Appearing in Special Marvel Edition (1973), Shang-Chi is the Master of kung fu, one of the best hand-to-hand fighters in the Marvel universe as well as the son of the infamous villain, Fu Manchu. A product of his age, Shang-Chi is as much a rip off of Bruce Lee combined with the pulp mythos of his infamous father, Fu Manchu. While not the first Shang-Chi action figure, I believe the one released in 2020 by Hasbro is the first in the 1:12/six-inch scale. The other ones that I have found were in 1:6 scale and one 1999 five-inch action figure. Shang-Chi is due to have a new Marvel movie in 2021 so Hasbro saw fit to release this action figure months ahead of the film.
The likeness of Shang-Chi that the action figure depicts is the shirtless look he often had in his old comics and later when he was not wearing his jacket. The red band around his head is there along with the orange circles at the end of his pants. He sports a black belt but no wrist guards. Of course, the Shang-Chi action figure is barefoot. The resemblance to the comic character is incredible and pleasing. Even his skin tone is not peachy but more South-East Asian looking.
Of course, one of the best qualities of Shang-Chi is being a great stand in for generic Asian martial artists from popular culture such as Mortal Kombat’s Liu Kang, Bruce Lee, Jet Lee, and evidently, G.I. Joe’s Quick Kick. Here is a not-so secret revelation. I bought the Shang-Chi action figure as a stand in for Quick Kick in my G.I. Joe Classified collection. As with many, I do not expect a Quick Kick action figure by Hasbro anytime soon, but the company struck gold with this generic Asian martial artist character. Many collectors have repainted Shang-Chi’s pants black and his head band white to closely match him with Quick Kick. The final addition is to put a strap on his chest and give him a sword. That should be quite easy with all the spare parts one can find to outfit an action figure these days.
The sculpt used for Shang-Chi’s torso is one Hasbro has used often in its Marvel Legends’ line. The face sculpt is great, however, the bandana around his head is long and seems to “float” permanently. The head’s connection with the neck is, unfortunately, awful. The head floats on top of a pedestal and there is little coverage of gaps. Thus, Shang-Chi will not look good when viewed from his profile. The head easily floats sideways making him look worse. The ball joint in his neck is too high up the head. The head should have been lowered so that little gaps exist with the neck. There are nice folds on his pants sculpt in. Compared to other Marvel Legends action figures such as Quicksilver and Magneto, Shang-Chi’s head is smaller but well proportioned with his body.
There is minimal paint on this action figure. Mostly the base plastic is Shang-Chi’s colour. Only the ridges of the pants, the facial features and, funnily, the nipples on his chest. There is no shading but that still works as the plastic is of a good colour.
Shang-Chi is tall but fits in well with other Marvel Legends action figures like the Hand Ninja, Quicksilver, and the Scarlet Witch. He also looks very good with G.I. Joe Classified action figures, although he towers over Duke, Snake Eyes, and is almost as tall as Destro. If you intend to use him as a Quick Kick replacement, he will be fine, but on the taller side. He may look quite short next to either McFarlane Toys’ and Storm Collectibles’ Mortal Kombat action figures and that is a bummer as Shang-Chi is a martial artist.
Shang-Chi is stable enough even though his soles are not flat but round. He also has no ped hole in his feet so there is no way to put him on an action figure stand unless you drill a hole yourself. Because some of his ankles’ joints are stiff, it will be difficult to pose him properly. On my action figure, his right foot is a bit stuck, and I dare not pull it being afraid of breaking his foot. It makes the right leg seem longer than the left one and makes stability a problem at times.
If you purchased Shang-Chi recently, you would notice that Hasbro has added a peg hole in his back in newer toys so that you can use an action figure elevated stand so that you can pose him mid-air delivering a kick. The original version of Shang-Chi from Hasbro that came out in 2020 does not have a peg hole in its back.
Shang-Chi’s articulations are plenty. He has great butterfly shoulders, bicep curls, double elbow joints, wrist curls that can move up and down. Shang-Chi’s head is on a ball joint but can also go up or down. He has a ab crunch and can turn at the waist. He cannot perform a full Van Damme split with his hip articulations. Of course, Shang-Chi has double articulations, shin curls and pivoting ankles that can move up or down. The good thing about Shang-Chi is that he has many pair of hands that one can use to create great poses. He has five pairs of hands in all.
The plastic used for Shang-Chi is very good. The soft PVC is only used for the head and hair. The other PVC is strong enough. The torso is made of less flexible plastic that is very durable. The polish on the skin tone is matte which is very good and adds to the quality of the action figure.
Shang-Chi comes with the torso of the Demoglobin build-a-figure villain, two nunchakus and six extra pairs of hands. He has karate hands, scratching hands, grabbing hands, grasping hands, and fists. One nunchaku is bent, as if he was holding one hand under his armpit. The other one is straight. With all these hands and nunchakus, you can create many poses. This is quite a good selection.
The box art features the painted standard illustration used by Hasbro for Marvel Legends action figures. In the back, there are a few details about Shang-Chi and the rest of the line allowing collectors to form the full Demoglobin action figure.
Shang-Chi should retail for about $19.99USD or $29.99CAD. I have seen him retail for a bit more as if he were a rare action figure. He is not at this time, a year after his release.
This is not a rare action figure, even though it was released a year ago, as I am writing this article. As there is a new variant with a peg hole in the back, we know that Hasbro produced more of this action figure to meet demand, using the opportunity to improve the toy. While he may not be at large general retailers, it should be fairly easy to find this toy at specialty retailers, comic book stores, or online retailers. With the movie coming up soon, Shang-Chi will definitely be produced in large quantities so that new audiences who discover him can purchase his action figure.