Direct to Consumer Wave 2 - Barrel Roll

Toy name: Barrel Roll
Assortment: Direct-to-Consumer Wave 2
Price: MSRP $4.99
Availability: September, 2005

So, I can already see a lot of folks asking "why him?". Hasbro's MO so far with the DTC offerings has been more or less pretty faithful new representations of old classics, with a new character in the mix for fun. Barrel Roll really is neither. He's not an old classic, and he's not a brand new character. If anything, he was the potentially most intriguiing new sculpt character to come along, but never really got the exposure he deserved in the cartoons to follow. It seemed as if he had some great potential rivalry built up with Blackout, but it just never panned out.

But I love the it enough that I don't really mind the new figure being Barrel Roll, even though the old figure is pretty darn cool as it is. This new one has a completely new I'm not 100% sold on, but it does have some neat features. It's almost there, but not quite.

Figure Mold

If this figure has any problems, the mold is not one of them. From what I can tell, this figure has a pretty much new mold, most likely a left over design from what was going to be the follow up to Valor Vs. Venom. The mold is, to put it mildly, just plain fantastic. It's really a pretty simple overall design, with a padded shirt and basic military uniform. His arms have the new style elbow construction which works well, and his hands are sculpted to fit his rifle as they should. Not only that, but he has swivel wrists articulated deep into the shirt sleeves, which looks very real, and is an awesome articulation point, especially for a sniper.

His head sculpt is plain, and with quite a different hair style, but still looks like Barrel Roll. The shoulder pads add a little toughness to the figure and break it up a little bit, all while keeping him from looking TOO ordinary military. His legs also look like your typical soldier with the combat pants all nicely wrinkled and sculpted...but what really brings out the leg sculpt are the kneepads and cross-straps, leading to an awesome holster for his pistol and a nice knife perched on his right thigh. This little additions break up the mold perfectly and add some nice design elements to what could have been a bland bottom half to the figure. The proportions all work pretty well on this figure as well, and mold-wise he looks great.

Paint Applications/Color Choices

This is where the figure suffers a little bit...not that his colors aren't realistic, but they're kind of bland. Barrel Roll is colored in various shades of brown and tan indicating that this rendition might be equipped as a desert trooper of a sort. His arms have a pseudo desert camouflage look to him, while his pants are your basic tan and his shirt is a darker brown. Folks who have read my reviews along the way know that I'm not a big fan of environment-specific Joes, especially someone like Barrel Roll, who could potentially be used in a variety of manners.

The color applications themselves are pretty nicely applied, but I'm not wild about the idea of relegating this version of Barrel Roll to desert ops (because I love the mold so much) and his appearence just seems to dictate that. Maybe it's just my personal preference, but I would have rather seen a night ops Barrel Roll, or perhaps another gray themed uniform like his original look, just so he's a little bit more flexible about operating conditions. I do like his strap colors and such, but it's just the overal desert theme leaves me a little bit cold. This isn't necessarily a technical deficiency, though, just more my personal taste.


Wow! These accessories are terrific! Chalk up another big positive spot for this figure. We start off with a great tactical helmet and mike combination which fit him well, however it does look slightly goofy. I'm not sure why, as it fits snug and tight as I would expect it to, but it just flares out a little bit and looks kind of off. An awesome helmet conceptually, however. He also has a pistol which fits nicely into his leg holster, and a great set of webgear. With all of this gear on him, he looks like a perfectly well equipped special ops trooper, and I LOVE this look. Even his sniper rifle, which at first looks like an oversized, fake, super-powered weapon, is based on a real world weapon, I believe this model from Austria. It's listed as an "anti-material" weapon and definitely looks the part. It's a nice crowning touch for this marksman and really adds just that last little bit to make the figure cool. It's still a little bit big, and I like his original rifle much better, but it was cool to see that this new rifle is at least based on something real.

Final Comments

I love the character, I love the mold, and I love the accessories...this figure came very close to sealing the whole deal, but the colors just left me a little bit uncertain, and the figure falls a couple of notches because of it. I do still think that this is my favorite Joe figure of this wave, but he gets overshadowed by most of the COBRA's.

Ratings (out of 10)

Character: 10
Mold : 8
Paint Apps: 7.5
Value: 8
Overall score (not an average): 8


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