YAY Ninja Force!
As a kid in the late 80s, early 90s, ninjas were pretty much the be all, end all. My first ever exposure to the term “ninja” was with Storm Shadow, and that opened these doors for me into great films and stories throughout the next decade.
Ninja Force, first released in 91 felt like it kind of came on the tail end of the ninja craze, but it had some spectacular, somewhat outlandish designs that worked really well with the 90s era of G.I. Joe.
Unfortunately many of those figures were hampered by spring-loaded action features that either ruined the aesthetics, or wrecked the play value of the figure. Thankfully the G.I. Joe Collectors Club has been making an effort in recent years to fix some of those mistakes.
Slice, Dice, and TJBang are a few of their modern revisits, and each one has been a very successful take on these colorful characters. Nunchuk is much the same.
Using modern parts like Airtight’s legs, with 30th Anniversary Storm Shadow’s torso and arms, they’ve cobbled together a pretty effective Nunchuk update, who has the right ninja/martial arts elements, but also is more of a combat based figure, too. He’s got terrific articulation, and the use of modern parts means the sculpting and overall design of the figure is really great.
I will say I’m not real wild about the decision to just use the clunky mask from the Training Storm Shadow. I’m not sure what existing alternative could have been selected, but this doesn’t look a whole lot like Nunchuk from that perspective. Also, the singular Storm Shadow chest strap makes the figure look a little empty in the torso, too. Again, not sure what else could have been used, but this doesn’t feel like quite the right formula, and it’s not even vintage accurate.
The color scheme is good, using the familiar green uniform with black tiger stripe camouflage, with black wrists and boots. It’s a good look and a very nice update to the original.
As one might suspect, Nunchuk comes with… nunchuks. As well as a pair of swords, sais, and the darts that Storm Shadow came with. He has the sheath on his back from the Storm Shadow strap, and that about covers is. Pretty straight forward accessories that work fine, though part of me would have loved for him to come with a crazy scimitar looking thing like the original did.
Simply from the new parts and modern construction, I consider this figure a win, even though there are some cosmetic changes I would have recommended. The head and webgear are two changes that could have made a big difference, but even as it stands, I’m excited about a Ninja Force update and Nunchuk is a cool addition to the FSS. Now I need me some Dojo, Snake Eyes, and Scarlett! At the very least!
FSS 4.0 Nunchuk
The latest addition to the modern era Ninja Force, Nunchuk does a great job approximating his vintage look, while taking advantage of the modern style. His paint scheme is relatively close, though muted compared to the vintage look. While he’s got a number of cool accessories, the simple Storm Shadow sash leaves me a bit dry, and I would have liked to have seen a little more ingenuity there.
I’ve also done a video review of this figure on YouTube! Check out that video review below: