Nunchuk (2003)

Seems my favorite New York ninja has traded in his sneaks for some leg wraps. What is it with Joe martial artists and their odd footwear? In the meantime since his Ninja Force days, he’s also become the Joe team’s martial arts instructor. Why not have the big guns like Snake Eyes of Storm Shadow train the troops? Maybe that baseball story is true, you know, the one about Ted Williams making for a lousy hitting coach.

Even though I know better, I’ve always somehow read this figure as a Native American character. Maybe the long hair and facial features give that appearance. Of course, if one wants to draw a comparison of the figure’s look to the Real American Hero era, the outfit resembles Quick Kick more than the original Nunchuk. I doubt that he was intended to be MacArthur S. Ito, however, as at the time the Joe line was not releasing figures based on characters who were dead in Marvel comic continuity.

As figures of the time go, he’s not too bad. Sure he has some proportion issues, as he’s quite a bit bigger on top than in the legs. Also, the dreaded pinhead raises its ugly, uh, pinhead again. The legs though have an interesting added bit of articulation with a swivel at the cuff.

My favorite elements here are the small decorative details on the belt skirt and pants. Maybe I’m wrong, but the lines in the pant cuffs look like hot rod flames to me. Finally, the Night Force paint scheme is a great homage to the RAH era, and appropriate to the character as well. Adding a martial artist to the Night Force roster makes a lot of sense.

Oh, and a little grammar gripe too. Couldn’t the proper term, nunchaku, have been used? Well, at least it didn’t turn out with an even worse slaughter of the word, like numbchuck.


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