Cyber Ninja (2013)

It’s too bad Hasbro doesn’t feel the need to include file cards with the Retaliation movie figures. An interesting looking new Cobra trooper, the Cyber Ninja I’m sure could have benefited from some sort of backstory. Maybe I’m just being a crotchety old vintage collector, but surely it can’t add too much to the cost, or take away from the artfully designed package backing. So, other than the little blurb on the back, we’re left to our own imaginings for this guy’s full story.

I’m reminded instantly of the costume designs of Tron: Legacy, mainly due to the electric blue piping all over the figure. Another reason why this figure is dying for a fuller explanation. Anyone care to write a Cyber Ninja fanfic filecard?

As far as I can tell, this is a completely Frankensteined figure. His parts come together pretty well, although the thin neck shows under the helmet somewhat, and maybe it’s the chest armor, but the Cyber Ninja also looks a bit short in the legs.

We can’t get away from action features this time, and the Cyber Ninja at least has a creative sort of zip-line. Rather than hooks, there are suction cups to anchor the string. This limits the places he can traverse to things like windows and mirrors, but the concept was changed up a bit from other figures in the series. The included backpack, the monster from PoC Firefly, has even been worked into the gimmick, albeit in a halfhearted way. I’ll say this again: zip-lines and backpacks make me want a Sky Commanders reboot.


  • Wish we would have gotten the Wraith head shown on the promo pics as an extra…

  • Steven B. Williams

    I like the head we got instead of the Wraith head (well, I didn’t mind the Wraith faceplate; it was the Tony Stark-ish face underneath I didn’t want). I like this figure. I hate the base body that was used here with past figures, but the right amount of weathering plus the vest and blue highlights won me over. My biggest gripe (besides the zipline stuff) was the modern ninja swords, which has been used for almost every ninja figure in the ‘Retaliation’ line. The worst part is that the modern ninja swords works perfectly for the Cyber Ninja; it’s just the overusage of the accessories made me sick and tired of seeing it.

    I would be happy to do a mock-up file card for the Cyber Ninja, but I think I better wait to see the movie first. I plan to see ‘Retaliation’ on March 29th, so I’ll try to do one sometime afterwards. I’ll post it on the Joe A Day Facebook page.

  • Real name: Fred .s. Eries
    Primary milliatry function: ninja
    Secondary millitary function: Tech support
    Cyber ninjas are Cobra’s latest covert infiltration team. Each cyber ninja is armed with state of the art electronic wargear that allows them to be shrunken to microscopic size to fight glitches and to literally ‘hack’ into GI JOE hardware. Prior to becoming a Cyber ninja,the candidates must master Ghost & Goblins blindfolded and have encyclopedic knowledge of 80’s cult movies.

  • It looks as if “Cyber Ninja” is just the cheeky name Cobra Commander gave to all the VR training suits he bought from Destro in the late 90s.

  • Both M.A.S.K. and Sky Commander used to be Kenner properties, which might explain why their influence is still felt in the Joe line to this day. If action figure sales could match their 80’s numbers, Hasbro might have tried a relaunch or two. I do wish they didn’t get rid of the file card concept since it helps tie in all the various Joe eras together going back to 1964. Even Lanard has continued their little bios throughout the Corps! brand’s existence.

    As for the figure itself, the blue piping is very Tron-ish indeed and reminds me of the cyborg/android Blue Ninjas recently featured in the Larry Hama comic series. I’m not sure if these guys are supposed to be comic or movie inspired but they do fit the bill nicely.

  • I remember back in school there was a guy who had a Hasbro internship. He, like other interns, would spend most of the time mostly recoloring toys and things, like Transformers.

    Ever wonder if Hasbro is just having interns, or simply outsourcing to design consultancy companies for things these days?
    I mean, this is a nice figure, but you put any ‘Joe fan in a room with bunch of figure parts, take a picture of it for recoloring in Illustrator; any one of us could come up with a cool looking figure. (Now, put anyone one in the room in the same situation.)

    The back story, an overall integration; the file card, all add to what would be good design. A little blurb about why I should care about the Cyber Ninja would also be a simple way for the owner of this figure to show care and proudly proclaim that this is the product they created.

    (As is, and I may also be crochety and old, but with all the re-use of parts shouldn’t these figures be getting cheaper by now?)

  • Jeremy "troublemagnet"

    Nice looking figure!

  • That reminds me of “Ready Player One”! I appreciate a creative approach at a non-movie figure, but I still don’t get him. Is he a Data Viper with swords? Is he a CyberViper with less neon yellow? Or, was it intentional to leave him a blank slate? The Crimson Horseman motorcycle helmet works pretty good here; at least it’s not 30th Firefly’s Hobgoblin head with “360 degree vision”!

  • You see Tron Legacy, I now see Saints Row the Third. 🙂

    And I’m surprised that they didn’t go with online file cards via an access code, as they’ve used in the past for Transformers. It’d be a minimal investment to set up.

  • I guess if you have to reuse ROC Viper parts, the Elite Viper is the best choice…but he still gets a “meh” from me.

  • Steven B. Williams

    That’s a great idea. 🙂

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