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Street Fighter
by yo go re

Now is the time of year for some Spring Beauty.

Country of Origin: China
Fighting Style: Chinese martial arts

Oh, really? The martial artist from China uses Chinese martial arts? Thanks, Jada, you've really given us useful info on the side of this packaging! Here's a fun fact for you: back when we were reviewing SOTA's Street Fighter line, I went and found a bunch of sites with info about the game, because SOTA also didn't include bios. Well, I write my reviews today in the same text file I used back then, which means I only need to Page Down to see the links that have been sitting on the document for the past 20 years, just waiting for their opportunity to be useful again!

...turns out the sites may still exist, but those particular pages are gone. Thanks for nothing, link rot!

Chun-Li's father, Dorai, was a martial arts master who taught his daughter all her powerful kicking tricks (having himself been taught by Gen, one of the opponents from Street Fighter 1). He worked for Interpol and was investigating M. Bison's Shadaloo organization when he disappeared. Although his body has never been found, Chun-Li believes Bison is responsible for his death. Way to jump to conclusions, girl!

Jada has opted to give their figures alternate heads, just like SOTA did, though sadly in Chun-Li's case theirs does not display her, uh... "enjoying life to the fullest." The standard head is just a totally neutral look, while the alternate is angrier, with her mouth sculpted open in a yell and her eyebrows pulled down over her eyes slightly.

This figure is based on Street Fighter II, so Chun-Li is sculpted in her most famous costume: a blue dress with yellow accents, a white band wrapped around her midsection, brown leggings, and white boots. Her ox-horn hair buns have covers on them, and she's wearing gigantic, spiked bracelets. Unlike SOTA's Chun-Li, this one doesn't have any patterns on her belt; it's just wrapped cloth. The details on the dress are sculpted on, not simply painted, and the part that hangs down below the belt is molded from rubbery PVC so it won't block the articulation. Her thighs aren't quite as huge as the the NECA figure, but they're pleasantly more substantial than SOTA made.

The paint is vibrant and cartoony, which is accurate to the game. Since most of the colors change where different parts meet, there's not a lot to worry about with sloppy lines, though both faces look very nice, and all the lines on her dress and crisp and pristine. Those lines are painted yellow here, not gold, which simply looks better. Take that, toy from 20 years ago! Even her tiny earrings get their own paint apps and are visible despite their small size.

Jada is giving us really good articulation on these toys. Chun-Li moves as well as the boys, with a barbell head, balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinged wrists, a balljointed chest, balljoint waist, balljoint hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. We already mentioned the fact the lower half of her dress is super flexible, to allow her to kick freely, but the ties on her hair covers are the same, so her head doesn't get stuck at all. And it's impressive that her upper arm joints are actually inside the ornate sleeves of her dress, rather than having that bit sculpted as part of the arm and turning with it. Certainly not necessary, but nice. The collar of her dress means the neck only wants to move forward and back, not to the side at all, and they didn't give her pectoral hinges, because her torso is so narrow and her sleeves so poofy.

You get your choice of closed fists or flat chops for her hands, and just as Ryu had his kamehameha, Chun-Li includes her own energy effect and a clear, articulated stand to support it. Since her Kaitenteki Kakukyakushu Spinning Bird Kick doesn't have any effects of its own, this is the Hyakuretsukyaku Lightning Kick: three translucent blue spears of energy to show where her foot is striking out. Rather than a straight post, like the hadokens had, Chun-Li's is smooth on one end and has a brim at the other so the post doesn't get pushed too far into the piece. I honestly like Lightning Collection Chun-Li's blue flashes better, but that doesn't mean this one is bad.

There's a persistent claim that Chun-Li is the first playable female character in a fighting game, but the only way that's true is if you choose to exclude a bunch of earlier games for no reason (Yuki from 1985's Typhoon Gal says hello). She's definitely the most famous one, though, and deserves the best action figure she can get. And this is definitely that figure. Even if you're lucky enough to already have SOTA's, Jada's is a slight step up.

-- 04/14/24

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