Banzai (1993 Ninja Force)
Oh brother, another New York ninja. Banzai is the team’s Rising Sun ninja. I have no earthly idea what that is, but he is wearing a mask that incorporates rising sun iconography, so maybe that’s it. Probably not-it just looks badass. I do wish the mask had been painted red and white, but I digress. The file card refers to him as a nunchaku master, an amazing feat considering the figure doesn’t include any nunchaku other than what’s sculpted onto his chest. As much as I have a soft spot for the later RAH figures, I have to admit there wasn’t a whole lot of attention being paid to weapon inclusions at this point.
I don’t want to be too hard on this figure because it encompasses a few crazy yet fun things I like about this period of the Joe line: action features, rooted hair and shockingly bright color. Not only shocking pink, but shocking pink oversprayed on his uniform pants. That is so awesomely 90’s. I had a pair of knock-off Ray-Bans with the same paint effect on the lenses.
Like Banzai’s second year Ninja Force teammate Bushido, he didn’t make any cartoon appearances in the 90’s. That’s a real shame, because I think only the DIC series could have properly captured the subtlety of a snow ninja and Mr. Splatter Pants here.