The Red Ninjas first appeared in G.I. Joe comic issue #21 where while training with Storm Shadow, they fought Snake Eyes and Scarlett In a Cobra castle in the Balkans. Members of the Arashikage ninja clan, they are allies of Storm Shadow and previously trained with Snake Eyes. The Red Ninjas work for Cobra. Since, there has been many versions of the Red Ninjas in comics, as action figures, in films, and television.
Part of the second wave of G.I. Joe Classified, the Red Ninjas are now Cobra’s hired assassins and Cobra Commander’s bodyguards. I passed on this action figure when it was released thinking that I did not need a ninja troop builder but later changed my mind and became enamoured with all Red Ninjas.
The Red Ninja has an original design and looks nothing like any previous versions of the character. Here, the Red Ninja looks mostly like an updated Night Creeper with the hood and the crimson colours they used to wear. The character that looks the most like the Red Ninja is Snake Eyes, as Hasbro reused most of sculpt. As an Arashikage clan, it seems normal for them to look like Snake Eyes, while wearing reddish versions of the commando’s black uniform.
The look chosen for the Red Ninja differs from other recent red ninja-like characters who wear more classic attire. It feels somewhat gaudy and extravagant as if the character was a samurai and not a covert operative. At the same time the armour does protect them from attacks as they fight G.I. Joe and other enemies.
Snake Eyes’s sculpt has been adorned with many plates and forms to give the Red Ninja an original look. While I would have preferred a more sober look, I find the figure incredible and filled with intricate details such as scales and other textures. The shoulder pads are a bit extravagant. The placement of the sheathes get in the way of the figure and would not be practical for a real-life fighter.
There is no shading on the painted parts of the action figure. The armour he wears covers his arms and legs. His face also has black paint. The scarlet paint almost matches the colour of the plastic armour he wears. The paint application is clean. His eyes are white on top of a sliver of light skin tone base.
Red Ninja is a tad taller than Snake Eyes because of his hood. He is smaller than most male G.I. Joe Classified action figures which is good for a ninja. Ninjas should never be too tall. Next to the gigantic Hand Ninja
, he looks good too. Fwoosh’s Articulated Icon Crimson Ninja
are shorter than the Red Ninja but still look very good next to him.
Many Red Ninjas, just like Snake Eyes suffer from wobbly and loose articulations. Surprisingly, my copy of this action figure is strong and solid. It does not suffer from the loose and wobbly articulations of most Red Ninjas and Snake Eyes. Even with a full gear pack on his back, he will stand well. He is also easy to pose although he may not keep his balance when standing on just one foot. His feet are a bit short and he has a lot of gear of his chest, but he still keeps his balance quite well when compared with other action figures.
Red Ninja has several articulations that are not encumbered by the armour he wears. His neck and head are on a ball joint and both moved quite well. His butterfly shoulders are a bit stiff. His shoulder articulations move up to his shoulder pads. He has bicep curls and wrist curls. There is a hinge in the wrists allowing them to move sideways instead of up and down. This is to help with the handling of weapons. Some G.I. Joe Classified have a combination of both types of articulations, spread over different wrists.
Of course, Red Ninja has a abdominal crunch and a ball joint waist allowing him to twist but also rotate a bit. This articulation is a bit stiff, and I dare not use it too much not to break the action figure. The waist piece with the sash makes it difficult to use. Red Ninja has the usual dropdown hip articulations that help when trying to make him do a Jean-Paul van Damme split. It works well but when moving the right leg, whichever sword is in the holster will get in the way of the motion to some extent.
Of course, He has thigh curls, double knee and double elbow articulations. For the elbows, some collectors may dislike that the joints are not painted the same colour as the scarlet armour. The action figure also has shin curls and extensible ankle joints that go up and down, and can rock sideways.
The plastic is strong and seems to be PVC. The armour is made of softer material that has a rubber-like feeling.
Many of the bladed props that came with the Deluxe Snake Eyes action figure that started the G.I. Joe Classified line have been included with the Red Ninja. That includes a katana (the longer sword), a wakizashi (the shorter sword), two sais, two kamas, and two axes to which thin ropes can be attached to. Red Ninja has one extra ax compared to the Deluxe Snake Eyes. None of the weapons have painted blades which makes them look plain even though it’s great to have so many weapons.
The Red Ninja comes in the usual G.I. Joe Classified box and is numbered 08. The box features artwork by artist Furio Tedeschi. The back of the box has a generic G.I Joe Classified art with a depiction of several of the characters that had been released since.
The Red Ninja should retail for about $19.99 USD, and between $29.99-32.99 CAD. When these were released in the summer 2020, they were rare and so many scalpers sold them at an inflated price on auction sites and online stores. Since, availability of the toy has increased and he can be found at its regular price.
As mentioned just above, at first, there was a fake scarcity of this action figure but since, Hasbro has provided more than enough Red Ninjas for anyone who wants them. Of course, these are army builders and many collectors have chosen to purchase several. Originally, I wanted to buy tow, then three, but I only have one for now. Having bought several Marvel Hand Ninjas and Fwoosh Crimson Ninjas, I find that my lone Red Ninja looks more like a squad or a pack leader for all my red-themed ninjas. Because of his unique sculpt and look as a reddish ninja, he looks much better when surrounded by his posses than as part of his own pack. But if I change my mind, I’ll have to hunt for more quickly as these are not peg warmers.
I like this action figure a lot. It looks different than other red ninjas and is a repaint of the original Snake Eyes. But it is a good repaint. It is one of the new classic G.I Joe Classified action figures that Hasbro nailed from the get-go. I wasn’t even into red ninjas and because of this dude, I’ve stock up on my army-building of ninjas.