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GI Joe: Retaliation
by yo go re

Welcome to our third (or fourth) Jinx in just two years.

Kim Arashikage is the spirited ninja apprentice in the Arashikage ninja clan. She uses her skills to help the GI Joe team, where she earns the nickname Jinx after putting the whammy on Cobra. Her weapon pack is loaded with ninja gear and weapons for high-flying action and stealthy attacks!

Jinx really got shortchanged in GI Joe: Retaliation: all she really did was (like Monkey Boy said) play-fight with Snake-Eyes. If you watch the extended edition, not only does that fight have a purpose (it's a graduation/initiation test to prove that she's ready to join the Joe team - like that "grab the sword with your bare hands" test, but more involved), she also gets a chance to shine during the showdown at Fort Sumter. Just a few of the reasons the director's cut is superior to the theatrical release.

Retaliation Jinx is the same mold as the Jinx released in 2012 at SDCC, which works out pretty well - that figure was in full-body pajamas, and during the "Silent Interlude" temple assault Jinx was wearing full-body pajamas. It fits. It would have been nice if she came with a second, unmasked head though, since that's how she spent most of the film.

The clothes are tight enough that there is a decent level of sculpted detail. The small wrinkles suggest a very thin fabric, which probably wouldn't have worked out too well on those high Himalayan mountain peaks, but we can overlook that. Since this is a pre-existing mold, the details of the costume are just painted on. The final product don't match what's seen on the back of the card, but it does (nearly) match what was seen in the film. Sure, a lot of what are just black stripes here were meant to be harness straps, but the designers really put a lot of effort into making this look good. It's a bright, pale yellow, so she doesn't look like a human Bumblebee, and she has the Arashikage symbol on her back.

Jinx's articulation is great. She has balljoints at the neck, torso and hips, swivels at the wrists, double-hinges at the knees, and "injection molded" swivel/hinge joints at the ankles, elbows and shoulders. The ankle joints are the sort that give the feet a side-to-side "rocker" range of motion rather than twisting, but that just allows for more dynamic poses! For whatever reason, she's pigeon-toed when in a normal stance; it's like the lower legs were reversed, but they're on the same sides they were last time.

We do get a ton of accessories this time, starting with the same naginata, katanas and sheath as before (all cast in pure black, because budget). She gets two silver axes, which are reused, plus nunchucks, sais, and a pair of tekko (basically a set of studded "brass knuckles" used in the martial art kobudo). Anyway, those pieces all seem to be new - at least, new to Generation 3.

She also comes with a red weapons locker thing. There's a button on the top that makes the sides pop open, and if you raise the lump of plastic in the interior, it turns into a "launcher" (put in quotes because it doesn't actually "launch" anything) for the included zipline. The line itself is only about 6" long, which is a short enough distance that Jinx could probably jump it without a running start.

There's also a "key" that can be used to "unlock" the case (in quotes because it's not a key, and you don't need to unlock a damn thing). The same feature was planned for the Renegades vehicles that were never released - using the "key" would have activated pop-out weapon features - so it's possible this piece was originally designed for that line. You can fit most of the weapons inside, if you position them carefully. It's like a game of three-dimensional Tetris!

Jinx is not the best she could be. Her yellow suit is the most iconic thing she wore in the film (because it was in all the trailers), and the paint is handled very well, but this is still a repaint. Of course, it's a repaint of a figure most fans could never get, so we won't count it against her. Even if they couldn't make a figure of her in her cool little outfit from the end of the film, an unmasked head would have done wonders, here. The accessories are pretty good otherwise, though. Really, the only true flaw to be found are the mis-aligned feet.

-- 11/08/13

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