Red Fang Ninja
Usually I can form a pretty decent idea of what a figure is going to be by the early images, but often I'm very pleasantly surprised once I get the item in hand. With the Red Fang Ninja, though, I'm afraid the opposite is true.
First images of this figure really appealed to me, with those cool goggles, the Devils' Due Storm Shadow webgear, and the idea of a freelance ninja assassin made this a very cool character and an interesting concept. But in execution, this figure really falls flat and fails to excite me on any real level.
First of all, even though Red Fang Ninja is described as a "freelance" operative, he uses the same tooling as the COBRA Viper figures..not only does that not make a whole lot of sense, but I'm not a big fan of the tooling in general either. There is just something about the knee joints and elbow joints that rub me the wrong way and don't give the figures a very good range of motion, something that's especially critical for martial arts figures.
The figure, to me, actually looks a bit cooler as a general tech-commando figure and not so much as a "ninja" character. I have no problems generally with reused tooling as long as the tooling works for the character and offers some great articulation, but unfortunately this figure does neither. The tooling doesn't work from a movement perspective, and doesn't work character-wise either. I was relatively enthusiastic about this character and figure initially, but having him in hand has really cooled my thoughts.
His accessories don't exactly impress either. His webgear is cool (though Hasbro had it on backwards in the package for some strange reason), and I love those shoulder pads. The goggles are a neat way to individualize the trooper with the generic Resolute trooper head, but I'm not a big fan of the swords. The sheath is neat enough, but the blades are dull, the spring-loaded disc launcher is just silly, and there really aren't many worthwhile accessories in general.
My hopes were somewhat high for this new character, and potential new freelance branch in the Rise of COBRA universe, but the reality proved to be a lot less exciting. I really can't find much to recommend with this particular figure, he really pales in comparison to Night Adder and Kamakura both. Save your cash.
Buy this figure at Big Bad Toy Store!