Rock ‘N Roll (1983)
There are so many ’82-83 Joes that to me seem so iconic, I have a hard time deciding which one would be my choice to be the definitive early figure. Sometimes I think it’s Grunt, other times it’s Flash or Clutch, or even Snake Eyes. Then again, it could be Rock ‘N Roll. I guess I’ll never decide.
Even though those first few Joes were made up of so many common parts, some individuality was still worked into the assortment. Whether it was differences in uniform and detail color, accessory complement, or a special torso mold, each figure had its own little touches to stand out from the others. Rock ‘N Roll got the best of all three.
As a kid, I don’t think I realized right away that his uniform was a deeper shade of green than teammates like Grunt. Perhaps I just wasn’t too observant. I did take notice of his mold differences, notably the crossed bandoliers. I know that Grunt showed up on a lot of early packaging as a kind of “face” of GI Joe, but Rock ‘N Roll had a more instantly recognizable appearance. There was no mistaking the guy as military, but that touch of individuality spoke to me as something much more interesting than the green plastic army men of old.
He also came equipped with the coolest rifle of all the orignal team, and it had two pieces! Of course, I lost the bipod early on. I also broke his thumb fairly quickly in an attempt to hold the rifle with the stock tucked under the arm. It didn’t help that the first RnR I acquired was a straight arm. Live and learn.