I’d love to have more G.I. Joe reviews here at ItsAllTrue, but they tend to get put on the backburner after the various other toylines I collect and review. Still, I’d like to get relatively caught up on Joes reviews, so let’s cross one off the list today: Renegades Storm Shadow!
First off, I feel lucky to just own this figure. Mostly for reasons I’ll cover in the next few paragraphs, but also because I’ve seen it once. I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to Joes last year because they weren’t showing up at stores. I was similarly lucky and ran across a Low-Light and did snag a Crazylegs when I found him a few times for like a week back in the Fall. That was pretty much it – no Rock Viper, no Jungle Bat, no City Strike Destro, so on and so forth. I did have a shot at the Desert Battle Snake Eyes (which is essentially the ideal counterpart to the Storm Shadow featured here), but didn’t snag him. I’m kicking myself for that now. Repeatedly.
My wife, heeding my ranting about Joe-vailability and my absolutely need for the Techno-Viper, Lifeline, Sci-Fi, and the rest of the Wave 4 gang, picked me up a Wave 3/4 mix case for Christmas (She’s awesome like that! Thank you, Honey!). I thought I had things sewn up after that, but then I came across this Storm Shadow that I hadn’t really paid attention to previously (I have not seen even the littlest bit of Renegades). I was blown away. Though, my wife made sure to point out that I was so fascinated by this Storm Shadow that I couldn’t stop talking about missing the Snake Eyes – collectors are
This will sound blasphemous I’m sure, but I wasn’t a big Storm Shadow fan for the longest time. As a wee tot, I was never really into the villains. I didn’t have a favorite Decepticon. The vast majority of my MOTU favorites were heroes. I had Cobra figures for my Joes to fight, but I’m hard pressed to remember many beyond Armored CC, Serpentor, and the vehicle drivers. I can rattle off a laundry list of favorite Joes like nobody’s business however.
But, you know who isn’t really all that high on my fave Joes list? Snake Eyes. I don’t know why, but I just never picked up on that love. So, as you can imagine, not caring much about villains and not being all that invested in Snake Eyes didn’t really make Storm Shadow a big name in my book. Now, this will sound even more blasphemous, all that changed when Rise of Cobra came out. That movie does have its flaws, but I loved the movie version of Storm Shadow for the most part. I had to have the unmasked movie Storm Shadow and with him I gained a new appreciation for the Cobra Ninja.
It was with that appreciation that I picked up this Storm Shadow. Yeah, the package says Renegades and you do get the red sash and Renegades head, but those are just kinda extras I ended up overlooking. It’s cool that this figure can be that version if so needed, but I bought him for what amounts to “30th Anniversary” goodness. In fact, the first pic above is the only one of the thirty that will feature his Renegades look. Oops.
What really makes this figure standout is that he’s basically the quintessential ninja figure. He’s got a great sculpt. The ‘classic’ head is sharp; the ninja costume has great detailing right down to the straps around his knuckles and toes. The hands are a little funky on the palms, but the fingers are designed to hold almost all of his gear realistically. The sculpt just makes this figure look fantastic and then the articulation comes along and makes him a ton of fun. Ball-joints at the neck, torso, shoulders, elbows, wrists (with one angled sideways – pretty cool), hips, and ankles and then double hinges at the knee. He moves great – the only thing I’d like to see is some swivels in the legs or those awesome new ankles (like Renegades Scarlet), but I don’t want to knock this figure because I enjoy him a lot even without those.
There is one area where I kinda do need to knock the figure though: paint. He’s almost entirely white – this shoulda been easy! But the paint on the exposed faces quite reaches the sculpted edges on either hands, the hands are so sloppy that I’m tempted to just strip the paint and have him wear “white gloves”, and the buckle on the black bandolier was messy to boot. I know that 4″ figures tend to be messier than my beloved 6″, but with so little paint, it was imperative Hasbro get this one right and that’s not the case on mine, the one that I actually found. The Cobra and Arashikago Clan tampos were both clean at least, and the exposed eyes don’t look too bad, but those hands bug me.
The other bright spot here is the gear. I can think of a few more accessories he could use, but Hasbro covered most of the bases here. Let’s see if I can get all this in. In addition to the two heads, the red sash, the black bandolier & belt, there’s also the backpack, two swords, two sais, two daggers, two ninja stars, two spiked kubotans, the fan, nunchuks, a long bow, an arrow, a dart pack w/ a removable dart, and the ever present stand. Whew!
Overall, I just can’t say it enough, this is a fantastic figure! Hasbro needs to get this figure back in the case mixes post-Retaliation! I don’t normally say a company “owes” its fans anything, but in this case they do – they need to step up and get this figure more widely distributed when the chance arises. They made him so well that he’s a must own.
If that’s not a ringing endorsement, then how about this. I’m already ready for Hasbro to get some more mileage out of this sculpt too. I’ll buy it in red, teal, and black – and that’s without new heads. I might not pick them all up, but new heads would open up possibilities for hooded Storm Shadow decos, more Snake Eyes (yay!), and other ninja-based figures too (still waiting on that Nunchuk, Hasbro!). To take it a step further, this guy so completely blows away his 25th figure that I can’t help but wonder if the post-Retaliation line should just not worry about the figures they didn’t get into the 25th line and start over. This figure sets the bar that high. Continue to the Page 2 Gallery!