I’ve got something on my chest that I really need to get off, so I hope you guys will indulge me, and hopefully won’t look at me differently in the morning. There is no other way to say it, so here goes…I have never owned, nor have I held a Hot Toys 1/6 Scale Collectible. Whew, there it is. That wasn’t so bad. Ok, you can stop laughing now! Well, I can now say that not only have I held one, but I have fondled the heck out of it, and man it feel GREAT! I was able to get my hands on the Hot Toys G.I. Joe Retaliation Stormshadow figure, and I can definitely, and without a doubt say the hype is real concerning the outstanding quality of Hot Toys. So, let’s take a look at this figure, and see what everybody is talking about.
WHAT’S IN THE BOX
• 1/6 scale Stormshadow action figure
• Nine (9) total sets of hands
• Two (2) swords with sheaths
• Two (2) ninja sai’s
• Three (3) throwing stars
• One (1) pistol with removable clip
• Two (2) head sculpts
• A connector piece for the swords
• Figure stand
Wowzers, that is a lot of accessories! You would expect a ninja extraordinaire like Stormshadow to carry a plethora of weapons, but you wouldn’t expect to get each and every one as a separate accessory, but that is exactly what Hot Toys has given us. He comes with 9 total hands, two fists, two ninja star throwing, two sword or sai holding, two open palms, and one gun holding. Each and every one of them is sculpted and painted superbly, and has an incredible amount of detail.
He also comes with three throwing stars that have an amazing metallic finish to them, and are surprisingly sharp. His ninja sai’s have that same metallic paint on them which makes them look like real metal, and the wraps are wonderfully done as well. The gun itself is an amazing piece of art, and the most surprising part is that the clip actually comes out, and the chamber is articulated as well. Finally, his two swords are AWESOME. They are actually made of metal, so the shine and sheen you get with them is perfect, and you know they will not bend or warp over time. The detail is excellent in each and every accessory, and you can’t go wrong posing him with any of them.
Oh yeah, one more thing. There is a spot for each and every one of his accessories to be stored on the figure itself. The swords and sai’s can be slotted into sheaths on his back, the gun fits nicely into the holster on his belt, and the throwing stars fit into a pouch that is also on his belt.
SCULPT – 10/10
Perfect! Ok, we can move on now. Seriously, the sculpting detail on this figure is absolutely amazing, and I have to stop myself when I’m playing with it to make sure it isn’t just a really small person that I’m twisting and turning into all these weird positions. Most of this figure is covered in soft goods, so the only real sculpting is on the face, hands, shoes, and accessories.
The thing you look at the most, and rightfully so, is the face sculpts. The level of detail here is so perfect, you really will think that they just shrunk down Lee Byung-hun and put him in a box. Then, you snap off his head to put on the alternate head and realize it really is just a toy. Every part of his face is spot on, and it’s a little freaky to be honest. The hair has fantastic lines, and even the masked face is so life-like, it’s hard to look away.
All of the hands look great, and with the sculpted finger-less gloves, you can see each wrinkle and fingernail in all it’s full glory. The shoes look like real shoes, and every inch of them is covered in crisp, clean sculpting detail. Now let’s talk about his weapons, and oh boy, they are glorious. From the leather straps on the sai’s, to the full detail on the handgun, everything looks amazingly life-like. I used to do some 3D sculpting, and I can tell you, it is an incredibly hard thing to do, so when I see perfection like this, I truly appreciate all the hard work that I know went into it.
While soft good are not necessarily sculpted, I feel this is the appropriate section to talk about them, and surprise, surprise, they are flawless just like the rest of the figure. He is clad in an all white long leather-like jacket, that has these incredible stitches in it. I start to think that they have tiny fairies sitting in a room stitching together these clothes, because I don’t know how they get stitching so small and perfect. The parts of the jacket that extend past the waist are rigid enough to get some poseability out of them, while remaining silky smooth. The pants remind me of the clothes you get with Barbies (don’t judge me, I have a daughter). They have that fake, plastic like feel to them, but you need material like that to still be able to articulate the body. They are a little tight, but we will talk about that in the articulation section.
PAINT APPLICATION – 10/10
Yet again, another perfect score here! I know it sounds like I am gushing over this figure, and think it’s perfect (it’s not), but with these first two categories, it’s hard to give it anything but a perfect score. If you have ever held a Black Series figure, you realize that the face sculpt is pretty good, but the paint detail is horrible and completely ruins the overall look, but with this Hot Toys masterpiece, you can see what a good paint job can do with a great sculpt. The skin tone is spot on, and there is just enough paint shading in all the right places. They eyes are perfectly painted, and doesn’t look like he just got hit with the ugly stick multiple times. When you take a good shot of the face and zoom to see the details is when you truly start to get a little uncomfortable in the nether regions. Between the individual eyelashes, to the color of his lips, every single detail has been taken into account.
The metallic paint on the throwing stars, sai’s and gun is a perfect blend of metal, and if you were to just look at it, you would think it is metal. The swords however are real metal, and feel awesome to hold. When I first opened them, I actually tried to cut a piece of paper just to see how sharp they were. They did not cut by the way, but that does not take away from the quality at all. I really can’t stop talking about the overall detail in the sculpt and paint, so let’s move onto the articulation so I can finally say something negative about this figure.
ARTICULATION – 8/10
What can I say about the articulation here, but it’s perfect! Oh, I was supposed to say something negative wasn’t I? Ok, I was just kidding about the articulation being perfect, but I would have to say that if it wasn’t for the soft good, it probably would be. The head has a ball joint at the bottom of the neck, which allows for good movement, but without a joint at the chin line, it is kinda limited, but not as much as you would think. Instead of being able to fully move the head around, his neck moves around, and it can look a little off in some positions. It feels like there is a ball joint in the shoulder, attached to a butterfly joint, but since it is all covered, I can’t really tell. There is a pretty good range of motion at the shoulder, but you have to be careful since the cloth can get twisted, and bind the movement. He has a double jointed elbow which allows his arm to come all the way up to the shoulder, followed by a ball joint at the writs that allows for either a swivel or hinge movement.
There is some type of ball, or hinge at the waist that allows for forward, back, and side to side movement, but not that much. I can’t tell if this is because of the joint, or the cloth, but the movement is limited. The legs contain the most hindered movement, and again, I think it’s because of the cloth material. The pants are a little tight in the crotch area, making it hard to move the legs out, or to the side that much. He does have double jointed knees, which have great movement, but because of the limits of the upper leg movement, it can be hard to get him in crouching positions. That is kind of a shame because I would like to see my ninja do some crouching and crawling around, but is unable to because of the articulation limits.
He has good ankle movement that allows forward, back, side-to-side and ankle pivot, but the joints on mine are very loose, and he will fall over very easy if he is not firmly planted. I usually like to pose my characters in a running position to show the balance, but I was not able to do that with Stormshadow due to the loose ankle joints.
Overall, the articulation is pretty good, and you can get quite a lot of different poses out of him, but there are some limitations which will get you frustrated.
PRICE POINT – 10/10
This is a Hot Toys figure, so you know the price is going to higher than most other figures, and after seeing the amount of detail, I can understand why. He is currently selling for about $190, and for that price, you get quite a bit. The level of painting, sculpting and accessories is definitely there, and I feel that makes it worth it for the price. Now, this figure is older, originally released around 2013, so I would think the price would drop a little, but Hot Toys definitely hold their value, so under $200 is a great price I believe.
OVERALL DESIGN – 9/10
Simply amazing! Once you hold this guy, you will understand how awesome he is, and why you got him in the first place. Is he perfect? No, no he is not, but he is damn close! There are some things that bother me, especially in the weak ankle joints, and the limited articulation in the legs, but with everything else you get, and the quality, that more than makes up for those small things. If you are a fan of G.I. Joe, there is no better figure than this Hot Toys version, and I feel there never will be. Pick him up, and never look back, and you can marvel in all the Stormshadow greatness every time you look at him on the shelf!
Stan is a graphic designer from Orlando, Florida, and has been an avid lover of toys for his entire life. He love’s doing anything that exercises the creative side of his brain and toy photography has been a tremendous outlet for that. When he is not taking photos of toys (which makes his wife shake her head and roll her eyes when he packs toys on all his vacations), he can be find photographing his daughter doing dance, woodworking or flying his drone for cool aerial photography.