Barrel Roll (2003)

Barrel Roll is one of the coolest figures of its time. What? Yes. How much cooler can you get in a GI Joe line when a new character not only starts an intriguing storyline, but also includes a disguisable vehicles?

To start off, Barrel Roll introduced a new specialty that’s interesting, a high altitude sniper. The concept is simple, and makes sense, at least from the fanciful side of GI Joe pseudo military jargon. What’s not to like about a guy in a glider picking off Cobras? There must have been something about him that’s struck a chord with creators and fans, since he’s appeared several times since. The backstory from his bio opens up a nice little story that continued with other figures in the line. He’s connected to Blackout and Bombstrike in one of the best dysfunctional family tales this side of Star Wars.

Articulation and accessories also shine. He’s equipped with swivel wrists, which help him assume more sniper like poses than Joe figures were previously able to accomplish. On the accessory side, there’s the glider. Looking at this as a whole package, I really miss the deluxe figures. In a unique move, the glider also Converted to a Cobra vehicle thanks to a snap-on symbol and different missiles. Finally, this supreme sniper is equipped with a unique new rifle.

I’ve mentioned the often ridiculous Spy Troops armor before. Barrel Roll has one of the most sleek disguises of the Spy Troops series. The outfit is I think actually useable as his own armor, a natural thing considering he’s basically unprotected when flying his glider. As a Cobra disguise it’s a bit lame, but I like the look overall.

The era was a missed opportunity in terms of introducing fun new characters to the GI Joe mythos, and allowing them to grow. There’s only so much to be done with the 80s crew, and a little new blood continuing the story could have kept things fresh for new young collectors. After all, beyond the great toys, it was the universe of characters that for most of us to stick with Joe in its heyday. There were a few gems like this guy hidden among the dozens of other figures from the early 2000s, and he’s one worth checking out.


  • ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS DUDE! Barrel Roll was probably one of my favorite SpyTroops figures. He was great and I have a lot of fun memories of me in high school setting up adventures for one of the best-made Joe snipers. The SpyTroops gear actually worked pretty well for him and his glider was absolutely incredible.

  • Now if only they had made an actual Raptor-Viper using that gear…..

  • If only Hasbro would wise up by restarting the brand with entirely fresh new faces and just retire Duke and Snake Eyes and the gang. They’ve had their time in the spotlight it’s time to pass the torch to new blood now.

  • I’ve looking for this guy and his siblings. I came across him early in Febuary but the asking price was too much for him.

    @Vaughn Allan
    I agree completely.Snake eyes and Duke no longer have the pull they used to have. Hasbro relying on them solely to keep the brand alive is doing more harm then good

  • Great mold, nice face: he is in my sniper team with Lowlight, Mouse and Cross Hair. He was Sparks in my Joe-verse before I bought the actual Sparks action figure!

  • I think it’s great that the Club recently made an updated version of this character, but I’m waiting for them or Hasbro to create a modern Barrel Roll in THIS OUTFIT, his blue duds. It’s such a sharp outfit and this deserves a new version.

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