G.I. Joe: The Pursuit of Cobra "Arctic Threat" Storm Shadow
Even before it became clear that this particular version of Storm Shadow had one of those dreaded spring-loaded action features, it wasn't a figure that particularly thrilled me. While he has a new looking head sculpt, it's nothing extraordinary, or even that nice. The headdress, while inspired by Ninja Gaiden, is ornate, but totally non-functional. Thanks to the spring-loaded action, his chunky torso also doesn't do the figure any favors.
And as if, the spring-loaded action didn't restrict articulation enough, the designers elected to put a thick rubberized "skirting" around his waist to further limit the range of motion in his hips. So essentially, this is a ninja figure that cannot twist and cannot kick.
Much like his spring-loaded brethren, the "Jungle Attack" Snake Eyes, this version of Storm Shadow just doesn't "flow". While he's not nearly as combersome and non-sensical as Snake Eyes, this bloated torso, bare arms (for an arctic ninja? Really?) and the strange camouflage scheme on his legs, this figure just does not look good. Yes, I understand the filecard mentions that Storm Shadow is undergoing a difficult "test" against the elements, but still...a bad look is a bad look, and this figure looks bad. Sure, the camouflage is a tribute to the old school '88 Storm Shadow, but that doesn't change the fact that red and gray just don't look right against a mostly white uniform.
If Storm Shadow has any redeeming qualities, I suppose it's the accessory compliment. While the figure is lackluster, he does come with some pretty cool ninja weapons, some of them never being seen before. I love the staff with blades at each end, and those forearm-mounted twin blades are pretty bad ass looking. Sure, he's got the typical Storm Shadow swords and the weird hook on a grappling line that Shipwreck (!?!) originally came with, but what new gear he does come with is pretty cool.
Ultimately, this figure is far and away the worst of this wave, and is a disappointment all around considering the wonderful standards that the Pursuit of Cobra has set. I grow convinced that perhaps retailers forced Hasbro to shoehorn action features into some of these figures just to offset some of the other stuff Hasbro was allowed to do...whatever the case, I guess we should just be happy that only two figures got it, and it was a Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow, which are figures we certainly have more than enough good versions of already. But when it all comes down, this figure is a real disappointment, and I can find no good reason to recommend it.
It's simply astounding to look at this figure next to the Snake Eyes in the same wave and see the absolutely glaring difficulties. I really can't figure out how Hasbro can continue to reinvent Snake Eyes and make him so awesome, yet seem to have some real trouble getting an improved version of Storm Shadow out there. They seem so married to the white ninja "gi" look that the figure sort of suffers from it. I dunno, I absolutely love the recent IDW vision for the Cobra ninja, I think Hasbro could do a fantastic plastic representation of that. This one isn't even close.
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