#2785: Evil Ryu

EVIL RYU

STREET FIGHTER II MINIMATES

What better way to wrap up my Street Fighter II Minimates reviews than with a character who’s not even in Street Fighter II at all?*  Evil Ryu is a pretty straight forward concept, with all real questions about his nature answered by the name.  He’s a corrupted version of the generally heroic Ryu, who has succumbed to the power of the “Satsui no Hado” (“Surge of Muderous Intent”), which is the thing that powers Akuma.  He was first worked into the games in Street Fighter Alpha 2, and has been a recurring concept since.  He’s not really a separate character, but is more of a “What if?” surrounding Ryu giving into evil at some point in the future.  He’s also a pretty simple re-paint of a standard Ryu, making him a very easy repaint.  Hence, so many toys.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Evil Ryu was originally released in a two-pack with Shin Akuma, an Akuma variant.  The pair were exclusive to Hollywood Video of all places.  Yes, the number two video rental store opted for an exclusive item.  Kinda weird, huh?  He was also packed with Morrigan, Dimitri, and standard Akuma as one of a pair of four-packs, aimed at making these a little easier to get, I guess?  The two releases were effectively identical, so it doesn’t really matter, I suppose.  The figure is built on the standard post-c3 body, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  Construction on this guy is identical to the standard Ryu, as you’d expect.  Those pieces are good pieces, so he’s still pretty darn cool.  The paint marks the main change-up.  For the most part, it’s a palette swap, with generally darker colors present.  He does get an all-new facial expression, which is more intense even than the already more intense P2-color version.  He’s real mad, and his eyes are now red and pupil-less.  Additionally, he has gained the kanji character that was present on Akuma, signifying his corruption by the Satsui no Hado.  Likewise, his energy effect piece is now the same purple as Akuma’s.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As with most of the SF2 Minimates, I didn’t get Evil Ryu new, in his case largely because my local Hollywood Video was rather downtrodden, and never saw these sets.  He was probably the figure I wanted the most out of the whole set, truth be told, because it’s a look I’ve always kinda liked.  Thankfully, I was able to get him at the same time as the others, courtesy of All Time Toys.  He’s a pretty fun figure, as are all of the SF2 ‘mates.  It’s a shame this line didn’t take off, because it certainly had the effort put into it.  It’s also a shame that a third of its slots were devoted to Darkstalkers…

*Okay, that’s not entirely true; Evil Ryu was added to the roster for SFII in its Ultra incarnation…which was released 11 years after this figure…better late than never, right?  Beyond that, though, he was also featured in the SFII manga, and one of the animated films.  So, it’s not the craziest thing, I suppose.

#2771: Ryu & Akuma

RYU & AKUMA

STREET FIGHTER II MINIMATES

2005 into 2006 marked a rather turbulent time for the Minimates brand.  DST and Art Asylum were definitely trying to expand it, but there was some trouble with that.  Attempts to add DC and Lord of the Rings kind of fell through, so a desire for other licenses to replace them was building.  Marvel, still the flagship line, went on hiatus for over a year, while they tried to regroup on other licenses.  In early 2006, they attempted to get into the video game character market with Minimates based on the classic fighting game Street Fighter II, hoping that might be the thing that took off and saved the line.  Spoilers: it wasn’t.  In the line’s one and only assortment, we got some of the game’s heavy hitters, which included today’s figures, Ryu and Akuma!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Ryu and Akuma were released in the standard retail assortment of Street Fighter II Minimates.  The two of them were based on their standard Player 1 colors, but there was also an AFX-exclusive variant pack that put them in their P2 colors, as well as changing up their expressions.  The standard versions also surfaced overseas as part of a blind-box assortment, which also featured the P2 colors, but this time without the changed expressions.

RYU

Ryu, one of two character’s carried over from the first game, is arguably the star of the Street Fighter series, so he’s certainly a sensible choice for the line-up.  He’s seen here in his standard white gi with red accents set-up.  The figure was built on the standard base body, so he’s about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  He has four add-on pieces, for his hair, the bottom of his robe, and his hand bracers.  It’s honestly a pretty nice selection of parts, and matches up pretty well with his in-game sprite, while still helping him remain consistent with the overall ‘mate aesthetic.  There’s still some flow and expression to the parts, but they aren’t overly detailed like some later parts would be.  His details are handled largely through paint work, of course, and it’s pretty nicely done.  The face has just enough detail to really capture the character, and his body is well defined.  I appreciate that they’ve gone to the trouble of actually outline the edges of his sleeves and pants, so that they’re a little more defined.  Interestingly, like Spider-Woman from last week, Ryu is totally painted.  It looks nice, so I can’t really complain.  Ryu is packed with a blue effects piece, presumably meant to replicate his Haduken attack, which makes for some fun posing options.

AKUMA

Facing off against Ryu is the game’s hidden final boss, Akuma, a pretty solid opponent for Ryu.  He’s built rather similarly to Ryu, which is honestly appropriate.   The only part that’s actually shared between the two is the arm bracer piece, which works well for both of them.  His hair is obviously a new piece, as is the skirt piece, which they could have probably gotten away with re-using, but they didn’t, so good for them.  He also gets a new piece for the necklace as well, which is something that could have been painted on, but wasn’t, and is honestly the better for it.  The hair’s a little bit devoid of detail, which makes it look a little wonky, but for the most part it looks okay.  The detail work on this guy is a good match for Ryu, and he is likewise totally painted.  I appreciate that they actually changed up the tampo for the torso detailing, as that’s another area where they didn’t *have* to change it.  Akuma is packed with the same effects piece as Ryu, but in purple instead of blue.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The SFII Minimates line was one I really wanted to support, but it was one that I unfortunately didn’t really see in person.  The only ones I ever found were the P2 colors for these two, which got clearance out at KB toys of all places.  Interestingly, my Ryu from that set was erroneously the single pack version, so I never had the changed up expression for him.  I eventually got the chance to get the proper P1 versions when All Time got in that big Minimates collection back in 2019, which I was pretty happy about.  These two are well made to be sure, and it’s a shame the line didn’t take off the way DST hoped they would.