Ninja Duel Snake Eyes (2013)

There are times in movie action figure lines when the makers go for playabaility, and times when film accuracy and articulation are a focus. Usually, the former applies first, and if a line is lucky enough to stick around for a few assortments, the latter will be released as well. Fortunately for the Retaliation toy line, we’ve gotten both in one figure, and I think it succeeds on both counts.

The early releases of Retaliation Snake Eyes last year had their positives, but didn’t follow what we’d seen as the on-screen look. This one looks to be closer to what has been shown in the trailers, and I think is a vast improvement over the Rise of Cobra version. Instead of a sculpted muscle torso, this Snake Eyes is outfitted in a layered uniform that incorporates armored pieces. Overall, it’s a more sleek and stylized look, and I’m reminded somewhat of the Nolan films’ Batman suit. The paint apps are the most surprising aspect to me, and the figure has black gloss highlights here and there, as well as a bit of brown on the shoulders. These touches add extra depth to what could have been a boring monochromatic outfit.

Articulation is excellent, and includes the pivoting wrists and rocker ankles of recent years. This is one figure that can attain some interesting fighting poses. Accessories are detailed and well scaled, a contrast to earlier movie figures and their massive missile launchers.

That’s not to say that the kiddos have been forgotten, as there’s a fun and funky action accessory in the form of a seven foot zipline. I’m fond of these sort of things, especially when they function as advertised. The zipline is impressive not only for its length, but the fact that it works. It’s a blast to send Snake Eyes zipping down the line, attached to the kitchen chair or whatever object is handy. Since the line and its launcher are separate from the figure, it can simply be tossed into your parts bin, if you’re not an adult inclined toward playing with toys.

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