T’Gin-Zu (1993)

What’s in a name? In this case, a bad pun related to a famous TV infomercial. This is T’Gin-Zu, the driver of the Ninja Raider Pile Driver vehicle. The GI Joe line’s loathed ninja sub-group had just three vehicles to its name, two of which were strange four-wheeled rotating affairs with an upright pilot compartment  in the center. Not exactly the type of vehicle you’d expect to be manned by a ninja. According to his file card, T’Gin-Zu volunteered to be the driver of the Pile Driver, which was probably also referred to by its test pilots as the “widowmaker” and  “rolling coffin”.

The mold used is the venerable Ninja Force Storm Shadow, which has been re-used umpteen times since its debut. The front artwork and photo on back of the package depict a different design than what we ended up with. The original was closer to Storm Shadow’s Ninja Force camo look, only with bright orange rather than black on white. Notice also that there is no paint detail on the arms or legs. Strange. Was he the victim of paint app budget cuts?

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