Eh, why not one more, eh? The week of Retaliation was so popular, I’ve decided to do one more review, this time it’s the Red Ninja!
Okay, I’ll be the first to admit: the whole ninja thing has been played out for a while now. In my eyes, at least. I’m not much of a fan of them. But, that said, they are a part of G.I. Joe, so they’re relevant to the mythos. And, when I heard this new movie was going to be thick with ninjas, I groaned. But, it is what it is. Good news for toy collectors, though, as we’re getting some pretty snazzy ninja action figures because of it! The Red Ninja, for the most part, is made up of the Renegades Storm Shadow, which is an awesome thing. The Renegades Storm Shadow did a great job of balancing sculpt and articulation to produce a fan favorite of the classic character. For the head, the Red Ninja comes with the fully covered facemask, in red instead of white. For those of you with the Renegades Storm shadow, the main differences you’re going to see (other than the red deco) is the forearms, hands, knees and lower legs have a dark-dark bronze armor plating. The plates have a raised rim and rivets to sell the plating. Everything else is a repaint of Storm Shadow. For those who don’t have Stormy, what this figure is, is a well crafted, well detailed ninja, and probably one of the better figures in G.I. Joe (I still knock it down a peg for being a ninja, but it’s still bad ass). In the standard gi that we’ve known the ninjas in the G.I. Joe world to wear, they’ve amped it up, giving it life with folds, creases, and detail to make it come to life. Being all red minus a black undershirt, black detailing on the trim of the shirt, and a black sash, all the blacks pop off the figure, while the bronze is nice and subtle. The ninja has black strapped sandals, while the soles are red.
In terms of articulation, this figure has the lion’s share. Again, if you have Renegades Storm Shadow, this is the same figure, so no articulation points are taken away. For those who don’t have it, this figure has all the modern G.I. Joe articulation points that we’re used to in the Pursuit of Cobra/30th Anniversary waves. On the ninja, we have a ball post head, ball hinge shoulders and elbows, advanced wrist joints, a swivel torso, ball pin hips, double hinge knees, ankle articulation with rockers on the feet. It doesn’t get better than this in G.I. Joe, gang. So, in looking at the week+ at CardedHeroes’ reviews, you can basically see that they’ve given the articulation to the ninjas, while leaving the standard fighters with the loss of ankle joints. If they had to lose articulation in some figures, but were to keep it in others, I’m glad they did it the way they did. Ninjas should be ultra flexible-get-in-weird-stances-to-kick-your-butt-stances, so they need the articulation. Roadblock needs to be a wall and fire his big gun. Cobra Commander needs to stand and give orders. That makes sense, to me, anyways.
In accessories, this is where the Red Ninja pales in comparison to Storm Shadow. Again with the zipline, we get a lobster weapon with a zipline, and a wrist attachment that has a launcher in it. Again, it has no fun factor for me (but my kids LOVE it, so that’s something), so it’s going to stay in the baggie. Otherwise, the ninja comes with a pair of long swords. I was really hoping for the full Storm Shadow load out for this figure, but it just wasn’t met to be. Not only that, but he doesn’t come with a backpack to store the swords, which is for sure a bummer. But the swords are nice for what it is, and I won’t have to worry about losing a ton of pieces. I was expecting this figure to come with the hat that the ninja in General’s Joe’s review does, but alas, it’s not the case.
This figure, flat out, is a must get. I’m not a huge ninja fan in my own personal future-tech military army of action figures, but I can’t turn this figure down. When I see him on the pegs, I’ll be picking him up. Expect this figure to come out in a somewhat rainbow assortment of colors, there’s already a black-red one coming, and a full-on black one…so we’ll see what colors we may be getting. The figure is fun to pose and to mess with. Non-G.I. Joe fans would also get a kick out of this figure. I don’t like the gimmick it comes with, but my boys have proven that it grabs their attention, so there’s going to be fans of it. But this is definitely on your must have list, ninja fan or not.