Thursday, June 22, 2023

Action Figure Review: Craig "Rock 'N Roll" McConnel from G.I. Joe: Classified Series by Hasbro


   While the last series of figures from the G.I. Joe: Classified Series left a lot to be desired, the upcoming releases all look to be back on track with lots of awesomeness. I don't have any other new figures yet but I did manage to get Craig "Rock 'N Roll" McConnel a bit early as he popped up in stock at BBTS a few weeks back. Rock 'N Roll is one of the Original 13 G.I. Joe figures from A Real American Hero's 1982 lineup and he proved to be a favorite, getting a few variants throughout the vintage line. So far he joins Snake Eyes, Scarlett, Stalker, and Breaker as part of the original team (with Grunt on the way!). A heavy machine gunner, a surfer, and a bass guitarist, Rock 'N Roll is a cool dude who likes to hang out, chill out, and take Cobras out. Let's take a look at him after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 5/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed drop down hips, ball jointed waist, mid-torso hinge, butterfly pecs, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, ball jointed neck base, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: Machine gun, pistol, long ammo belt, short ammo belt, box magazine, two wrist straps, helmet, holster, and thigh pouch.  

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* The Original 13 G.I. Joe team members were glad mostly in green with a very classic military feel. Rock and Roll isn't too different in that way, though does have a very light bottom on his shirt that makes him feel a bit more unique. He's a big guy and while he doesn't have a backpack, he is toting around a lot of gear. He's got two ammo belts (they're a separate piece, but not removable), a belt (also non-removable), and some straps, one with pouches and one with some extra rounds. 

* I'm so, so glad that Rock 'N Roll has an excellent portrait. After the last series I was really worried, but that series seems to be a fluke as the new figures look great. I love the character in Rock 'N Roll's face and the detail in his shaggy hair and beard. That is one heck of a beard right there and there's some great definition and texture in it. 

* His helmet is pretty amazing, too. It's similar to Breaker's helmet, but it's customized with ear flaps, an unbuckled chin strap, and the words "Hang Ten" painted on the front.

* Flip it around and you can see the wiring of the headphones built into the earflaps and a cool storage pouch on the back of the helmet. What do you think Rock 'N Roll has in here? A small first aid kit? Tools for working on his weapon? An iPod loaded with the Beach Boys' greatest hits?

* Rock 'N Roll is sporting some ink! Check out the tattoos on both of his arms. He's got some serious sleeves with a bunch of unique designs. There are skulls (including the bottom of a skeletal face on his left hand) and even a heart with "Mom" in it.

* Those wrist pieces on Rock 'N Roll's wrists are removable. Just pop off his hands and they swap out easily. 

* One thing that's always a pleasure with the Classified Series is the articulation and Rock 'N Roll's is just fine. He moves freely, holds his weapons well, and just looks great in a variety of poses. Grab a surfboard from a 1966 Batman figure and he Craig can even surf! Hang Ten, dude!

* Rock 'N Roll is something of a rarity in the Classified Series as he comes with alternate hands,  something few other figures have come packed with. He's got a pair of pistol grip hands, a right handed fist, and a left handed "rock 'n roll" gesture. Rock 'n roll, indeed, Rock 'n Roll.

* Rock 'N Roll's belt is a non-removable separate piece and it's loaded with pouches, extra pistol magazines, and a canteen. The pouch on his left hip is removable, though. It looks zippered and padded, so maybe it has some piece of delicate equipment inside?

* Rock 'N Roll's primary weapon is an M60 machine gun. It's an incredibly recognizable weapon, if a bit dated, though they are still in service around the globe. This is a nice sculpt with plenty of detail. It's pretty packed with features, including the carry handle at the top and a hollow barrel for firing effects.

* The bipod on the front folds down, allowing you to have Rock 'N Roll utilize the weapon from a prone position or kneeling with the M60 on top of something. 

* The M60 has two ways to load ammunition into it. First up is a box magazine that plugs into the side. There is a separate shorter belt of ammo that fits in the magazine and which feeds through a bit. 

* The second way to load the weapon is to run the ammo belt through it. The longer ammo belt just fits through easily. Appearance wise, it matches those Rock 'N Roll is wearing across his chest.

* Rock 'N Roll also comes toting what looks like a satellite phone. It has a pretty nice sculpt and lots of individual paint applications. It's impressive for a smaller accessory. 

* Rock 'N Roll always carries a sidearm that looks like a Glock 33 with an extended magazine, maybe with a modified barrel. It's a nice looking pistol for sure with some excellent detail. There's even a safety on the side.

* The handgun fits nicely into the removable holster on Craig's right hip, keeping it safe and secure for when he needs it. 

* Need a place to store the phone and the box magazine? There are two holes on Rock 'N Roll's belt that both accessories can plug into, allowing him to carry everything. 

The Negatives:

* Unfortunately, the pegs don't hold as tightly as I'd like. If you're just posing the figure then they're probably fine, but if you're moving him around you'll probably have some issues. 

* The only negative that seems to have carried over from the last series is that the plastic on the elbows is a different color than on the rest of the figure. That's annoying, isn't it? I'm assuming it has something to do with different types of plastic used for the joints where more stretch is, but it's still an eyesore. 

   Despite my few qualms, I'm really loving this figure. The headsculpt is on fire, the redesign works really well, the M60 has lots of features, Rock 'N Roll has lots of cool gear (especially that helmet), and he can tote everything with him. The Classified Series is still my favorite active toyline out there and I'm really excited for everything coming up, especially after seeing that the last series was apparently a fluke. Rock 'N Roll is an Epic figure and might be a tough one to beat from this series, though Torpedo and Shipwreck both look incredible as well. Rock 'N Roll gets an Epic rating from me and is a pretty impressive release in a line with lots of great hits.


  1. I think this is a kick ass figure but I do feel as of they went a little overboard with the tattoos. From a distance they just look like black globs on his arms. It would have been cool if they added a little color to them. An American flag tat would have been dope!

    1. An American flag tattoo would have been really cool. Yeah, a bit of color there would definitely have been welcome.

  2. Great figure. So glad they finally made him. I'm not a fan of the white shirt, but oh well.

    1. It is an interesting design choice. I'm assuming that it probably will help give him a bit more distinction among the Original 13 and it might allow Hasbro to release a Retro carded version at some point.

  3. Yup. Rock 'n Roll is indeed up to the Classified Series quality standard.


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