Shadow Strike (2005)
By Past Nastification
It’s got those great New Sculpt proportions! It’s a head-to-toe repaint! It’s Shadow Strike!!
But, waitaminute! I like this lazy, stupid figure!
How can that be?
Because it was a character that desperately needed to be made. By 2005, Storm Shadow would have been a bit over 50 years old (if you’re sticking to Marvel continuity with a non-sliding timeline). So it was well overdue for him to find the Darth Maul to his Darth Sidious. While Storm Shadow had been a good guy, he had Billy as an apprentice. But serving Cobra Command again, he needed an anti-Billy.
Shadow Strike fits the bill.
The head is tiny and the arms are gangly. Using the body of the Cobra Ninja Trooper, which was a reworking of a non-o-ring Storm Shadow, Shadow Strike is a repaint of a repaint! (Thanks to yojoe.com, as I forgot that the original wasn’t the same exact figure). There are probably other figures that Hasbro recycled through three times (if you consider the non-o-ring and o-ring versions essentially the same) as different characters, but I can’t think of them off the top of my head.
Like the most plausible head-to-toe repaints, most of the head/face are obscured. That’s helpful. That Shadow Strike is wearing the same uniform as his teacher, but in menacing red, also makes sense. It’s easier to accept this figure as Storm Shadow because that character has so many different versions that it’s easy to “let go” one or two of them as being Storm Shadow. I couldn’t say the same with a character with fewer versions. Set Shadow Strike next to a more classically styled Storm Shadow (of any style) and it’s easy to just let Shadow Strike claim the mold for himself. The wide shoulders help sell this as being a different character, too.
Despite the long arms/short torso, this detailing is quite good. The webgear has textured and ribbed straps, plus many pouches. The sculpting on the wrist and shin wraps is also very good. The head is crisp, just too small. This figure is another example of why I like many of the New Sculpt era toys more than Modern Era ones- it has a fun quality to it.
Would a better-scaled head have improved the figure? Yes. Would an entirely different non-Storm Shadow head have helped it stand on its own more? Yes. And yet, this figure is good because it fills a need. But that’s my take on it. I have no problems with characters aging and even dying.
But if you like your timeline static, then it’s probably easier to see this figure as a pinhead with long arms. Or maybe just Storm Shadow in a red gi who happens to have a pin head and long arms.