Funny how a movie can really change your life.
I used to be a huge Duke fan, but after GI Joe: Rise of Cobra, I'm now a Storm Shadow junkie! Well, at least as far as movie Joes go. And it's entirely because of this guy:
It's Korean drama serial "Auntie Killer" Lee Byung-Hun! Why the nickname? Because the housewives here in Asia loooove him. And because we call housewives, especially the old ones, aunties. (Not you, Wanz! :P) Yes, go ahead and YouTube him. 1630 hits, people. That's how big the guy is in Asia, and perhaps now the rest of the world, because of the movie and his toy!
Enter Paris Pursuit Storm Shadow, who bears a pretty good likeness to the actor.
Now I have to say that one the whole, the majority of the movie 3.75" range of movie Joes have great face sculpts that resemble the actors playing them. General Hawk, Ripcord, Zartan, and Duke (Marine uniform) come to mind. And you have to give Hasbro credit for at least trying.
What they did do really well, though, was the articulation on the figures. Storm Shadow here has 22 points of bendy parts.
He has a ball-jointed head and chest, pin-swivel shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists. legs are ball-jointed, with double-joint knees and swivel and ratchet ankles. His lower half articulation is excellent, with perhaps the end of his pants getting in the way of him pivoting his feet, but that really is a minor problem.
His upper half, though, is slightly more problematic. But only slightly. First off, his head can't rotate as far to the right as it can the left because of the slightly lopsided collar. Second, his vest doesn't allow his arms to come together in front of him. They do rotate all the way back but lack of frontal flexibility means he can't properly wield his katana two-handed. And he definitely can't hold the huge ass cannon that come with him on his shoulder with 2 hands. Speaking of which, PP Stormie comes with a variety of good stuff!
Two swords, two sai, a pistol, a stand and a big friggin' cannon/bazooka. He also comes with a double sword scabbard, and a suction cup-like thing that has handles on it. And what's a GI Joe figure is it doesn't come with good stuff? That's right, toys that come with toys for the toys are the best. ;P
Just look at how much you can arm him with!
And check out the nifty places he can store his arsenal:
But defeinitely no place for the BFG, which I might add, only Stormie gets to fire in the movie to take out the Eiffel tower. It would've been a super cool accesory if only Paris Pursuit Storm Shadow came with it, and not every figure in the movie line. I dunno, maybe Hasbro wanted to keep those of us who haven't seen the movie from guessing who actually gets to fire it. Or maybe they thought every kid in the world would wanna have a BFG after seeing what it can do. Hmm. But too bad Stormie here can't have two hands on it while he's holding the weapon.
Hey but check out the suction cup thingamajig, though. It's deinitely going to come in handy in a glass display cabinet. Finally, all the 3.75" figure height troubles in tall shelf space solved! It'll also make for a nice wall-climbing battle scene.
OK let's rate him!
Character accuracy: 9.5/10 - Great likeness, jumpsuit is nicely detailed and collar molded to look like the way LBH wears it in the movie.
Aesthetics: 9.6/10 - Gotta love the detail they put into this guy. The creases in his jacket and pants, his hair molded just like Stormie in the movie, his light smirk, and his eyes. When painted well, they look like he's actually looking at you. ;) But I have seen some where his eyes are painted too high and he looks like he's perpetually rolling them. Mine's painted slightly high, and looks like he's always looking up when his head's turned to the side--his collar gets in the way left and right. Also, I've seen some with worse painted hair than my Storm Shadow. Or you can just touch him up with a little paint if you're not fussy. :)
Poseability: 9.7 - I really wanna give him a 10 here just for the double jointed knees--you can do so much with them!
But he loses points for the head and also for the vest getting in the way of his arms and hands coming closer in front of his chest.
And just for fun, here's Storm Shadow executing a side-kick (At least I hope that's what it is):
Overall: 9.6 - They could've gotten away with doing Storm Shadow with just his ninja mask on and that's it, but they didn't. They gave him a face, and a good one at that. And they're not stopping there. The next wave will see a bare-chested Storm Shadow with cuts all over ala the final battle with Snakeyes in the movie, and there'll be masked and unmasked versions. I'll probably get them both! Woohoo!
Hasbro have done a good job with this line, if Storm Shadow is anything to go by. Now I can't wait to crack open Snake Eyes, General Hawk, Pit Commando, and Accelerator Suit Ripcord, the latter 3 of which I got over the weekend. :) Yo Joe!