The G.I. Joe Classified line tends to focus on the early ’80s characters and designs and there is a long history of interesting characters and figure designs from the ’90s onward that I wasn’t sure we would ever tap into for Classified. That’s one of the reasons I was so glad to see Kamakura announced because it showed us that the Joe team was willing to spread out into different territory. Let’s take a look at Kamakura!
The Classified line is probably my favorite of the plastic-free box designs we’ve seen from Hasbro as it highlights the wonderful art like this kinetic Kamakura piece. It would be great if we got artist credit on the box somewhere. Kamakura comes on a little tray and his accessories are packed in the foot locker box that has some nicely printed graphics.
The figure and all the accessories do fit in the box and while I did find it useful to keep all the accessories together while I was carting the figure about to take pictures, I probably won’t keep many. I did keep one of my Blue Ninja boxes to hold all the accessories that weren’t being used on my Classified collection shelves.
Kamakura comes with an alternate head, two hood option pieces, a sword holding pack, two katanas, an Uzi, a pistol, one sword-staff, and the sword-staff split in two. The sword-staff is a weapon that came with Akiko from the Snake Eyes film. It’s basically two swords attached together. The toy wisely doesn’t have two swords attach via a clunky mechanism and instead there are two versions, separate swords and sword staff.
The two Katanas have slightly different hilts and both fit into the loops on the back of the pack. The pack attaches via peg and stays on fairly tightly. You can flip the pack around either way and it still holds the swords at about the same height on the back.
The Uzi, knife, and pistol look like the same weapons from the Snake Eyes figure and are cast in solid black. They work well with the figure, but he doesn’t have any kind of holster for them. I would have liked a holster for the pistol, a sheathe for the knife or perhaps a sling for the Uzi. Maybe if they had given him a new weapons strap or belt piece the could have added those features.
Continuing the re-use theme, Kamakura also comes with re-colored versions of the two hood pieces that came with the recent Storm Shadow. Both pieces work with both heads. I think he looks a little plain with no hood piece at all and my favorite is probably the hood down look.
The piece with the hood up feels a little over-large for my taste and rides high on his head. You can fit the unmasked head in the hood, but I think it looks a little silly. I may mess with heating it and reshaping it to see if I can get the hood to squish down a bit.
My favorite accessory is the alternate unmasked head as it looks like more realistic version of one of my favorite Kamakura art pieces. I’m also really impressed with the detail in his ’90s spikey hair. The details on this line feel so much sharper than most Hasbro lines to me. Sometimes they feel like high resolution compared to the standard definition in other lines.
The body re-uses Storm Shadow’s torso, but has new arms from the butterfly hinged pecs and shoulders down and new legs. It’s smart re-use of a great figure, so it works well for me. I especially like the detail in the knee, shin, and forearm armor that looks like plates tied together. There is also some cool samurai-like detail in the calf armor that gives him a little more visual interest.
Articulation is very good with:
- Swivel/hinge shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles
- Butterfly hinged pecs
- Ball and socket waist, head, and lower neck
- Hinged mid- torso and drop-down hips
- Double hinged knees and elbows
- Bicep, thigh, and boot swivel
The standard Classified articulation scheme is probably my favorite going right now, though I am a little disappointed that they dropped the hinge in the upper neck. I don’t feel like the figures look up as well without it and Kamakura especially doesn’t get a lot of up/down neck movement.
Paint is solid, with mostly clean work on the color separations and solid faceprinting. It is a little sloppy on the flesh part of his finger-less gloves where there are parts where the flesh paint doesn’t quite cover all the dark blue-gray plastic of the hands.
Normally I feel very satisfied with the value of G.I. Joe Classified figures, but this figure was billed as deluxe and sells at a higher price point than the usual Classified figure and I just don’t see the extra value. He comes with a bunch of weapons, but it’s not more than the red ninja and pretty close to what Storm Shadow came with. The only unusual thing with him is that he has more than one portrait, so I wonder if two face-printings is really what was bumping the cost past normal and the extra weapons were put in to plus it up a bit. I don’t know, I’m just speculating, because it is a bit baffling to me and other than the price gouge feeling I have, I love the figure. I think I would have been happy with just the two swords and maybe the Uzi as weapons.