You chose the dark path… One would say you have a flair for the evil side…then turn good… Then get brainwashed to go bad again… Then TURN good, only to pretend, and really be bad, but all the while, try to be as noble as you can. And not kill your sworn enemy.
Such is the rough life of Storm Shadow.
It’s virtually impossible to have a G.I. Joe toy line without the ninja in white. It’s also a bit of a challenge to make a pajama-wearing villian remotely interesting each and every time. So Retaliation decided to splash just a bit of color on Stormy to break up the white. The end result isn’t overall amazing, but the gray and silver do give some life to the figure. The head is a basic white mask that covers his whole face, minus the area around his eyes. The paint job is important to get right, as it’s the only real color there, and they nail it, it’s nice and crisp. There is a faint detailing that goes around the front of the face and his forehead. You can see his ears protruding, but otherwise, the head is a boring white. I feel it’s a TOUCH undersized, as it could stand to be just a bit larger in comparison to the rest of his body. It’s not terrible, but just a bit small. He’s got a flared up collar that, while a separate piece, is glued into place. Mine had a paint error on the back of the collar, and with it being all white, really makes it stand out. Stormy is in a segmented outfit, broken up by seamlines and folds. Gray frames the chest and covers the biceps, while the remainder of the shirt is white. There are tons of folds, layers and creases in the outfit to give it some life. Silver forearms guards take up the full forearm and come up off the arm at the elbow. A gray belt breaks up the upper and lower white of the outfit, with a white pouch on his backside to add some depth in design. The pants start out super baggy, with the excess draping over the knees. Silver or gunmetal kneepads end the looseness of the pants, as the lower legs have a couple of layers of armor over pant material: silver shin gaurds and white shelled armor on the back of his legs. He looks like he has some sort of sandals on, with the top of his feet exposed, minus a strap at the beginning of the feet. Ninja in crocs? Maybe. Overall, it’s an okay design. It’s definitely a step up from the all white, but he’s had more interesting designs in his past. His arms and lower legs feel soft, and truth be told, I’m concerned how well this figure in it’s all white will age with the coloring.
You want articulation? Well you got it. In spades. Storm Shadow has all the articulation that we’ve come to love in the later years of G.I. Joe. The upper articulation is the same with every other G.I. Joe figure out currently, as well as the advanced wrist movements. See, this made you happy, right? The hips are still the same, with double hinged knees and (pause for effect) articulated ankles! Not only are they are articulated, but they (more importantly, personally speaking) have rockers in the feet to allow some serious posing. But, to be thorough, the joints include: Ball post head, Ball hinge shoulders and elbows, advanced articulated wrists, swivel chest, ball pin hips, double hinge knees, and articulated ankles with rockers in his feet. The ninjas can move!
Oye… These accessories. I know, I know, play features and all that, but, I know they can be worse. To get the ‘gimmick’ accessories out of the way, we’re given a five foot zipline with two anchor points and a lobster-like projectile. A large backpack contraption is used to ride the zipline, with sleeves that the line runs though. It’s a bit large and awkward, but it’s an…interesting piece. It almost reminds me somewhat of the cancelled Storm Shadow’s glider pack, as it’s spread out like that. Otherwise, he comes with a SMALL backpack, that’s meant to only sheath his pair of swords that he comes with. I like the backpack, it’s nice, and kind of mirrors the pouch on his belt. The swords are of two different sizes, a long sword and a more knife-sized blade. They are modestly detailed, with the handles having grips and the blades having small cuts in the base of the blades.
Personally, it’s hard for me to get excited about a character that’s had SO MANY figures put out of him. But still, this is a nice action figure. The posability of this guy is top notch, and he does have a bit of originality to him. There’s depth in design with the collar, layered armor, and splashes of color. If you like posability, he’s the figure for you. If you like ninjas, same goes. And he’s a core character for the line. Face it, you’re going to pick him up, regardless.