I think I’ve said before 1989 is a real hit-or-miss year, at least in my opinion. You’ve got classics like the Night Viper and Recoil on one hand, and on the other you have Downtown and figures like this guy. But, of the 1989 figures that I like less, Rock & Roll v2 isn’t really that bad, though I maintain my reasons for lamenting him.
In my collection, the original 1982 look for the first thirteen will always be their “true” appearance. However, a handful of the characters like Rock & Roll and Stalker were lucky enough to get some redesigns for those that might’ve desired to see the characters in a way that gave them more personality and looked more unique. This figure succeeds in that way right from the start, now breaking up his solid green outfit with a more detailed tan shirt and camouflage pants. It’s an interesting look, though I think I’d appreciate it more if the colors were a tad more desaturated.
The sculpt on this figure leaves me ambivalent at points. Elements are perfect, the shirt and cap are nicely detailed and there’s a bit of muscular definition in the arms that looks good too. I’ve never been able to really think his face looks much like Rock & Roll however, and the figure is just a tad skinny feeling to me, which also doesn’t seem appropriate to the character. The detail is there and it’s certainly not a bad sculpt; it just doesn’t strike me as the character however.
The weapons are also something I have mixed feelings on. Starting with the bad, his akimbo double-barrel mini-guns are absolutely absurd, and put bluntly I hate them. Beyond the ridiculous concept, the figure looks far too busy holding both of these, with the thick ammo belts then connecting them to his backpack even more so. His last accessory really makes up for the other lackluster parts, that being his lever-action riffle. It’s a little hard to hold, but it’s an excellent sculpt with a lot of detail. I particularly like the little scope on the gun, it has so much more personality than the bizarre sci-fi mini-guns he comes with. It also can be stored on his leg, which is a fun gimmick although it does detract from his appearance a bit.
This version of Rock & Roll isn’t particularly costly. It seems like one that’s complete can easily be acquired for around $10, and he’s rather common in lots too, where you can get him for even less. I used to not like this figure very much, but he’s great for variety and easy to get by chance if you look around. In the past I’ve swapped his legs for a pair of Salvo’s which looks pretty good and does well to balance his proportions as you can see in the second photo below.