I recently attended the West Australian G.I. Joe Collector’s Fair the other day, and it was a hoot. If you remove the fact that it was in Tom Seeb’s shed on a sweltering hot day, and there were only 4 of us not counting small people, then it was history-making.
Seriously though, quite a lot of fun. Me and Jadeybug trekked up to the Northlands and brought some chicken for the barbie and beer and juice for the boys, as well as some much-needed parts and pieces for good ol’ Seebs.
I didn’t take pics, but Seeb’s shed is truly a Joe Shed. Top to bottom, wall to wall, Joes. O-ring Joes. With the mighty Flagg right in the middle. He’d moved not long ago, so we’d had quite a time setting up some of his stuff. Awesome.
At one point, I’d talked about how I’ve got nearly every Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes up on the shelves behind my desk. Jadin remarked that he’d really, really like to see that. So I got inspired and took a bunch of pics.
Here’s the Storm Shadows:
Storm Shadow (v1) 1984 – Missing a sword and bow. Got him for a song on eBay. Don’t remember how much, but stoopitcheap.
Storm Shadow (v2) 1988 – Complete, and still one of my favourite figures of all time. LOVED this one when I was a kid and I think I got it with a Big Lot that had heaps of cheap guys. Mostly good ones too, I think.
Storm Shadow (v3) 1992 – Complete, the Ninja Force guy. Call me a hater, but I still can’t wrap my head around “Ninja Force”. I mean, were they trying to sell more toys to gay Canadian kids or what? Gaynadians! Anyway, Ninja Force bites sac a bit, though this figure is quite cool. I still can’t figure out why they used most of the basic parts from the previous version, but gave his head less articulation. Dumb Hasbro, dumb.
I NEED VERSION 4! I’m bidding on one now though… he’s the one with the see-through Ninja Force. I’m not paying more than a few dollars for that one, sorry NF, you’re for gaynadians. UPDATE: I won him!! Got him and the NF slightly-overweight Snake Eyes See-Through Gaynadian.
Storm Shadow (v5) 1997 – Missing pretty much all his shit, but a really cool figure and if I can score one with all his stuff, I’ll give it to Version 1 and not tell anybody. Whoops…
Storm Shadow (v6) 2000 – Complete, and a repaint of the NF one earlier, except he comes with a Star Wars blaster on the side of his leg (moulded in, thank gutness).
Storm Shadow (v7) 2002 – Complete, some of his stuff might be in a box. Again, not sure why Hasbro randomly takes a great figure and starts making slightly retarded versions of him. Less articulation, oddly-shaped appendages. The best I can figure is that somebody, somewhere, thought it was a good idea, signed off on it, and put it into production. One can only hope that person is now on the proper medication.
Nope, don’t need Version 8. Won one on eebs a few days ago, he’ll be along soon. He’s just a repaint of the Retard Mould above, but it’s why they call it a “collection”.
Storm Shadow (v9) 2002 – Missing all the stuff, but it was mostly guns (no swords?) so I just gave him an extra. Yeah, the multi-packs sometimes confuse weapons and whatnot, but they called him “Storm Shadow” even though he’s friggin’ RED and had no swords. An AK-47? Really?
Storm Shadow (v10) 2002 – Complete, and probably my favourite of the Retard Moulds. No guns, and some decent paint.
Storm Shadow (v11) 2004 – Complete. A pretty badass figure, if I do say so myself, except that he’s got limited articulation because yet another KnobJob at Hasbro thought it’d be good for him to have a Kung-Fu action thingo when you squeeze his legs or some shit. He came in a DVD pack with Duke, who’s got some other lame action, and a Snake Eyes that was mercifully spared from such things. The Valor VS Venom line though, with the oversized shoulders, can bite my asscheek though. Seriously.
Storm Shadow (v12) 2004 – Missing his stuff, but I’ve found a few bits here and there that work. Yet another repaint of the NF gaynadian one, with a few sticks of dynamite in his leg mould. They clearly forgot he was Storm Shadow while making him. An UZI? Really?
Storm Shadow (v13) – Need this guy! Though preferably with some cooler weapons than the 5-pack crap assortment of rifles it came with. UPDATE: No I don’t! I won him too on eebs in a lot of 6 other figures that included O-ring Baroness, Cobra Commander and other neat shit for $10 and free shipping to Oz
Storm Shadow (v14) 2004 – Complete, and pretty fkn cool, even with the VVV Shoulder problem.
Storm Shadow (v15) – I need, but think I’m winning one on eebs right now. He’s basically the same as v14 but a repaint with some different gear. UPDATE: I won! Been after this guy for 2 years and finally got him!
Storm Shadow (v16) – I’ve won and am waiting eleventy weeks for it to get to Australia. FKN LOVE THIS GUY because he’s a repaint of Version 2, but with camo. Camouflage Ninja, from one of my favourite versions. WIN. NO UPDATE: Just excited!
Storm Shadow (v17) 2005 – Complete, with some badass gear and that cool tabard. Sure, he’s a repaint and they clearly forgot how to do new figures for a few years there, but I like him in the collection.
Storm Shadow (v18) 2005 – Complete, and showing an incredibly lack of imagination. “Hey, we need another Storm Shadow! Who wants to redesign one?!” “OOH! Me! Me! I’ve got some crazywacky ideas on how I’m going to make his forearms and shins RED! I know, I know! I’m a MADMAN!”
Storm Shadow (v19) 2005 – Complete, I bought this one when I was first re-collecting because I thought he was Version 1 and in fkn fantastic shape. 20 years younger, he should be. The scabbard is stupidly big, but he’s cool.
Storm Shadow (v20) 2005 – Complete. This one intrigues me, because he keeps getting referenced as Ryu, so I don’t know if he was another, non-GI Joe character first, or what. But his mask isn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, and though he’s got the VVV shoulders, he’s a cool fig and I love having him in the collection because he’s the “unmasked” version.
[We’re going Right to Left now…]
Tommy Arashikage (v1) 2006 – Complete. Speaking of unmasked, this is the shiz. For a true Storm Shadow collector, this is one of your grails. Took me forever to find him, and I paid what I NEVER pay, and went up to $10 for this guy ($11 for shipping). I was feeling rich at the time, and I still LOVE this guy. Though, they gave him Roadblock’s chest. WTFMATE. A slight, nimble ninja in Vietnam, and you make him bufftastically buff? It is at this point I weep that I never went to work for Hasbro.
Storm Shadow (v21) 2007 – Complete. Now we are Fkn Talkin’. The Modern Era. This sculpt gets the shit used out of it, but there’s a reason for that. IT’S FKN AWESOME. Use, re-use, repaint and fool me, Hasbro, it’s well worth it.
Storm Shadow (v22) 2007 – Complete, and AWGAWDAM this guy takes the paintjob of my favouritest guy in Version 2 and modernises it. It makes me cry a little when I get one of these in every big lot I buy ($16 for 23 guys last time) or keep seeing him for $0.99. I wish some of the suckier ones were so easy to find, because this guy is freakin’ artwork. They even changed the backpack so it’s a rope sash instead of a pirate buckle bandolier.
Storm Shadow (v23) 2007 – Complete. If they’re taking something off of the monkeyf*ck that was the VVV line, let it be the paint designs. This guy is freakin’ COOL and one of my favourites. Again, I see him everywhere and it makes me sad. Mine was 0.99 but everybody else should have to pay way more.
[Right to left…]
Storm Shadow (v24) 2008 – This one is just the earlier one, though in Blue, and freakin’ hard to find. Got him for $5 because he wasn’t complete and was missing all his gear. Could get his gear, could pay lots more. Guess which way I swing.
Storm Shadow (v25) 2008 – Complete. And another favourite here, because he came with a comic that has him and all his stuff in it. The giant bow is gay colours, but is an excellent weapon. The cloak is real cloth and made me fall in love with toys again.
Storm Shadow (v26) 2008 – Complete. This one’s a bit stiff for me, but has some pretty cool gear and is a bit of a departure from the standard.
Storm Shadow (v27) 2008 – Complete. This one’s called “Ninja Ku” and is in all black and is Bad to the Ass.
[Still right to left…]
Storm Shadow (v28) 2009 – Complete. A very cool, throwback to Feudal Japan, figure that I totally dig. He would fight against the Temple Guardian Snake Eyes if I COULD EVER FIND THAT ONE.
Storm Shadow (v29) 2009 – Complete. I got this one from Indonesia, so cheap, but is still good quality. LOVE this character for his colour and a bit more of a commando feel to him without just chucking a gun in there with him.
Storm Shadow (v30) 2009 – Complete. Though I think I borrowed some of his stuff from other guys. Easy to find, but hard to get complete. He’s just the standard sculpt with Gray Feet! But nunchcks, which is cool.
Storm Shadow (v31) 2009 – Complete. Yet another of the same sculpt. Easy to find, and very cool, but I’ve had enough of these guys thanks.
[Right to left… HEY, it’s MY shelf]
Which is good, because it’s MOVIE TIME! Rise of Cobra may have blown donkey to many folks, but I kinda liked it because I had really, really low expectations. The figures are awesome, and many disagree with me there, and they were the first time I ever collected anything that actually tried to look like the actors in the movie.
Storm Shadow (v32) 2009 – Complete. This guy is very easy to find and I’ve got about 5 because of the Big Lots that I but (for about $15 usually!). His leg’s articulation sucks because of that coat, but beyond that he is Frickin’ COOL.
Storm Shadow (v33) 2009 – Complete. The “unmasked” version is “Paris Pursuit” and I’ve only got one of these guys. He’ll perch on my Steel Crusher and fight Snake Eyes when my shelves are done.
Storm Shadow (v34A) 2009 – Complete. The “Arctic Assault” SS’s always confused me because he’s shirtless and would get cold. Then I remember he’s a ninja, and they like created the Universe or some shit. They don’t get cold. Hell, they tear their shirt off in the Arctic in front of their enemies and yell, “Wassup bitches! You COLD?!”
Anyway, I’ve got the variant for this one too! I NEVER get that lucky, but I bought a Big Lot (21 figs, 5 vehicles and a book for $10, Hells Yeah) and the one on the right has the Arashikage tattoo on his bicep instead of forearm. Little things, sure, but it’s a variant and I’ve got both and that’s the kind of thing you brag about.
Storm Shadow (v34B) 2009 – I didn’t really think it was that clever to just pop a new head on him and call it a new fig, but Hasbro did it, not me, and Seebs found this one for $2 Mint in Box at a Toy Fair. AWESOME. I own all the ROC SS’s now.
[Right to left…]
Storm Shadow (v35) 2009 – That $10 lot? Yeah, this guy was in there. I do NOT have the Arashikage Cycle that he came with. I mean, I do, but it’s the VVV version. And while it doesn’t have the Cher Shoulders that the figs do, I’d like another one just for the collection’s sake, even if it’s the exact same vehicle. This guy though, in his leathers and on a motorcycle I got for $3 at Toys R Us, is friggin’ coooooool.
Storm Shadow (v36) 2009 – Complete. For a dollar, this guy is my favourite SS from the line. Probably mostly because of the Urban Camo outfit, I’m a sucker for that, but also because his jacket gives him some movement. I got another one (because they’re a dollar) and took his jacket off and put him on a motorcycle like his friend there, only in grey. VERY COOL. Ninjas on crotch rockets = Something Chuck Norris would watch on TV. Before he round-house kicked it to change the channel and the kick was so hard that the television station actually could only broadcast porn from then on.
Storm Shadow (v37) 2009 – A repaint of the first ROC version and my Wifeage’s personal favourite. I dunno why, I really don’t, but she loves this one. He came with the Ninja Dojo and an equally Salvation Armily dressed Snake Eyes, and they came with an assload of cool ninja weapons. I don’t have those, just this guy. *SIGH*
[Right to oh YOU GET IT…]
Storm Shadow (v38) 2010 – Complete. Though he was just a backpack with swords, I think. A crappy one too, where the swords stick out all high. The problem with this guy, who is cool enough, is that I got him after the guy to his left, who is AWESOMEBURGER.
Storm Shadow (v39) 2010 – This guy is so badass that I had to change the only thing wrong with him, his legs. He had ROC legs, with the white tennis shoes and shit. Nuh-Unh. Now he’s got his friend’s legs (on the right) and is, in case you missed it, AWESOMEBURGER. If I could get the dirty sand effect on those legs, it’d be perfect. I also lost his chain-linked weapon. I got this guy off the Indonesian, fell-off-the-back-of-a-Hasbro-truck guy, and they never had a chain, just loose. So Wifeage craftily made one for me, which makes her awesomeburger as well, and then I put it in pants that had a hole in the pocket because I am a stupid, stupid man.
Storm Shadow (v40) 2011 – Complete. This guy harkens back to the VVV Kung-Fu kick bullshit. I mean… WHY? Tornado Kick? ARE YOU SHITTING ME? Comes with great weapons, and has sort of a cool paintjob, but still. He’s only here because he came in one of those lots ($10 one) and I needed him for the collection.
Storm Shadow (v41) 2011 – Complete. The Holy Grail. There are collector’s that have been known to sell their first-born for a Renegades Storm Shadow. He is, without a doubt, the finest example of what Hasbro can do. ‘Nuff said.
I got this one by trading the Jungle Attack Storm Shadow (more on him below) to a great guy on the hisstank.com forums. Paid for postage, that was it, and the guy threw in a Firefly that I needed.
Storm Shadow (UNRELEASED) 2011 – Okay, this guy is a curious one. I freakin’ LOVE the idea, of a Storm Shadow with the same glider thing that Snake Eyes came with, a couple of Uzis like the Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes came with, some claw arm thingies like the Shithouse Tornado Kick SS came with, and a bitchinbadass paintjob. He needs a shirt though.
So yeah, that $10 lot that I won? Had TWO OF THESE GUYS in it. They’re rare. Unreleased. Cancelled before they hit production. That means only the cool kids get them, and I HAD TWO. The lot the I won, I have no idea how lucky I got, but I’m starting to figure it out. The guys on the forums still don’t have anything to say about it other than “nice score man” because they’re burning with jealousy. Or just don’t care. Either way, I FKN WIN.
Storm Shadow (v42) – I need it! The Amazon Renegades version is sort of cartoony, but really frickin’ cool. Very similar to the other Renegades SS, he’s on my FKN WANT list.
Storm Shadow (v43) – I need it! The first in the Retaliation line, I want him because of the collection. I’ve already got the other version, and they’re not really that great a figure. You know how many dudes bag on me for the Rise of Cobra toy line? Claiming it’s shit and all? Yeah, I feel that way about Retaliation. I look at most of it and think, “Why didn’t you just use the COOL toys?” Meh.
Storm Shadow (v44) 2012 – Complete, but not here yet. Just won him on eBay, and though I paid WAY TOO MUCH, he’s got that gorgeous paintjob and I freakin’ love him. I can’t help it.
Storm Shadow (v45) 2012 – Complete. The Retaliation 3-pack SS is kind of hunkered over, like a hunchback. Not impressed, and since I didn’t know which one he was, I ended up with two from various auctions. Only a few bucks for each, so I’m not stressed, but this guy isn’t my fave.
Well, not totally complete, but I’ve not got EVERY STORM SHADOW from 2011 back. If I can pick up that Retaliation one with the white face and the sleeveless Renegades version (and maybe that cancelled version that VipersKingdom is selling on ebay) then I’ll be pretty much complete.
Probably my biggest collection milestone and I’m pretty fkn excited. When the figures come in and I can get them up on the shelves and displayed, I will then tell everyone that I know about it. Because I am THAT kind of nerd. Yay!
Brilliant, just brilliant. Love the collection and the storytelling. Now to dive into my accessories tub to see what holes I can fill…