Storm Shadow (Paris Pursuit)

I still remember looking a bit sideways at the figures during Toy Fair 2009 in New York City. I believe my exact words were "they want us to buy that Storm Shadow just because he's got no mask?" I think I might have actually scoffed, but I did it under my breath.

Now that I have the figure, all I can say is, "what the hell was I thinking?" I did in fact buy that Storm Shadow because he had no mask, and all it did was make me question why I bought the first Storm Shadow with the mask. This figure surpasses it in pretty much every possible way.

In my review for the Arctic Assault Storm Shadow, I ranted and raved about how Hasbro was doing an awesome job totally rethinking the way they were doing Storm Shadow figures. For the first time in a while, I felt like I didn't get ripped off when I bought yet another white ninja, this time with a different hat (or swords as the case may be). Well, essentially this Storm Shadow is yet another white ninja, with a different hat (or head), but I don't feel like I got the least bit ripped off. This figure is fantastic.

When I first saw Storm Shadow, I admit feeling a bit squirrely. Yeah, he was pretty much pulled directly from the Reloaded comics (or appeared to be) with the flowing white trench coat, the buckles all over the place, and really looked sort of silly. Well, the look has definitely grown on me over the past few months, and now every time I watch that two minute clip from, I love Storm Shadow's look more and more. The dapper businessman in stark white pants who can kill you four different ways just by looking at you. And considering this figure is a step-by-step duplication of the version of Storm Shadow that appears in that clip, how can I help but love him?

In spite of the figure looking remarkably like the first version, there is a wealth of new tooling in here on the arms, the torso, and of course, the head. Each bit of new parts seems to eclipse the previous ones and I find myself really enjoying this figure immensely. He's got the movie Storm Shadow look, but without the movement-restricting coat, and without the scabbard permanently stuck into his back. He's an improvement everywhere.

I mean, look at that head sculpt. He's so sex-- errr, I mean "bad ass". Yeah, he's so bad ass, that's it. In all seriousness, it's an amazing likeness of the actor, and can also double as Tommy from your Real American Hero days. The sculpted secondary collar is an amazing idea, and doesn't restrict head movement at all. He's mostly white with just the right amount of silver trim, and of course the trusty COBRA logo on his chest. But this figure also comes loaded down with gear.

There is, of course, the ubiquitous spring-loaded rocket launcher, which Hasbro seemed to try to make at least a little bit like the nanotech launcher that the first version came with. There's also his trusty suction cup rocking horse. Actually, I think that's a pretty cool little device, though I'm not sure exactly what he's supposed to do with it. Sure, he can stick on a window and hold on to the handlebars, but then what? Hang there for a while? Perhaps something in the movie will trigger an idea, I don't know.

He's also got the same backpack and twin swords that version 1 came with, as well as a pair of very nice sai's. His pulse pistol is also done up in silver and white, which is a very nice touch. Like the first version, he's also got a holster on his hip that holds it pretty darn well, even if it sticks up just a little bit. Most of his weapons are multicolored, and I'm really liking that, actually, especially with this particular figure.

The figure sculpt is fantastic. The buckled-leather look is really growing on me, and this figure looks like he stepped off the movie screen. His weapons are great, the paint applications are sparse, but accurate, and overall, this is a picture perfect version of Storm Shadow as he runs the streets of Paris. Great articulation, and a very nice figure all around. If you're on the fence between this version and version 1, I heartily recommend passing on version 1 entirely and picking up this one. Sure, you don't have the movie-accurate nanotech launcher, but that's a small price to pay to make sure you get the right version of the COBRA ninja.

Buy this figure at Big Bad Toy Store!