Rock & Roll (1989)
As redesigned Joes go, Rock & Roll is one of my favorites. The mold manages to take what was iconic about the original figure and create something that’s more than just a change of color. Though the old crossed bandoliers are gone, the look is replicated with straps on the chest and waist.
The later 80’s more sizable chest and arms are evident here, which is a good thing considering the size of the weaponry he has to wield. The weapons are where the figure goes a little wacky for me. The concept of a machine gunner is taken to a ridiculous extreme with the dual mini guns. Speaking of extreme, these machine guns were ahead of their time, as they predate the 90’s extreme era by several years. Seriously, they look like something Marvel’s Cable would be carrying around.
The sculpt is full of great detail, from the pouches and straps on his chest and waist to the machine gun rounds on his cap. Rock & Roll also had a very interesting accessory in his rifle, which clipped onto his right thigh. It’s a nice weapon, although impractical. He’s also unable to hold it properly due to its lack of a hand grip.
This version made it into the DIC series, and was featured prominently in the five part Operation Dragonfire mini-series. It was good to see one of the ’82 Joes get a little cartoon play, even if it wasn’t up to the quality of the Sunbow era. Oh, and one last thing–why the change from the ‘N’ to the ampersand in his name? Was it a grammar thing?