OAFE: your #1 source for toy reviews
B u y   t h e   t o y s ,   n o t   t h e   h y p e .

what's new?
message board
Twitter Facebook RSS      

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth

Storm Shadow

GI Joe Classified Series
by yo go re

By all accounts, the Snake-Eyes movie is... not good. Not bad, but also not very impressive in any way. Just sort of "there." At least the toys have finally arrived?

Storm Shadow is an elite Cobra ninja operative and an exiled member of the Arashikage ninja clan, one of Japan's legendary families. He trained in their methods of infiltration and combat. Extremely skilled, blindingly fast, incredibly resilient, and devastatingly lethal. Elite-level expert in a variety of martial arts and an array of ninja weaponry. Destined to be the leader of the Arashikage before fate took a turn and sent him on a different path and into the ranks of Cobra.

That, gentle reader, is the bio for the normal Classified Storm Shadow, because that's what I'm using this toy as - the one they released was based more on his "good guy" costume despite being sold as a Cobra. But if there's one thing we can say about Paramount's movie series, it definitely understands the importance of dressing its ninjas the way they should be, so the new movie's version of Storm Shadow absolutely looks like a proper Storm Shadow. Stand-in achieved!

Since this movie follows Bumblebee's lead in being a prequel/reboot, Tommy Arashikage is no longer played by Byung-hun Lee, but instead by... someone else. Andrew Koji, according to IMDb. We'll take their word for it, they seem like they know what's up. The figure includes an alternate unmasked head, which makes him look like a black-haired Draco Malfoy: sour-faced, grumpy, thinks he's better than everyone else because of his family... the similarities are definitely there. And it's always fun to get an unmasked Tommy.

Other than wearing all-white, movie Storm Shadow doesn't look much like the old Storm Shadow, but that's fine: Classified is about updating and modernizing the existing designs, not copying them directly; wearing white is enough. He's dressed in a sturdy jacket with a long lower edge, fingerless gloves, baggy pants, and tall boots. It lacks any of the military touches the other characters have gotten, but that's because he's technically not affiliated with any military body yet - the movie takes place pre-Cobra. He does get some pads on the sides of his shoulders and his forearms, and the armor on his shins weirdly covers the sides of the lower legs, but not the front or back.

Despite all the times we've said "white" so far, Storm Shadow is not actually wearing it. His ultra-stealthy ninja gear is an off-white or ecru, because that looks more realistic than true white white. And it's not like he's wearing black or anything, so it looks right regardless. The figure is mostly molded in color, because why wouldn't he be? His fingers and face (both the unmasked version and the bit of skin visible through the eyeslit on the mask) are painted pink, and there's a simple silver app for his zipper and the bands on his back. His neck remains white when you switch the heads, but what company is going to make swappable necks just to keep that from happening?

Storm Shadow stands about 6¼" tall - Andrew Koji is 5'11" in real life, so that seems excessive. He's got a balljointead head, a hinge at the top of the neck and a balljoint at the bottom, swivel/hinge shoulders on pectoral hinges, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged chest and balljointed waist, hips that are a balljoint mounted on a hinge, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. He's lacking the swivel shins the other figures have had, because of his boots' design. The lower edge of his jacket is a separate piece, molded together with his utility belt, and though it's soft PVC is does block the legs slightly.

We don't get much in the way of accessories: just the alternate head, a pair of swords, and a backpack to hold them. The katanas are different styles - different length hilts, different angles of curves - rather than being two of the same mold. The blades have a wavy texture along their length. They're silver with a touch of gold right near the black handguards, and black caps on the white-wrapped hilts. Like the vintage Storm Shadow, both his blades point over one shoulder, rather than being accessible from both sides; that has to make it hard for him to draw them! Both his hands have the trigger fingers extended, so he can... fire his swords? What is this, Final Fantasy?

The Snake-Eyes movie Classified Series figures are sold in the same shape box as the rest of the line, but with different colors: instead of blue with a Joe or Cobra logo, it's black with an Arashikage hexagram. We still get the icons revealing his stats on the left side: Covert Ops 4, Bladed Weapons 3, Infiltration 3 and Ninjitsu 4, same as the regular Storm Shadow. And they're all Cobra style, because even in the past everyone knew he was going to turn bad. The movie figures have numbers that slot them right into the same collection as the plain releases, explaining at last why the line seemed to jump from 15 to 21.

The Storm Shadow the Classified Series chose to give us was not the kind I wanted for my collection. But whether or not the Snake Eyes movie is any good, it has at least given us a Storm Shadow who fits the idea of what Storm Shadow looks like.

-- 09/17/21

back what's new? reviews

Report an Error 

Discuss this (and everything else) on our message board, the Loafing Lounge!

shop action figures at Entertainment Earth

Entertainment Earth

that exchange rate's a bitch

© 2001 - present, OAFE. All rights reserved.
Need help? Mail Us!