Well, one thing that the G.I. Joe Retaliation movie had in spades were ninjas, so it stand to reason that the toy line should also have it’s fill of the stealthy warriors.
Hasbro pretty much nailed it when they included the Red Ninja in the first wave of figures, but for subsequent waves they went ahead and offered a few more ninja action figures that didn’t really appear in the movie, like this here Dark Ninja.
The Dark Ninja is fundamentally a repaint of the same molds used in 2011 for Storm Shadow, which means that the sculpture is nicely detailed but also that the lower leg pieces and articulation are different from what was used for the Red Ninja.
The Dark Ninja has the following articulation:
• Ball jointed neck.
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Pegged hinge wrists.
• Floating torso.
• Ball jointed hips (T-Bar)
• Double hinged knees.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
I don’t really mind the lack of ankle rockers, as I kind of like this configuration better, and the Dark Ninja is every bit as fun as his red brethren.
The paint job on the Dark Ninja is extremely sparse and mostly limited to solid black areas on his mask, shins and bracers. The exposed flesh bits are painted in a pale flesh color and the paint application on the eyes is neat and clean, but the most striking piece of deco has to be the stylized silhouette of a dragon painted in red over his torso.
While so far the action accessories packed in with these figures have not particularly impressed me, I have to say that the Dark Ninja’s flight pack turned out to be quite a surprise.
It starts as a fairly bulky backpack with a piece of fabric hanging back. The lower edges of the fabric have a couple of clips that can be attached to the ninja’s legs, about knee-high and at the touch of a button, two handle bars shoot outwards, fully extending the wings.
The Dark Ninja can grab both handles quite easily and even the saber-claw accessories included seem designed to actually work with the flight-pack. And for those occasions when the Dark Ninja doesn’t feel like raking his opponents from the air, he can use a more traditional set of claws or the even more traditional set of swords.
Even though I absolutely loved the Red Ninja figure, I actually like the Dark Ninja a little bit more because of the darker color scheme and an action accessory that is actually fun.