Roadblock (1993)

Roadblock (1993)I’m sure most Joe collectors (and toy collectors active in the 90s) remember the saga of Recalled Roadblock and his Deadly Spinning Launcher of Death and Dismemberment. The thing apparently didn’t pass muster back then, the story being it either broke easily or was too powerful, so the powers that be recalled it. Was it because Hasbro didn’t want kids upset at an instantly broken toy, or were they trying to protect the soft tissue of 90s kids ages 4 and up? Who knows, but be thankful, folks in your mid-20s, for without the big H’s vigilance, your generation might have been decimated by flying GI Joe accessory shrapnel.

The 1992 Roadblock mold is one of my favorite 90s interpretations of a classic 80s Joe. Impressively bulky and loaded with unique detail, the figure is one of the star molds of the Real American Hero’s latter years. The figure still shined years later when released in a Toy R Us exclusive multi-pack.

The Battle Corps series saw it re-released twice, including this rather bright number. On second thought, Mr. Hinton isn’t too terribly garishly decorated, aside from the electric green chest harness. The remainder of the uniform is quite tasteful. The accessory complement is a bit of a downer, as the impressive heavy machine gun of ’92 didn’t make the trip back to the toy aisles. It’s a real shame to see the Joe team’s preeminent heavy machine gunner without his signature armament.

The Battle Corps weapons tree included in the package includes a couple of rifles, a handgun and knife, but nothing close to the classic Ma Deuce we expect. The spring-loaded launcher isn’t any consolation, although it is one of the less obnoxious offerings of the time. I’m not sure how a flying missile is any less dangerous than a spinning disc, but that’s why I’m writing a blog and not working at the CPSC. The best I can say about toy safety is, “Don’t aim it at your eye, kids.”

Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

Roadblock (1993)


  • Is something up with your figure’s launcher handle? It looks like the handle broke off.

    If you want to give the figure his weapon, thank goodness two Funskool figures came with it: Red Dog and Blaster.

  • One of my school friends had this Roadblock at one point. He got it with his allowance one weekend. Ten minutes after opening it, he got bored with it and destroyed it with a hatchet. A lot of my school friends were jerks.

  • Hey Rob,
    The mystery has been solved! Vincent D’Alleva (marketing manager at the time of the recall) confirmed that it had nothing to do with the power of the device or any safety issues. In reality, the clutch broke too often when overwound, so they recalled it.

    Now you know… and you know the rest šŸ™‚

  • Then it’s still strange how that launcher wasn’t up to snuff, but at the same time Hasbro did engineer the same rotor launcher gimmick in the ’92 Rat and in the G2 Transformers Rotor Force figures later…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.