Tiger Claw (2005)
Just how many apprentices has Snake Eyes had over the years? The guy’s had more students than Prince has had girlfriend/proteges. Seems Snakes has been picking up students throughout his time as a Joe. If he were a shrewd businessman,he could have sold his secluded cabin in the High Sierrras, opened up an Arashikage ninja dojo at a Staten Island strip mall and had a nice little side business for himself.
The file card states that Tiger Claw is a recent recipient of a GI Joe code name, which reminds me of the Steel Brigade concept of nameless neophyte Joes who graduate to the main team. He’s also dedicated to the cause of reuniting the Arashikage (meaning Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow). Sheesh, won’t those nutty ninjas ever get along? With the on-again, off-again allegiances of Stormy in the various toylines, it’s become like a wrestling storyline.
The Kamakura mold reused here makes sense from the standpoint that the character is a Snake Eyes apprentice. Maybe Snakes had some left over uniforms from his last trainee and had them altered to fit a new student. I still like this mold in comparison to a lot of the new sculpt era. It’s very well done in terms of proportion and articulation. The change up of paint scheme functions well, and doesn’t look too similar to Kamakura, with its reduced paint apps and long sleeves. He even gets his own logo on his outfit, a tiger claw, naturally. Quite impressive for a new guy.
On the weapons front, he gets an uncharacteristic sword for a ninja. It’s not the usual katana, and its scabbard has a handy dandy handle to boot. For some reason, this ornate sword reminds me of the ninja-centered DIC episode The Sword, in which Night Creeper Leader, Slice, Dice, and the Joe ninjas are after a powerful (you guessed it) sword. Oh, and Snake Eyes is revealed as the world’s greatest ninja. He’s also pictured balancing on the tippy tippy top of a mountain spire at the end. Track it down if you’d like a few intentional and unintentional laughs. I love it, but I’m strange like that.