Ever seen the movie “Popeye”? You know the one I’m talking about—Shelly Duvall, Robin Williams, that baby that squeaked? Do you remember the song that Olive Oyl sang about her fiancé Bluto? That song applies to one of the newest Joes to join the team via the recruiters at DTC HQ—Major Barrage! Olive described him best when she crooned in that nasal voice of hers “He’s large!”
Major Barrage is the first all-new character that we’ve seen in the DTC line-up. As such, he’s going fall under a lot of scrutiny from fans that might have preferred a reissue of an old favorite. However, Barrage is certainly up to the task. The sculpt of this figure is both simple and practical. Barrage is clad in a sleeve-less t-shirt, camo pants, and boots. There are no extraneous straps, holsters, knives, grenades, or small furry animals incorporated into the character design. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that Major Barrage is functionally designed. Sure, he’s not wearing a full military uniform but his overall appearance is easily rationalized by the Joe’s special-unit status. As an additional accessory, Barrage is wearing a tan vest that evokes images of a photographer’s vest. However, the piece is not a full on vest as seen in the back view pics yet it adds just another layer of detail to this character. In many ways, the character design reminds me of an updated younger version of Steamroller.
As I’ve already stated in the intro, Major Barrage is a larger-sized figure. I don’t mean that in a “needs to let his pants out a few inches” fashion but rather in a Shaq-fashion. Simply put, the good Major is actually a 4” figure in a 3.75” line. Not since Venomous Maximus has there been a figure quite this tall in the GIJoe line. According to his file card, he’s 6’ 8” tall and this figure conveys that sense of size. Also, one look at the biceps of this figure and you’ll agree that this is a man who can handle heavy artillery shells. Not since Sgt. Slaughter have we had a Joe that is quite so “ripped”. In fact, Barrage walks that fine line between being “huge” and “grotesque”. If his arms were any larger he’d function better as a caricature than as a Joe. Still his size works for him and helps him to stand out from the rest of the Joes. I see him in many ways acting as “Dinobot” to Tunnel Rat’s “Rattrap”—the larger and the smaller characters having a weird sort of “buddy film” relationship. Of course, that’s just in my head.
Overall, Barrage is a real winner. The use of the ball-jointed head that we first saw in Venomous Max gives us a figure with a completely natural-looking neckline. The swivel wrists and new-style elbow joint all work in this figure’s favor and the end result is the standout figure of the DTC line. If you were on the fence about this figure—don’t be. Order him now and enjoy the fact that the Joes added a bit more muscle to the team.