Rock ‘N Roll (1991)

I’ve been flying my freak flag when it comes to the 90’s GI Joe toys since, well, the 90’s. It was the era in which I dove back into collecting, so the time still holds a certain fascination for me. I particularly remember the early 90’s toy treasure trove that was the Half Price Store. The GI Joe assortments from 1991 to 1994 were readily available in my area at this discount chain store. I have vivid memories of an entire bin full of the Sonic Fighters and other sub-teams of the time. I will admit that at the time, I didn’t pick up this recolor of Rock ‘N Roll’s second mold. While there were others in the Sonic Fighters series that I liked and bought (namely the Viper repaint) Rock ‘N Roll was skipped over. I guess that the huge backpacks were such a turnoff that I didn’t notice the cool playability some of them had. That really was an ingenious touch on the part of the designers, to make the backpacks a bit of a themed accessory that recalled the action backpacks of the 80’s. Sure, most were farfetched, and a few were downright ridiculous, but I think the end result was in general very fun.

Even with the bright orange bits, the coloring on this figure is I think quite nice, although lacking in detail here and there. The second version of Rock ‘N Roll was a great update, and this version gets him into the neon era with style. Maybe I’m just fond of the figure now because it reminds me of a ridiculous (weren’t they all?) DIC cartoon episode, starring Rock ‘N Roll as well as the hair-bandish Billy Blaster.

Whereas the figure itself was a simple repaint, the accessories were new and unique. The backpack with lights and sound,also incorporated a stand upon which the rifle and a cannon could be mounted. There’s even a footpeg for a little added stability.
This figure also sports some of the softest plastic weapons I can recall among GI Joe figures. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, considering that a soft weapon makes for less chance of a broken thumb. They do however have a tendency to become marred, especially the handgrips. The second version’s leg mounted rifle wasn’t included this time, so his thigh pegs look a little out of place.

On a side note, in the ensuing years since 1983, Rock N Roll gained the rank of Sgt. Major. Impressive, and nice to see guys other than Hawk get promoted.

 

14 comments

  • Hasbro really seemed to fall in love with machine gunners at the start of the ’90’s. Apart from getting a couple of R&R’s we also got a heap of Roadblocks. Just thinking that if the line hadnt been cancelled in ’94 would there have been even more machine gunners?

  • Still looking for a carded one of these to open for 3DJoes! He’s a hard one to find evidently.

  • As far as repaints go, it’s decent. The 1989 Rock N Roll is the best, but this color scheme doesn’t look bad, especially next to some Sonic Fighter peers (cough cough, Road Pig the giant oompa-loompa). It’s not as neon as it could be and come on, with a name like Sonic and it being the 1990s, everyone *had* to expect loud colors somewhere in there. The really nice thing about the Sonic Fighters is they didn’t get cookie cutter backpacks (at least not the 2nd batch). Zap, Psych-Out, Rock N Roll, Major Bludd each had a different backpack that doubled as a different weapon or accessory.

  • The above post was from me. For some reason I was listed as anonymous.

  • I remember being really tempted by this guy back in the day because my older brother had the 1989 version but I just couldn’t pull the trigger on it for some reason. I think it was mostly because at the higher price point, I didn’t get many Sonic Fighters and I thought I’d rather have a new figure instead of a guy my brother had that had been repainted. That being said, the accessories on him are pretty good (though don’t hold a candle to the 1989 version’s guns) and the color scheme isn’t THAT obnoxious.

  • This version of Rock ‘N Roll features one of the better sonic backpacks. Unlike the others, you can use it as a stand or even as a small hover sled. The colors are better distributed here than in the ’89 original, even if they are a lot brighter. You can toss in an extra leg mounted rifle and even repaint it to further complete the figure. All in all, this figure was a great value for your buck back in the early 90’s.

  • If you want to fill the missing space on this figure’s thigh, I know where you can get a version of the ’89 figure’s shotgun–the Funskool version of the ’92 Roadblock came with it.

  • Turning the backpack gimmick into a mini-battle station was a fantastic idea. The only way to play with them, really. Similarly, none of the “Rise of Cobra” spring launchers were really any good except the one that came with a stand (Breaker’s).

  • Jeremy "troublemagnet"

    Speaking of figures with the cool backpacks, Overkill’s is really cool as is Falcon’s helicopter version 2 figure.This Rock N Roll is interesting to say the least.

  • Cool mold, bad colors!

  • Give me the original any day. The colors are terrible but the accessories are actually acceptable. The funskool version is nearly impossible to find.

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