Funskool Road Pig

I don’t really like Road Pig. He’s a well designed figure, but a little too Mad Max, for my liking. G.I. Joe in the late 80s started to have a real identity crisis, the COBRA figures all became super villains, while the Joes became less personality driven and had more military inclined designs. It’s a bit of an inverse of the 85-86 era.

Road Pig, like the rest of the Dreadnoks got far too much use in the late 80s run in the comic book. They started becoming less of a sideline distraction and being the entire focus of stories. It almost seemed like the Dreadnoks started to get use because it was easier to use cartoony characters, especially as the Comic started to obviously bide time for the oncoming big reveals (Snake Eyes’ new costume, COBRA Commander coming back). I feel the G.I. Joe comic suffered somewhat from an unwillingness to flesh-out characters that weren’t the author’s favourites. The Dreadnoks were obviously a Hama favourite, likely because they were one dimensional, and easy to write. Road Pig’s got two things that are going to be easy to write, he’s big and strong, and he’s devoted to Zarana.

The sculpting on the figure is incredibly well done. He’s big, muscular and dumb looking, the flat-top hair is something else, but it’s not the Kid ‘N Play style you’d see a few years later on Bulletproof and Static Line. It’s more like Billy Idol.

The Funskool Road Pig isn’t too different from the Hasbro version, the colouring is for the most part the same, and the only real missing detail is the lack of the Anarchy tattoo on the  left arm. The Black, Silver and Brown colours work well, and since he’s a figure that features a mainly flesh tone upper body, the chance for sloppy paint apps diminishes greatly. I only picked this version up, because he was fairly cheap, and I’d had no luck finding a Hasbro Road Pig (Though, I hadn’t really looked too hard)

I didn’t really have a lot of use for Road Pig, until I realized how well he matched up against Quick Kick. In the last year or so, I’ve found myself changing my once highly negative opinion on Quick Kick, to be much more positive. Being able to take some more hand-to-hand combat oriented pictures is a fun change of pace from “Guys hanging out beside the Tomahawk” or “COBRAs standing around” . Road Pig works well for these kind of photos, since he’s a good colour match and doesn’t have a lot of extraneous weapons sculpted on him.

I see Quick Kick as a member of the Joe team with one fairly specific objective, assassination. So Road Pig, has kind of been thrown into a role of a different assassin, tasked with the elimination of Quick Kick. It’s definitely a different style role, and pairing him up with Quick Kick might have been inspired by Fist Of The North Star, but that’s just how it goes sometimes, when trying to make a use of a figure that you don’t really care about.

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8 Responses to Funskool Road Pig

  1. Mike T. says:

    I love Road Pig slamming Quick Kick. Those are great photos.

    I’m not a fan of Road Pig, either. Hama said that he was one of the characters that he was most looking forward to introducing. But, the character never resonated with me. It got the point where his appearance in a comic was enough to get me to skip his pages and focus on the rest of the story. The fact that he was used so much for a while made that hard and has left some holes in my comic memory.

  2. A-Man says:

    I’ve long assumed that Road Pig was also inspired by Randall “Tex” Cobb’s biker bounty hunter in Raising Arizona, a film hat came out in spring 1987. But mixed with Road Warrior and IIRC, has another Hasbro employee inspired face. And I’d give them credit for that, rather than just a straight rip-off.

    He ruined the Dreadnoks in the comics, because as Zarana’s enforcer…he kept the Dreadnoks in line. No running off to destroy airfields, trash vintage cars or fight Joes in the Jersey marshes, like the chaotic evil they were supposed to be. He also had that villain armor. Right from his debut, Roadpig could take on an entire police station and not GET SHOT LIKE HE WOULD. So much for the comic book’s supposed realism. Super villains indeed.

    His continued use after the other Dreadnoks vanished from the comics, as well as his sole Dreadnok representation in season 2 of DIC cartoon sort of benefit the character. He can stand alone without the other Dreadnoks. The other Dreadnok, Zartan family aside, that can do that is Gnawgahyde, the least appreciated Dreadnok (Clyde Hyde probably shouldn’t have been a Dreadnok at all).

    I never got the funskool one, he was too similar to domestic and there were other more interesting figs to buy.

    • generalliederkranz says:

      Gnawgahyde is great. He was one of the first joes I got as a kid, and I had no idea what a “Dreadnok” was supposed to be–that was the problem with keeping sublines like them and the Iron Grenadiers or BF2k limping on into 89 and 90. So he had no choice but to stand alone in my Joe universe for a while, and he did so pretty well. I understood the idea of a bad-guy poacher, and of course he had great accessories. It’s a shame he never showed up in the comics. So much potential.

      • A-Man says:

        The European cardback for Gnawgahyde “Cobra Poacher” contains no Dreadnok references, Cobra recruited him at a all night cafe. LOL.

  3. mwnekoman says:

    Sounds like his character in the comics is pretty lame, I’m really curious now to finally get around to reading the issues he turns up in.

    His accessories were a mixed bag too. The removable armor and hammer were crazy cool, and are parts I’ve always had a lot of fun with. The shield and crossbow on the other hand, never really worked well for me.

    Also, now that you mention Fist of the North Star, all I can hear when I look at the pictures on this post is Ai o Torimodose!

  4. generalliederkranz says:

    Great review and pics! I especially like the pose on Zartan as he watches Road Pig throw around Quick Kick. Perfectly done.

    I actually liked Road Pig in the comics. The plotlines with Zarana making money for Cobra through telemarketing and real-estate scams were great, and to me it made a more logical case for why Cobra keeps the Dreadnoks around. (I wish Hama had stuck with Broca Beach as a center of Cobra operations in the US instead of Millville.) Road Pig was a key part of those plotlines, and his character was different enough from the others that it didn’t seem like a re-hash (unlike say Monkeywrench–his filecard has some fascinating individual details, but in the comic he became just another Ripper/Torch clone). I agree there was some over-the-top supervillain stuff, with the cinderblock hammer and trashing the state police station. But the character was fun.

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