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that isn't in an archival capacity! So what are you waiting for? It's time for your debriefing!
Sideshow 12" Storm Shadow
Review and photos by Phillip Donnelly
For my review today, I'm looking at Sideshow Collectibles's second crack
at Storm Shadow. Sideshow's first
Storm Shadow was a nearly straight translation of his
original 3 3/4" figure. So
naturally, this figure is a translation of the
second Storm Shadow. Never
mind that that figure was a Joe, and that the filecard here is a straight
copy of that figure's, this Storm Shadow is still labeled Cobra. I'll
be ranting about that in just a moment, stay tuned!
Much like the Cobra Commander and Baroness figures that came before it,
the box for this figure features
just pne window, with the accessories on a separate tray beneath the figure.
The flap is still held in place with magnets, so there's still a great
presentation here overall. As is standard, we have some great figure
photography adorning the box that puts my efforts to shame and makes me
question my abilities and usefulness. I'm such a hack!
I wrote above
that this figure takes Storm Shadow (v2) as inspiration, and that's most
evident with what Sideshow is calling his "winter camouflage suit."
It's not so much a suit as it is a gi, but that's semantics. To help
set him apart, we're given a gray padded assault vest that's actually two
pieces which velcro together. It certainly makes removing it an easier
affair - if only Hasbro could do this with their small figures!
Perhaps an unreasonable request, but I sometimes worry about tearing the
little buggers. One of the things I like most about the figure is
found in the hood - unlike
Hall of Fame
Storm Shadow, the hood on here has a stiff wire inside the lining,
allowing you to bend and pose the hood to better suit your needs. This
allows you to better position the hood around where you have the figure's
head pointing - after all, you wouldn't want to hide those expressive eyes,
And now for my rant. Those of you wishing to avoid my version of an
old guy yelling at the damn kids to get off his lawn may safely skip this
paragraph. I'm a guy who likes Storm Shadow best as a Joe. Why?
He's more interesting to me that way. Instead of just being the ninja
that's Snake Eyes' eeeevil counterpart, this guy went undercover to solve
the mystery of his uncle's murder. He had to do bad things along the
way and took damage to his reputation, but he wasn't evil. And when he
learned the truth, he got out, made up with his sword brother, and kicked
all sorts of Cobra ass. And he wasn't even a Cora for that long!
In the original run of the toy line, Storm Shadow has three times as many
figures as a Joe than he does as a Cobra. It wasn't until the
year 2000 that the people at
Hasbro decided Storm Shadow had to be all Cobra all the time. And I've
been grumpy about it ever since.
Now, this figure is clearly based on a version of Storm Shadow who was a
good guy, yet they've clearly designated him as a bad guy.
Fortunately, that's easily ignored. There's nothing on his uniform to
designate his allegiance one way or the other. The only things that
label him Cobra are the display stand and the Sideshow exclusive Cobra head
katana sword. The stand is sort of a non-issue and the sword I can
safely ignore - he has another, generic katana and only one scabbard.
Be careful with that Cobra katana though, I managed to accidentally snap off
the hilt without much effort!
For my money, I actually like Storm Shadow's
Ninja Force look best, but then
I'm a weird kid from the '90s who loves neon and spring loaded missile
launchers, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. This figure is
actually a pretty reasonable translation and update of his 1988 costume,
right down the the compound bow and climbing rope. That compound bow
is pretty nice, actually, as is hands down my favorite piece of this set.
The bow string holds tension! You can actually pull the string back,
see a noticeable bend in the bow itself, and position one of his four arrows
between the bow and his appropriate hand attachment. A pretty nice
backpack replaces whatever red thing he used back in the day, and a pair of
nifty tonfas round out his removable accessories.
As for nonremovable accessories, Storm Shadow has two as part of separate
hand attachments: one hand has him gripping a shuriken, while another wears
that great claw the 3 3/4" figure had. They're actually opposite
hands, so you can plug both in at the same time, if you so choose. All
in all, the accessory complement is a bit sparse compared to earlier
figures, but he comes with everything you would expect him to have.
If you're a fan of the urban camo Storm Shadow looks, this figure should
be right up your alley. If, however, you only want Storm Shadow in his
classic white Cobra duds, you're probably better off tracking down the
eariler Sideshow figure elsewhere. This figure is for those who
appreciate that Storm Shadow can be more than just the bad guy ninja, or
those who might accidentally get a bit of dirt on their figure without fear
of ruining it. It's also a great toy for people who want to buy a
high-end sixth-scale figure with a wicked awesome compount bow. And
maybe the next time Sideshow revisits Storm Shadow, they could give us a
figure with some splotchy transitions to black on his uniform, possibly with
old highlights. It can also have some spring loaded feature in the
arms. Or not, I don't want to pressure anyone. I'm just saying,
Sideshow, think about it....
Editor's Note: Like what you saw? Hated it? Post about it in the YoJoe! Forums!