Kim "Jinx" Arashikage - SDCC Exclusive (Red) - Regular Version
I know popular sentiment among collectors these days is to ridicule the claims of toy companies, and one of those claims that gets most ridiculed is "female figures don't sell". Obviously none of us have any concrete numbers to argue that point, and most likely that idea is an arcane notion left over from the 80's, but at the moment, that is what toy companies are going with, and that is pretty much the way it is. What that means is that we end up getting some important female characters released as exclusive figures, for fear that retailers don't want them and won't carry them.
Last year it was Zarana, this year it's Jinx. I would argue that Zarana is a more important character in the G.I. Joe mythology, but thanks to G.I. Joe: The Movie in 1987 and Jinx's direct connection to Storm Shadow (she's his cousin), and also because of her appearance in G.I. Joe: Renegades and upcoming appearance in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Jinx is taking center stage lately.
It's tough to argue that this figure fills an important role, although I will admit I am a bit confused at the road they took with her.
I will admit right up front I've never had much affinity for Jinx. I was one of those pain in the ass boys who didn't especially like the girl figures, and especially not girl figures that were wearing pajamas and didn't even come with a gun. I really had no earthly idea what to do with Jinx when I was younger. I will admit, I grew to like her character as she was portrayed in the Marvel Comics, and I enjoyed seeing her in the '87 movie, but I was also one of those kids who liked my toys to look just like the cartoon, and the fact that Jinx ran around without her mask on for the majority of the animated movie kinda torqued me off.
But as the earlier years continue to get filled up in the G.I. Joe roster, it only makes sense to start approaching those other years and get them ironed out as well. 1987 is sort of the next most obvious target, as there are still some fairly important characters who have not received updated figures mixed in there.
Now I know the Joe design team has made a habit over the last few years of taking well established characters and doing almost straight updates of those characters. Changing something minor here, tweaking a little bit of something there...making mostly cosmetic changes to update the character and make them better. They take the same tact here with Jinx. Her new head sculpt is not quite as "poofy" as the old school head was, and the low-cut uniform looks drastically different than she did in 1987. The forearm wraps and shin guards give her a much more combat-based appearance, which is great, but I'm still not entirely sure why they did her neckline so differently. If change has a specific purpose, I'm definitely okay with it, I'm just not sure what this purpose was. Perhaps to make her alternate head look better?
Articulation is fantastic with no major Retaliation-like shortcomings. She does not have the multi-joint wrists, but she does have the familiar rocker ankles. Beyond that, everything is just as you would expect, with fantastic range of motion and near flawless construction.
The paint applications on this figure are great, with a very nice shade of red throughout the uniform. The right twinges of black trim work very well, and she has the dragon logo present on her chest, which looks great. The only question that remains is still that neckline.
Red uniform Jinx comes with her staff, because...well, she pretty much has to, it's quite unique. She also comes with a pair of fairly generic swords and a backpack to keep those swords in. Her accessories aren't amazing or drastic, but they work very well for what they are. She also has her trusty labelled battle stand, complete with her full name (even though according to her filecard, she's still "Classified"... go figure).
Does this Jinx look just like her 1987 counterpart? Nope, not at all. Is she good enough to work within the confines of a vintage display? Absolutely. She's got all the right trademarks with the baggy red martial arts uniform, the ninja mask, the dragon emblem, and the very distinctive battle staff. Yet even though she works well within a classic display, she is also nicely modified to fit a more modern ninja era. I can see her standing right alongside Retaliation Snake Eyes fighting off the Retaliation Red Ninjas, and I think Hasbro has struck a pretty nice balance between the two looks.
This figure will likely cause a fuss just as every SDCC figure has over the past several years, but I will just say if you like it, find a way to get it, she is a keeper.