The early 2000s were one strange time for G.I. Joe. It was back, but not really in a big way, so Hasbro made a few puzzling decisions with how they were going about the G.I. Joe line. There seemed to be a call for new characters from the fanbase, so the easiest way to do that, would be repaint an old, highly recognizable character and give it a new computer generated code-name, and there everyone’ll be happy. So that’s how things like Roadblock version 1 gets a really solid repaint and is now “Charles L. Griffith; DOUBLE BLAST”. Roadblock wasn’t the only victim of this doppleganger syndrome, for The Baroness and Torpedo also got nailed with it. For some reason, that was a thing that really soured me on the figures, there was a subconscious thing about it that bothered me, until one day a friend of mine said “Ya know who was the best repaint in the early 2000s? That really ashy Roadblock”, and for some reason reading that made me realize how stupid it was to ignore a great figure because of some terrible codename and a “thanks for helping to write Iceberg’s filecard in 1997” filename.
I think Double Blast is probably one of the worst codename’s I’ve ever seen, it makes no sense, and reads like a couple of words that could be thrown together and not have any issues at the copywriter office. To top it off his character is pretty awful as well, he’s Macgyver or something, and SNEAKY, and got picked on in school. I dunno, his pack in partner’s story is better, he’s a gun nut and destroyed trees at age 8. Who writes this stuff!?!?
As a figure, it’s decent, the 2001 figures all had this really pasty skin, which was different from the 2000 figures where they all this really vibrant orange skin. The weirdest part of the super pale skin tones of 2001, was the one Black guy released had the same lightening of the skin tone, which made him look ashy as all hell. So I kind of see this figure as Roadblock who’s on a mission to get some lotion. The colouring on the mold is pretty good, in fact the olive drab tank top is perhaps a better look than the v1 Roadblock, as it fits the mold’s Vietnam era motif a lot better. The pants are that weird marbleized plastic Hasbro experimented with, which I have no complaints about, but I think would’ve looked a lot better on all the figures if details like knife straps and holsters were actually painted. He comes with all of the v1 Accessories, except for some reason the backpack was neutered, and no longer has the removable ammo box, nor the peg that allowed Roadblock to carry his tri-pod.
Roadblock is definitely one of the most popular Joes, he was a big part of both the Cartoon and Comic Book. He’s one of my favourite characters, and I love the v1 mold. This version, is especially useful, as he’s no where near as fragile as the 84, but isn’t coloured poorly, or pinheaded, like the rest of the 2000s repaints of this mold tended to be. Character-wise, Roadblock is one of my favourites, and I feel he pairs up well with a lot of other good figures, especially the first Duke. Roadblock was popular in both media portrayals, but they were definitely different. I don’t mind admitting, that I like the idea of Roadblock constantly speaking in rhyme, and if Dio-Stories were still a thing, he’d be receiving a lot of his dialogue directly lifted from raps Willie D. gave on the early Geto Boys records.
Overall, I like this figure, since it’s actually a good rendition of Roadblock, it’s also kind of an epitome of where things went sideways in the Real American Hero Collection, which was a line that was well received, but obviously didn’t stand the test of time. Hasbro was playing a lot of the right notes, but none of them were in the right order.