Storm Shadow (2009 Greatest Battles)

As a fan of both the 2002-2006 era of GI Joe and the newer 25th anniversary style of figure design, I often think of how quite a few of the so-called new sculpt figures could really benefit from a re-do in the moden style. I wish Hasbro would get on that. Wait, what? They already did? Really? In 2009? Get outta town!

Here’s one of the first adaptations of the lost era of Joe into a more current figure construction. How does it fare? Uh…not so good. First off, I have to hand it to Hasbro for the effort. To make a four pack based on an iteration of Joe that had recently left store shelves was a bold move, particularly since the 25th anniversary line seemed to exist mainly as an homage to the Real American Hero era.

Storm Shadow is based on the 2002 version, which although hampered with T-crotch construction, was a well designed and fresh take on the famous Cobra ninja. Unfortunately, the combination of 25th anniversary parts used to make up this figure result in a bit of a mess.

The 2002 Storm Shadow was quite strap happy, with the chest, arms and legs all adorned with them as well as pouches. It was quite the 90’s comic extreme look. In order to create the chest gear, the figure uses the Cobra Officer web gear, which doesn’t quite fit, especially when you try to push Storm Shadow’s own chest strap and quiver over it. Yeah, it’s a mess.

The legs are awkward, being made up of both Cobra Trooper and Ninja Viper bits that don’t quite mesh. I presume the Trooper thighs were used merely for the presence of more straps, which just leaves the figure with ill fitting knee joints and a knifeless harness.

The colors are the saving grace of the figure, which can be attributed to the 2002 design. Adding a bit of red to Storm Shadow was a welcome addition, and is a touch that I still find compelling for the character. The red mask and white hood was my favorite new element of the 2002 figure, and one that I was glad to see again.

Surprisingly, the DVD pack from which this figure hails is getting to be expensive to pick up. I can remember seeing the pack languishing on Toys R Us shelves as late as 2010. I certainly wouldn’t recommend paying much for it now, unless you’re a collector of curiosities. So again, it’s a bold idea poorly executed. I only hope that with the increased tooling available now, we may yet see a decent representation of a forgotten Storm Shadow.

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