Stars and Stripes Rock ‘N Roll (1997)

It’s Turkey Day once again and time to break out a not-so-great Joe. Oh boy this one’s gonna hurt. Imagine if I told you two of the most special and popular first series GI Joe figure would be available again at retail, and even got you all excited with pre-sell photos of the toys in unique color schemes, then pulled the worst bait and switch since “Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell.” Instead of much wanted remakes of Flash and Rock ‘N Roll, we got half-gluteus versions made from other figures.

Remember the plastic train wreck that was Stars and Stripes Breaker? The sad sack Frankensteined mess made up of bits of Roadblock, Gung Ho and Hawk is legendary among GI Joe figures for being the closest official o-ring figure to a bootleg. Has there ever been a lazier hunk of cheese than the one-two gut punch combo of the S&S twins?

I’m glad to get a black version of the classic machine gun and its tough to find bipod. You’ve got a real problem when the best things you can say about a figure are that it’s got a weapon you can give to another figure and the helmet kind of fits.


  • in all honesty, outside of the waxy skin, terrible helmet choice and the fact it’s supposed to be rock n roll it’s not a BAD figure, the parts choice and paint apps are less mailed in than some of the crap we got in the 2000’s. If this had been the quality of the 98 assortment (which are as close as the post 94 figures ever got to looking like the vintage line) and presented as an updated Grunt I think this would have been a lot less of a turkey.

    • I agree. But for me it’s the quality that hurts figure the most, the plastic/riveting problems that cause 1997 releases to have cracked shoulders, too. In fact, that’s the worst of all. This is not a figure you want to do anything with but display, yet he’s mostly too unappealing for even that.

      This was also the closest we came to having Roadblock V2 repaint, for some reason.

      What’s sad, this type of parts swapping laziness is something that fans ate up in the modern era and even paid $$$ from the fan club for. Collectors have been settling for less for years now. Though, it’s that or nothing. (I mostly chose nothing)

  • For a set that was based heavily on referencing the original ’82 figures, R&R and Breaker were intolerable substitutions. If they’d used the Grunt torso and a Short Fuze head with weakly painted beard, it still would’ve been a weak figure but at least it would’ve held to the idea that they were trying to make Rock & Roll. This guy looks like an order got mixed up. I kinda like this weird camo Hawk figure more than, say, 2001 Leatherneck, but trying to use it as Rock & Roll in an anniversary-type set is truly confusing.

  • During the 15th anniversary, I couldnt afford the stars and stripes set. I honestly thought it was cool to get so many characters in just one set. But the price was too much, and I had to buy the Rattler 4×4 4wd instead LOL. Ive slowly over the years been finding these guys at dirt cheap prices. Got this figure for $2 a week ago at a weekly toy show. He may not be breaker or rock and roll, but he makes a good greenshirt. Honestly, hes not a bad figure, he just doesnt work for who they say he was.

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