Hey! Eric here…This week’s Figure Friday is a bit of a departure. As you read this, I’m probably in transit somewhere over the “fly over” states as I wing my way back to Michigan.
Instead of letting this week go by without Figure Friday column I decided to ask my pal Josh if he’d be interested in filling in for me while I slack off. Thankfully, he accepted. Back when offices were a thing we worked in the same one and I knew he was going to be an okay guy when he started based on the amount of action figures in his cube. I believe the management may have asked him to tone it down a little…
Judging by his newly launched YouTube channel and the size of his collection his love of toys threatens to eclipse even mine. So, in brief, the column’s in good hands!
For a brand that taught us “Knowing is Half the Battle” the Hasbro G.I. Joe Team doesn’t always supply us with the best answers. Nevertheless, those of us who have gone down the rabbit hole of the G.I. Joe Classified Series know what to expect at this point. Do we need four Snake Eyes figures? No. Am I going to buy 4 Snake Eyes figures? Begrudgingly, YES.
The G.I. Joe Classified Series is a line of highly articulated 6-inch scale figures featuring our favourite Real American Heroes (and Villains). The latest offerings that are popping up in stores are tie-ins for the recently released, Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins. While I haven’t been able to check out the movie, I have been able to add the titular character to my Classified collection.
This is the third Snake Eyes figure in my collection. I also have a fourth Snake Eyes on pre-order that comes packaged with Timber (Snake Eyes’ loyal wolf companion). It’s safe to say we’ve hit critical mass on this line. Unless you’re a completist, it’s probably time to decide whether you NEED multiple versions of the same character. Depending on your love for Snake Eyes, your love for this movie, or even the love of the dreamy Henry Golding, your mileage may vary as to whether this figure is a “must own”.
At first glance, you may dismiss this release as a black piece of plastic devoid of any paint, and you wouldn’t be that far off. Truth be told, there’s more paint on the accessories than there is on the actual figure. However, what this figure lacks in paintwork, it makes up for in the detail work. From head to toe, Hasbro has added texture to the sculpt and alternates beautifully between a gloss and matte finish. The little paint there is pops on the figures all black canvas.
Snake Eyes poses well and features double jointed pinned elbows and knees. He can do the splits perfectly and as a bonus, has butterfly joints at the shoulders. One minor gripe is his head. Hasbro went to the trouble of adding some articulation to the neck, but then rendered that articulation pointless by adding a collar which limits his movement. He can look down really well, but he won’t be able to see an incoming aerial assault.
The accessories are sparse. You get a passable Henry Golding head sculpt, a pair of knives which have some deco sculpted into the blades, as well as Morning Light, the sword featured in the film. The weapons have been painted nicely, which hopefully is a sign of things to come. This line has been plagued with weapons that look more like Nerf offerings as opposed to the artillery needed to battle an elite terrorist organization. There are a couple of missed opportunities with the accessories. There’s nowhere on the figure to store those decorative knives, which is a bit frustrating. Additionally, we get dual trigger finger hands for a figure that comes packed with zero guns. Any figure that is skilled in hand-to-hand combat should come with at least two extra sets of hands, a pair of fists and a pair of open palm/chopping hands.
Overall, if you missed out on either of the previous Snake Eyes figures and want one on your shelf, this one will get the job done. If you have the choice between this one and the Timber 2-Pack, buy the Timber 2-Pack. It’s worth it for the wolf alone.
Snake Eyes’ mortal frenemy, Storm Shadow, has also recently returned to the Classified line. While only the second version of this character that Hasbro offered, it still isn’t the one that fans have been begging for. This version is another movie tie in for Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, and while it looks similar to the classic Storm Shadow that fans have longed for, it isn’t going to scratch that itch.
The yin to Snake Eyes yang, Storm Shadow normally wears all white. This version looks more like an off white or cream. Storm Shadow incorporates many of the tricks that Snake Eyes does with the paintwork, or more appropriately, lack thereof. He alternates the matte/gloss finishes nicely and there are some nice silver accents on his upper body. Anyone who has ever tried to custom their own figures will have an added appreciation for the fine detailing that has been added.
Storm Shadow has much of the same articulation as Snake Eyes with a few notable exceptions. On the plus side, that collar that limited Snake Eyes’ head movement is not present on Storm Shadow. This allows the neck articulation to maximize its potential. Note to all toy manufacturers: This is EXACTLY the range of motion we want in our figures. More of this in the future, please. On the negative side, Storm Shadow has some shoulder pads that can be a little tricky to tuck into the joint. I can easily see people damaging their figure if they’re not careful. Storm Shadow also features a plastic belt/half skirt to complete his look. Soft goods might have been a better way to go, but at $20, that rarely ever happens. The plastic does limit some of the range of motion on the legs, but it’s minimal.
Hasbro again went light on the accessories with this figure. Two katanas and a scabbard to carry them on his back. Add in an alternate Andrew Koji head sculpt, which is better than the Henry Golding sculpt, and that’s it. This figure suffers the same issue as Snake Eyes in that he only comes with trigger finger hands. This is another big oversight on Hasbro’s part. For the lack of paintwork and accessories on both figures, it’s a big let down that they didn’t go all out in this area. Look at the Marvel Legends Shang-Chi figure from the Demogoblin wave. That figure had five sets of hands. They could have provided a similar offering here and given us more perceived value.
Ultimately, this is a solid ninja figure, but it’s not a very good Storm Shadow figure. If you didn’t grab the previous Artic Mission Storm Shadow or weren’t a fan of that style, you’ll probably not be any happier with this version. I think people would have been a lot more receptive to this figure had they made it a brighter white and added a pop of color with a Cobra or Arashikage logo. As it sits, it’s not as disappointing as the movie it’s based on, but it also fails to deliver on what Joe fans were hoping for.
Josh Wallen is a content creator that loves sharing his collection via figure photography and enhancing it with 3D Printing. Subscribe to his YouTube channel: Cap Cave and follow him on Twitter and Instagram @Cap10America.