What’s this? New title? New blog!
Yes readers, a year and change into wading through a twisted landscape of weird, wacky and often woeful wrestling figures I spotted an opportunity to spread my metaphorical wings and scope out new toy horizons. The wrestling figures aren’t going anywhere however and I’m still trying to procure more plastic performers but in between rounds of regrettable rasslers I’ll be shining a spotlight on some of the other freaky or fantastic figures I’ve managed to lay my hands on be they Robots in disguise, Adolescent Samurai Terripins or whatever.
With the disclaimer out of the way, time now to throw open the doors of the Action Figure Fight Club and have a good old look at toy royalty NECA’s 2009 Street Fighter IV version of the thinking karate man’s karate man, Ryu.
Upfront I have to admit that as a huge fan of Street Fighter in all its many, many, many forms and a decent figure of any character from it has been a grail of mine for years so Ryu is already playing on easy mode, but even without my sheer giddyness at finally getting my mitts on one, Ryu here is a very pleasant experience indeed.
Basing the sculpting on Street Fighter IV’s visual style gives Ryu some very chunky and powerful dimensions and some killer paint applications. The bulk of the thing gives you your money’s worth in the weight of plastic alone, but all this heft doesn’t hamper this figure’s real high point, its articulation.
Yes sir, Ryu is a very limber fighter indeed, boasting 35 points of movement taking in old standards such as a ball jointed neck, double jointed elbows and knees but also boasts butterfly joints on each shoulder meaning Ryu can reach forward and even articulated toes. His moveable metatarsals aren’t just for show though as Ryu is more than capable of standing on tip-toes with no problem for all manner of game accurate stances.
In fact, there’s few poses that Ryu can’t do, even kneeling down is easy for him and as someone who has spent longer than any sane person perhaps should have trying to get WWE figures to balance right, I find Ryu’s flexibility most helpful.
Sadly there are some nerfs to balance all these buffs Ryu is enjoying as Ryu’s face sculpt is always seemingly looking left which makes some poses look a little odd, not a deal breaker but a little disappointing, as are the cut joints on his thighs that can utterly ruin the silhouette of some more dynamic looks you may wish to manipulate Ryu into. Last is perhaps the worst offender and that is Ryu’s hands, or rather his alternative ones he came with.
These are sculpted to give him the illusion of being about to perform his signature Hadouken special move and are supposed to be swapped out with his original fists but after hearing some horror stories about this process causing major damage to figures and feeling that removing the originals require more force than I feel comfortable applying so they unloved and unused on the sidelines.
Such annoyances are minor however, and I couldn’t be happier to have such a superb figure of one of my favourite characters of my life at long last. NECA really hit a winner here with a good looking, great posing figure that doesn’t cost the earth.
Ryu Wins. Perfect.
Thanks for reading.