NUNCHUK v.5 (2016)
Last week I reviewed Law & Order, one of the first two figures to ship out as part of the G.I. Joe Collector Club’s FSS 4.0. Today I’m going to take a look at the other one, Nunchuk.
The original Nunchuk figure was released in 1992 which was two years after I had quit collecting G.I. Joes as a kid. I lost interest in the brand for a number of reasons and the influx of ninjas didn’t help matters. Now I liked ninjas as much as the next guy, I was into TMNT and I watched the American Ninja movies, but I didn’t like them overtaking G.I. Joe. Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow were cool; one ninja on each team of soldiers was fine. But then they added Jinx and the Night Creepers and then Firefly and Zartan were ninjas all of the sudden and then came Ninja Force.
Ninja Force was a sub-team of Joes and Cobras consisting of Nunchuk, Bushido, T’Jbang and Dojo on the good side and Slice, Dice, and Banzai on the evil side. My little brother Brain was into Ninja Force but they didn’t do anything for me. In my mind they just watered down G.I. Joe’s military theme. I’m pretty sure Brian owned the original Nunchuk figure but I inherited Brian’s Joes and I don’t have Nunchuk now so god knows where he ended up.
For some reason my dislike of 90s G.I. Joes has tapered off as I’ve gotten older. I don’t have nostalgic ties to them like I do with the 80s figures but there were some cool character designs during the final years of the Real American Hero line that I didn’t appreciate at the time. Nowadays I’m actually excited to add updated versions of those neon 90s Joes to my modern collection. For example, I’m super stoked about this year’s Joe Con box set which is made up completely of 90s “Air Patrol” Joes.
The 90s figures have been mostly ignored by Hasbro when it comes to their modern-era releases but the Collector’s Club has slowing been getting the job done via their box sets and subscription services. This year’s Air Patrol and 2014s Eco-Force box sets are prime examples. As for Ninja Force, Slice and Dice were both included in prior subscriptions and T’Jbang was shoehorned into the 2014 set. For that reason it wasn’t exactly a surprise to see Nunchuk included in this year’s FSS. He wasn’t a figure I was chomping at the bit to get but I’m always happy to add unique characters to my shelves.
This figure is made up entirely of reused parts. He’s got a Storm Shadow torso and arms which gives him an appropriate ninja looking top half but then he has Barbecue legs which provide him with battle-ready combat boots. I like the combination; it’s a lot like what the Club did when they mixed Jinx and Scarlett parts to give us Vypra last year.
The head was also originally used for a Storm Shadow figure and it makes for a fine generic masked face. The removable helmet does an okay job of recreating the original figure’s hooded headgear but it’s not as good as it could be. I would’ve preferred to see the Club just glue some cloth to the head like on the original Nunchuk. At least the helmet is unique to my collection. It original came with Snake Eyes version 55 which I don’t have.
Nunchuk has lots of accessories we’ve seen before that range from really cool to completely useless. I love the nunchuks with the string connecting the two batons. It makes for a functional weapon that suits him perfectly given his name. The backpack, swords, and sais are good too but the teeny little darts are just asking to be lost in the carpet.
The color palette is a bit dull but it matches the original quite well. For me personally, I expect this will be one of my least favourite figures from this year’s FSS and that’s a good thing because it’s not at all a bad figure. It’s a decent remake of the original with plenty of appropriate accessories and good articulation. What more could you ask for? My lukewarm reception is only due to the fact that I have no real connection to the character. 7 out of 10.