The way that the Street Fighter designs were adapted to the GI Joe style is an interesting thing. Take Blanka, for example. His video game appearance is one of the most fanciful of all the game’s characters. He’s basically a hulking, shirtless, animalistic creature with a wild shock of hair. And he’s green.
The Road Pig body is a noble effort toward approximating the video game. The chest mold itself is one of the bulkiest ARAH era body parts around, and it sort of works to convey the larger size of the character. The only thing missing are the little tufts of chest and arm hair, although that was corrected with the later movie based figure.
Of course, the outright crazy proportions of the video game sprite can’t be translated to the very restrained sculpt of a 1980s GI Joe buck. Hence, Blanka is toned down. He looks more angry or maybe even constipated than the wild man of the game. Even his hair is tamed, like he’s slicked it back with a handful of Dapper Dan hair jelly.
Blanka also is short on melee weapons, instead brandishing a couple of rifles and a knife, along with the kind of spring loaded missile launcher that was de rigeur in the 90s. In addtion to a couple of lovely purple missiles, Blanka got a grappling hook. I found that the hooks at least added a little extra interest and play value to the missile launchers, as they could be used for imaginary climbing activities rather than simply being launched at one’s cat or little sister.
My little brother had a Blanka for a fe days when he was 5? Maybe 6?. Anyway when it broke, i offered to repair it for him but he insisted it be given a burriel.
Wave 1 they couldn’t be bothered with anything but new heads. So Blanka’s got long pants and boots. The movie line fixed that with new legs that don’t bend at the knees. Bah.
Yeah, given the choice, though, I’d rather have my Blanka with pants and functional knees. I had the blue Beast Blaster version, but I remember hunting for movie Blanka for so long only to be so disappointed with the funky legs that I actually didn’t buy him.
I find it funny that Blanka’s the only good guy who came with Cobra weapons (though the knife does come from a Joe).
I never played the game so I can’t vouch for character accuracy, but the Street Fighter figures work as Joe universe characters, especially new ones. I can imagine kids at the time incorporating figures such as Blanka into their play as a gamma-radiated Dreadnok or something to that effect.