I’m not too proud to admit it–I was into the Street Fighter II Joes. Of course, I also went whole hog into every other wild and wooly experiment Hasbro was pushing during the waning years of the Real American Hero era. As someone who has continued to appreciate the toy aspects of these…toys, the entire period struck my fancy.
Ryu and Ken Masters seemed to be the default posterboys for the Joe-branded toy series, even though Guile would become the focal point of the later film and toy line. Ryu’s body is based on Slice, and it’s too bad that the toy doesn’t resemble the game image. After all, isn’t Ryu always shown sans sleeves, and with bare feet? Oh well, at least some of the second tier guys like Dhalsim, E. Honda and Sagat were the recipients of new molds. I was disappointed with Ryu at the time, and I still think the parts reuse among the main characters was a missed opportunity. I should be grateful for the new heads though, when compared to the shots from the ’93 Toy Fair catalog. They were an upgrade from the prototypes’ use of existing GI Joe noggins. I believe Ryu was Quick Kick, Ken was Downtown, and Guile was Bulletproof. Wow.
Like the other ’93 figures, there are a ton of weapons included on the blue plastic tree. In a strange way, I miss the days of twisting the accessories off the sprues. Maybe it’s just nostalgia; a reminder of the fun of assembling vehicles and playsets.
Was the video game based line up to the standards of the classic 80s figures? Certainly not. They also weren’t even up to the standards of the early 90s regular line offerings. Then again, they were fun, and although I wasn’t keen on every figure, the line struck a chord at the time with the gamer in me. They’re also a pretty coherent looking bunch if you display the entire lineup in a group shot. The rainbow of candy-colored melee weapons is a joy to behold.