G.I. Joe: Retaliation - Cyber Ninja
If you told me I would have a good use for this figure upon its release, I would have said you were crazy, but here I am with the Cyber Ninja in my hands, thinking excitedly about what I can do with the character and how I can integrate it into my G.I. Joe universe.
This really has nothing to do with Hasbro's story-building...the text on the back of the package does little to "sell" the figure, and the lack of a discernible filecard is a certain handicap when it comes to these new characters. But in some cases the lack of an established back story actually helps the selling points of the figure.
Essentially the Cyber Ninja is a Rise of Cobra Elite Viper repaint with a Crimson Horseman head and the excellent lower legs from the Wave 1 G.I. Joe: Retaliation Storm Shadow. To many folks this is just a disappointment, but I love the Elite Viper, so it's totally cool in my book. Legs from that Storm Shadow are simply the icing on the cake, as they appear very robotic and fit into the Cyber Ninja theory perfectly. The figure is exceptionally poseable and actually has a really good design, especially for a Rise of Cobra era Cobra Trooper. It's far and away my favorite Cobra Trooper from that period of time. Much better than any of the other Neo-Viper monstrosities that permeated store shelves in 2009.
The sleek and flexible body style does wonders for the character, making it feel much more like a stealthy sneaking suit than even the 25th Anniversary Wraith did with the bulky body armor and clunky gauntlets. For some reason I find myself really loving the twin pistols (pulled from RoC Agent Helix) and they immediately inject some character into this faceless trooper. Using the text on the back of the package, the Cyber Ninjas wear stealth invisibility suits that allow them to blend into their environments and sneak into many locations completely undetected. I love this idea and using these guys as stealth assassins or kamikazi troopers who use their suit's limited invisibility resources to infiltrate enemy locations, then simply uncloak and create havok. Either that, or they sneak in, take out their target, and sneak out. This state of the art technology is accentuated nicely with a very cool paint scheme. The silver suit itself looks almost reflective, and is perfectly complimented by the light blue piping and accents throughout the figure.
Hasbro chose some very cool places to put the blue paint accents, around armor, down sculpt lines, and they really succeeded in making it look like a part of the figure and a part of the character.
Initially when I saw this figure I was relatively unimpressed and cast it aside in my head as just another repaint, but the end result really put a smile on my face and immediately filled my head with some cool ideas. That, to me, is a sign of a great toy.
Cyber Ninja comes with a lot of the same gear as you'll find with other figures. The two pistols and high tech rifle all came with Agent Helix as mentioned. He also comes with a backpack sheath, two swords, and a huge suction cup zipline device that originally came with the Rise of Cobra City Strike Duke.
So, yes, many repurposed weapons, but repurposed weapons that make a lot of sense and work well within the realm of his specialty. Infiltration, high tech assassination, and stealth are all very cool elements to this futuristic Cobra soldier, and I find myself a lot more drawn to him than I might have been originally.
Of course, new tooling would have made him even cooler, but I'll take what I can get. The combination of the Rise of Cobra Elite Viper and the Wave 1 Storm Shadow are more seamless and streamlined than I might have expected, and the combination of the sleek tooling, the silver paint wash and the great bright blue piping makes for a heck of a nice Cobra Ninja for the next generation.