ROADBLOCK, BEACH HEAD, & KAMAKURA
GI JOE RETALIATION
Two G.I. Joe reviews in a row? What are the odds? Well, G.I. Joe’s are about 5% of my collection, so take of that what you will. This time around, the figures are from the film G.I. Joe: Retaliation, the second like-action movie based on the Real American Hero incarnation of the franchise. Retaliation wasn’t by any means a good movie, but it did have its enjoyable moments. Also, being a toy movie, there were toys. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a sucker for toys!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Roadblock, Beach Head, and Kamakura were released in the Ninja Dojo three-pack. The set was part of the first set of offerings released to tie-in with the movie. Thanks to Paramount’s decision to move the film’s release back, the set ended up on shelves almost a year before the film’s release.
Roadblock is the only figure in the set actually based on a character from the movie. However, he doesn’t appear to be based on any of the character’s looks in the movie. The figure stands just over 4 inches tall and features 16 points of articulation. Hasbro seems to have decided to rid some of their figures of a few points of articulation, and Roadblock is one of them. He’s got single jointed knees and no ankle articulation, which greatly limits the figure. The figure’s sculpt is shared with the regular line’s release of Roadblock, with a new right hand. The sculpt looks okay overall, and does bare a passing resemblance to Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson, who played Roadblock in the film. The paint is my biggest issue with the figure. Everything is cleanly applied, but there’s one glaring problem: he’s waaaay too pale. Roadblock is very definitely supposed to be black, and this guy definitely isn’t. It’s very distracting. In addition to the coloring issue, they’ve also turned his goatee into more of a subtle stubble (that’s kind of a neat term. Subtle stubble. I should make that a thing.) The figure comes packed with a rifle, a mini-gun, ammo, and an ammo box. (The nun-chucks are actually Kamakura’s, but I put them in Roadblock’s picture. Oops!)
Beach Head is G.I. Joe’s resident drill sergeant. He’s been absent from the films so far, but Hasbro gave the character a movie style revamp for this set. The figure stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and features 22 points of articulation. Beach Head is made from all reused parts. His head is reused from the Pursuit of Cobra version of the character, and his body is from one of that line’s versions of Snake Eyes. Both figures are top notch, so the pieces being reused are good choices. The level of detail in the textures of the sculpts is downright amazing. Beach Head also makes use of add-ons for his web gear and knee pads, which add some great depth to the figure. The paint work on the figure is nice and clean, with no bleed over or slop. He’s been given a rather muted color scheme, which is in keeping with the style of the film. Beach Head includes a rifle, two different submachine guns, two knives, and a pistol with a removable silencer. These are all re-use from other figures, but they’re great pieces, so it’s sensible.
Kamakura is one of G.I. Joe’s numerous ninja members. Interestingly enough, he wasn’t added during the line’s Ninja Force incarnation, but instead first showed up in the Devil’s Due run on the G.I. Joe comic in the early 2000s. He’s only had a small handful of figures, and none of them were really all that good. The figure is about 3 ¾ inches tall and features 22 points of articulation. Like Beach Head, this figure is 100% parts re-use. His head comes from the Resolute version of Storm Shadow, his hands and feet come from another POC version of Snake Eyes, and the rest of him comes from the 30th Anniversary Storm Shadow. These are all well sculpted pieces, although I do feel one of the other Storm Shadows may have more accurately represented Kamakura’s usual balaclava. Regardless, they’re good pieces, and they work well for the character. The paint work is all nice and clean, but I do feel like it’s a little basic compared to some of the other figures in the line. Kamakura is accessorized with a removable hood, three different swords, a set of sheaths, a machete, a submachine gun with a silencer, a claw thing (which the internet informs me is called a “Tekagi”) and a set of nun-chucks.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I pretty much only bought this set for Kamakura. I enjoy the character, and, like I said, he hasn’t really had any good figures. This one’s not perfect, but he’s certainly an improvement. While Roadblock will forever be relegated to the bin of shame, Beach Head is actually a pretty decent figure in his own right. All in all, it’s not a bad set, depending on what you’re looking for.