Roadblock (1986)

The original Roadblock figure was a favorite of mine at the time of its release, mostly due to his appearances in the Sunbow cartoon. Yeah, I know it’s not the coolest thing to admit nowadays, but understand that to 11-year-old Rob, the rhyming Joe was a great character. And you know what, I still like Sunbow Roadblock, and not in a too-cool-for-school ironic way, either. The guy was genuine. I also enjoyed the comic Roadblock who was a Pure-D badass, plain and simple.

As the 1985 series figures were released, Roadblock’s figure didn’t seem all that great anymore. Others like Flint and the new Snake-Eyes became fast favorites, and 1984 Roadblock, weird head and all, was less a big player in my adventures. That changed again in ’86 however, when I saw the new Roadblock’s tiny picture on the back of the packaging. Here he was in a new, more battle-ready uniform, toting a mean looking silver machine gun. I loved the original ma deuce, but he couldn’t hold it too well. The ability to pose a figure with a weapon was always a big deal for me as a kid. I was weird.

I found the new color scheme to be an interesting and fresh look. The padded vest recalled the look of Low Light, another super cool ’86 figure and also seemed to call back to the original Scarlett’s shoulder pad. Unfortunately, the vest mold later helped give rise to one of the absolute worst GI Joe figures in history, Stars and Stripes Breaker.

11 comments

  • I’m planning on using an extra of this figure to make a Sunbow Season 2-accurate version, only I’m switching out the head with that of the 2005 Heavy Assault Squad version (a repaint of the 1992 figure) and the arms of the Street Fighter Movie Edition Balrog (with the gloves painted black).

  • A couple thoughts; first, I’ve been reading this blog for ages now and love it. Second, being able to pose a figure with weapons held mattered SO MUCH to me as a kid that it doesn’t sound weird to hear someone else say it. Last, gah, Stars & Stripes Breaker really is the worst. That entire set is so very close to being great, and yet, it plunges off a cliff in the end.

    Is he the worst figure ever? Maybe there should be some kind of poll or tournament; Worst G.I. Joe figure. I nominate t-crotch Duke from the 2002 revival, Version 9, with his dumb smooshed head and terrible hands. But Stars&Stripes Breaker would be the favorite.

    • Yes, getting figures to hold their weapons well was a significant things to me, too. A figure’s popularity in my eyes could rise or fall depending on how well he could hold his gun.

  • I’ve never liked this figure. There’s just something about it that never clicked with me. However, the mold is actually very good. I don’t know why it wasn’t used after the horrid ’97 figures. It could have been repainted in V1 colors and made a Roadblock for the ages. Instead, we just have this figure that is promise unfulfilled.

  • I remember the head sculpt being such an improvement over the ’84 version that I couldn’t figure out why Hasbro hadn’t gotten it right a mere two years prior. Guess they just couldn’t tell a bald cranium from a cantaloupe on their maiden attempt.

    Roadblock himself was a badass in both the cartoon and comic. Everyone involved in both aspects of the franchise seemed to like him, regardless of his rhyming. This figure is often eclipsed by the ’92 version and even the original, but it’s still my favorite for some reason.

  • I agree. All I did as a kid was pose the Joes and Cobras. Set up scenes and such. It mattered greatly 😉


  • Justin:

    I agree. All I did as a kid was pose the Joes and Cobras. Set up scenes and such. It mattered greatly

    I meant properly posing the figures with weapons mattered. Not sure if I was clear.

  • He’s a classic, even if I prefer the v1 a little more. The lime green vest and grey pants bug me a little, and the sculpting all over seems a little lazy (soft details). But as a kid, that oversized M240 on a giant tripod was a portable battle station! The M2 may be a heavier weapon in reality, but this one was BIGGER.

  • Roadblock was a favorite character of mine from the comics. I think it was an issue of Special Missions when he points his Ma Deuce at some punk about to set fire to a U.S. flag inside an overrun embassy. When asked why he cares when others are looting IBM typewriters, his response was, “No one ever died for a typewriter.”

  • Roadblock was a fav of mine from the toon (and I don’t care what anyone says, I loved that toon when it was on). I think the overall shape of the head is better but the expresion never did it for me, I couldn’t tell if he was happy or grumpy LOL. I stuck with the V1 (nevermind the fact that I already had a Roadblock) until the Battle corps version came (VERY cool mold, one of my faves of the ARAH line) so I never really felt too attached to this version as I skipped him. Now I find him interesting to look at and I did pick up the ME update, but nothing draws me to him as it did the V1 or BC version.

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