Storm Shadow (2013 “T’Gin-Zu” Repaint)

Have you ever searched and searched for a toy, admiring it via pictures on packaging (or these days, online) and wondered whether you’re going to find it? Sure, there are more opportunities now than there used to be in terms of finding and buying exactly what you want. If you’ve got the money, between ebay and Amazon, pretty much everything under the sun is available to purchase. Case in point: I picked up a Turbo Teen model kit via ebay last week. Now how lucky would I have had to be to make that score back in the 90s, when the best bets to find stuff were flea markets and Toy Shop magazine? The online age has been great for convenience.

Like I said, I’ve been looking for this figure for quite a while. When I first saw pictures of it online, I thought it couldn’t be true. Someone at Hasbro actually pitched a modern repaint of Storm Shadow based on the obscure driver figure of one of the most unloved vehicles in Joe history? And someone also said, sure, go for it. Simply amazing.

The color blocking on this new figure actually more resembles the prototype T’Gin-Zu from the packaging and file card art more than the old retail release version. The original figure was simply white with an orange mask and sash, and blue highlights. The color scheme of this supposed Storm Shadow is right on target with what was pictured on the back of the old Pile Driver package. They even remembered to cast his weapons in blue.

I’m still so impressed and amazed that this figure even exists, and in a format that wasn’t an ungodly expensive exclusive. All the little details, and the simple fact that this is a modern figure based on a pre-production image of a Ninja Force character, just make me smile. I’m glad that a new GI Joe figure can still manage that from time to time.


  • I’m with you on this one, Rob. I never expected to find T’Gin-Zu at retail (and he’s really the only DG repaint I wanted). I wasn’t even sure if he was ever going to get released. Then I’d stopped a DG in a small town on the way back from a work trip to get a cheap bottle of pop and just out of habit, poked my head in the toy aisle to see if they had any of the DG exclusive Joes and imagine my surprise when I saw an orange ninja on the shelf. I was really glad I was able to snag him. It’s a nice-looking update of a really obscure figure and that’s all you can ask for from him.

  • It’s cool that they made a figure like this. The original wasn’t a bad repaint (having a classic mold as the source helps). What was it with those Ninja Force vehicles that made them have such low demand?

    And yes, I know what it’s like searching for a toy who only appears on the back of a package- 1985 Snake Eyes and 1984 Storm Shadow (in 85 & 86) taught me at a young age that not all figures would be relatively easy to find that are listed on the cardbacks.

  • I got this figure in a trade with a fellow collector a few months ago, and I definitely treat him as T’Ginzu more than Storm Shadow. I even gave him a couple of sickles (seen with figures like the Valor Vs. Venom Slice, Ninja Battles Black Dragon Ninja, and comic pack Red Ninja Viper) to give him a more specific weapons specialty.

  • If you want someone to paint and build the Turbo teen let me know.

    Speaking of unreal finds, today is Thursday where i live and i happened across a garagae sale[which is odd as they are usually on the weekend] I scored a bag of slighty dinger up Airfix planes [which i intend to restore, G2 Airraid and a loosemint G1 Blaster; All for two bucks AU

    I remember T’Gin-Zu. One of my school freinds had both those vehicles back in the day. He thought the vehicles were okay but the main reason he got them was for the figures.
    I wish Hasbro would redo some more of the Ninja force guys. The fans have started to appreciate them and some of them deserve modern versions.

  • Great figure! Cool character!

  • Hasbro has done a bit of this, but I’m surprised they don’t do it more, releasing an obscure character to retail “under the radar”. They did release that Glenda homage as “Pilot Scarlett” and we’ve seen repaints of 25th Storm Shadow as the Ninja Viper and as Ninja-Ku. Would be cool to see a Sabertooth/Wreckage repaint of the latest Firefly figure, sell it as “Firefly” and who cares? We all know that DG Duke with the Dusty head might as well be called “Grunt”. Heck, paint him like Hit and Run or Footloose and sell him again as Duke! Ultimately, the name on the card isn’t that important…plenty of foreign repaint characters to try, too!

    These DG figures are great, hope to see more waves beyond the repaints.

  • For some weird reason my posts haven’t been showing up lately so I have to play catch-up. Congrats to all of you that scored some nice stuff at fair prices.

    I had stopped collecting Joes by the time Ninja Force came out but I wouldn’t mind seeing them updated. I like Slice and Dice in particular thanks to the comic. The club already did Dice last year so Slice can’t be far behind.


    That is a great idea. Releasing obscure homages as mainstream repaints such as Duke and Firefly would help round out many collections. I view the DG Duke as Grunt and would love to see stuff like what they did with T’Gin-Zu here done more often.

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