G.I. Joe
G.I. Joe Classified Series Arctic Mission Storm Shadow
By Hervé St-Louis
June 30, 2021 - 12:27

Cover Artist(s): Melita Curphy



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Storm Shadow is the heir of the Arashikage ninja clan in Japan that met Snake Eyes years ago and introduced him to his family and his way, before leaving his clan in disgrace and joining Cobra. An assassin with a sense of honour Storm Shadow Storm Shadow is sometimes an ally of G.I Joe, other times, and ally of Cobra. In the comics, Storm Shadow was a member of a long-range reconnaissance patrol in Vietnam with Snake Eyes and Stalker.

The Arctic Mission Storm Shadow is based on the third version of the Storm Shadow action figure from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line from the 1980s and 1990s. There have been many Storm Shadow action figures thus far and two of which are based on the Arctic Mission look. The first is from the 1992 Ninja Force and the second is 1993 Hall of Fame 12-inch (1:6) action figure. Instead of calling this a Ninja Force Storm Shadow, Hasbro decided to give it an arctic mission label which may be reused for subsequent Amazon exclusives in that line.

Likeness

As just mentioned, the Storm Shadow action figure is based on the 1992 Ninja Force Leader action figure from 1992 in 3 ¾ scale where Storm Shadow sported a ninja uniform with a black balaclava and a white hood. There is a camouflage effect that transitions from black in the thighs to white in the torso and the shoulders. Just like the Ninja Force Storm Shadow, this action figure has gold highlights throughout his uniform. True to form, he carries a katana, a long bow, and a sickle.  The first difference between the two is the sarong at the waist which the older action figure did not have. The second difference is that there is no transition from the white shins and calves to the thighs.

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Sculpt

The sculpt is intricate and new. Hasbro’s sculptors are using 3D sculpting technology to enable meshes, and fabrics to the base sculpt instead of giving it a clear finish like many Marvel Legends toys. Even Storm Shadow’s hood has a texture weaved in. There are patterns on the body armour he wears and everywhere else on the sculpt. If you remove the quiver, you will discover the intricate design for the chest armour. Storm Shadow’s face under the balaclava is impressive. His eyes have Asian shapes but not exaggerated. While many may not like the Arctic bent on Storm Shadow, it is certain that Hasbro will reuse such an intricate mould for future Storm Shadow action figures and other characters, if they can find a way to spin this.

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What I find interesting about Storm Shadow’s sculpt is that he was not designed to wear extra body armour like the other G.I. Joe Classified action figures. He uses a unitary design where everything is sculpted on the figure. This makes the sculpt less flexible and versatile when reused for other action figures in the line. If you do not like this sculpt, brace yourself as Hasbro will probably reuse it for future releases of Storm Shadow and avoid extensive retooling.

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Paint

The paint application is not great. With white on black paint and vice versa, there are dirty spots and uneven edges with spills. That’s mainly because of the complexity of the sculpt. The gold paint is good on the action figure but not always clean. There are spills. The white paint used for the snow camo effect is too thin and shows the black plastic base.

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Scale

Storm Shadow is has a mid-range scale for a male G.I. Joe Classified action figure. He is slightly taller than Snake Eyes and the Red Ninjas, but shorter than Duke, Flint, Zartan, and Destro. This is good. Next to the Crimson Fury ninjas and the Marvel Hand ninjas, Storm Shadow again is in the middle range of the scale. He is taller than the Crimson Fury ninjas but much shorter than the exaggerated Hand ninjas. Storm Shadow was supposed to be on the shorter side, shorter than Snake Eyes.

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Stability

Storm Shadow is quite stable which might come as a surprise as his feet are short and narrow and his quiver makes him to heavy. Yet he balances very well, even when carrying his gear.

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Articulations

Storm Shadow has one less articulation at the shins. He is the only G.I. Classified action figure thus far without a shin articulation. However, he has the separate neck and head that afford him a lot of flexibility even with the hood on. Thankfully, the hood is easy to remove and reveals and all black head. The shoulder pads on Storm Shadow are inserted in the shoulders’ sockets as separate pieces. Thus, they will move with the arms no matter how you pose them. That’s sweet.

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Storm Shadow has a wobbly abdominal crunch, and waist swivel. He has butterfly joints in the shoulders, but their motion is limited by the extra layer of the shoulder pads. Storm Shadow has bicep curls, double elbow articulations, and wrist curls. The wrists also bend left and right to help with the handling of the bow and other weapons. However, there is a slight bump that covers the edges of the wrist guards sculpted in. They can limit the wrist articulations a bit.

The sarong does not get in the way of the hip articulations and Storm Shadow can perform a decent Van Damme thanks to the new hinge that Hasbro has been using for all G.I. Joe Classified action figures thus far. Storm Shadow has thigh curls, double knee articulations, and can bend and pivot his ankles. The articulations tend to be a bit stiff, except for the wobbly waist and abdominal crunch.

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Plastic

Storm Shadow is probably made of PVC plastic and has softer rubberlike plastic for his hood his shoulder pads, and his sarong. The base white plastic is not white but a lighter shade of pearl. It does not look as bad as the G.I. Joe Classified Snake Eyes movie Storm Shadow action figure (what a mouthful!).

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Props

Storm Shadow comes with some very good props and some that are weird. He has a grapple that does not fit anywhere on his suit. There is a free-floating white arrow that is not painted gold that the ones sculpted inside of his quiver. its shape is not the same either and so it looks out of place. Is it there for collector to pose Storm Shadow as if he were about to shoot someone with the arrow? The bow looks great and has two colours. The quiver is the same one that will be released with the Snake Eyes movie Storm Shadow action figure intended for kids.

Storm Shadow also has a sickle and a katana that fits in a sheath that pegs into the quiver. the sword has a gold Arashikage logo at the base. It is also painted in silver, unlike the swords and sickles of most G.I. Joe Classified action figures thus far.

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Packaging


Storm Shadow comes with the usual G.I Joe Classified box but of note, he is included with the red Cobra background. Thus, it is not hinted at that he is the Storm Shadow that had quit Cobra to join G.I. Joe.

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Cost

Originally, when this action figure was announced, it retailed for $19.99 USD with Amazon. Since, it can only be found in the secondary market. Amazon has not made newer batches available. Thus, it can cost a lot for this toy if you did not order it directly from Amazon (and not a third-party seller using its platform).

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Availability

There is no way to know if Amazon will reorder more of this action figure or if Hasbro Pulse will sell some at some point. My bet is that this action figure will only come back as part of an anniversary pack. It is clear that Hasbro will reuse most of the sculpt for the white Storm Shadow, eventually and perhaps other characters if it can find a way to justify this.

I foolishly skipped this figure when it was offered at Amazon only to regret and order a batch that Big Bad Toy Store had acquired. The price was about $34.99 USD. They do not have any left. Your best bet if you want this toy is to order it from auction sites or hope that Hasbro releases some again. It’s a nice toy, but I would suggest waiting for the white Storm Shadow repaint instead.

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Rating: 8.5/10

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