The 2009 GI Joe movie gave rise to what I feel is a mixture of lackluster (most of the Dukes), downright fugly (Cover Girl) and a few interesting figures. The movie line carried over the weaknesses in the film’s costume design. That is, most of the Joes in the film were outfitted with similar uniforms. One of the biggest strengths of the design of the GI Joe line over the years has been in its variety.
Kamakura stands out as one of the interesting figures from the movie line, and I think he’s also one of the best. Which is odd, as he’s not in the movie, but go figure. He’s listed as Snake Eyes’ apprentice, as he is in the established continuity. He came out later in the line, and for me, was darn hard to come by. At that point, the shelves were clogged with an abundance of the early release collection 1 assortment. I just happened to luck into finding him one morning at Walmart and only saw him once. Remember when Walmart carried Joes? Ah, memories…
Some decry the reuse of parts to create new figures, but here the choices really work well together and the design succeeds. Creating an “expanded universe” character for the movie line was a great idea and served to flesh out the line near its end. It’s based on parts from both the movie and the 25th anniversary lines, and they mesh well. The choice of parts also resulted in a figure that is significantly shorter than most others in the line, which is a nice touch that’s not often seen. The color scheme is also well done. A lot of the movie figures that were outfitted in fatigues were done in a light blue camo that struck me as a bit boring. Kamakura however has a different pattern that fits in with the movie design yet manages to stand apart from the others. The addition of darker blue highlights and Quick Kick’s webgear pull it all together. I’ve always been partial to the figures that stand out from the crowd (even blindingly so) and Kamakura really stands out in a sea of movie black, blue and blah.