After the run that Heavy Duty had in the early 2000’s, it’s tough to picture a time when fans might actually be looking forward to a new version of this 90’s character. Essentially a Roadblock replacement when the trademarks were lost during the new sculpt era (and into Sigma 6), Heavy Duty was often the target of derision from collectors who much preferred the more popular Roadblock.
Now here we stand in 2016 after getting a healthy helping of Roadblock from G.I. Joe: Retaliation and now people seem happy and satisfied with a new Heavy Duty. In truth, there’s a lot to be satisfied by.
Heavy Duty here is by and large the Retaliation Roadblock from the neck down, with what looks to be a new head sculpt. The result is a large, imposing looking figure as the classic was meant to be, though this version’s baseball cap is replaced by a bandana. His shirt is off-white, like the vintage version was, and the green pants offset it nicely. I will say without some kind of vest or web gear the figure looks a little plain, but still is pretty cool. Once you put the Resolute Roadblock web gear on him, it’s a huge improvement and the figure all told is surprisingly effective. Certainly it’s basically a Roadblock repaint, but this particular Roadblock is a fantastic figure with great sculpting and impressive articulation, so it’s pretty tough to complain about that formula.
Heavy Duty is a nice compliment to other figures in this first 2 pack assortment, and I think Hasbro did a decent job with it.
Heavy Duty is littered with accessories to the point where he seems to have more weapons than he has places to store them. This seems to be an ongoing issue with these modern figures as Hasbro kind of treats them like “accessory packs” simply dumping a pile of gear in there that aren’t necessarily meaningful. Heavy Duty comes with two separate oversized machine guns along with the M249, pistol, and knife. He also has the great Resolute Roadblock vest, too.
In spite of the prevalence of Heavy Duty back in the early 2000’s, I was excited to hear about his inclusion here, and the end result is really nice. It’s got some vintage twists, but some new elements, and the figure is surprisingly one of the highlights of this year’s series.
YouTube Video Review
G.I. Joe 2016 Heavy Duty
Although Heavy Duty was a roster stalwart for many years, it’s been a while since he’s made an appearance. This 2016 version makes up for lost time and ends up being a pretty terrific new version of a classic character that believe it or not, feels overdue in spite of his rampant appearances in the early 2000’s.
1 – Effective modern parts choices
2 – Good new head sculpt
3 – Fun accessories
1 – Almost too many accessories, some of them redundant
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Three weeks before the announced November, 2016 release timeline, Ryan over on the G.I. Joe Discussion Group on Facebook has found the first indications of the 2016 G.I. Joe line. Featured in his image is the Heavy Duty/Stiletto and Zombie Viper two packs.
Pretty exciting to see new G.I. Joe product on the shelves again, so let’s do our part to remove them from the shelves, shall we? Go get ’em!
Heh…in the last post I mentioned a month was a long time to wait for a follow up to a 5 minute webisode. Turns out, the action itself only took just over 3 minutes. Overall impression? About what you’d expect for a direct-to-website feature catered to kids. It’s done in CGI animation, purely computer models, and they looked like they were pulled from the cut scenes of the console game (which isn’t necessarily a good thing). Some choppy animation, some stilted voice acting, and nothing that will really make the long time fans go crazy. Definitely not G.I. Joe’s best side.
I still kinda dig seeing the movie universe further explored (especially since it would appear it’s vanishing entirely from store shelves with this G.I. Joe “reboot” this fall), but the end result did not blow my skirt up, which is really saying something when coming from this fanboy. Regardless, I’ll be waiting the first Friday of every month just to see what’s next.
On the positive side, we did get some cool intel when the credits rolled! I’ve mirrored some screen shots below, including a shot of the voice credits, which indicate that some other characters will be appearing in the series like Recondo, Helix, and Snow Job! I’ll check out further installments just for that.
A fun way to spend a few minutes, but don’t expect Beast Wars or Starship Troopers… the gallery is below.
Over at JoeBattleLines, MaxPower has stumbled across the KMart Exclusive 4-Pack at his local California K-Mart and was kind enough to snap some pictures of what can be found inside. The set comes with:
Desert Camouflage Heavy Duty
Duke (in MP Uniform)
MARS Weapon Officer
Heavy Duty is the best of the bunch, just because he comes with the best of the gear from the two previous versions! He’s got the machine gun and pistol from the Weapons Specialist (as well as the backpack w/ straps), but he’s got the heavy machine gun and grenade launcher from the Reactive Armor version.
The two COBRA’s are colored up in a strange dark brown/bronze shade which doesn’t appeal to me a whole lot, though each of them come fully equipped with their original weapons load. Duke is just kind of a toss in, I think. I’m not crazy about the MP/Zartan figure, and we’ve already got a decent desert camouflage Duke. Anyway…retail was apparently $27 or $28. Keep your eyes out if you’re interested!