Dark Ninja Master (2007)
Sigma 6–in the end, it should have been called Stigma 6. Sorry, couldn’t resist. The series came along just as it seemed like Hasbro was putting out some nicer product in the Valor vs. Venom and DTC lines. To some fans, the series couldn’t be seen as anything but Hasbro ‘killing’ the small Joes in favor of a more kid-friendly product. That’s exactly what Sigma 6 was, and I’ll be darned if the line wasn’t good at it, and right out of the gate to boot.
Collectors who have been around a while are familiar with the stories of fantastic product and often-requested characters coming along late in a line’s life. A perfect example–1985’s Star Wars Power of the Force. The story has happened numerous times in other lines since then; a toy line on the downward slope, no longer as popular, hence product not made in large quantity. That in itself sometimes later drives up demand, even if the product itself isn’t so terrific.
Could you say that about Sigma 6? Not to the extent of Star Wars of course. The series was a moderate performer at best. But during the last year of the line it seemed that Hasbro was really trying many inspirations to find some kind of a niche for the brand, as they produced an Adventure Team homage series, a generic military group, a couple of real-life heroes (police and firefighter) and even a ninja subset. That’s where Dark Ninja Master comes in.
What an incredible figure. It’s just totally over the top. There are so many things going on with this guy; a new build, hair, translucent plastic, interchangeable masks and a vast array of weapons. His sword is particularly impressive–it’s as long as the figure is tall. One of my favorite aspects of the figure are the small blades that can be placed between his fingers as throwing knives.
The style evokes a weird blend of Japanese ghost/demon with a little mummy thrown in, thanks to his bandaged face. The highly stylized Sigma 6 aesthetic itself is a big reason why this figure works so well. The design would probably fall apart if it were to be attempted in the modern 3 3/4″ style. Dark Ninja Master is biggest, boldest and craziest Sigma 6 figure. I wouldn’t want it any other way.