Okay, so when did Storm Shadow become the central most important character in the COBRA mythos? Not too long ago, there was a several year gap in between versions of Storm Shadow back in the 3 3/4" days, and now all of a sudden he's all over the place. Over the past few months we've gotten Storm Shadow in Commando 2006 Wave 4, here he is in 2007 Commando Wave 1, and he's going to be making yet another appearence in 2007 Soldier Wave 2 in Samauri gear. Storm Shadow is everywhere.

But as with Duke and Snake Eyes, I don't mind multiple versions of certain characters as long as the toys themselves are enjoyable and seem to serve a purpose. Well, at first glance, I'd say that this version of Storm Shadow really doesn't serve a purpose, but the added articulation saves it from that condemnation.

Something that folks will no doubt complain about is that this figure is based on the Shouri Crossbow Storm Shadow overall look. Personally, that works for me. It seems as if shortly after the initial release of the Sigma 6 line, things got even more animated, if that was even possible. Storm Shadow's head sculpt is a lot more angular and determined, which is cool to me, and makes him fit in a bit better with the rest of the line.

The overall sculpting of the figure here is pretty much as it is for several of the other figures, only with the addition of the double joints at his elbows and knees, as well as added range of motion in the ankles and alternating articulation at each wrist (just like the new Snake Eyes).

Besides these added points of articulation, though, the figure is remarkably non-descript and dare I say, pretty boring. The figure is straight up white pretty much all over, with red gloves, red boots, and brown shin guards. The overall color of the figure is about as dull as it gets. The angular tooling still looks great, but ultimately this figure just isn't all that exciting, except for the added articulation. I still love the over-exaggerated musculature of the figure and the animated style, but his design flair here just doesn't have much going on at all.

From an accessory perspective, honestly, it's not much better. He comes with an odd tunic type of uniform addition that tucks into his rubber belt and I suppose is meant to approximate a standard martial arts uniform. Speaking of his belt, that is a piece of gear here that I really do like. It's a nicely detailed piece that houses his two sai's, and it's not too bad overall. He also comes with the same nunchuks that it seems like every other version of Storm Shadow comes with, but he does come with a new staff that extends a long blade that makes an appearence here for the first time.

Of course the central accessory for Storm Shadow is his "flightpack", which honestly does just about nothing for me. I'm usually a fan of jetpacks or copter packs, but this one is just kind of funky. With swept wings and wind-up spinning shurikens, it just seems a bit too busy and not quite "real world" enough. When it comes down to it, it just isn't that appealing from a design standpoint, but at least Stormy has something to fight Snake Eyes with while he's coasting around on his helicopter pack.

All in all, the additional articulation is about the only selling point of this figure for me. I'm not sure if the Samauri version will have this additional articulation...if he does, I'd say wait for that one, because it'll be at the Soldier price point. I'm kind of glad to have another ninja to add to my little squad of Storm Shadow cronies, but ultimately this figure just doesn't so a whole lot for me.














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