Roadblock (2002 Sound Attack)
I feel the urge from time to time to present figures that I feel just haven’t gotten their due. I like finding figures that have been overlooked among the hundreds of other GI Joes released throughout the years. There are I feel quite a few unheralded greats hiding among their more well known and well liked compatriots. Indeed, greatness can even be found among the most often rejected and reviled of concepts. They are diamonds in the rough, as it were, lost treasures waiting to be found by those willing to seek them out. This is not one of those figures.
The original Roadblock isn’t one of my favorite figures as an adult collector. I remember liking the figure a lot initially as a kid, but once the 1985 and 1986 figures had come along, Roadblock’s stock dropped. Even when I was fond of the figure, I thought the shape of his head looked weird. My Roadblock was typically found wearing his helmet, in an attempt to cover his strange cranium.
The Sound Attack 8 pack, a store exclusive released during the initial GI Joe vs. Cobra relaunch, was of interest to me at its time of release. Most of my reason for wanting to acquire it came from its o-ring based figures, the presence of a couple of Cobra army builder figures, and a certain bright red Cobra saboteur.
Roadblock is equipped with one of single largest machine guns produced for the small scale GI Joes: the SAW Viper’s heavy machine gun. Here the word oversized is an understatement. He can tuck the stock under his arm, but even then his hand can barely hold onto it. Thankfully, the more modern o-ring figures were made of a more flexible plastic than the old figures. Otherwise, the thumb would have snapped clean off. A large machine gun isn’t enough, because this is a Sound Attack gun as well. That carbunkle sitting atop the rifle hardly detracts from the look, right? I mean, you can hardly tell it’s there.
I try very hard to find some positive aspect to every item I cover here. There have been times when mining a nugget of positivity has been difficult, and instances in which I have utterly failed. I must admit that I’m finding it hard right now. I could go on and on about this figure, about how they weren’t fooling anyone by trying to paint molded bare skin as a shirt, and that the file card uses the file name of Double Blast, another Roadblock mold, and about how in this case they just didn’t give a flaming rat’s patoot, but I won’t pile on any further. So here comes my positive: I like the pants. The mixed plastic just does something for me. I’m reminded of the delightfully random patterns found in marble, or the tasty swirls of chocolate in brownie sundae swirl ice cream. I’m also reminded of the Mega Marines. Silver lining found.