Storm Shadow (1988)
As luck would have it, Storm Shadow had a new figure released the year after I stopped buying GI Joes. I had also stopped reading the comic, and had stopped buying comics altogether, so I was oblivious to this new look, and to his turn to the roster of the “good guys”. The first sight I had of his figure was at a friend’s house. His little brother was five or six years younger than us, so he was in the prime of Joe collecting, while we had moved on. By the way, this is the same younger kid to whom I had sold most all of my old Joes [sniff]. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry…
Where was I? Oh yeah, so when I saw this figure back then, I was tempted to just snatch it up and stick it in my pocket. I know, I know theft is terrible, but this guy looked wicked awesome. His uniform reminded me of the ninjas from any number of cheesy 80’s flicks, with the distinctive leg wraps, hood, and shortened sleeves. It was like Sho Kosugi in plastic form! He even had the I Ching symbol on his forearm, a cool nod to the comic. As excited as I was by the figure, I didn’t steal it, though I was tempted for a second to buy it from him, but the potential for embarrassment was too strong to broach the subject. This was a time before I had embraced by geekness, when I was still trying to appear to the world at large to be cool. I obviously have no such hang-up now.
At the time I first saw the figure, the only accessory on him was the arm claw. My joy may have been tempered had I seen his red sword and backpack. They’re the only gripes I have with this figure.
I still wonder just what the pattern on his outfit is supposed to represent. Is it some sort of camouflage, or was Tommy just wearing Tetris themed pajamas?