G.I. Joe mini-busts - Stormshadow and Snake Eyes

Palisades Toys has produced many excellent mini-busts - the latest two are from the G.I. Joe license.  Storm Shadow and Snake Eyes have been given the treatment, and they've turned out fantastic.

Storm Shadow is a ninja assassin, trained in the deadly arts and proficient in killing.

Snake Eyes is the ultimate military man, skilled in numerous hand-to-hand fighting styles, and many hand held weapons.

A third is already planned in this series, the Baroness.  You can find the busts at most comic shops, and at many on-line dealers.  Retail is about $50.

Packaging - ***
The boxes are nicely designed, and are collector friendly as you'd expect.  The graphics are decent, with a limited amount of text.

Both busts are extremely well packed inside the box, probably the most critical aspect for these fragile items.

Sculpting - ****
The work on both busts is nothing short of amazing.  I thought the Predator bust was good, but these are even better.

The detail work on the muscles, wrinkles and folds in the cloths and particularly in Storm Shadow's face is terrific.

Paint - ****
At first glance, it might seem that they are each predominately one color - black for Snake Eyes and white for Storm Shadow.  But on closer inspection you'll notice that there is quite a bit of variety and color on both figures.

Storm Shadow has a great wash that brings out the folds and wrinkles of his uniform.  The skin tone on his face is properly colored, and the silver highlights on the weapons make great contrast with the black of the pack.

There's also quite a bit of paint detail on Snake Eyes, particularly around the belts which hold the grenades and various pouches.  The contrast of both figures against the silver/gray of the bases works very well, as does the contrast between the two busts next to each other on the shelf.

Quality - ***1/2
As I've come to expect from Palisades, the quality of both statues is top notch.  There's plenty of heft, solid materials, and even the small pieces seemed unlikely to break too easily.

Design - ***
These two mini-busts show two very different designs.  Storm Shadow is a very traditional design, with no arms, a la Venus De Milo.  Snake Eyes on the other hand, has both his arms, raised in a defensive/attack sword position, holding his weapon parallel to his body.

The different styles hurt the overall combination look of the two busts, since it hurts some of the consistency, but there's certainly merit to both styles. 

Value - ***
These follow the industry standard, running about $40-$50.  I'm not sure that the license really commands that price though, and that's why they took a slight hit on value.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm not a huge Joe fan - at least not the RAH versions - but when I saw these designs they drew me right in.  The sculpting is beautiful, with terrific paint ops.  If you're not a Joe fan, you'll probably be hard pressed to spend the $40, but if you're a big fan of the license, and have a place for mini-busts in your collection, I'd give these a serious look. 

Where to Buy - 
A fast scan turned up:

- Aislesniper has both available for $40, plus they have preorders up for the Baroness, Roadblock and Destro.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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