SEARCH      FEATURES    NEWSLETTER    EMAIL     HOME
White Space
Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week
Review Header Bar
White Space

Review of Ken vs. Blanka
Street Fighter action figures

Jazwares
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

Please share with your friends!

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Introduction

It's been many, many years since I played Street Fighter, and somehow the game is still hanging in there. Even more surprising, at least to me, is that it's still getting the action figure treatment.

Back about 6 years ago, SOTA started doing their excellent line of figures in the 6" scale. They were exceptional, and fans of the original and sequel games were quite pleased with the style and quality.

Now Jazwares is hitting up the license, and I'm checking out one of their two packs of the 4" scale figures. This one includes Ken and Blanka, old style. They are doing several two packs for the original game, as well as several with characters from Street Fighter IV.

I found these at the local Toys R Us awhile back, and they'll run you about $15 a pair. They had the first two sets in the standard Street Fighter series, as well as the first two pairs in the Street Fighter IV series.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Packaging - ***
Nothing super special about the card back or bubble, but they are sturdy, and there's some reasonable personalization for the pair on the back. There's nothing too deep, but you also get to see the other two packs in the first wave (Ryu vs Sagat) and series 2 (M. Bison vs Akuma and Chun-Li vs Vega).

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Sculpting - ***
As video game figures, the sculpts don't have to match any one person all that well. Both capture the general look of the characters, with some minor changes to allow for the articulation.

One of those changes is with Blanka's wild orange hair. Here, it rises way up and out from his neck and shoulders, which I believe was an attempt to give the ball jointed neck plenty of room to operate. It didn't work as well as they'd probably expected, and it looks a little silly on top of it.

The work on the faces is a little soft as well, but remember - these are only 4" tall, similar to Hasbro's Star Wars line. You can't expect the same level of detail as what you can expect even with a 6" scale figure, but I do think they could be slightly better. Ken is just over 4" tall, while the bigger Blanka is almost 5" tall.

I'm also not particularly happy with the mold lines (like on Ken's face) and rough edges to some of the pieces. Jazwares needs to tighten up some of the quality moving forward.

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Paint - **
The paint work on the heads is pretty weak for both figures, but Ken is particularly bad. The hair has a dirty, gloppy texture, and the eyes are soft and fuzzy with little definition.

Blanka's face isn't quite as sloppy, but it's still weaker than I like to see, even at this scale. Both figures have poor cut lines on the costumes (or body hair, in Blanka's case), and the generally weak paint is obvious even with the nekkid eye.

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Articulation - Ken ***1/2; Blanka ***
Both of these figures have very good articulation, with a few minor issues.

There's a ball jointed neck on both, and Ken has plenty of tilt and turn action. Blanka's hair, even with the goofy sculpt, still gets in the way quite a bit. In fact, it forces the head to pop off the neck far easier than it should.

There's ball jointed shoulders, but these are the usual pin/disc style. The hips are also ball jointed, and they are the more traditional standard ball.

There's pin knees and elbows, an ab crunch, cut wrists, and pin and cut ankles. All the joints are very sturdy, with one exception - Blanka's right wrist. His open hand falls right off with the slightest touch, an annoyance for collectors and kids alike.

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Accessories - **1/2
These don't have a ton of extras, although neither of these characters really used much of anything within the game. Ken comes with an extra right hand, posed in his goofy thumbs up sign, and Blanka comes with an extra pair of hands, both in fists.

Ken's right hand and Blanka's left swapped easily enough, but pop on tightly. Be careful pulling them off, and have a good grip on the forearm to avoid damaging the elbow.

Unfortunately, Blanka's right hand didn't work as well. I already mentioned that the open sculpted hand he comes wearing tends to fall off with the slightest touch, but it's not a problem with the hand. The fisted right hand falls right off too, a good indication that the wrist hole is too large.

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Fun Factor - ***1/2
The sloppy wrist on Blanka's right arm is a bit of a distraction, but overall these are good, solid action figures. If you're looking for great collectibles, I'd stick with the older SOTA series, but if you're looking for something to pick up for the kids at Christmas, these are a good choice. It also helps that these are in scale with other 4" figures like Star Wars.

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Value - **1/2
At $15 a pair, they aren't cheap, but in line with the current $7 - $8 each for most 4" scale figures, many of them with less articulation.

Things to Watch Out For -
Keep a good grip on the forearms when swapping the hands - otherwise, you should be good.

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Dividing Bar

Overall - ***
The fun factor rescues these from a lower score. I think the sculpt is decent, but it's hiding under some pretty weak paint. These aren't the type of figures that collectors will line up around the block for, but they are good toys for kids that love the game.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - **
Articulation - Ken ***1/2; Blanka ***
Accessories - **1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***

Where to Buy 
I snagged these guys at Toys R Us, which is probably your best bet.

Related Links -
Other Street Fighter reviews includes this guest take on the Medicom Chun Li, a guest review of the Revoltech series, and many of the terrific SOTA figures like the SDCC Dan, the exclusive blue Blanka, the SDCC exclusive Cammy, Guile and Ryu/Bison two pack, and the regular series 1, series 2 and series 3 reviews.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

Dividing Bar

Dividing Bar

Please share with your friends!

Street Fighter Ken vs Blanka action figures by Jazwares

Back to Main Page
This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

White Space
Review Bottom Edge
This page copyright 2000 - 2015, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions!