SLICE v.7 (2015)
Shortly after I stopped collecting G.I. Joe toys and comics as a kid the brand became overrun with ninjas. Ninjas had been a part of “The Real American Hero” almost since the beginning but they were just a small part; mostly focusing on the rivalry between Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow. I didn’t mind when a couple other ninjas were introduced into the toy line such as Jinx and the Night Creepers but by 1992 there was a whole sub-team of Ninjas on both sides of the Joe vs Cobra conflict. Even the comic book became ninja centric for a while and was even renamed G.I. Joe starring Snake Eyes and Ninja Force. It wasn’t the influx of neon ninjas alone that drove me away from G.I. Joe but they certainly didn’t help.
Nowadays the ninjas don’t bother me so much and I think it has to do with the size of my collection. It seemed like I had a ton of Joe figures when I was a kid but realistically I probably only had about 50 of them in the shoebox I kept them in. My brother Doug had slightly more and together we had nearly the entire 80s collection. Back then, a sub-team comprised entirely of ninjas would have had a major impact on my soldier-to-ninja ratio and I liked that G.I. Joe was primarily a military toy line. If I wanted a team full of Ninjas I could play with my ninja turtles. Nowadays, as an adult collector, my modern-style G.I. Joe figure collection numbers in the hundreds so a handful of ninjas doesn’t have the same affect. I hope to see every character from the vintage line done in the modern style eventually so I say bring on the ninjas and let’s get them over with.
The first of the Ninja Force characters to sneak their way into the modern line was one of Cobra’s operatives, Dice. The Collector’s Club included him in their inaugural figure subscription service (FSS) 2 years ago. Dice was not a character I had any childhood attachment to but I was quite impressed with the Club’s take on him. The fact that his mask was removable was pretty sweet too. It seemed obvious to Joe fans that his partner-in-crime Slice would be included in the second FSS but to our surprise he was not. I didn’t mind his omission because Slice wasn’t a character I had any nostalgic ties to either and that freed up a slot for a potentially more desirable figure. Besides, I already had a suitable, though unofficial, modern-era Slice in my collection.
If I were to describe Slice I’d say he’s essentially a red ninja (which are abundant in the world of Joe) wearing a fencing mask. In a G.I. Joe: Retaliation branded 3-pack released in 2013 to coincide with the release of the second live-action Joe film, a removable silver fencing mask was included as an accessory to the red ninja in the pack. Clearly this was added so that fans could place it on one of their red ninja figures to create an instant Slice, which is exactly what I did. For the past couple of years my simple custom of Slice has been standing next to Dice on my Cobra Officer shelf and that was good enough for me.
When it was announced that Slice would be included in the third FSS my initial thought was “meh”. I supposed it would be good to have an official Slice to stand next to Dice and at least it would free up the red ninja stand-in who could now be displayed with the others on my henchmen shelf. When it was revealed that Slice would be getting a newly sculpted head by Boss Fight Studios I was actually disappointed. I love the work of BFS but the Club can only afford to hit them up for a couple of newly sculpted pieces for each FSS and it seemed a waste to use one of those slots for Slice when the fencing mask was already available for use.
Now that I have Slice in hand I still don’t know if crafting him a new head was the absolute best use of the Club’s resources but it is a damn good head. From the neck down the Club used a red ninja figure just like I had done so the only difference in construction between this official Slice and my unofficial one is the new head. But that lone new piece makes a world of difference. The fine detail in the mesh faceplate is fantastic and I love the flowing ties in the back.
The other thing that really brings this figure to life is the new paint job. He’s molded in a vibrant red plastic which looks awesome and sets him apart from all the other red ninjas whose outfits are more crimson. The black star pattern on his outfit (which is straight from the original 1992 Slice figure) looks awesome and goes even further to differentiate Slice from the rest of the nameless ninja horde.
For accessories Slice has a display base, backpack, 4 swords, and a couple of ninja claws. It’s all stuff we’ve seen before but they look good and they’re all appropriate choices for the character. This is one of those figures I wasn’t really looking forward to but now that I have it I’m totally sold. 9 out of 10.