1983 Rock ‘N Roll

Rock'NRoll1983

Of all the 1982 Joes, I think Rock ‘N Roll is my favourite, since he’s a great character, and probably the overall best designed G.I. Joe figure in the line, at least in my opinion!

Rock ‘N Roll’s biggest strength as a figure, is the fact he’s got a very stereotypical soldier appearance, but also has some individuality, what with the beard. Most of the early G.I. Joe line owes a lot to the various depictions of US Soldiers fighting in Vietnam, and one of the most common images, would be that of a Soldier having ammo belts draped all over his torso. Rock ‘N Roll has that and because of that is strongly associated with that style of appearance, even if Big Ben had far too many figures with that same design!

The first series molds, are simple but done well enough, they could still hold up with most of the 1985 releases. Rock ‘N Roll had the benefit of unique colouring, and his torso was only used on him, and the idea behind it didn’t get repurposed until 1987. So he was a unique appearance, and he had a strong presence early in the line, so he was popular enough to wind up on things like the TTBP box art! In 2019 there’s been a few more uses of Rock ‘N Roll’s torso, but it had literally been 36 since it first appeared, and the uses of it don’t really detract from v1 (Hell one of the figures using it, is a total homage to the prototype 1997 Rock ‘N Roll).

RockNRoll

The early Joe figures all had unique accessories, and outside of the laser rifle were all based upon real guns (I’ve seen the real life version of Stalker’s gun, but forgot where/what it was!). Rock ‘N Roll’s listed as having an M-60, which would make sense based on timing and how famous a gun it is, but he’s actually in possession of an MG 42, Hitler’s buzzsaw! It’s kind of neat, since that was a highly effective weapon with some definite drawbacks (Barrels overheat real quick!), and almost goes with the mentality that the Joes are sometimes operating with a “NO RULES IN THE BUSH!” mindset. RNR’s machine gun was also the first example of a bipod in the Joe line. Easily missing, but works well, and adds a lot to the overall look of the weapon.

82R

Rock ‘N Roll had a memorable character because his filecard gave off a bunch of things he was into (lifting weights, playing bass in a rock band, surfing), which were far easier to relate to than other Joes. His filecard (and Order of Battle) show him as a character with a legit personality flaw for the type of work he’s involved in, with his strong sense of loyalty to his teammates. This wasn’t shown too often in the comic (Hot Potato was a good example though), he was also portrayed as a fairly competent soldier, in the mid teens, he was on a bunch of missions, and usually tasked by Hawk with doing a lot of the heavy lifting combat wise.

Because of his role, I tend to use Rock ‘N Roll more than other figures, he looks good in photos, and he makes sense to be on missions, as he alone can make up the bulk of the firepower for a mission. He’s also got a cool look!

Overall, Rock ‘N Roll is one of the top figures from the lines early years, he’s got a design that was never topped, and he was far more than the one note character a lot of Joes wound up being. Now that there’s more variations on the mold (which can be easily customized), Rock ‘N Roll is now a character a little easier to work in with more variation to the look of the character.

Don't-Worry-Guys!

RNR1983

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Founded a Political Magazine With a Decidedly Eccentric Libertarian Bent

Libertarian

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The Cobra Emperor’s Own Ambitions Were Not Taken Into Consideration By His Creators…

Serpentor

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Força Fera Grey Snake Eyes (Red Laser’s Army)

There was an exclusive set based on various Foreign concepts, that was produced by Red Laser’s Army, but designed and sold through another avenue. To me, some of the figures were trying too hard, others were quite cool, and a few were good pieces of fodder that could be used to create some LBCs that would fit my collection. One figure I didn’t have much interest in, but looked usable enough, was the grey Snake Eyes.

Snake Eyes is a somewhat problematic figure to me. I’m a fan of the character, and the figure itself, but I happen to have a bunch of uses of the mold. While pretty much every Snake Eyes from 1997-2004 was the same figure that was just an inferior attempt to be version 1, there’s actually been some variety to the mold since. There’s the COBRA Mortal, the Invasor, and a couple where he’s not even wearing black! The figure being profiled today, though, is probably the blandest release since Comic Pack #4, but I’m surprisingly thrilled with this rendition of the Shadow Man.

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Snake Eyes being black and grey has been pretty constant. This figure, though, is quite interesting as the black and grey have been inverted. His straps, facemask and pouches are black, and the base body is grey. I really like this, because grey isn’t super common amongst 82-84 style Joe figures, he now matches up with the Action Force exclusives Moondancer and Dolphin, and it’s a departure from Snake Eyes but isn’t too out of character. The figure also has one additional colour, a nice emerald green is used on his visor. This really stands out, and gives depth to a fairly monochrome figure. Like all the Força Fera figures, he’s got some Tiger Force stripes on his legs. They’re black and not all that intrusive, but they kind of miss the mark, as one of the hallmarks of the Tiger Force was how two-toned all the figures were, so when it’s on a figure that’s grey on top and bottom it loses some of it’s impact. One nice thing about the RLA figures, is there’s a good variety of accessories available with them, and since there’s been a few uses of the Snake Eyes mold, he made sure to put out the 1982 Uzi and Pack. I gave this version the silver versions of the accessories, since they match pretty well.

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Character-wise, I find Snake Eyes to be fairly problematic. The whole mysterious lone-wolf is a cool character, but when he’s supposed to be a member of a tight-knit commando unit, it’s stretching things a bit. Even during my favourite comic arc, he fucks off to hang out with Kwinn on some revenge mission, I mean it’s vital to the story, and we learn great facts about America’s Greatest Conversationalist, he’s a jerk, a killer with the dice and he bleeds money. The fact he ditches his teammates to help Kwinn really stuck with me.

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Because of this I don’t really see Snake Eyes as a member of the Joe Team, dude’s probably not even in the army anymore. I feel he’s a highly qualified mercenary that has done some real shady stuff, and Hawk holds that over his head in order to use him against COBRA. However this is a double edged sword, as Snake Eyes isn’t an asset the Joes feel comfortable using in high stakes situations, as that intel is good as gone to the highest bidder afterwards. A good friend of mine once said that Snake Eyes’ real identity should be D.B. Cooper. I liked that, and funnily enough, the likely man behind D.B. Cooper was a guy who fought in Vietnam, it all kind of ties together.

I actually quite like this figure, as a Snake Eyes. It’s different, while still true to the character. His base grey colour is really unusual, without being different for the sake of different. It also doesn’t impose on the non-Snake Eyes uses of the mold, such as the COBRA Mortal, or Kickstart. It’s nice, as you get the traditional Snake Eyes appearance, without it looking the same as every other Snake Eyes.

GreySE copy

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Heads up!

A while back I recorded a podcast with Plastic Battles , where Paul and I discuss photos from a European G.I. Joe catalogue. I truly hope that my utter contempt for Lightfoot comes across!

 

https://www.plasticbattles.net/podcast-feed/2019/4/17/ep-05-1990-gijoe-benelux-catalog-photography-break-down

 

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Great Moments In G.I. Joe History

2ciclon2

Main Expertise: Strategist and leader of the forces of terror. Secondary Specialization: martial fights and development of fulminant electro-radiati weapons.

The wickedness of Ciclon comes from the cradle. Born and raised among fanatical Satanists, he was prepard to govern the dark side of the universe. Through dark mists, climbed the highest positions of command, always with total dominion over his troops, competing with the own leader Destro. In the near future, a confrontation between these leaders will be inevitable. Destro, as long as you care, in the sharp claws of Ciclon can tear you from the pages of history of organized terror

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Compounded His Folly By Selling His Services To COBRA

Washed Up 2

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