“When the great ninja clan fractured, only the most bloodthirsty practitioners of the ancient art of Ninjutsu were allowed into the Clan of Crimson Fury. Forgoing the secrecy that was sacrosanct to the way of the ninja, the hold Crimson Ninja shunned the shadows and wreaked a swath of deadly vengeance against anyone they came across. It has been said that when the Crimson Ninja attack, it is as if a great artery had opened, spraying blood across the land.”
Articulated Icons’ Crimson Fury Ninja was released on August 6, 2020. It was an update of the earlier Basic Red Ninja released several years prior by the studio as part of their martial arts line of action figures. These action figures filled an enormous gap, especially the Crimson Fury Ninja for anyone who wanted red ninjas in their collections. Red ninjas, as I have written elsewhere are popular
because they are a staple of many popular culture properties, such as G.I. Joe and Marvel Comics. Fwoosh’s Articulated Icons decided to release these toys for collectors and marketed them on a shoestring budget.
The Crimson Fury Ninja is an update of the Basic Red Ninja that fixes a few problems with the original release such a problematic articulations ad brittle plastic. The sleeves at the wrists have a cleaner cut allowing better rotations and pivoting of the hands. It has the same heads and props as the Basic Red Ninja. Unlike the Basic Red Ninja, the Crimson Fury Ninja has its own mythology to differentiate it from the earlier release and the other coloured variants that had the same descriptions in the initial 2015 release by Fwoosh.
The sculpt is the exact same used by other coloured ninjas by Fwoosh and newer characters such Shoken as a ninja. The gaps in the hips are too wide, showing the internal articulations. The thigh curl cuts through the entire thigh which has many folds. Such cuts look bad on an action figure when you rotate the leg. The problem is repeated for the bicep’s curls too. The arms are rectangular so when they are rotated, they look odd.
There are two heads. One is wrapped in a balaclava and the other is a modern ninja head. My initial impression of the hood was mistaken as I had not understood how the hood was added to the character’s head. The hood is added and by adjusting the peg hole of the head with the smaller opening of the hood. Once adjusted, the hood and the head are pegged on the neck’s base. They look good this way. The corrected image is below.
Crimson Fury Ninja comes with three pairs of hands. One pair grips objects. The other has a karate chop. The other one is a pair of fists. How these hands attach to the wrists is poor as they detach easily and have loose articulations.
There are not as many action figures with washes nowadays as there used to be. The Crimson Fury Ninja has such washes making his suit look dirty. For this line it is a good choice. Washes used to be popular in the early 2000s with action figures. Many manufacturers have moved away from that since and offer baseline colours with detailing instead of washes.
All Articulated Icons action figures are on the smaller side of the six-inch / one-twelve scale. There has been an escalation of the six-inch scale into the seven-inch scale since the 2000s and sometimes beyond. It seems that the larger the action figure, the better it seems. It is refreshing to see a line stick to the original ideal that six inches is the best one twelfth of a human and that bigger is not better. Thus, the Crimson Fury ninja is on the smaller size but will still look great with most G.I. Joe Classified action figures and older Marvel Legends. Marvel Legends by Toybiz tended to be on the smaller size too. However, Hasbro has in creased the size of action figures a lot in that line.
The Crimson Fury ninja looks too small next to the current Marvel Legends Hand Ninja who is closer to seven inches. However, next to older Daredevil and Iron Fist action figures the Crimson Fury Ninja looks great. Next to Snake Eyes and the Cobra Red Ninja, these guys seem like generic ninjas that oppose the G.I Joe team. It’s all good. Of course, those of you who use Fwoosh newer Shoken as a stand alone for Storm Shadow will find that he is the same size as the Crimson Red Ninja.
All Articulated Icons suffer from weak ankles and can topple easily. Posing them in action poses is not easy as they keep falling. fortunately, they have standard peg holes in their feet.
I am hoping that the next generation of Articulated Icons action figures have butterfly joints at the shoulder to give them more flexibility. These guys can still move well and much better than Marvel’s recent Hand Ninja. However, the articulations are not as good as the Red Ninja from G.I. Joe Classified. The ankles are too weak, the ab crunch is weird and not as flexible. While the head is on a ball joint and can move up and down, it is not as posable as a G.I. Joe Classified action figure.
The shoulders can move up and down, rotate and pivot. There are bicep curls, stiff double-elbow articulations, very loose wrist curls that can pivot. A waist curl which seems odd given that the abdominal can turn as well as crunch or overextend the back. The hips allow the legs to move well. There are thigh curls, stiff double-knees articulations, shin/calves curls and weak ankles that rotate and pivot.
The Crimson Fury Ninja is made of cheap PVC that give his parts a soft and too malleable feel. He does not feel durable at all.
There are many props with this figure besides the various sets of hands and the two hands. He can sport either a tactical harness or a torso strap. On the strap, there is a peg hole that when lined up with allow the two swords sheathes to plug in the back of the figure. The peg hole is not standard and thus you cannot use an action figure posing system with by plugging a peg in its back for an action pose. The sheathes can also attach on a peg hole at the back of the figure’s waist.
One sheath is for the katana while the other is for the wakizashi. There are two hoods. The hood up goes on the head of the toy while the down is set on the back of the neck. The Crimson Fury Ninja also has a kunai which cannot be stored away and lacks a string. I find that these toys have a lot of props and posing options. This is great.
All Articulated Icons action figures come in a generic looking white action figure box with minimal text describing them and pictures of other action figures from the current release. There is a typo on the box of the Crimson Fury Ninja but that is not a major problem. The box is small and thus when I received my four Articulated Icons and extra set of arms, the box was smaller than one containing a Cobra Hiss tank or just two G.I. Joe Classified. I like smart and environmentally friendly packaging such as Fwoosh’s.
Normally, these toys cost $39.99 USD with extra shipping fees as they are not available at retail stores. However, Fwoosh ran sales very often and I bought my set of Crimson Fury Ninja for $20 USD. That price should be the regular price for such toys. However, I do understand that Fwoosh’s Articulated Icons’ line is not mass-produced to the same extent as toys from larger manufacturer and that the mark up is to cover the higher cost of production. Fwoosh attempts to reuse as many parts and elements as possible, only changing the colour of its toys. The frequent sales help but collectors have to be aware of them to use them to their advantage.
The Crimson Fury Ninja is now sold out from Fwoosh and several other online retailers that carry the line. Their numbers was low when I ordered mine last month. Like most Fwoosh action figures, they will probably only be released again as improved goods and not as the original. As red ninjas are very popular right now, the Crimson Fury Ninja was a prime item for collectors wanting to stock up on a red ninja that was decent and easy for army builders. As readers can see, I ordered three of them at once.
Fwoosh has other coloured ninjas that have the exact same sculpt but different tones that sell for much less. It is the same toy over and over again. The Clan of the Midnight Whisper, the Clan of the Desert Sun Ninja, and the Clan of the Dusk Embrace Ninja are the exact same toy with different colours. You can still buy the first release of the Basic ninja in green, purple, or brown.