Like the Mission: Circuit Breaker set, I wasn't sure originally what my thoughts on Nightblade would be. While I've been really loving the vehicles in the 2.5" line, the figures have been hit or miss. Since this pack, like the Circuit Breaker pack, was all figures, I was a little cautious about my reaction to this set.

Well, I ended up with a lot of the same feelings as the Circuit Breaker pack, but at least with this pack I can really see that there is some potential here, if Hasbro comes through and starts beefing up the articulation as I suspect they will do in the near future.


Like every other set out there, the artwork is fantastic and the presentation is near-perfect. The Mission Manual provides some fun as well:

So as always the package look is near perfect...but how are the toys?

The Toys

While I've already gotten a ton of Dukes with the 2.5" stuff I've bought, I hadn't seen a whole lot of Snake Eyes figures, at least not until I bought these last three sets. This set gives you not only Snake Eyes, but also his sword brother (and arch enemy) Storm Shadow, Kamakura, his apprentice, and a Ninja BAT. These are all martial arts/infiltration-based miniature action statues, but they do manage to have some sort of neat design asthetics and play features.

There are still some strange body positions, those pesky unremovable bases, and a lack of articulation, but some of these figures at least look pretty fun, which is cool in and of itself.

First of all, we'll start with Snake Eyes. Snake Eyes is...strange, to put it mildly. Firmly attached to a rock base with sculpted bullet impacts, at first glance, his position looks to be dramatic as he charges over ricochets, weapon drawn, and whipstar out and ready. But once you start looking more closely at the figure, you see that it's kind of oddly posed.

Like the version that comes with the VAMP, his head almost looks to be in a permenant upward glance, which doesn't really match the rest of the figure. His shoulders are nicely ball jointed, but it doesn't make much difference, because no matter how you pose his arms, the head pose kind of negates any other realistic looking position the figure can be placed in to.

His hips have swivel joints, but since his feet are attached to the base, that doesn't make much difference. A swivel waist also gives him a little more flexibility.

His whipstar is attached to a real string, which is kinda cool, and has a magnet inside, which can match up and hook onto Storm Shadow's sweeping sword. An interesting little feature, but not deal breaking or anything.

Fighting alongside Snake Eyes is his apprentice Kamakura, and in spite of the lack of articulation I find this little figure kinda cool in a "Heroclix" kind of way. That's been a shortcoming of some of the figures so far, in that they weren't poseable enough to be figures, and they weren't positioned neatly enough to work as mini-statues either. Well, even though Kamakura has limited articulation, his pose is pretty neat, and the sculpting is clean. He looks toy-accurate and is pretty well-painted.

His arms are in a dramatic striking pose, which works...he does have swivel shoulders, but in that position that doesn't matter much. His waist swivels...kind of. There is a spring-back feature in there that allows the figure to "really strike". He is permenantly attached to his base, which does kind of stink, but the mini figure still looks interesting enough.

His weapon is surprisingly modular, too. I didn't realize this at first, but those caps come off the sword and staff, so he can have two individual weapons instead of them being connected. Of course, his arms don't allow them to really be used realistically, but it's neat, anyway.

Storm Shadow also proves to have a lot of the same positives as Kamakura. I do like his dramatic pose, and he has ball jointed shoulders which are always a plus. Of course the way he's holding his weapons, there is still a lack of versatility to what positions he can be put in.

His waist is swivel, but his hips are limited to no articulation, and he is attached to that base, too.

But, he still works okay as a little mini figure and looks kinda cool, even though he's not a functional figure at all. His sword looks pretty neat sculpted the way it is, and the magnet is worked inside to work off of the magnetic whipstar, so he and Snake Eyes can go head to head. So, he's not too bad, but is still not really a functional figure of any kind.

And this is where the mini-figure style REALLY shines. Don't get me wrong, I'm much, much, MUCH more interested in fully functional and fully poseable action figure, but if we're going to get mini figs, this is EXACTLY what I'm looking for. An excitingly posed, strikingly detailed, and dramatic looking miniature figure that looks mean and cool.

This Ninja BAT is sculpted perfectly for what it is, lunging in attack, lashing out with his laser blade. The pose is realistic and full of impact, the sculpting is gorgeous, and the miniature figure format just seems to work PERFECTLY here. This is a fun, fun, fun little figure to display or just have kicking around. I'm not sure what is so different between the way this Ninja BAT is done and the way some of the other stuff is done, but I actually really dig the looks of this figure, even without the articulation.

His fire/laser splash and trail just adds some great detail to it and really gives the figure some zing. I really, really like it.


So, this set is all figures, but I actually find myself enjoying these mini figs more than a lot of others. With the exception of Snake Eyes, the poses are exciting, the weapons are cool, and the paint apps are bright and crisp. They don't hold a candle to articulated toys, of course, and ultimately I would be far more likely to recommend a vehicle set than the figure sets, but if you want to give a figure set a try, I give this one a decent recommendation.

This Action Set actually gives me some decent hope to see what Hasbro can do if they start working more articulation into the line. With sculpting and detailing like the figures shown here, and more basic body styles and articulation, I could really, REALLY love a new mini-figure line. Time will tell...














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