G.I. Joe Combat Heroes Review: Storm Shadow & Barbecue

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Every toy line has that one figure that is absolutely perfect. The toy that is the best of what the toy has to represent and often goes beyond just being a toy and becoming a piece of art and engineering. The best example ever is Masterpiece Optimus Prime and NECA’s TMNT which are things of beauty and marvel. So while no little Combat Hero can ever create that same sense of awe, this little ninja is in a league all of his own.

Storm Shadow is the foil to G.I. Joe’s Snake Eyes. The white ninja that fell from grace, and depending on the continuity, returned to fight along side his sword brother. So while Storm Shadow suffers from odd differences in his characterization, there’s one constant that holds true: he’s a ninja.

During the late 70s and throughout the 80s, the ninja quickly became known throughout popular culture. So the G.I. Joe mythos turned the Arashikage clan into a driving force in the comic books. So if you only watched the cartoons, you knew Storm Shadow as the white ninja who worked for Cobra. But if you read the comics, he became one of the most well rounded characters.

Storm Shadow is wearing his traditional white gi that he wore during his time at Cobra before defecting to the G.I. Joe side. He looks like the iconic ninja with baggy pants, a gi, a fully covered face and his two-toed tabi. His wrists are wrapped (covering up his tattoo) and he’s holding two swords, a katana in his right and a wakizashi in his left. Strapped to his back are two sheaths and a quiver full of arrows with the Arashikage symbol on it.

The fabric sculpt is amazingly well done. It really looks like there is a body underneath it. His belt and chest strap are sculpted elements and his bare arms have muscles and don’t look pudgy like some figures.

The phrase “super poseable” has been meaning different things for years. A super poseable DC Direct figure is different from a Marvel Legend. So when I say that Storm Shadow is super poseable, I mean he has six points of articulation.

Most figures released in this style are lucky to get three or four points, so the fact that Storm Shadow manages to get six is amazing. What’s even more amazing is all of the articulation is useful! Storm Shadow moves at the shoulders, wrists, waist and neck. It’s the perfect amount of articulation for a figure this size.

The paint on Storm Shadow is fairly basic. He’s a white ninja, so that means any slop would be immediately noticeable. The paint on Storm Shadow is perfect with one exception, on his right side there is an area painted that I can’t tell what it is. It’s where the figure’s knife should be, but it almost looks like part of the strap for his quiver. The rest of the paint is excellent from his painted sandals to his eyes under his mask.

Amazingly enough, this a two-pack. While Storm Shadow steals the show, the other figure in this pack is really well done. Barbecue is the G.I. Joes fireman who is now probably best known as a lover of pork chop sandwiches.

While Barbecue claims to be a fireman, I don’t think he knows exactly what firemen are supposed to do. He’s a guy in a bright orange body suit with a face mask that looks like an AIM Agent while brandishing a giant axe that has a spiked handle! He’s got a gun on his hip and a backpack that looks suspiciously like a jetpack.

Barbecue is pretty much only two colors: orange and dark gray. His visor, beak and hatchet head are black and silver but the rest of him is two colors. Thankfully, all the paint is well done and in the lines.

The big issue with Barbecue stems from his articulation and pose. This figure’s got some major balancing issues. He’s got a slight lean and easily tumbles. It’s hard to correct because his arm has an odd bend in it, so it looks broken in some poses. Barbecue moves at the shoulders, waist and neck.

One last thing about Barbecue is that it looks like his figure was suppose to have a hose that connects his gun to his backpack. Both parts have a small hole that looks like a hose would fit in but I’m glad it wasn’t included since it would have limited his waist articulation.

If Barbecue had been paired with anyone other than Shadow Storm, he’d be looking great. But Storm Shadow is just absolutely excellent. The paint, the design and the articulation make him possibly the best Hasbro Hero figure released.

G.I. Joe Combat Heroes Wave 2
Scarlett & DestroStorm Shadow & Barbecue
Beachhead & SerpentorFlint & Baroness

Written by jestergoblin

June 7th, 2010 at 12:00 am

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