Figure Friday: “Ultra Street Fighter II Ryu” by Jada Toys

Jada Toys has gotten plenty of love from me in the past. I’ve enjoyed their General Mills Cereal and Universal Monsters figures. When I heard they were doing Street Fighter II figures, I was eager to see what they could do with the license. Storm Collectibles currently makes a premium format line of Street Fighter figures that also come with premium price tags. Jada offering something a little more budget conscious was music to my ears. Could they deliver the goods or would the Street Fighters suffer a first round knockout? Let’s take a look at Ryu from their Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers line.

I don’t normally highlight a figure’s packaging, but when they absolutely nail it, I have to call it out. Designed to look like an arcade cabinet, the collector friendly packaging does a great job of displaying the figure inside. If you decide to keep these mint on card, they’ll look great on display, but you’d deprive yourself of one hell of a figure.

Out of the box, Ryu is a dream to pose. He has good firm joints and balances really well. You can get him in just about every one of his iconic poses or signature moves without much effort. There’s not a pin in sight and whatever magic plastic they’ve used to make Ryu’s gi should be incorporated into as many figure lines as possible. It’s flexible enough to allow for a good range of motion while retaining the detail work that has been sculpted in. It’s the perfect blend of form and function. Double jointed knees and elbows. Butterfly joints in the shoulders. A barbell headpeg on an articulated neck. Ryu has all the bells and whistles of a premium format figure at less than half the price.

If the figure itself wasn’t enough, Jada has packed in a small backdrop, two heads, two sets of hands (fists and hadouken hands), as well as a blue hadouken fireball with stand. The fireball has some hands sculpted into it, which feels unnecessary, and isn’t ideal for figure photography. If that’s my one minor complaint about this figure, I’ll take it. Overall, this is an outstanding first offering from Jada. I didn’t plan on being all in on this line, but if Ryu is any indication of what’s to come, my wallet is already tapping out.

Wave 1 of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers consists of Ryu, Chun Li, and Fei Long. Jada has also shown off figures of Ken, M. Bison, and Dhalsim at recent conventions. I’m excited to see what they do with some of the larger figures like E. Honda or Zangief, or what kind of effect they pack in for a character like Blanka. At this point it will be hard for me to pass up any of the original fighters and that first expansion into Turbo. It’s safe to say that Jada has a hit on their hands with The Final Challengers. If you’re a fan of the franchise, these figures are perfect.

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