Retaliation week rolls on. I originally planned Retaliation week as a way for you guys to familiarize yourselves with the characters who would be appearing in the very soon to be released film. Now that the film has been delayed I feel that I may do another Retaliation week next March for that purpose. Many characters such as Flint, Lady Jaye, Jinx, and Joe Colton who will be appearing in the film have yet to receive Retaliation toys and won’t for many months to come now that Hasbro has officially delayed shipping on all future waves of Retaliation figures. I could review older versions of those characters but seeing as I’ve only been reviewing the new Retaliation toys thus far this week I figure I may as well just stick with that theme. So today I have another ninja for you, Snake-Eyes’ apprentice Kamakura. This has been a ninja heavy week and I’m anticipating a ninja heavy film. Ninja heavy as it may be I find it very unlikely that Kamakura will be appearing in the movie. A movie only has room for so many characters but toy companies want to milk successful movie properties for all that they’re worth so they start padding movie-based toy lines with ancillary characters like Kamakura. The Rise of Cobra line from the last movie for example featured Shipwreck, Torpedo and even Kamakura, all characters who didn’t appear in the film. I don’t know for certain but I’m guessing that the first figure I reviewed this week, Swamp-Viper will also not make an appearance in the film. Some people may think it’s dumb to include characters in a movie based toy line who don’t appear in the movie but I like it. After all, it is a movie based on a toy line. These additional characters expand the scope of the movie in your mind and you can imagine that maybe Kamakura was there, just off screen.
Both the Rise of Cobra and now Retaliation versions of this character have strayed somewhat from Kamakura’s original design. In the comics he appeared in a simple black mask and a green uniform. Previously released figures of the character nailed that look pretty well. This version is not recognizable as Kamakura, they could’ve just as easily called him Ninja-Viper or Blue Ninja and nobody would be up in arms about Hasbro changing Kamakura’s name. They opted to make this guy Kamakura though and I’m fine with it. He looks cool. The blue uniform differentiates him from the rest of the ninja gang and it’s consistent with the blue figure released as part of the Rise of Cobra series. The removable hood that he comes with also helps to separate him from the crowd. Without he looks a lot less like an individual and more like a standard trooper. I find the hood is reminiscent of a Cobra Night Creeper and I’m kind of surprised they didn’t paint him purple and go that route instead. This figure was packed as part of another ninja themed 3-pack though he was the only ninja in the set. The other two figures included were another version of Roadblock and a movie version of Beachhead (who is also most likely not in the film). Nothing about those 2 figures stood out to me and I would’ve passed on them had they been sold separately. Kamakura was the real draw to this set for me. Overall I think this is a cool new look for a cool character who I’m glad did not get forgotten just because he was created during the oft ignored new sculpt era. 7 out of 10.