Heavy Duty (2004)
Heavy Duty has been saddled with the label of Replacement Roadblock for some time. I’ve never thought of him in that way. My initial introduction to the character came from the original 1991 figure, which was still available when I came back to Joes as a collector. I simply saw him as his specialty described, rather than another Roadblock Sure, he’s a heavy weapons guy, but I’ve not seen him as supplanting the team’s heavy machine gunner, who also saw releases during the new sculpt era. I do believe Heavy Duty has been victim of a couple lackluster figures that were repainted too often. His interpretation in the Sigma 6 series is my favorite outside of the 1991 version, but that’s an article for another day.
What can I say about this mold? Like other new sculpt era Joes, there’s an interesting design in here somewhere, but it’s lost in the weird proportions. However it’s still better than his 2001 figure from an articulation standpoint. Three versions of this o-ring figure made the rounds in just two years, and most of the parts were also used to make the club exclusive Nullifier in two different colors. By the end of the new sculpt years, collectors were burned out. I tend to like the color scheme on this version more than the other two versions of Heavy Duty, although the original’s Spy Troops disguise elements were well done.
Since he hails from Valor vs. Venom, Heavy Duty includes the odd wrist accessory that was ubiquitous among the Joes in those assortments. The thing is supposed to function as a knife sheath and wrist holster, and though both elements actually work, the result is clunky. Heavy Duty didn’t include a pistol, so he only carries his knife inside. I suppose you could shove his shotgun in there, but that would be incredibly unwieldy. Then again, he could probably handle it, being a strong dude.