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G.I. Joe Classified Series Snake Eyes: GI Joe origins Storm Shadow Action Figure Review


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By Hervé St-Louis
August 22, 2021 - 00:30

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Tomisaburo S. Arashikage, or Storm Shadow, is the heir of the Arashikage ninja clan in Japan. He recruits Snake Eyes after the latter saves him form a yakuza attack in San Francisco. Tommy is an expert in cover operations, ninjutsu, and is above average in the handling of bladed weapons, and infiltration. Snake Eyes is a better handler of bladed weapons. In the movie, Storm Shadow is a tragic hero betrayed by Snake Eyes and banished after defying his clan and breaking its rules.

This action figure is in the likeness of Storm Shadow from the movie and of the two released for this film, it is the most detailed. The other Storm Shadow action figure is meant for kids. This is the second G.I. Joe Classified Storm Shadow action figure, and certainly not the last.

Likeness

Of course, Storm Shadow is a great representation of the Snake Eyes G.I. Joe Origins movie character featured. The facial expression which uses 3D face painting is very reminiscent of actor Andrew Koji. The suits Storm Shadow wears is seen in the second and third acts when he fights the yakuza and Cobra. The balaclava head sculpt is barely seen in the movie. Tommy’s face is visible most times in the film.

Sculpt

The sculpt has intricate details with the armature and layers of fabrics on the figure. My one criticism are the pyjama pants. Some parts of the figure are shiny. Others are matte. The head sculpt of actor Andrew Koji is much better than the one for Snake Eyes’ Henry Golding. If there were some shading, the sculpt would look much better and be less plain.

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Paint

Except for facial features in both heads, they are not much paint application on this action figure. Storm Shadow has a scar on the right side of his face and painted hair. The hair has no highlights nor shading. It’s one black piece. The face, however, is very nice with 3D painted application. His eyebrows are brown instead of black which is odd but probably melds better with the base colour of his skin.
 
Elsewhere on Storm Shadow is silver detailing throughout his uniform with no paint spills. The tips of Storm Shadow’s fingers are painted with his skin colour. Oddly, only the tops of the tips are coloured. The paint used is thick.

Scale

Storm Shadow is a tad taller than the movie Snake Eyes but a bit shorter than other G.I. Joe Classified action figures. Yet, he will fit well with them too, although they are from a different universe. He is taller than the Articulated Icon Shōken action figure.

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Stability

Storm Shadow is quite stable which is impressive as based on his build he should be falling every second. Even if you spread his legs apart a bit, he is still very stable. That’s good.

Articulations

Storm Shadow has the about the same set of articulations that other G.I. Joe Classified have but with a few omissions. He does not have calve/shin curls, much like the first Arctic Storm Shadow action figure.

The neck is a separate piece that can rotate and rock, however, it is very stiff and will often just be swayed by movements coming from the ball-jointed heads. There are shoulder butterflies, but they are stuck until forcefully “activated.” The shoulders will not move up past 85 degrees but will rotate freely. There are bicep curls and double articulations at the elbows. The wrists can rotate and can bend in a way that is good for sword handling.

There is an abdominal crunch, and the waist is stuck on a ball joint that gives Storm Shadow abilities to flex and rotate. The hips have the drop-down hinges that do not look good. It appears as if the hips are permanently dropped even if they are not. The hips are loose. Something that I dislike is the thigh curl which cuts through the baggy pants Storm Shadow wears. Try to curl the thigh and the bumps on the pants look ugly.

The knees have double articulations, and the ankles are on an ankle. They can bend up and down too. They are very stiff and I have difficulty bending them while not breaking them.

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Plastic

The base plastic is off-white which looks dirty for Storm Shadow. I do not understand why Hasbro did not use white plastic instead. Some of the plastic seems to be PVC for the softer parts like the hands and the head, while parts like the torso are probably in tougher ABS plastic. The sash is in rubbery plastic.

Props

Besides the two alternate heads, Storm Shadow comes with two swords and sheath that attaches on his back to secure the two swords on his back. The detailing on the swords is good with silver paint on the blades and gold-imprinted bases. There are less props on this figure than the Artic Storm Shadow.

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Packaging

The packaging is great as it features a painted cover by Sean Cheetham. His illustration which puts Storm Shadow’s bust on the front and the side, does not look have the likeness of the movie Storm Shadow and Andrew Koji’s looks. I find the biographical visual statistics given to Storm Shadow unnecessary as they repeat the same information given to the regular Storm Shadow.

The one we see in the movie does not have the same stats as the regular version. Based on this statistic, he is not as good a sword wielder as Snake Eyes. In the context of the movie, this is off as Tommy has had a lifetime of training with swords while Snake Eyes has had just a few weeks.

Cost

Storm Shadow costs the same as other G.I Joe Classified action figures at $22.99 USD and about $32.99 CAD.

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Availability

Releases of this toy is haphazard. Technically, it is due for release in October 2021, but it has been available in many places in nearly August 2021. At EB Games (GameStop Canada), Storm Shadow is sold out. In other venues, there are still stocks available. Amazon still does not have its stock. Because this is a move-based action figure, this action figure should not be difficult to find in 2021.

While I enjoyed the movie, I do ask myself why I bought this action figure. It does not fit nicely with the rest of the G.I. Joe Classified action figures. The movie was a financial failure and thus appeal for the character which was the real tragic hero of the feature is limited. While he could be used as a custom for another character in another line, there has been many Asian action figures in the six-inch scale released this year and the previous one thanks to the Shang Chi movie. There is not a dearth of bases to use but there is a dearth of Asian characters to use. The funky pants make using Storm Shadow as a base for something else, like Kato difficult!

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Thus, this action figure is for die-hard fans. The kids already have a cheaper version of Storm Shadow in a similar scale. This action figure is not a good stand in for the classic Storm Shadow, mainly because of the off-white plastic. The Articulated Icon Shōken is a much better fit for that. It is a good toy, but I have little use for it in my collection.


Last Updated: September 6, 2021 - 08:15

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