NIGHT CREEPER V.13 (2016)
In my last review I lambasted The G.I. Joe Club’s Figure Subscription Service (FSS) Barricade. It committed two cardinal sins; being a crappy character and being a crappy toy. Today I’m going to take a look at the other figure that shipped out with him, Night Creeper Ice Ninja.
The Ice Ninja is not a crappy character nor is it a crappy toy. The only issue I have with with this figure is its redundancy. Don’t get me wrong, I like trooper variations. Having Cobra soldiers in various colors is generally A-OK with me. It allows me to bolster my Cobra forces without buying duplicates of the exact same figure. However, ninjas are some of my least favorite troop builders and arctic ninjas seem especially impractical. To be fair, I wouldn’t think twice about buying this figure at retail for 10 or 12 bucks but at premium club prices it becomes glaringly obvious that ice ninjas are not integral to the Cobra organization. Having said all that, I do still like this figure.
Cobra’s contracted squad of high-tech ninjas first appeared in action figure form in 1990. The original wore purple and gray and it was pretty cool. The second version of the Night Creeper released in 1993 was a stupid pink Cylon look-a-like and it was complete garbage. That figure was re-released in 1994 with a new color-changing gimmick and it sucked even worse than the last one. The superior original mold made a return in 1998 for Night Creeper version 4. It was included in an arctic themed 3-pack along with Firefly and a Snow Serpent. The trio all had matching white and icy blue paint jobs. I never owned that pack but I’ve always thought they were a nice looking squad. In fact, I wouldn’t mind seeing a modern-era update of that Firefly to display with this remake of Night Creeper v.4.
I haven’t loved the previous 2 modern-era versions of the Night Creeper but they’ve been adequate. The first 2009 version was a remake of the purple and gray original and the Rise of Cobra version released later that same year with some tweaked arms and a new blue and black color scheme was essentially an update of 2004’s version 6. This new arctic version features a different set of legs and arms and it may very well be my favorite of the modern-era Night Creepers. The legs come from Storm Shadow v.43 which give this Creeper a more traditional sock footed ninja look as opposed to the booted legs of the previous two. Storm Shadow v.43 is my favorite Storm Shadow figure to date so I’m all for borrowing pieces from him. However, the ankle joints combined with shallow peg holes on his heels make it very difficult to get him to stand firmly on his display base. At a glance I’m not sure where the arms came from but they match up nicely with the rest of the figure.
The head is the same as the previous versions. I’ve always thought this head was decent but while I was taking him out of the package his headband and cowl fell off and I was surprised by how much I liked the look of him without it. I don’t think I’ve ever taken the headgear off of my other Night Creepers before but perhaps I should. Without it he kind of looks like an Ice Viper, my all-time favourite Cobra Trooper.
For accessories Night Creeper includes his standard backpack, curved blade sword, and multi-arrow crossbow. New to his trimmings is a shoulder scarf/cape which I guess he uses to keep warm while running around in the snow in his socks. It looks kinda cool and it differentiates him from his brethren but it does hinder a few things. His backpack doesn’t fit properly with the cape on and his right arm is completely useless under there.
The last thing I need to mention is the paint job. I thought it looked great in ’98 and it looks great now. The crisp whites and the silver and blue highlights look really sharp together. This figure may not be essential to your collection but if you signed up for the FSS 4.0 and you’re getting it anyway it’s not a bad addition. 7 out of 10.