Sgt. Rock (1982 Remco)
Imagine a time when a few toy lines were so popular that other manufacturers created product not only to capitalize on the popularity of superstar toys, but also advertised them as being compatible with their competitors. Remco was very good at adapting existing properties into lines that could “work with” other popular series.
Sgt. Rock was a prime choice to compete with GI Joe in the 80s. A veteran of DC’s military comics since the late 50s, the Sarge had his own complement of colorful characters within Easy Company. I have to wonder how much of an influence the comics were on Joe’s 80s relaunch creators. After all, the Joe line even paid homage to a member of Easy Company with Ice Cream Solider in the the 90s.
Unfortunately, the Sgt. Rock figures leave a lot to be desired in terms of playability. Imagine picking up a neat looking toy with detailed scaled accessories only to discover that the figure can’t hold them. Poor Sarge, like all the figures, is afflicted with too-short arms and equally stubby hands. Try as I might, I cannot manage to get Rock to hold his grease gun in any way. With the left arm sculpted palm up, you would think that a rifle ready position would be an option. Maybe for a longer weapon, both not this one. Disappointing.
On the plus side, for a Star Wars type articulation model, the bendable knees are nice. Also, the sculpting overall is detailed enough, and the Sarge has an appropriately determined look on his face. Finally, as a packaging collector, I think the card art is the best element of the line. The gritty Joe Kubert art is fantastic, and really takes advantage of the character’s comic book roots.