Cobra Ninja (Code Name: Storm Shadow)
Hard to believe it’s been almost eight years since I started this project. It’s probably even harder to believe that in those years, I’ve not covered the original Storm Shadow figure. 1984 Storm Shadow: the figure that launched five-dozen variations and pushed GI Joe into places the brand had never been before. As much responsible for hooking American kids on the ninja craze as Cannon Films, Sho Kosugi, and Stephen K. Hayes, this mystery man was an instant must-buy. I recall asking my dad to hunt all the way through the then seemingly high rows of endcap Joe pegs at Children’s Palace to snag a Stormy.
I’m not ashamed or afraid to say that this is one of my favorite Real American Hero era figures. Heck, it’s also one of my overall favorite GI Joe figures. Note, that certainly doesn’t mean I think it’s the best representation of what GI Joe is, or the best example of sculpting and painting, etc, etc. It is for me, however a great example of what made me fall in love with the brand those many years ago. I also feel that at least some of its spirit has lived on since its debut thirty five years ago.
The closest I’ve seen to toy ninja perfection since this figure was the Renegades version of the character that debuted in 2011. Later iterations of Storm Shadow and his stealthy cohorts improved upon sculpt, articulation and accessories, but I doubt they’ll supplant the original in my mind. Thanks for the memories, Storm Shadow.