ARCTIC MISSION STORM SHADOW
G.I. JOE: CLASSIFIED SERIES (HASBRO)
Even before G.I. Joe went heavy into its ninjas, they’d been present for a while. While everyone associates Snake Eyes with the whole ninja thing, it’s worth noting that he wasn’t so much responsible for bringing it into the franchise, since in 1982 he was still just a commando. It was actually Storm Shadow’s arrival on the scene in 1984 that really ushered in the ninjas, with Snake Eyes getting a bit of a re-work to match Storm Shadow’s ninja skills for the other side. The two have subsequently become rather intertwined, and ninjas have become a fixed piece of the mythos. So, it’s not too much of a shock that Storm Shadow cropped up pretty quickly for this new incarnation of the line.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Arctic Mission Storm Shadow is figure 14 in the G.I. Joe: Classified Series line-up, and is an Amazon-exclusive item. He’s our first Storm Shadow, so it’s kind of interesting that he’s an environment-specific figure, rather than an all-purpose version. That said, with the exclusive status on this guy, it makes sense to do something a little bit less standard, while still giving us a taste of the character. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 37 points of articulation. In the history of environmental specific Joe appearances and Storm Shadows, there’s not actually been an Arctic Storm Shadow (well, okay, there was *technically* one in Sigma 6, but he was just the standard figure with the arms painted grey, so it’s iffy), so this is *technically* a new design. That being said, he’s actually *not* really a new design, because Hasbro’s aptly repurposed Storm Shadow’s Ninja Force design for this release. As with any of the designs for this line, there have been some adjustments to update it, give it that slightly sci-fi bend, and just generally fill the larger canvas a bit better, but the broad strokes are certainly all there, and I really like how this thing turned out. There are a ton of layers to this design, and the most impressive part of it all is definitely the mask and removable hood. The original figure had a permanently attached hood, but this one takes advantage of the scale and modern innovation for the removable factor, allowing a lot more depth of detail to the underlying mask, and the neck and collar of his uniform. There’s a lot of really cool details I like in there. The figure’s shoulder pads are also designed much like Baroness’s from yesterday, moving on their own, and allowing for more movement on the shoulders. Another touch I like quite a bit is the absence of any sort of a Cobra insignia from his outfit; the Ninja Force figure was released while Storm Shadow had switched over to the Joes, so he didn’t have the Cobra logo, obviously. Since this figure is *technically* still a Cobra, he can’t very well have any Joe logos either, so instead he got his Arashikage emblem, which definitely looks cool. Storm Shadow’s paint work is what really sells the Ninja Force-esque design, with the proper black and white with gold accents. It’s pretty clean and slick, and he’s also got printed eyes, which keep him nice and lifelike. Storm Shadow is packed with another impressive selection of accessories, including a bow, arrow, quiver, sword, sheath, grapple, and sickle. It pretty much covers all of the major bases for what a Storm Shadow could need, so I definitely dig it.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Since this is an Amazon exclusive, it’s probably not too hard to piece together where this guy came from. He went up for order, and I ordered him, and then I received him in the mail. Very exciting story, right? Obviously, I had Snake Eyes, and I needed a Storm Shadow to pair off with him. I gotta say, while he may not be standard, I really dig how they managed to get this particular design out there, and it makes for a really fun figure. I can’t wait to see how the proper version turns out. Also, can we possibly get a V4-inspired “Arctic” Snake Eyes to pair off with him? Because that would make me very happy.