GABRIEL “BARBECUE” KELLY
G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)
A new G.I. Joe review? In this economy? Are you sure it’s legal? I wouldn’t want to be accused of taking part in a rumble. Or, you know, in this case, a Barbecue. Right? It’s funny, right? Cuz he’s…you know…Barbecue? And that’s a thing that you can take part in? Much like the “rumble” to which the original quote referred? Am I getting too referential in my humor? Yeah, probably. Okay, fine, no more comedy for the whole rest of the review. Just completely dry. You know, like a Barbecue. …I’ll see myself out.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Gabriel “Barbecue” Kelly is figure 32 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line-up, and is the latest of the line’s Target-exclusive Cobra Island subset. He gets to use his whole name, as, like Breaker and Beachhead, it’s not really possible for Hasbro to trademark a word as commonplace as “Barbecue.” He started hitting retail around the same time as the Breaker and RAM Cycle pack, if not just a touch later. There’s no full assortment set-up with him, so he’s presumably a solid case figure, much like Major Bludd was. The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 37 points of articulation…sort of. The ab crunch is notably pretty restricted on this guy, so he doesn’t really have much use of that joint. Beyond that, it’s pretty standard movement for the line, which is pretty solid. Barbecue is built using Destro as a starting point, which serves to make him a little bigger and bulkier than most of his team mates, barring Roadblock. It makes a fair bit of sense for a guy who’s covered head to toe in protective gear. As with some of the other more recent figures, Barbecue is a rather close recreation of his original v1 figure. There are obviously some updates, just to modernize him ever so slightly, and also fill in the visual space just a little bit more at the larger scale. He gets a little more armoring on the shoulders and wrists, as well as a little more tactical gear around the middle. The helmet is a particularly cool piece; it very faithful to the original design, while sharpening things up just a little bit, and also adding some smaller details, again to help with fill in that extra visual space. Barbecue’s paint work is generally pretty basic; it matches up with his established color scheme quite well, and the application is all pretty sharp. I wouldn’t mind seeing maybe a few other smaller details worked in, but he checks all of the basics off, which is still pretty solid. Barbecue is packed with his classic backpack, hose attachment, and spray gun, as well as a smaller axe based on the one included with the original figure, and an all-new larger axe piece. The smaller axe and spray gun are able to be holstered on the legs, and the larger axe has a spot on the backpack. The ones on the legs work well, but the backpack one isn’t quite as practical. That said, it’s nice to see them still try to give everything proper storage.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve effectively given up on the hunt when it comes to the Target-exclusives for this line, and I had no major need to have Barbecue in any sort of a rush, so I made no concerted effort to get one at retail. I’d honestly almost forgotten he’d even been released, but then an almost complete run of Classified Series figures got traded in at work, so I had a much easier time of snagging one. And who am I to argue with that? So, boom, now I’ve got a Barbecue. He’s pretty great. He’s fairly by the numbers, but that’s not a bad thing, and he’s a pretty great update to the original. All in all, not a bad offering at all, though again one that feels a little odd as an exclusive.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.