Ryu (1993)

Ryu and Ken were the dynamic duo when it came to the marketing of the GI Joe/Street Fighter toy crossover. It’s no surprise then that both of them made an appearance in the first playset for the line. I didn’t pick up the Dragon Fortress set back in the 90s. Years later, I wish I had, if only because much of the playset was repurposed from the Cobra Toxo Lab, one of my favorite 90s GI Joe items. I picked up bagged examples of both Ken and Ryu from the set in the early 2000s, after the completist bug had bitten me.

This is a straightforward repaint, done up in a way more suited to a stealth look than the traditional white outfit seen on the original figure. Maybe this could be used as a Night Force Ryu. He’s a pretty nice figure, as repaints go, and I genuinely prefer him to the white outfit version. There’s not really much going on design-wise with this figure, and his unique color scheme at least gives him a little interest.


Ryu (1993)

Ryu (1993)

Ryu (1993)


  • The tiny Slice head that normally does with the body creates a perception that this Ryu head is overly large. (It is big, though.)

    I’m growing to like these figures more and more. I ignored them for years as there was so much more to get. But, with only these left, I’ve found them a fun subset to track down.

    I too, passed these by in the ’90’s. I just couldn’t get myself to buy them. Even when there was nothing else to buy, I’d leave them behind. On one level, I wish I had bought them. But, on another level, most of them were so cheap for so long, I was better off waiting.

  • Yet we still never got a Ryu in the movie line. It was so simple, it’s baffling that Hasbro didn’t just stick this head mold atop the Ken mold from that same series.

    Speaking of the movie line, I just thought of something–it and the ’93 sub-set could act unintentionally as a tie-in line for the USA Network cartoon that aired after the movie came out. Especially since that show’s tone had more in common with GI Joe (the DIC years, mainly).

  • A perfect Tommy Arashikage!

  • These figures could be a lot better. With bow big this franchise was its alittle surprisig that Joe still failed at retail…. Then again these figures were not well executed.

    • From what i recal, it was mostly due to nothing being able to compete with power rangers at the time. Though i did see some kids buying the mortal kombat and street fighter stuff, most of them picked up power rangers toys instead.

    • Vintage GI JOE: ARAH did NOT fail at retail, not in the USA, anyway. Former Hasbro brand manager Kirk Bozigian said 1993 was their second biggest year in overall toy sales for GI JOE. It was axed because of in company politics at Hasbro. Sgt. Savage was meant to be a side line while 3 3/4″ continued. But Hasbro big shots decided to give the entire boy’s toys division to the Kenner team, having acquired Kenner by buying Tonka a few years before. That sealed the Sgt. Savage toy line’s fate as well, it had done decent business but Kenner preferred to make their own style of garbage…I mean, their unique interpretation of GI JOE. And we see how that turned out…clearance aisle dust collectors for years afterward.

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