Banzai (1993 Ninja Force)

Oh brother, another New York ninja. Banzai is the team’s Rising Sun ninja. I have no earthly idea what that is, but he is wearing a mask that incorporates rising sun iconography, so maybe that’s it. Probably not-it just looks badass. I do wish the mask had been painted red and white, but I digress. The file card refers to him as a nunchaku master, an amazing feat considering the figure doesn’t include any nunchaku other than what’s sculpted onto his chest. As much as I have a soft spot for the later RAH figures, I have to admit there wasn’t a whole lot of attention being paid to weapon inclusions at this point.

I don’t want to be too hard on this figure because it encompasses a few crazy yet fun things I like about this period of the Joe line: action features, rooted hair and shockingly bright color. Not only shocking pink, but shocking pink oversprayed on his uniform pants. That is so awesomely 90’s. I had a pair of knock-off Ray-Bans with the same paint effect on the lenses.

Like Banzai’s second year Ninja Force teammate Bushido, he didn’t make any cartoon appearances in the 90’s. That’s a real shame, because I think only the DIC series could have properly captured the subtlety of a snow ninja and Mr. Splatter Pants here.

12 comments

  • I have that figure, and I like him–I just wish he had a normal torso configuration. I got a Mortal Kombat Johnny Cage figure that uses this mold, which I took apart and now plan to use the arms and legs for a Night Force Banzai custom. I just hope I can make the neckball conversion properly.

  • Ninja Force made for really sad, sad days to be a Joe collector….

  • I give Banzai props for his rooted hair. Wish that NF Scarlett head could have gone on an ’82 body. But I digress. Banzai’s sculpt is nice enough and would have worked a lot better with regular articulation. He’s got that Dreadnok/Road Warrior/Steel Monster thing going for him as well.

    • Way I see it, if you ignore the mention of nunchaku as a primary expertise, I see Banzai’s main weapon as the axe included with him. Here’s how I figure the Ninja Force’s weapons specialties:
      -Storm Shadow does katanas and bows
      -Dojo uses a chained sickle
      -Nunchuck uses, what else, nunchaku
      -T’Jbang uses his hooked sword
      -Banzai uses an axe
      -Bushido uses those twin dueling knives
      -Snake Eyes uses the curved longsword
      -Scarlett uses her crossbow and a short sword
      -T’Ginzu uses the large sickle that came with Storm Shadow
      -Slice uses both of his ’92 figure’s blades
      -Dice uses his bo staff (forget the axe)
      -Zartan uses a bow and the two knives that fit into his leg sheath
      -Night Creepers use the barbed sword and the dual-bladed knives that the orange Slice came with.
      -The 1993 Red Ninja should use the long sword that Zartan comes with.
      What do you think of those arrangements?

    • My only major gripe with Ninja Force was the construction, that you couldn’t take them apart to modify or repair.

      Banzai is goofy fun.

  • The red and white mask idea would have been neat to have seen. I recently found this dude’s legs in a bucket of old Joes. That was all that was left of him, though…

  • ninja’s started getting paid less in the 90’s. some ninjas, like bz here, took up odd jobs like painting at night. that’s what ex-hasbro employees told me at con once.

  • ninjas, i mean… not ninja’s anything.

  • I had him and honestly hated him so much I had him turn on the Joes so Snake Eyes could kill him. LOL.

    Really it was construction combined with pink mask, goofy fun but also weak with the Joe ARAH line.

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