Blind Master (2013)
The Blind Master scene in GI Joe: Retaliation made for some great unintentional hilarity. I know that a GI Joe film doesn’t mean you should expect high level acting, but holy cow. I don’t think I’ve seen line reads that bad this side of Birdemic: Shock and Terror. As goofy a scene as it was, there was a lot to like about the action, and about the mere inclusion of some of the minutiae of the Marvel comic. Thankfully, there’s a lot to like about the toy also, although I can’t help but try a Blind Master impression whenever I move the figure around. It’s easy to do, by the way. Just act disinterested, and randomly repeat the words Snake Eyes, Jinx, Storm Shadow, Arashikage and carbon fiber.
Most of the figure is the now familiar Renegades Storm Shadow mold. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, as the figure is still impressive. The skirt piece of course hinders movement, but what can you do with these things? GI Joe doesn’t really seem to incorporate soft goods skirts as freely as the Star Wars line, so we’re left with another super poseable ninja who isn’t all that poseable. Most of us are just going to pose this guy standing on a shelf anyway, so it’s not a huge loss.
Of the plethora of ninja accoutrements included in the Retaliation line, I think the Blind Master has them all beat in terms of variety and uniqueness. There’s a well detailed mask that fits over the figure’s head, giving him a more battle ready look. He also has to be the first GI Joe figure to come equipped with a flute. The cane staff is pretty great, with its hidden blade. He’s also equipped with what looks like a training sword, though I could be wrong. My knowledge of ninja weaponry is based mainly on memories of what was available via mail order in the back of cheesy martial arts mags back in the 80s. I should really do a little research every now and then, but I figure that one of the commenters will take care of it for me.
The real interesting pieces to me are the hat and circular blade. Actually, both of these items remind me of the titular weapon from the 70s kung fu flick Master of the Flying Guillotine. In that film, a blind kung fu master wreaks havoc wielding a device that can cut the heads off his enemies. It resembles a cross between a collapsible lamp shade and a red beanie hat. It may sound goofy, but it’s also deadly. The flying guillotine is attached to a chain, so the master can attack from a distance, and fling off his enemy’s head in dramatic fashion. It’s quite impressive. The blades on the Blind Master’s figure’s hat (though the package shows it as a shield with blades pointing out) can also point inward, making for a effective offensive weapon should it be thrown onto an unsuspecting figure’s noggin. The other piece, a circular bladed weapon, looks like it can also perform this function. I don’t know if this is intentional, but the small loop on the end of the string can also fit over the spike on the top of the hat, creating a double-bladed head removal weapon delivery system. Someone on the design team must have been influenced by the film. Don’t take my word for it; check out the freaky trailer: