Tiger Claw (2005)
By Past Nastification
There are figures that I like which defy my own guidelines. For example, I largely dislike ninja figures, but yet I find the Shadow Ninja figures fun. I don’t even like the original versions of those figures. But cloudy plastic holds an inexplicable appeal.
So, we know I’m not a big ninja fan. What about Head-to-Toe repaints? They are loathsome. Lazy and sad. Keep in mind I’m not talking about most army builders. Take the original Cobra Officer and drop it in dove grey and call it a Stinger Driver? Yeah, that’s fine. Ice Cream soldier (yes, not an army builder) gets dipped in dark plastic to become the army building Shock Viper? I’ll take the bait.
There are even a handful of army builders recolored as a singular character that are okay. The Hiss Driver repainted as Rip-It comes to mind, probably because there is no visible part of the figure’s face.
But Torpedo as Wet Down? Stupid. Roadblock as Double Blast? Ridiculous. Snow Job as White Out? Unbelievable.
So how can I even remotely be okay with Kamakura being recycled as Tiger Claw? This is a head-to-toe repaint and a ninja. The truth is, I don’t know. I should look at this figure and shake my head, frustrated with Hasbro’s lackadaisical approach. Instead, I simply like it. The colors are subdued- even the orange on the mask is a dark one.
As much as I like this figure, it’s not perfect. There is something off about the head. The ninja mask shows far too much of the face’s contours and details. It looks more like a 1970’s bank robber, wearing nylons over the head to obscure the face. And, of course, that would lead to the odd fact that he and Kamakura have the same face and wear the same uniform, just in different colors. But again, I simply like it.
Tiger Claw is at the top of the list of figures I like that I shouldn’t.