the second wave figures are much improved in terms of realistic sculpting and detail. Roadblock has a subtle sort of tiger striped camouflage to his uniform, and some impressively detailed musculature and even veins in his forearms. Overall, it’s a great improvement over last year’s versions.

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