Machine Gunner (Code Name: Rock ‘n Roll)

Personalities were as big a part of the 80s GI Joe reintroduction as the toys themselves. Thanks to the three (and often divergent) tie-in media available as file cards, comics and cartoon, kids were treated to characters that had some definition beyond the plastic. Don’t get me wrong, the development wasn’t equal, as the older guys and gals were often shuffled off in favor of the latest toy offerings.

As I’ve been diving back into the original team one by one, it’s becoming more difficult to pick out a favorite. In terms of sculpted detail and unique chest molds, it’s an embarrassment of riches. Here I though Flash had the coolest upper body with his laser red pads, but Rock ‘n Roll’s bandoliers are just fantastic. It’s a shame Hasbro didn’t reuse this chest piece on a Cobra trooper.

Rock ‘n Roll’s signature weapon is a monster. The straight-arm version can’t hold it very convincingly, unless he’s lying on his stomach. The swivel-arm figure manages to get his other arm under the weapon to steady it, although this isn’t the preferred method of handling a machine gun, unless you’re Rambo or Jesse Ventura.

3 comments

  • ”Rock N’ Roll was the one action figure that I really wanted to get when Hasbro’s 1982 Series 1 came out.Bad California Surfer dude with the M60 Machine Gun.”

  • My 1st Joe was the straight-arm R&R back in 82. I still vividly remember my uncle inspecting him closely and declaring with some astonishment that “he can do anything a real person can do”. It was that moment that articulation became a significant factor in my enjoyment of action figures. Craig S. McConnel has been a favourite since.

  • My Rock & Roll was almost always on his stomach firing away or driving the RAM. It saved his thumbs. Later, he might’ve joined my other straight arm guys defending the HQ. The fact that his torso wasn’t reused made him more special.

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