Budo Samurai Warrior (2013)
Talk about out of place. Budo has never been totally at home among his teammates, as even his original figure looked more like a traditional samurai than a special missions military operative. That’s not to say I don’t like the concept of the figure. In fact, I find it more interesting than many of the more movie based figures in the assortment. A GI Joe figure attired in armor from ancient Japan? Works for me. Who says the modern lines have to be all about realism? It’s actually refreshing to see a little unexplained weirdness among the Joes again. Too bad the line doesn’t look line it will continue. I wouldn’t have minded getting a certain accountant/falconer or mind control specialist among the Cobras in a future assortment.
Budo is one of the most impressively detailed sculpts I’ve seen in the modern GI Joe toys. There is an amazing level of crispness in the armor, and even in the undersides of the arms. I hadn’t seen a lot of photos of the figure broken down without the outer cloak, so I was expecting the pieces underneath to be less detailed. That’s not the case. The whole figure is just marvelously rendered. The only thing that could improve it would be a few more paint applications. Naturally, articulation is stiff in the legs thanks to the extra armor, but who really cares in this case. This guy doesn’t look like he needs to move all that much anyway. Under the helmet, the head has a lot of personality, and conveys a determined, stoic countenance. I wouldn’t mess with him.
If anything is missing in this instance of an unexplained figure, it’s the background information that could have been provided via a file card. The lack of those little tidbits of extra info that were a boon to sales in the past are sorely missed. After all, Budo’s old card gave him a little colorful exposition to balance his offbeat appearance. A Harley riding, heavy metal fan who also wore an old samurai getup in the field just somehow seemed to work back in the day. Without that knowledge on the back of the card, an innocent child might think this figure was from a cutscene where the Joes ended up stranded in Japan’s past. Hey, it happened to the Turtles, why not Joe?