I’m no gamer. I have a console, but my dusty XBox 360 gets more use from playing the Lego Batman Movie, Zootropolis, and Peppa Pig DVDs than it does games these days (I have kids, and although I love the Lego movies, Peppa Pig isn’t really my bag) I haven’t played a Street Fighter game since Street Fighter 2 on my custom came spray painted Amiga 500+ back in the ’90s! So when our friends over at Tamishii Nations UK sent over Ryu to shoot and review, I have to admit I was a little ‘meh’ about the prospect. Of course being sent any toy to shoot is an amazing privilege, so I’m always thrilled – but not being a fan of the franchise, this wasn’t one on my bucket list to photograph. However… *spoiler alert* … This figure is amazing!
WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
- Ryu figure
- 2 X additional FACES (not full heads)
- 2 X open hands
- 2 X fists
- Removable bandana knot
- Hadouken fire ball
- Clear stand for said fire ball
A figure based on an animated character has, by definition less, well, definition! The subtle imperfections which make a realistic figure just that don’t need to be present in an animated face. Instead facial accuracy is placed on angles and paint application (which we’ll come to in a minute…) and its awesome! Superb sculpts on all three faces included giving the toy photographer plenty of scope for expressive shots.
I would amiss however, if I didn’t pay particular attention to the incredible job done on Ryu’s clothing. All made from soft rubber, the adaptability of the clothing once again aids in the figures ability to be posed in all those fighting poses you remember from the games.
PAINT APPLICATION 10/10
There is an ironic lack of pixelation to the paint application, especially to the eyes. I’ve noticed this distortion on some other SHF figures when under the macro lens, but here the paint app is thick and solid, and at the same time subtle and smooth. Like a good pint of Guinness (other brands of stout are available, I just don’t drink them) The same applies to the paint on the hands with very rich colours applied where needed and subtle weathering in places too. The clothing too has almost a grey wash applied, with the stark white of Ryu’s garb broken up by darker tones, much as you’d expect or at least want!
Another quick point, which is something always present in SHF toys and always makes them even more awesome to shoot is that gorgeous matt skin tone – non of that shiny, plasticy looking skin here! It captures the light beautifully and just adds to what is already a fantastic paint application.
As I and many of my fellow Exclu writers say at the start of this type of review – it’s SHFiguarts. So what do you expect? It’s fantastic! Butterfly shoulders and more double joins than that contortionist from Oceans 11 make this figure a joy to work with and photograph. As of yet I haven’t found one pose that Ryu couldn’t do and to add to this his balance is superb. High flying kicks, crane kicks, whatever you want – just incredible, especially when considering the weight and solidness to the figure.
Another point to mention is the hands. Namely the swapping of the hands. My one and only gripe with some SHF toys is the pegs for the hands are the fiddliest, and some times most breakable part. Seriously – you should see my Farmboy Luke (don’t ask, it’s a sore point) However, with Ryu’s meat hooks of hands this isn’t a problem – the pegs aren’t much smaller than the fists that come with old Lukey boy!
Ryu is equipped with SHF’s ‘Fighting Body’, which does exactly what you’d expect – this guys bends and moves in all the right places, and some of the wrong ones too – just as you’d expect from a video game character from a Beat em’ Up!
PRICE POINT 9/10
My research (by which I mean a comparison of a few different sites and what he’s going for on eBay) is telling me that Ryu is coming up at around the £50 mark ($67 at time of publication) which in all fairness isn’t too bad for a figure from the guys at SHFiguarts! Not when you compare it to the price of some of their figures from, lets say, more ‘popular’ franchises from a galaxy far, far away, or a certain other Marvel-ous one… However – and I’m clutching at straws here – maybe that price could come down a little for a figure with only a few accessories. This is a nit pick in its truest form. £50 for a figure with this much detail and articulation is brilliant.
OVERALL DESIGN 10/10
Who’d have thunk it?! My highest review score to date, and it goes to a figure from a franchise I have no investment in! I think dear reader, you’ve probably gathered by now that I’m rather fond of Ryu. He’s bloody brilliant in fact! The articulation on this figure is truly a thing to behold and along with the paint work and all around solid feel to the figure, this is one not to miss. Holding Ryu, Im reminded of my childhood – and not for the reason you might expect. As I said I played Street Fighter 2 on the Amiga in my youth, but the rush of nostalgia to the head I feel is more linked to the toys I played with. Anyone growing up in the ’80s would have had a Turtle or Thundercats knocking around. This figure has the weight and build of one of those with the accurate sculpt and incredible articulation we’ve come to know, love and expect from the guys at SHFiguarts. The Rolling Stones couldn’t have been more wrong when they sang “in sleepy London town, theres just room for a Street Fighting man!”