Storm Shadow (2011)

In a recent interview with Flag Points podcast, former GI Joe Brand Manager Kirk Bozigian related a story about a trip with his son to the toy department back in the day. He was going to buy an $.88 Hot Wheels car, and when he handed it to his son, the boy responded, “What does it do?” That statement became a focus for him on the GI Joe line, and resulted in many different play features being incorporated into GI Joes.

What do the latest figures do? They sit on a shelf and look cool. I certainly enjoy that aspect of them, but part of me misses the occasional gimmick or action feature. When the action feature versions of Snake-Eyes and Storm Shadow were first shown, my curiosity was piqued. Remmebering back to Action Attack in the 2000’s, I wondered if a modern hyper-detailed toy could incorporate an action feature and retain its basic articulation and look. Would there be a huge button protruding from the figure’s back? Would one leg be fused in place, or purposely loose at the knee joint?

In this case, the basic look and articulation of the modern line did manage to survive along with an action feature. The button is unobtrusive, and the only missing articulation is the mid-torso joint. The feature gives the figure a rotating waist in its place; not a bad trade-off.

The design of the figure and its accessories were also a big part of what really sold me on it. And I’m always a sucker for crazy pants. The ceremonial garb, and the departure from the usual Storm Shadow look are refreshing. Spring-action and a ninja without traditional PJs–it’s almost like the old Ninja Force days.


  • The first time I heard Kirk tell that story was in the book “Toy Wars.” It’s long out of print but worth seeking out as it covers Hasbro’s history from its inception through Kirk’s tenure on the RAH brand and its initial demise. Regarding action features, I never thought of them as being practical for figures within this size range. The best example I can think of is Kenner’s Super Powers Collection. All you had to do was squeeze their arms or legs and the features worked superbly. Plus, they were extremely relevant to each individual character. But the figures were bigger than Joes and vastly different in design terms, so it’s an “apples and oranges” kind of deal.

  • I think I may get two, with one to take the good parts off of and leave the torso out.

  • Ah yes, Power Ranger Storm Shadow, a figure destined to be ridiculed and paradied by Joe fans for years to come. Really I hate this guy, not just for the action featue, but also the aforementioned Power Ranger inspiration of his outfit.

  • I have had this figure for a while now and have still to open it even tough I bougth 2 one to open and one to keep MOC but then again I have a lot of figures I have yet to open.

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