G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Storm Shadow (Wave 2)
Back in the Rise of Cobra days, there was one particular figure that I felt no real motivation to own, and for a long time was the only single packed G.I. Joe figure I hadn't purchased. I finally saw him at clearance a year or so ago at a local TJ Maxx, so I picked up him. That figure was Wave 5 Arctic Threat Storm Shadow, and I find a lot of similarities between this figure and that one.
No, this isn't necessarily a good thing.
The base figure here is the same Rise of Cobra Storm Shadow we've seen numerous times over the past several years, and there really aren't many redeeming qualities to this one. I'm one of those few folks who really likes the way the new Rise of Cobra Storm Shadow mixes business with martial arts, and the trenchcoat look is a good one (in my mind). But these weird camouflage paint schemes don't do the mold any favors. That was true back in the Rise of Cobra, and it remains true here. I can think of plenty of ways to make this figure interesting, but slapping gray splotches all over it has never been one of those methods that appealed to me.
Yes, I'm aware it's an homage to the vintage '88 version of the character when he turned to the G.I. Joe side of the fence. I loved that figure and I loved that moment in G.I. Joe history, but it simply doesn't translate all that well to the modern day figures. It's an homage I really don't feel like I need to see again.
One improvement they did make to the construction of this particular figure was using the multi-joint wrists, which is a nice touch, but doesn't save the figure.
Storm Shadow comes pretty nicely loaded with accessories. He has the removable Resolute hood, the criss-crossed backpack and four swords that came with the Wave 1 Pursuit of Cobra Storm Shadow (as well as the two clubs connected by a chain). He has Night Fox's webgear and a nice submachine gun.
Even his backpack zipline is kind of neat. Much cooler than some of the others. It closes up on top, bringing in two pullies, each connected by a line. The backpack is spring loaded and pops open, revealing the two ends of a zip line that pull out in each direction, giving the backpack free reign to ride up and down the line.
There's a lot of good gear with the figure, but in the end, that doesn't salvage it. Even if you missed the Pursuit of Cobra Storm Shadow that this great accessory compliment is pulled from, I'm not sure I can recommend this one. It's old tooling, and you can tell. The long trenchcoat significantly reduced leg articulation, and the zipline, while interesting compared to some others isn't perfect. The paint job is pretty busy and not all that nice looking. I initially thought that maybe Flint was going to be the bummer of this wave, but he's actually a little bit better than I thought, and Storm Shadow remains at the bottom of this heap. I can't say a disappointment, as I wasn't expecting a whole lot, but it's still my least favorite figure of the first two waves.