Storm Shadow (2004 Operation Avalanche)


I recently picked up this figure, one of the last I needed to complete my new sculpt collection. By the way, is there a true consensus among GI Joe collectors on what to call all the various post-Real American Hero era lines? We collectors like to categorize and label these things, don’t we? I suppose it helps to give them a bit of context, but does the average reader really care? For the moment then, I’ve decided to randomly call each era of GI Joe whatever strikes my fancy. 

Storm Shadow comes from the Operation Avalanche, the “battle in a box” set released exclusively at K-Mart during Valor vs Venom. These value packs, loaded with figures and vehicles, have been spread fairly thinly across the history of the small GI Joe lines. I’ve always thought of them as a sort of distant kin to the Adventure Team sets of old, with an entire little storyline contained in a box. In this set, Dusty and Snake Eyes attack a Cobra mountain outpost on a four wheeler, while Cobra counter with Stormy and an Iron Grenadier piloting gliders. This particular set included mostly repackaged vehicles and figures, but Storm Shadow showed up in a unique color scheme.

Granted, this is the third recolor of the mold after the white and red original from the rebirth of small Joes in 2002. It us my favorite of the bunch. Being a holdover from that debut assortment, he’s constructed with a T-crotch rather than the O-ring. It’s unfortunate that a proper Storm Shadow never saw a refit to the old construction style, although the mold itself did see release with an O-ring as other characters.

Being an early 2000s figure, the accessory complement is confusing. The pack included a bevy of weapons, yet not a single one was appropriate for a ninja. So according to this set, Storm Shadow can carry a shotgun, several machine guns, a common plain pack, or a Tele-Viper backpack. It’s not a huge problem, as I have countless swords to give him, but still a frustrating byproduct of the era.


  • Not feeling the whole “new sculpt era”. None of these were that good. (okay the tele-viper was decent).I find it dificult to integrate these with your classic ARAH era figures due to the wonky shoulders and proportion issues…

  • Good question regarding the era names. I usually go with vintage for anything sold when I was a kid, meaning the original RAH line which ran twelve straight years from 1982 through 1994.

    Everything else is modern, including the TRUs exclusive repaints, paint wipes, new sculpts, DTC, 25th, ROC, POC, Renegades, 30th, Retaliation, and so forth.

  • I frequently use the term “G1” to refer to many things such as Transformers [1984-1992], A.R.A.H [1982-1994] and Star wars [1977-85] it confuses many people. Though i did go through a phase where i labelled Battle corpse “G2” because it was neon and gimmicky

    I managed to pick up this set from the local toy store back in 2007. The stoe occasionally picked up unsold surplus from overseas. Thats how horrible Joe distribution has been in my area since 1993. Sure shops did get the intial waves of Spy troops and following that the 2009 movie. Since then, nothing. The cloest thing shops carry to it now are horrible knok offs.

    My favorite figure from the set was the black Iron grenadier. Snake eyes had really good articulation [if you can look past his purple costume] but the Dusty and Stormshadow repaint left me underwhelmed. But for $15.00 i couldnt complain.

  • I think the gimmick here was just to move old stock, but the Storm Shadow must’ve been thrown in there as an afterthought.

  • Dreadnok: Spirit

    It really looks more like a generic ninja figure than Storm Shadow to me. And even just barely a ninja.

    When I hear “Real American Hero”, I assume people are talking about the 1982 – 1994 G.I. Joe stuff.

  • Bad mold even for wave 1 of GvsC, aspects of the torso sculpt limited arm movement, which is never a good thing especially for a ninja. The o-ring version (Shadow Strike/Ninja Trooper) was better but still had some quirks.

  • I think I might start just thinking of the “new sculpt” as “Generation 2.”

    When I think, “vintage,” however, I think of the original 1964 GIJoe, that is an older-but-not-antique age to me. The word, “vintage,” just feels old as a word.

    I would suppose calling the 80’s/90’s “A real American hero” line, “Generation 1,” would be somewhat incorrect (and subsequently calling “new sculpt” “generation 2.”)

    If anything, I do refer to the ’80’s/’90’s “A real American hero” as “classic” in relation to our present day and age in some postings. I think Transformers may have a Classics line?

    “Generation 2” feels okay for me referring to the catch-all variety of a by-gone generation, though (because, really, it’s done.). From 2002 through 2006, there were main themes, and many figure construction/ design styles really, it could be stated that when talking about this particular Storm Shadow is that he is a “Generation 2” figure, since I couldn’t really say he is a “GIJoe Vs. Cobra” figure, as this Storm Shadow was under the “Venom vs. Valor” package.

    Plus, with the total design change up that started with the 25th Anniversary figures, and even these are continually evolving, I would feel okay with calling us as in the age of “Generation 3.”

    I totally keep this “generation” numbering within our small ‘Joes realm, though, as all three generations all have small variations and style changes within each, but they all have the same or similar “Real American Hero” basis in common.

    However, referring to my made up “Generation 1” style figures that were produced during “Generation 2” is where it gets confusing if this were to be the route to go, wouldn’t it?

    Would a 2002 Serpentor be a “Generation 1” figure, or “Gen. 2?”

  • @Scott
    The Transformers classics line has been labelled “Classics”, “Reveal the sheild”, “Henkai” [never type that into google] “Universe”,”Generations” The acronym which the fans now call it is “C.H.U.R.G

    As for that 2002 Serpentor, i’d label him “G1”

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