Craig “Rock ‘N Roll” McConnell (2005)
I used to customize action figures quite a bit. I’d love to do some again, but I just can’t find the time these days (wonder why?) As a customizer, I wasn’t averse to doing a little sculpting work to bring a base figure in line with the look I wanted. Sometimes, however, I just didn’t want to go through the trouble, and tried to search for a part that could work without modification. When it comes to making an effective custom in this way, parts choice can make or break a figure. Some of the Big Ben parts used for the comic pack Rock ‘N Roll still bug me in that sense.
The crossed bandoliers were obviously the signature element of Mr. McConnell’s original figure. Big Ben’s torso is a solid approximation, but using the SAS fighter’s arms as well detracts from what could’ve been the best of the comic pack’s original 1982 team figures. The previous year’s Double Clutch had short sleeves, in keeping with the original figure, and they were even quite beefy, a perfect fit for a guy who’s a former body builder and machine gunner. Why weren’t they used here? Who knows. A parts swap with Clutch won’t work in this case, since Clutch is molded in a deeper green color. Considering the thick look of the shirt (which is really a jacket) and the gloves painted to look like flesh, Craig has always seemed to me like he’s dressed for chilly weather.
Heavy coat aside, this figure maintains its position as one of my favorite of the comic pack Joes. It’s due to the personality of the head sculpt, which is a great interpretation of the Marvel comic look. The hair and beard are appropriately bushy, and even though the head is a bit small for the o-ring body, I still prefer it to the later 25th anniversary versions. I’d like to get some more copies of this head to make some o-ring Adventure Team customs.
Weapon choices were often lacking in the new sculpt era, but the comic packs seemed to be a bit less haphazard. Rock ‘N Roll carries a pretty great machine gun, complete with bipod. Even the SAW Viper backpack is an appropriate choice, as it’s basically a huge ammo box.