Storm Shadow (2007 Cobra Legions)
The beginning of the 25th anniversary series held a lot of promise. Sure, the first multi pack releases had their share of construction and articulation issues, but the availability of small GI Joes on store shelves again was cause for excitement. When the initial offerings performed so well that a second set of Cobras were released, I was ecstatic.
At the time, I was into army building in a pretty big way. I had sunk quite a bit of money into buying up Vipers from the Valor vs Venom series (the purple, python patrol and blue versions) and I had also succumbed to the lure of the Toys R Us exclusive Cobra trooper six pack. Seeing a new pack of troopers in the new super articulated style was exciting.
In hindsight, the excitement should have been tempered a bit, as only three of the five figures were troopers. The other two, a repainted Cobra Commander and Storm Shadow, while interesting, would languish in my packs long after the troopers were removed. It’s only now that I’ve really taken a second look at the Storm Shadow. I like what I see.
In terms of all the Stormy designs that have been released in the last decade or so, this one falls somewhere along the lines of the Valor vs. Venom outfit, first infamously released as an Action Attack figure, but later refitted as a normal figure. The cobra symbols on the mask and the dragons on the legs are a good match for the old version.
I’m in favor of changing up a character’s look from time to time, to keep things fresh. I think this stems from my youth as an avid 1980s Marvel Comics reader, a time when many of the major heroes were temporarily given new and different outfits. Who says Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow always have to wear their respective black and white duds? Why can’t a ninja add a little flair to his white pajamas from time to time, and why can’t a badass commando put on a pair of neon colored goggles or green camo pants if he feels so inclined?
With many of the 80s and 90s figures getting rehashes in the current construction style, I’d like to see a few more of the GI Joe vs Cobra, Spy Troops and Valor vs. Venom designs get their due.