GeneralsJoes Reviews G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary “Classic Clash” 2 Pack

The 50th Anniversary reviews continue! Ever since the early days of Sunbow, Spirit and Storm Shadow have gone head-to-head, and this year’s 50th Anniversary line celebrates that with their “Classic Clash” two-pack.

Featuring a cool new look at Spirit and an updated Storm Shadow in his classic ’88 battle togs this is one of the most looked forward to packs of this year’s release.

Check out my 50th Anniversary Review page for the latest, or click the links below.


G.I. Joe 50th Anniversary Storm Shadow

50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (20)50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (18)

I have a very mixed feeling when it comes to the 1988 version of Storm Shadow.  My first reaction is resistance, because I’ve always loved Storm Shadow as a foil for Snake Eyes, and it was disappointing to me when he shifted over to the G.I. Joe side.  Between him, Zartan, and Destro, it feels like COBRA gets skinnier and skinnier with their credible threats to the Joe team.

That being said, I also have fond memories of this figure.  Back in ‘88 I lived in (very) small town Vermont and rarely had the opportunity to buy new G.I. Joe figures.  I was making my routine run down to the local General Store, just to get candy or something, and happened to take a perusal through the toy section.  Much to my shock and surprise, there were new G.I. Joe figures that I had never even heard of before sitting on a peg there.  Right out in front was the 1988 Storm Shadow!

50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (17)

Well, because this was a general store in small town Vermont, each figure was like eight dollars, a great deal more than the four bucks or so I was used to paying at the (semi local) department store.  My eyes grew wide, and I immediately dropped the figure and RAN all the way home, desperately digging through every corner of the house for spare change.  Half an hour later, I’d manage to cobble together the required money and travel back to the local store and was practically skipping home with the new Storm Shadow figure tucked under my arm.  It was a good day.

Fast forward too many years and we saw a terrific looking update to this figure at the Concept Case display at JoeCon in 2013 (no he wasn’t in the first concept case, but he was in the second).  With some key new tooling and lots of existing parts it was a pretty nice looking update to the ‘88 classic…actually forget “pretty nice” it looked damned perfect.  But as we know, sometimes figures that look perfect in concept don’t always execute to that same perfection, and the retail release of Storm Shadow does have a few shortcomings.

50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (14)

The base figure uses most of the G.I. Joe: Renegades/30th Anniversary version of the character, and it’s pretty tough to go wrong there.  As one of the best figures in G.I. Joe’s right history of great figures, that Storm Shadow stands on the mountain top as a shining example of what can be done in the 1:18th scale.  Using the same upper arms, torso, and upper legs as that Storm Shadow, it was tough for this figure to go wrong, and thankfully the lower arms, lower legs, and new head only add to the awesomeness.  I believe these parts were all sculpted and tooled for a retail release of this figure, but I may be wrong on that.  Regardless, the new parts compliment the existing parts perfectly, and it ends up taking a fantastic base figure and making it fantastic-er.  The separated fingers, a remarkable achievement the first time around, continue to be exceedingly useful here, allowing this updated Storm Shadow to really notch an arrow for his bow.

50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (33)

For the most part.  The only issue I have is that for whatever reason the new head doesn’t sit real well on the existing torso neck peg.  It gives the figure an unusually long neck, but honestly, that’s a pretty quick fix if you’re so inclined.

50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (19)

The other disappointment to me is that while the concept case Storm Shadow had his trademark belt of pouches, this version does not.  I can only imagine they were costed out somehow, but that’s quite unfortunate because they are one of the defining traits of the figure.  He looked pretty terrific with those pouches, and it’s a pretty glaring omission to look at the final figure and not see them.  Hard decisions must often be made during the production process, I just wish perhaps they had found a way to cut somewhere else so the pouches could have been maintained.

50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (5)

Beyond those two disappointments, the figure is pretty stellar.  Articulation is fantastic, he maintains the great separated finger hands of the original, and the ‘88 homage paint scheme is crisp, accurate, and aesthetically pleasing.  From a plastic quality perspective, I feel like the figure is a shade or two below some previous years, but doesn’t feel quite as thin and cheap as last year’s 50th Anniversary run.


50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (21)

Like Spirit Iron-Knife, Storm Shadow comes with a number of great accessories.  Ironically, he comes with the compound bow and arrow quiver that the Pursuit of Cobra Spirit Iron-Knife came with a few years back.  He’s got what appears to be a newly tooled backpack faithful to the original that actually opens up with some great concealed details inside a re-release of a great backpack that came with a Comic Pack version of the character several years ago, and like Spirit, showcases how great some of those past accessories were, even if the figures themselves could have used some improvement.  The backpack was so great, I completely forgot it was originally released a number of years ago!

50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (1)

He has two swords with red handles and a climbing claw, all of which are very nice call backs to the figure we received in 1988.  Lastly, he has a removable rope harness to replicate the look of that figure, too, though it’s pretty big and doesn’t fit the torso especially well.

50th-Anniversary-Storm-Shadow (16)

This figure is honestly pretty great.  It has some unfortunate drawbacks compared to the Concept Case version, but as I said, I think we all know that things sometimes get cut in the production process.  I feel pretty strongly that they should have tried to find a way to keep the pouches, and I wish the head sat a bit lower on the neck, but besides those minor complaints, this is one heck of a great looking update to the classic ninja character.

Korean online game Cyphers features Storm Shadow as a playable character

In a strange marketing move by Hasbro, they have allowed a Korean video game producer “Neople” to license their Storm Shadow character for use in an online game called Cyphers. One look at the video announcement shows that it’s Storm Shadow from the film universe, which makes sense considering what a superstar Lee Byung-Hun is in his native country. That’s obviously what drove the licensing arrangement to begin with, though it does seem strange to see that single character allowed for use.

From what I can tell, Cyphers does not have an English translated version, so this will be fun mostly for Korean game players, but I thought it was a pretty interesting news tidbit regardless.

Check out the promo video below, and you can check out the website for the video game right here.

Storm Shadow to have a larger role in G.I. Joe 3?

The end of G.I. Joe: Retaliation left it a little dubious as to which side Storm Shadow was truly on, even though the film ends with him shaking hands with his sword brother Snake Eyes. In spite of this act of solidarity, he had proclaimed earlier in the film that he was “not with you, but for this once, I am not against you“, which makes it seem as if his G.I. Joe allegiance was merely temporary.

Regardless of all of that, according to Lee-Byung hun’s representatives, he is slated to return to the states later this month to begin work on G.I. Joe 3, and those same representatives say that “his part in the upcoming movie is expected to be bigger than his previous appearances…”

This brings up a good question in regards to G.I. Joe 3, which is how much more of the Arashikage angle can the film franchise cover that hasn’t already been revealed in films 1 – 3? There’s no doubt that ninjas have always been and will always be a huge part of G.I. Joe lore, but we’ve seen Snake Eyes’ and Storm Shadow’s childhood, we’ve seen the Hard Master murder, and we’ve seen the two men become allies, so one must wonder how much further this story will evolve.

I’m liking the mystery.

From my own perspective, this is a really fun piece of these Hollywood adventures. The speculation and detail-by-detail revelation as the months go on. I’m really looking forward to the ride. It’s very interesting to hear that he’s returning to the states at the end of this month to begin work on it. I know Chu said that shooting was this year, I was expecting work to begin much later, but as long as it keeps the news and information flowing, I’m into it!

Check out the Korea Times for the full article.


Pre-Order for Sideshow Collectibles 12″ Storm Shadow is LIVE!

Every single image of this figure makes me love it even more…  a terrific ’88 style update to the venerable Cobra Ninja Storm Shadow, and I have to admit, worlds better than what we saw with the first Storm Shadow release.

I’m really digging the modern look at this character, and the fact that even though Sideshow went with the aesthetic of Storm Shadow on the G.I. Joe team, but keeps him affiliated with Cobra.

Check out the Pre-Order at the links below.

[nggallery id=1786]

The Sideshow Exclusive version of the Storm Shadow Sixth Scale Figure will also include a cobra head katana accessory (above left). Wherever his allegiance lies, Storm Shadow is always ready to strike!

The regular and Exclusive versions of Storm Shadow Sixth Scale Figure will be priced at $179.99.

The Exclusive version of the Storm Shadow Sixth Scale Figure to be available for pre-order in our upcoming weekly Sideshow Newsletter this Thursday, August 15th, 2013, typically published between 2 and 3pm (PST). Don’t let this ninja sneak past you!

Sideshow Collectibles keeps G.I. Joe news rocking with Storm Shadow reveal

I…  I don’t quite know what to say.

Except maybe “wow”.

Sideshow Collectibles has had some mixed results for the fandom, with some absolute home runs (Zartan, Rock n Roll, Cobra Commander, and the Baroness) and some that folks weren’t too sure about (Firefly, Cobra Viper, Crimson Guard).  But it seems to me that they are stepping up their “A” game with recent releases.

First Destro was unveiled last week and looks pretty darn great.  Then The Baroness pre-order went live and she rocks as well.  Now we’ve got Storm Shadow.  And boy do we have Storm Shadow…  it’s interesting, because he is clearly wearing the deco from his time with the G.I. Joe team, yet he seems to be advertised as a Cobra.  Either way is cool with me, as the figure just flat out looks awesome.

Check out the preview right here, and I’ve also mirrored the image below.  Nice stuff.

Sideshow Collectibles to be releasing updated 12″ Storm Shadow?

Lost in the shuffle of the past two very busy news days in the G.I. Joe world, Sideshow Collectibles Tweeted yesterday in regards to some reveals that we might see at ComicCon this coming weekend. At first glance, nothing special from a G.I. Joe perspective, but eagle-eyed Sideshow fan Mysterious Stranger saw a little snippet of something in the upper left hand corner.

He had a little exchange back and forth with the Sideshow Twitter person, and turns out we might have just gotten a tiny sneak peek at an upcoming updated version of Storm Shadow. Based on the weapon posted in that little snippet as well, could this Storm Shadow be an homage to his 1988 G.I. Joe persona?

Curiouser and curiouser… we’ll be watching SDCC this weekend a little closer now. Check out the upper left corner of the image below.

First production images of upcoming Hot Toys G.I. Joe: Retaliation Storm Shadow

Notices have started going out informing pre-order customers that Hot Toys G.I. Joe: Retaliation Storm Shadow orders are processing, and now we have our first production level images of this beautiful upcoming figure. Some added details are revealed in these images, including what looks to be a wireframe insert into the trenchcoat so it can be posed in different directions…or perhaps that’s just creative photography?

Either way, these images are fantastic.

They all come courtesy of bloggers throughout the web, and hosted on the Hot Toys Facebook Page. Check that page for all of the images, but I’ve mirrored some of them below.

Amazingly enough, this figure is still available to purchase at Sideshow CollectiblesGO GET IT NAO.

Characters I’m most looking forward to seeing in G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Larry Hama has always established that G.I. Joe isn’t necessarily about war, action, ninjas, or gun battle…at its core, it is about the characters.  It is the personality of the characters that keeps them alive and keeps them viable throughout the years.

I would maintain that this remains true in Hollywood as well, and that the translation of these characters into film is equally important for the movie to remain timeless.  After all, we don’t all remember the fantastic Aliens movie because of the gun fights, right?  We remember it because of characters like Hicks, Ripley, and Hudson.  THEY are what made that film, not splattering acid blood all over the place.

So now that things are starting to take shape around G.I. Joe: Retaliation, which characters am I most looking forward to seeing in action?  Let’s break it down after the jump:

Continue reading

GeneralsJoes Reviews Discount Store “Running Change” Storm Shadow

I plowed through the first four of these figures pretty quickly, but the last two have kind of been in limbo due to availability (or lack thereof).  Big thanks to friend of the site Loc, who lent me his Storm Shadow so I was able to get this review done during my “Road to Retaliation” event!

I can’t believe the road is ending this week.

Check out the review on my 30th Anniversary page, or just take a peek at the direct link below.  One thing that became perfectly clear during the review of this figure…  I need a new vintage T’Ginzu!  Yellow-city.