Hot Toys - G.I. Joe: Retaliation Storm Shadow
It seemed like it took forever for me to receive my pre-ordered Hot Toys Snake Eyes, but Storm Shadow showed up right on his heels, and I couldn't be happier. I'll be honest, the display shelf looked a little lonely with only Snake Eyes standing there. It looks a lot better now.
Getting Storm Shadow in hand really shows off the versatility of Hot Toys designers and toy producers. While Snake Eyes' uniform is intricate and complex with several different layers of fabric and material, Storm Shadow on the surface is a far simpler design aesthetic. However, Hot Toys manages to still etch peerless amounts of detail work into a relatively simple and straight forward design.
Before I go much further, though, I have to gush about the Byung-Hun Lee head sculpt on this figure. It is absolutely spectacular. Many times people have said how Hot Toys figures look almost lifelike, and with this being my first "human faced" Hot Toys figure, I can't disagree. I'm not sure what it is, whether it's the amazing paint work in the eyes, or the subtle flesh tones throughout the face, but whatever Hot Toys does to get these heads looking like they do, it is working. Pictures don't quite do it justice.
Storm Shadow's trenchcoat is a very nice and light leather-like material complete with his trademark shoulder straps and zipper. It slides and moves very freely, yet also feels thick and exceptionally well made. I thought at one point that perhaps there was wire frame in the trenchcoat, but sadly that's not the case. Even without the wire frame, though, the jacket tails can be posed in a great flowing shape to accentuate motion.
The pants are sleek and somewhat thin material, allowing for pretty good range of motion in his legs. He can't quite do a head-high side kick because of the fabric restrictions, but I found him much more poseable over all than Snake Eyes, just due to the fabric material. He sports his trademark white sneakers and the ankle joints are fantastic allowing for rocker motion as well as swivel motion, making most stances quite realistic. These figures don't appear to come with those same angled toe boots as Sideshow figures do, but to be honest, I sometimes found those extraneous feet to be features I didn't really need for a nice figure.
Like Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow comes with some fantastic swords made out of real metal and several different effective hands to accomodate the different weapons he comes with. He has a trigger fingered hand for his pistol, two hands to grasp his swords (and sais) and even two hands to hold his trademark throwing stars.
He comes with two extra pegs for swapping out his hands, and an awesome joint piece that attaches his two swords into one large double-bladed weapon like he uses in the film.
These weapons work amazingly well for replicating various poses and scenes from the movie. Of course along with the weapons, he also has the secondary head for a masked ninja look, and this head is just a spectacular as the unmasked version. Looking carefully at the mask, you can actually see the shape and sculpt of the real face underneath.
I really like how Hot Toys does these neck joints as well, which helps eliminate some unsightly connection points higher in the neck, yet still retains full range of motion.
The sais and throwing stars are both plastic, not metal, and I will warn you they feel a little thin, so handle with care, but I think that was necessary to replicate their small and sleek stature.
One of the best things about the weapons and gear that Storm Shadow comes with is that he has some great places to store it all. His swords slide easily into twin sheaths which have places on his back, and the sais slide into some slots right next to them. A solid clasping pouch on his left hip stores his great throwing stars (but part of me does wish they had made them with the Cobra symbol in the center like the film). Of course, there's also a holster on his right hip for his pistol.
Yes, as you might suspect, I love this figure. Absolutely love it. He is every bit as great as Snake Eyes (if not even a bit better based on his great head and better poseability). I am loving the fact that I have these movie accurate figures in my collection, and while cost is obviously a prohibitive factor, as I'm playing and posing these I don't feel like they're not worth the expense. They are a gorgeous mesh of art, toy, and movie prop, and I love them. I've eagerly pre-ordered Roadblock and Joe Colton as well, and can't wait to add them to my roster. If only I could be sure that we'd also get Cobra Commander, Flint, Lady Jaye, and Jinx! Sadly, I'm not yet convinced.
Check out Sideshow Collectibles to get this figure for your collection.