Produced by Hasbro | Released 2009
TUNNEL RAT and STORM SHADOW engage in a tense duel of wits and weapons. These skilled adversaries battle one-on-one in a shadowy maze of pipes, ducts and machinery, relying on ingenuity and raw nerves to outwit each other and, if they're lucky, escape alive!
Hasbro - ever the masters of recycling - would go on to reissue this version of Tunnel Rat in a GI Joe: Rise of Cobra Walmart double-pack. As we've already covered that pack, it's worth reading the Review before continuing. Aside from a the paintwork and some accessory tweaks (which we'll cover below) the figures are identical.
The Resolute Tunnel Rat features a slightly more subdued colour-scheme, in-keeping with the more lifelike tone of the animated series. Whilst it's not as lifelike or cool as the City Strike/Resolute Snake Eyes, he's still a big improvement over the Rise of Cobra Tunnel Rat, especially when it comes to his accessories. Here, rather than being rendered in a bright, sickly green, they're much more down-to-earth, with the ammo bandolier/holster being black with gun metal and brown details, his belt is now black and his TNT pack and knife sheath are both now brown. It's amazing how these palette changes can impact the figure so positively. However, it's too bad to see they still went with the Me So Solly ''Chinese'' eyes. I'm also not sold on his camouflage paint (or is it dirt?), but I can live with it, just.
Whereas Tunnel Rat was reissued within a few months, it took almost 2 years for this Storm Shadow figure to be reused. A few minor sculpt tweaks aside, this is the Arctic Threat/Temple Guardian Snake Eyes figure released just last month as part of the Pursuit of Cobra line.
The main difference is the colour scheme. Here Snake Eyes' customary black outfit becomes Storm Shadow's white (or vice-versa.) Storm Shadow also sports red and brown detailing (as opposed to white and black) and his chest piece features the Arashikage symbol, rather than the abstract pattern of Snake Eyes. It still works well and - in some ways - is more visually appealing than the Snake Eyes repaint, simply as the white, red and brown paintwork accentuates more of the sculpt's details in many places.
The Resolute Storm Shadow - like the Arctic Threat Snake Eyes - includes two masks, the ''Samurai Helmet'' style full-head piece and the ''Dice''-style mask. Indeed, given the double-bladed crescent polearm and large-bladed Chinese axe he comes with, it wouldn't take much effort to convert him into Cobra Ninja Dice...
With the exception of the new base head sculpt (which features Storm Shadow in his Ninja Mask), the accessories and the paintwork, this figure is identical to the Arctic Threat Snake Eyes.
Tunnel Rat comes with a pistol (which fits into his shoulder holster), a TNT pack and a sniper rifle, complete with removable bi-pod.
Storm Shadow comes with two masks, a polearm and a wide-bladed axe.
Both figures include bases and pre-cut ID cards and the pack is rounded-off with Issue #2 of the GI Joe: Resolute comic, 22 Minutes. The comic is a pretty decent read, a nice self-contained story with solid artwork and some cool action, so that's a definite plus.
This is a difficult summary to write, given that these figures are both the ''original'' versions of two figures I've already Reviewed. I'm going to simply put that aside though and concentrate on the merits of this pack.
Tunnel Rat is a pretty cool figure, overall. This more muted palette looks much better than the Rise of Cobra version (sorry, I said I wouldn't dwell on comparisons to the other figures!), with the more ''grown-up'' colour scheme really working nicely to set-off an already cool sculpt. Articulation is solid and the figure is a pretty fun toy.
Storm Shadow is the definite stand-out of the two though. The Martial Arts baggy outfit and Samurai-style armour look superb and there's some fantastic detailing on these pieces, such as the rope ties and studded plates. The choice of colour is also excellent, with Storm Shadow's traditional white uniform being augmented with this brown and red trim. I get the impression the Arctic Threat Storm Shadow was an attempt to update this look but in all honesty, it wasn't needed. This figure not only looks great but looks a thousand times better than the Pursuit of Cobra ''revision.''
If you're not a completist or you already own the Rise of Cobra/Pursuit of Cobra versions of these figures you may want to think before buying. But if you were to pass on them, you'd be missing out on some very good figures. The Tunnel Rat here is a much cooler, more lifelike take on the character and this Storm Shadow looks awesome and works well as counterpoint to the Arctic Threat Snake Eyes.
And given that this pack can be found in many discount stores (such as Big Lots) for around $10 - so that's $5 per figure - you really can't be robbed, especially when the two figures look so good.