One of the more easily recognizable characters from the Street Fighert games, Ryu is one of my favorite fighters thanks to the clean-cut character design and the ease of learning how to beat the game using him. Jazwares did a pretty good job of rekindling my interest in the character by including him in the starting line-up for their 4-inch Street Fighter action figure line.
Ryu is sculpted in a distinct animated style, as evidenced by the rather heroic proportions and ginormous hands and feet. Ryu is dressed in a simple white karate uniform (known as gi), with the sleeves ripped-off. He also sports a black belt and a red bandanna, along with protective martial arts gauntlets.
Even though animated in style, the figure still has a good amount of sculpted detail. Not so much in the form of textures, but the folds and wrinkles do a nice job of conveying volume and musculature. Ryu’s face seems based on some more recent interpretations of the character, as evidenced by the rather voluminous sculpted eyebrows that go beyond the lower edge of his headband. That is a trick I hadn’t seen since Ceremonial Belloq, from the Indiana Jones line by Hasbro, whose eyebrows were painted over his turban, but since this time the eyebrows on Ryu are sculpted, I could only guess it was intentional stylistic choice.
• Ball jointed neck.
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Floating torso.
• Pegged hinge hips.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
The rubber skirt piece that simulates the lower edge of his tunic does get a little in the way of the hip joints, but the range is generally adequate and the joints feel tight enough, even though as usual, only the shoulders, hips and ankles are injection-molded joints, with the rest of the hinges assembled after the paint was applied.
Speaking of which, Ryu’s paintjob is rather uneven. Starting with the good, even though the figure is almost made of white plastic, Jazwares managed to apply very subtle shading on the uniform, airbrushing just enough to enhance the volumes while still retaining a pristine look. What’s even better, the exposed skin areas received a similar treatment, although the effect is nowhere as evident as in the chest and neck area. Additionally, on one of the ends of his black belt it is possible to see clearly tiny kanji imprinted in white.
The paint application to the face, on the other hand, is rather average, as it seems to lack any sort of shading and there are registry issues regarding the color transitions to hair and headband. Remember that I mentioned that the eyebrows on Ryu are sculpted over the bandana? Well, that may be so, but the upper section of the eyebrows came painted red, following the line of the headband. This issue is not immediately obvious and fixing the eyebrows is trivially simple using a sharpie, but all the same it is something I found to be rather annoying.
Like most other figures in this line, Ryu comes with an extra pair of hands. The default set has the hands balled into fists, while in the alternate set the hands are sculpted with open palms. Both sets are easy to pull out and combine for a variety of poses.
In the end, Ryu remains one of my favorite fighting-game characters of all time and this figure by Jazwares does him justice, even with the crazy eyebrow issues.