Black Dragon Ninja (2004)
What vintage 3 3/4″ fan doesn’t love the ’84 Storm Shadow mold? I don’t care how many times it was repainted, I still think the figure is awesome and represents the style that made the 80’s Joes so dang cool. They could have painted it with dalmatian camo and I’d still dig it. What–they did? Groovy.
So the story is that the Black Dragon Ninjas were brainwashed by Dr. Mindbender to be Cobra Commander’s guards just in case the Arashikage clan decided to take over Cobra. Storm Shadow apparently got wind of it and used his own technique to re-brainwash them to serve him. Come on, really? Is there anything that an Arashikage ninja can’t do? Sheesh.
The color scheme is a throwback to Argentina’s Ninja-Ku, a black outfitted ninja who also received a homage in the 25th anniversary series. The black wash on the arm and leg wraps is a nice touch that brings out the details of a decades old sculpt.
Question: How do you make a ninja even cooler? Give him an M-16. The six pack that included him wasn’t exactly clear on who got which weapons, so I gave it to the guy in black. This was part of the problem with a few of the later five and six packs at the end of the 2000’s line. It just seemed like eventually Hasbro didn’t spend a whole lot of effort putting the packs together. It started with questionable weapon complements, and ended with the Heavy Assault Squad set’s missing and incorrect characters.