Toys / Toy Collecting


By Hervé St-Louis
Sep 3, 2006 - 9:55

Balrog is one of those Street Fighter characters that was inspired by a real person. In this case Balrog is much like the original Mike Tyson. He’s violent and his opponents cannot trust that he won’t attack them with some kind of trick. Consequently, Balrog got banned from professional boxing, much like Mike Tyson. However, unlike his inspiration, he joined M. Bison’s criminal organization. First appearing in Street Fighter II, Balrog Series Three.
The most important likeness item of Balrog is his weird crew cut which is like Bart’s Simpson’s hairdo without the gel and combined with Homer Simpson’s bald spot. The other distinctive mark is the missing tooth. As the Balrog has these important features and the body mass, he’s complete! There are many variant skin tones however. Here Sota Toys chose a dark one.


Balrog is meant to be the big guy of Sota Toys’ third Street Fighter round of action figures but he doesn’t look as huge or impressive as some past large figures such as T.Hawk or Sagat. He has short thighs that suit his compact body. His biceps bulges are huge. I find the boxing glove without any real shape. The sculptors might as well have inserted a bid ball instead. Balrog is one ugly dude though. Both of his face make him look like his groaning, trying to impress his opponents with his sheer size. I like the holes in his muscle shirt. It’ the only thing that look out of place with this figure. Otherwise, he looks as polished as his triangular haircut.


There are no shades on Balrog’s shorts and tank top. Some sweat stain on the back of the neck or the torso would have been fun. The paint application on his clothes is poor. There are many spills or small details such as the holes in the tank top where the paint is off mark. His skin, boxing gloves and boots are shaded.


Balrog is smaller than Sagat or T-Hawk, but taller than M.Bison, Ryu, Sodom and Sakura. He is just a bit taller than Blanka. Like all Street Fighter action figures from Sota, his scale is accurate to the video game profiles.


Balrog is very stable thanks to his short thighs and heavy torso. His feet are flat which solidify his equilibrium. He has no peg holes in his feet to insert him on an action figure stand. This is one of the major omissions from Sota Toys in all of its Street Fighter action figures.


Balrog has 35 articulations. They are located in the neck, the shoulders, the biceps, the elbows, the wrists, the palms, the abdominal, the waist, the hips, then thighs, the knees the calves, the ankles, the soles and the toes. Most of Sota’s larger figures lack the double joint articulations in the elbows, although he has some in his knees. The waist articulation can be difficult to move the first time, but pressing hard enough unlock the joint. All articulations are well hidden at strategic places on the figure. For example, the claves’ articulations are the top of Balrog’s boxing boots.


Balrog’s plastic is strong heavy PVC which requires that the figure be painted afterward as the plastic cannot be cast in the base colour of the figure.


Balrog comes with three sets of hands in all. One set are boxing gloves. Another are fists. Balrog also has two alternate heads. One grins, the other one groans.


Balrog comes in a clear plastic package with leaflets inserted inside. The figure is held with wires. The front art features a comic book/cartoon image of Balrog as well as the instructions necessary to find his special combat mode in video game plays. The back of the leaflet has images of other Round Four Street Fighter action figures. Parents beware.  This figure should only be opened by an adult with scissors.


Before Sota Toys imposed a set price to its figures, figures could be found for as little as $10 to $25. Depending on the size of the retailer and the number of figures and overstocks, prices vary. If a store has overstocks of this figure, it may sell Balrog as a discount.


I doubt that Balrog is one if the most popular of Sota’s Street Fighter action figures. Also, each successive wave of Street Fighter action figures is produced in smaller quantities as only fans purchase all figures. Casual fans usually buy only characters they enjoy. Online stores are the locations to find this action figure.



Last Updated: Jun 26, 2018 - 9:28

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