One thing I never really understood is why in Street Fighter Capcom decided to have two characters that looked too similar and played basically the same. Of course, I’m refering to Ryu and the subject of todays review, Ken.
In the first Street Fighter game, Ryu and Ken were rendered by the same sprite with just a simple color palette swap and their gameplay was the exact same. By the time Street Fighter II was released, subtle changes were made to their range of attack and to the amount of damage each character could inflict on their opponents, although their basic repertoire of moves remained the same.
As you would expect, the 4-inch action figures of these two characters made by Jazwares are pretty much the same, with only a couple of different pieces thrown in. Ken has a new head, of course, which is sculpted in an obviously animated style and a newly sculpted right hand packaged as an extra accesory with the figure.
The body is exactly the same as Ryu’s, which means Ken has a pretty decent amount of sculpted detail on his uniform and also is quite well articulated with:
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Floating torso.
• Pegged hinge hips.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
The neck joint on Ken actually has a slightly wider range of movement, as the post doesn’t go quite as deep into the head as Ryu’s, thus allowing for some lateral tilt. Everywhere else the articulation range remains unchanged, which is good.
Ken’s paintjob is simpler than Ryu’s though. All of the pieces were molded in red plastic, which serves as a good base color for all of the exposed skin areas. Similarly to Ryu, the skin shows some shading applied with an airbrush on the arms and on the neck/chest areas, but the uniform was left the color of the plastic.
The head also seems to have been painted entirely in bright yellow and on top of that, the flesh color was painted over the face. The paint on the hair is rather thick and lacks any sort of shading, so it is not easy to make out the detail from a distance and the hairline is not as neat as I would have liked, but the eye paint applications are reasonably clean and in their proper places.
Instead of packaging an extra pair of hands with Ken, Jazwares only included one right hand, sculpted with the thumb extended. It could be argued that since the hands from Ryu are perfectly compatible with Ken, they can share them if you already own the other figure, I think it was a pretty cheap move from Jazwares not to have included at least a second extra hand, open palm or otherwise.
However, the toy is neat and Ken is my second favorite Street Fighter character, so the overall balance here is pretty positive.