As I mentioned in the Dojo Training Snake Eyes review, as many times as we've seen Snake Eyes reused and rehashed throughout the line, this is the first time we've gotten two in one wave, which can give the anti-Sigma folks some stuff to freak out about. Something else I said in that other review, though, was that I didn't mind the consistent re-releases as long as they offered something new. To me, Dojo Training Snake Eyes didn't, but Samurai Snake Eyes absolultely does.

First of all, big fans of military combat figures will not find much to love about this guy. There isn't much in the way of field combat gear or elements to this particular figure, but the toy is FUN, which is a big thing, at least to me. I find it interesting that he's labelled as a "Samurai" as well, because he's got a lot more technical elements than Samurai ones, but in the Sigma 6 universe that really works.

As I wrapped my head around the whole Dark Ninja Master storyline, I tried to conceptualize where a figure like this might come from. The best I came up with is that as COBRA Commander gathered these ancient relics in order to summon the elemental energy to power his "Windfire" Armor. When the Dark Ninja Master appears instead, Storm Shadow sees him as an ancient Arashikage Ninja Spirit, and researches the ancient Arashikage texts to discover how to combat it. He finds a map to some ancient Samurai Armor for the Samurai clan who warred with the Arashikage for generations...there were elements of magic supposedly in the samurai armor which counter-balanced the power that the Arashikage had. Not knowing what was myth and what was fact, Storm Shadow uncovered the armor, and enlisted in the aid of his "Sword Brother" Snake Eyes. Needing his own samurai armor, Snake Eyes brought the matter to Hi-Tech who used analytical machinery to break down the spiritual elements of Storm Shadow's armor and create a technical-oriented counterpart to it, hoping that science and magic could work in conjunction to possibly bring the Dark Ninja Master down.

Doesn't sound like it fits much in the "G.I. Joe realm" does it? Probably not, but to me, that's one of the cool aspects of Sigma's a whole new universe that is less based in reality and offers much more flexibility in this regard.

Now, this convoluted backstory aside, how does Samurai Snake Eyes work as a figure? Remarkably well, in my opinion.

The base figure is the same one used for Arctic Snake Eyes (with the Kung Fu Grip added, of course) but to me, that works very well. The oversized boots, padded gloves, and very unique head sculpt all add some bulk and interesting dynamic to the Snake Eyes character, and the gear meshes with this look quite well to at least somewhat mimic a "Samurai" look.

The mixture of padding and sleek rubberized surface worked very well for the Arctic Snake Eyes and continues to work well here, too. I love the reinforced goggles and the mixture of blue and silver/gray. It all comes together very nicely to give Snake Eyes a quite different appearence, which is really what I ask for when we get a figure that is more or less a rehash of an existing one.

With a very light almost metallic gray color base, the silver trim and bright blue all work surprisingly well, and even though this is a very different color scheme for the Sigma 6 Commando (and couldn't be more different from the last wave's Commando Snake Eyes if it tried) but it still works and is still a very fun action figure, all told.

As I already mentioned, Samurai Snake Eyes comes with a modified Arctic Snake Eyes hand complete with Kung Fu Grip, and it works quite well, indeed. He can grip his swords perfectly, and although a lot of folks see these as funky "mittens" I kind of like the different padded appearence personally.

But where this figure absolutely shines is once you get all of his gear on him. Samurai Snake Eyes comes with a ton of great tech-oriented Samurai armor and weapons, which are all very nicely designed, exceedinly well executed and vibrantly colored. The armor is in two pieces, a chest piece with shoulder pads and a sewn in mesh cape (complete with cool looking Arashikage symbol), and a belt piece with extended armored bits as well.

The shield is an interesting and very nicely sculpted piece, too, continuing on with the concept that was started with the Jungle Ops Snake Eyes so long ago. The main sword is fantastic and complimentary dagger is also pretty cool, too (though less technically designed). I'm not sure exactly what the claw on his chain weapon is all about, but it has some cool design elements to it and works fairly well in the package.

I'm not sure when it all started, but at some point Snake Eyes grew some sort of "bug" homage and insect-look...with the masks and armored shield of the Jungle Ops version, he started to kind of look "buglike" there, and that continues on full steam ahead with this figure, too. The helmet with twin attenae, the extended bladed "wings" on his back, and even the disc-launching "pinchers" on his shield all seem very buglike, but that continues on here and manages to retain a Snake Eyes feel thanks to some of the same homages that the character has been given throughout the years so far.

This Snake Eyes is about as far apart from the Commando Snake Eyes we got last wave, but they both have their own very fun, very unique elements that I can appreciate on their own merits. For my field combat team, the Commando Snake Eyes is perfect, just about the best Snake Eyes I could ask for. Now when the Dark Ninja Master comes into play and we need something from a more fantasy side of things, this Samurai Snake Eyes also has some very fun elements to it as well. Very different toys, very different appeals, but ultimately I really like this Samurai Snake Eyes from a purely toy perspective. Not many folks may agree with me, especially those who are much more partial to the military elements...however I think there are some parts of this figure that look fantastic.














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