Storm Shadow Mini Bust
The GI Joe: Real American Hero cartoon series and comic books are filled with characters with cool names, but none quite so cool as Storm Shadow. No one really knows what a "storm shadow" is, but it sounds ominous, looming, impending. No one (other than Snake Eyes) really knows who Storm Shadow is, which makes him seem as ominous as his name.
Storm Shadow is a ninja assassin for Cobra, expert in many varieties of martial arts. His family history goes back for centuries, his clan is a legend. And just as it happens, his clan is also the same clan to which Snake Eyes of the GI Joe team belongs. The comic books explain this little coincidence: Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes served together in Vietnam, with Storm Shadow saving the life of Snake Eyes and later inviting him to learn the ways of the ninja at his family home. Snake Eyes was accepted as a member of the clan and treated as a member of the family. The murder of an uncle drove the two apart and led them to opposite sides of the GI Joe/Cobra spectrum.
To further confuse things, Storm Shadow later switched sides and became a member of the GI Joe team. And we thought that the confusing part was that Storm Shadow wore white as a "bad guy" and Snake Eyes wore black as a "good guy."
Hasbro has licensed the characters from GI Joe: Real American Hero to Palisades Toys for a series of resin mini busts. Palisades is getting a bit of help from Jon Matthews, who did the sculpt for Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes, and from Plan B Toys, who did the prototypes and paints for both busts. If Jon's name sounds familiar, it might be because he sculpted Albert Wesker and Chris Redfield for Palisades' third series of Resident Evil figures, as well as the heads for Plan B's Special Forces figures.
See the Big Picture
Storm Shadow is the first bust in this series, with Snake Eyes released at the same time. The next three characters to be made in this format will be the Baroness, Destro, and Road Block. A variant edition of this bust was produced in extremely limited numbers (only 102) for KB Toys. The variant, the Cobra Ninja Viper, had a green outfit, rather than white, with a white belt and strap.
For the Storm Shadow bust, Palisades has chosen to depict him in the "classic bust" style, with no arms, just a head and torso. (The Snake Eyes bust in this series had both arms, and was posed with his sword drawn. The Baroness bust has one arm, posed holding a rifle. Rather than "arm" each character equally, they have gone with what works well to portray each character.) The Storm Shadow bust is about six inches tall from the bottom of the base to the top of the swords on his back: the base is about 1.75 inches tall and Storm Shadow is about four inches on his own.
Storm Shadow may not have arms, but he is not unarmed. Two throwing stars are tucked into his belt at the front, and a strap across his chest holds more weapons on his back: two swords in sheaths, a bow (unstrung), and a quiver with five arrows. The weapons are molded as one piece which you peg into the back of the bust if you remove the bust from the packaging. Yes, some assembly is required, but it is easier than training to become a ninja. Although Storm Shadow's outfit is plain white (with a red Cobra logo on his chest and the black strap to hold his weapons), the paint detail is not entirely white, there are gray and blue highlights in the folds of the outfit and on his body contours, such as his ears. He has an intense look on the part of his face which is visible, so either it is from having his arms removed and something stuck in his back, or he's been caught on the throne. Either way, it is serious.
The base for this bust is a round pedestal with the Cobra logo sculpted onto the front. The paint finish gives it a slightly worn metal look, with a more decorative flavor to it than the square, practical-feeling bases of the GI Joe character busts. The Cobra logo is painted with a subdued color which doesn't draw attention away from the bust.
As with most busts from Palisades, the packaging for Storm Shadow is a window box. The artwork on the box is by Dave Dorman, who has also done the art for Palisades' 12-inch Reservoir Dogs action figures and their Micronauts action figures. The back of the box features a file card for the character and production team credits for the bust. The sides of the box have more pictures of the bust.
Storm Shadow is a limited edition of 4,500 busts, with numbering on the bottom of the base and bottom of the box. Most ninjas don't like to be upended if you are curious about how their bottoms look, so please memorize the image above.
More Pictures of Storm Shadow
|Where to buy Storm Shadow: This mini bust is a limited edition of 4,500 and it retails in the $35 to $45 USD price range. It is available at trend and specialty stores, as well as various online toy and collectible retailers.
Several such online stores are RTM sponsors AisleSniper.com, Big Bad Toy Store, NHAtoys.com, and The Outer Reaches. (Be sure to check the other RTM sponsors, listed on the Shop Center.)