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GI Joe and Sgt. Rock whats going on?

When I first heard that Hasbro was producing some exclusive figure with DC Comics' Sgt. Rock I wasn't interested at all. Growing up, GI Joe was my world, growing up in the 80's you either transformed Transformers or battled with GI Joe it was that simple.

When I was little I was very loyal to the "Real American Hero" and when visiting the comic store I always noticed another comic, Sgt. Rock. I never liked Sgt. Rock, I always thought of him as an arch-rival, the Pepsi of Coco-Cola. So when I heard that DC Comics and Hasbro were getting together to create this exclusive 12" figure I was like why are they consorting with the enemy? So the other day I'm surfing thru Ebay and I come across this Sgt. Rock exclusive. At first look I was in awe, the end result of their collaboration was definetly a suprise. I had to get one of my own!

The first thing I noticed about this figure was the packaging, the box is huge and very nicely designed. The contents of the larger box contains three more boxes that are authentically crafted after the original 60's design. I have not been a very strong collector of the 12" GI Joe series but this is one Joe I couldn't pass up.

The nice thing about this figure is that it brings true meaning to the word exclusive, limited in production with a very high demand. There are only 1,200 pieces produced and only 500 (of 1200) signed by comic legend Joe Kubert and customizer Augustine Romero. As far as I know this was not available to the mass market and were only sold through Internet toy shops and the Official Collector's Club. The price for this figure ranges from $232 (non signed) - $300+ depending on where you found it.

Speaking with the sales people at the Collector's Club, Sgt. Rock sold out very quickly and was a very popular item. The figure was released in the fourth quarter of 2000 and is now pretty much history...

This figure is great!

I usually don't buy too many U.S. produced figures because they lack the quality and low production run, however this particular figure is of a different nature. I must say that the Sgt. Rock figure is in a class of it's own, he has shown that Hasbro is more than capable of holding their own in the 12" collectible market.

Upon first inspection of the entire set with the three individual packages is awe inspiring. There is just so much that comes with this figure it's pretty amazing, each piece carefully crafted and designed. I was especially impressed by the fatigues and the "Web Belt with grommets" because this piece could have easily been substituted for plastic but they actually sewed the thing and even put in mini-grommets. The designers kept very close attention to detail and spared no expense. Another very note-worthy remark is the detail put into the "shirt tag" where it reads "SGT ROCK TM DC COMICS", a very nice touch. And lastly just check out the "stocks" of the rifles, you can actually see the grain of the wood!

Upon Further Review...

When I dove a bit deeper into the box and actually started taking the figure out to take shots of it, I was dumbfounded. I have to say this is easily one of the nicest pieces I own and have ever seen. Looking at Sgt. Rock I am still amazed at how much attention to detail Hasbro spent. They definitely found a new customer for their exclusives, and I have to say the hefty price-tag affixed to this one was more than worth it.

There is pretty much nothing I can say bad about this figure , the head is nicely sculpted, the boots, the clothing, everything is given the 5-Star treatment. Just take a look at the severe craftsmanship put into all the pieces in the set (view Bonus images). This is a definite "must have" for all Gi Joe/Sgt Rock Collectors.

So what do you get?

Sgt. Rock comes outfitted with a hand-painted resin head (with piece# etched in back) on a vintage-style GI Joe body. He comes with two uniform options, "Winter Combat" and "U.S. Army EM Uniform", both displayed in 1964-era box and tray packaging. On top of all of this you get a 80 page vintage style comic book.

The exact contents of this figure are as follows:
Winter Combat
- U.S. Army M43 Fatigue Jacket with
- M1 Combat Helmet
- Thompson SMG M1928 with removable clip
- M-1 Garand rifle
- Grenades
- Web Belt with grommets
- Canteen with Cover
- .45 Caliber Pistol with leather holster
- M1 Bayonet with Scabbard
- Bandolier
U.S. Army EM uniform
- Ike Jacke
- EM Service Trousers
- EM Service Shirt with Tie
- EM Overseas Garrison Cap
- EM Service Belt
- Corcoran Boots

· full body shot (front) in standard uniform
· great view of head sculpt
· close-up of boots
· close up of shirt and buttons/dog tags

Sgt. Rock History

(This information is printed on the back of each uniform set.)

Real Name: Frank Rock
Occupation: Sergeant, U.S. Army Infantry
Marital Status: Single
Known Relatives: John (father, deceased), Larry (brother, deceased), Mickey and Eddie (brothers), unnamed sister, mother and stepfather
Group Affiliation: Easy Company
Base of Operations: The European Theatre of Operations, World War II First Appearence: OUR ARMY AT WAR #81
Height: 6'
Weight: 183 lbs.
Eyes: Blue
Hair: Red

Though just a working class everyday "joe", and one of millions who fought for the U.S. in the World War II, Sergeant Frank Rock epitomized the never-say-die American fighting spirit.

Rock was the eldest of five children fathered by John Michael Rock, a World War I hero killed in action. He was raised in Pennsylvania by his mother and step-father, a blue collar miner. Although a poor student, Rock was a superb athlete; however he was forced to quit school when his step father was killed in a work-related accident. Rock was left with the responsibility of taking care of his mother and younger sibilings. In order to support the family, Rock took to the professional boxing ring. Although far from behing a skilled fighter, Rock was tough and determined and earned the reputation for being impossible to knock down.

Rock eventually left the boxing ring and took a job in a steel mill shortly before the outbreka of World War II. The day after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, Rock enlisted in the military. As a buck private, Rock served under General George Patton in Easy Company. He fought in North Africa against Nazi tank commander Irwin Rommel.

Later, during the battle of Three Stripes Hill, Rock earned the a field promotion to sergeant for bravery. He replaced Easy Company's former sergeant who had been killed in action. During the course of the war Rock would be offered further promotions, but he refused them. He preferred to remain in the battlefield with his friends in Easy Company. Somehow, Easy Company always seemed to find their way into the thick of combat, earning the nickname "The Cowboy Happy Joes of Easy".

Despite inevitable losses and almost continuous combat missions thorughout Germany, Italy, North Africa, Belgium, Holland, and parts of the Pacific. Easy Company maintained a collection of regulars, with Rock as it's core.

How Easy Company eventually came to an end and what became of it's battle-hardened soldiers has become military myth. In fact, until someone delves into the dusty archives of the Pentagon to retrieve the true facts, Rock and Easy will remain legends. But whatever their fate, no one will deny that Sergeant Rock and "The Combat Happy Joes of Easy" were among the bravest heros of World War II.

Frank Rock was an exceptional hand-to-hand combatant. He was also a skilled marksman and was well versed in the weapons of his day. Overall, his ability to lead and his determination made him appear larger than life.