Spytroops Kamakura 
and Night Creeper

Tonight's guest review is from regular guest reviewer Coheteboy! He's back with a review of the Spytroops two pack, Kamakura and Night Creeper.  Since he knows these figures far better than I, I'll let him tell you...

Hasbro's G.I.Joe vs. Cobra line is still going strong with the continuation of the SPY TROOPS theme. The latest wave gives collectors brand new figures instead of the one-new-one-repaint sets we've seen of late. Other sets include a long awaited LADY JAYE vs. IRON GRENADIER, GRUNT vs. DESTRO (this one ain't bad), and a few others. 

KAMAKURA is the first action figure fans have seen of a character that was spawned from the comic books. Trained by Snake Eyes, KAMAKURA bears the markings of the Arashikage ninja clan. 

The NIGHT CREEPER is Cobra's answer to the martial artists on the Joe Team since Storm Shadow just isn't enough. Redesigned from the earlier version, the "Ninja Vipers" are ready to do some heavy damage. 

I'm still a bit tossed on the concept of Spy Troops, but as long as the gear does not interfere with the natural look of the character, it's easy to forget about it. One thing I am EXTREMELY thankful for is the removal of the SOUND-ATTACK chips. That was probably the worst gimmick in the history of toy gimmicks. Yes, there WAS something worse than the commtech believe it or not. 

Packaging - ***1/2
The Spy Troops packaging is attractive and works very well. The card is is a decent small size even though two figures are packed together. The insert shows off some nice illustrations of the characters and serves as a file card as well as housing a Joe comic written by the legendary Larry Hama. The figures themselves are very visible through the bubble so collectors can find their toy in perfect shape if necessary.

Sculpting - KAMAKURA: ***, NIGHT CREEPER: *** 1/2
This is a only a personal opinion, but the G.I.Joe figures of old are far better toys than the new ones made today. The toy itself may be a little sturdier, but I think the older Joes never had a proportion problem. What bothers me about some of the newer sculpts are the gigantic shoulders and upper bodies of the females with the impossibly tiny head. KAMAKURA definitely has a tiny head problem in addition to his bulky body. Generally, he's a decent figure but I don't see why it's so difficult to make the figure look more balanced in proportion. Another problem I have with KAMAKURA is that his sculpted clothing is very flat and two-dimensional; not looking the slightest bit natural. 

The Night Creeper has a much nicer balance in scale to give him the leading edge. Although there isn't anything to base this figure on, it's very clear that this figure was meant to look this way and Hasbro was successful here.

Paint - ***
For the most part these two figures are painted decently. There aren't much to these, however, as KAMAKURA is mostly light green with a few stripes going down his outfit. The NIGHT CREEPER is also rather bland being mostly turquoise. Despite the shortage of colors, I found them to be applied well with clean edges anyway. It would be nice to see some figures with more detail but what they have isn't too bad. 

Articulation - KAMAKURA: ***, NIGHT CREEPER: *** 1/2
It's a shame that in a set with two ninjas, one would have better articulation than the other. KAMAKURA for some reason or another is given the standard amount of Joe articulation which is: ball-neck, ball-jointed shoulders, cut biceps, elbows, waist, legs, and knees. This limits the number of cool action poses that KAMAKURA is able to perform. 

NIGHT CREEPER delivers much better with the addition of points in his wrists and heels, allowing for better poseability. Every Joe figure can do better using this much articulation and additional articulation in the thighs would help immensely. 

Accessories - ***1/2
What you can always count on with G.I.Joes are the accessories. There are 11 weapons and accessories total between the two figures. Both come with a sword and sheath as well as a few other accessories. NIGHT CREEPER however, has the upper hand here since he is bestowed with the Spy Troops gear disguised as Wet-Suit. 

Best news is the fact that the Sound Attack chips have disappeared. 

Value - ***1/2
Two figures for $7.99 isn't a bad deal, especially if they have the amount of articulation that these figures do. 

Overall - ***1/2
I'm a sucker for G.I.Joe and I'm an even bigger sucker for ninja figures. If you buy Joes at all, this is one of the good sets to get, but it's not without the negatives. My least favorite aspect of the set lies in KAMAKURA. As cool as he is, his head is the size of a pea and he lacks the extra articulation given to such figures as Snake-Eyes, Duke, Night Creeper, Nunchuk, and Firefly. But still, this is an awesome set that finally gives fans a figure of a character born in the comic books. 

Where to Buy:
Wal-Mart, Target, and Toys'R'Us are the more reliable places to find the G.I.Joe line.


Figures from the collection of Coheteboy.

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