I’m the first to admit this—as much as I like getting updates of classic characters I LOVE getting figures of new Joes. Let’s be honest, how many times can you keep releasing the same cast of characters before the line grows stale. New breathe new life into any storyline and the addition of the Stall family into the Joe mythos did just that. Barrel Roll, Blackout, and Bombstrike gave us not only three exciting new characters but also a wonderful back-story that tied them all together. Now, the first of those ill-fated siblings comes to DTC.
It’s completely ironic that I was watching Black Hawk Down when the postman knocked at the door with my DTC case. Everything about this figure has Barrel Roll resembling Eric Bana’s Delta Force sniper right now to the trademark black helmet. Barrel Roll has been given a complete overhaul from his previous two versions and that includes being dropped down to 3.75”. I’ve looked over this figure numerous times and have yet to find a reused part (not counting his pistol) which means that Barrel Roll is an entirely new sculpt. His design is relatively simple: a long sleeve tan and brown shirt with a slight camouflage pattern on the sleeves, tan pants, with a gray belt and holster. As with both Snake Eyes and Gung Ho, Barrel Roll also sports a new web vest that is loaded with molded pouches and detail. As previously stated, his helmet is similar to that of the Delta Force Operators with the exception that is seems to support a radio mike on the left side. Overall, it’s a good desert theatre update to one of the Joe team’s resident snipers.
There are two features of this new figure that stand out to me. First is the new head sculpt; it’s quite a contrast from the previous version of Dwight Stall. The Spy Troops version of Barrel Roll looked young and even a bit eager. In a few dio-stories I’d read, he was portrayed as the rookie on the team. Here, Barrel Roll looks older and more severe. His hair has been closely cropped in stark contrast to the spiked look that he was sporting earlier. His gaze is a bit sterner and he appears world-wearier than he did earlier. His file card indicates that he’s now rescued his sister from Cobra and has vowed revenge on his brother for what happened. This figure lives up to the old adage “show, don’t tell” in the respect that this is a Barrel Roll who looks grim and determined. Based on his expression, he and Low Light should get along just fine.
The second new stand out feature of Barrel Roll is his new rifle. I’ll be honest—I’m not as up on modern weapons as many Joe fans are. As such, I have no idea whether this “tunnel with a trigger” is based on a real rifle or if it is some designer’s fantasy after playing too much HALO. Either way, this is a rifle that looks as though it could punch a hole through a BAT at close to a quarter mile away. The stock, and what I’m assuming is part of the recoil suppression system, is MASSIVE and lends some credence to my assumption. I don’t know how practical it would be to wield such a weapon in the field but it certainly let’s the world know that this man is a sniper. If my Crosshairs weren’t permanently attached to the Night Ops Humvee’s sniper rifle, he’d be jealous.
I like this figure. Sure, his new head sculpt is going to take some getting used to but I do like him. I’m not quite certain why Hasbro felt the need to “redo” Barrel Roll so soon after his Spy Troops appearances but it would seem that the character is going to be around for a bit longer. (A distinction that Red Spot, Sgt. Hacker, Switch Gears, Hard Drive, and others seem not to share.) In keeping with the DTC trend, this is more realistic figure and one that I can see leaning out the edge of a Black Hawk to provide cover fire for teammates on the ground. Barrel Roll is a solid addition to the DTC line!