Chun Li Xiang (1994)

When the 80s-90s Real American Hero line ended in 1994, I had been heavily involved in buying the latest figures for going on three years. I couldn’t wait to see what was awaiting me the next year after the 30th Salute. Naturally, I was highly disappointed when it all ended. For those like me who were bummed out by the end of the era, the licensed video games lines like the movie Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat series released following the end of ARAH GI Joe at least provided more output of the classic o-ring mold style.

Chun Li was part of the initial Street Fighter line that was actually branded with a (fairly tiny) GI Joe logo. That first figure was one of the spring loaded type with a kicking leg feature. As such, and like Ninja Force Scarlett, it didn’t fully incorporate the usual o-ring GI Joe style. This movie-based Chun Li still has an action feature (a spring-loaded arm) but at least this time the legs have full articulation. I find this to be a generally superior figure in other ways, most specifically the head sculpt, and the overall more game accurate look of the costume. She even had little rubberized spiked bracelets, as well as the signature skirt.

I still find the movie Street Fighter figures to be fun and interesting cousins of GI Joe. Some of that is related to the spectacularly awful yet entertaining film, to be sure. I bought most of the line back in the day, and though some of them are a bit tougher to track down and more expensive than their fully integrated GI Joe line counterparts, they are worth the hunt. After all, who wouldn’t want a game-accurate Chun Li, or even a Jean-Claude Van Damme and Raul Julia to beat up on their Joes and Cobras?

 

 

12 comments

  • I picked up several of these in early ’96 when my local Woolworths was swamped with them. I was still collecting Joes while everyone else had either moved onto turtles or that wretched thing with the “teens” in spandex.

    I wasnt into video gamnes or terrible movies based on games but they were the closest thing to Joes i could still get.

    I used to pretend Bison was a crimson guardsmen and Ryo was Quick kick

  • I got her a couple of years ago, along with the Movie Edition Ken Masters (I currently have Sagat on the way). I find it funny that the only actor head sculpts in this line are those for Van Damme and Julia (can’t spend the dough to do sculpts based on Ming-Na, Damian Chapa, Kylie Minogue, or Byron Mann?) I have an interesting interpretation for the movie line–it can also double as the “unofficial” tie-in to the cartoon that came out afterwards. I also have an idea to give the accessories to some Joe figures who could really use them:
    -M. Bison comes with silver versions of the 1992 Flak-Viper rifle and the 1991 Interrogator gun–give the silver FV rifle to the Urban Pack Nullifier, and the Interrogator gun to the 1993 Interrogator.
    -Arctic Assault Guile has the backpack and buoy of the 1989 Deep-Six–give the backpack/buoy (plus a hose) to the 1993 Deep-Six.
    -Paratrooper Guile has a silver Big Ben rifle–give that to the 1993 IAF Big Ben.
    -Rock trooper Guile’s got a green 1991 Snow Serpent rifle–give that to the 1993 Arctic Commandos Snow Serpent.
    -Navy SEAL Guile has Undertow’s barracuda–give the barracuda to the 2000 Undertow.
    -ME Blanka comes with Thrasher’s lacrosse stick–give it to the 2005 Thrasher.
    -ME Sagat has a grey version Shockwave’s uzi–give the uzi to the Convention Shockblast.
    -ME Sonya Blade has a black version of the 1989 Stalker’s knife–give it to the 1993 Arctic Commandos Stalker.

  • I do like this figure and it’s preferable to the ‘official-GI Joe’ Chun-Li but I do think she’d have been 10x better with traditional brown leggings.

  • A great female action figure: the head sculpt is excellent!

  • Even if I manage to get every other figure from the vintage line,I’ll never purchase any Street Fighter figures. You got to draw the line some where. I also won’t be buying any dinosaur sets or aliens,

  • That is an unusually good female headsculpt for an older Joe. Nice!

  • This is a odd figure; I wonder if her torso is so bulky due to the action feature? The head has a great face, but it’s no good for customizing unless you’re sticking with the bangs and meatball hairdo.

  • Maybe Chun Li Xiang’s head could make for an unmasked RAH-era Jinx.

    @Acer: That is a great weapon swap list. Nice work compiling those.

  • @Clutch
    Oh, there’s more–but I had to trim it for this comment.

    @Dekkard
    I thought her leggings WERE red in the original game…

  • @Acer
    Possibly but I’ve never seen that. I do vaguely remember a vesrsion wih a red dress and brown leggings but I think the iconic look is blue dress with brown leggings.

  • @Dekkard
    I just did a quick Google search, and yeah, you were right, they were brown leggings.

  • @Acer
    Thanks for clarifying. I was happy to believe you were right as I’m not an expert on the video games.

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