Saturday, February 10, 2024

Wrapping Up 2023: Chun-Li from Ultra Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers by Jada Toys

 


   I've been looking forward to reviewing some figures from Jada Toys' Ultra Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers line but I didn't get my hands on any of them until December. I haven't reviewed many Street Fighter figures on the site as there haven't been many readily available over the past decade or so. Revoltech, Storm Collectibles, SOTA, Super7 (under the ReAction banner), NECA, Funko, Max Factory, Toy Biz, and Hasbro (along with a few others) have all put out Street Fighter action figure over the past 30 some years or so, but most of them have either been too expensive, too hard to acquire, or the companies just never came close to completing the main roster. Besides grabbing Jada's Nano Metalfigs and two of NECA's Street Fighter IV figures, my main Street Fighter collection is still my collection of Hasbro figures. Hasbro actually released 1/18th scaled Street Fighter figures as a subset of the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero line in 1993 and as their own line in 1994. My set of the main twelve Street Fighter II figures was cobbled together from those two lines and I played with those figures like crazy as a kid. I'm really excited for Jada's line of Street Fighter figures, though, as they seem to have a solid plan to get out the cast appearing in Street Fighter II and all it's later iterations, including the New Challengers. Series 1 kicked off with two mainstays, Chun-Li and Ryu, and one later fighter, Fei Long. Ryu and Chun-Lil are without a doubt the faces of the franchise and it's pretty cool to have some new figures based on them. They've been readily available from many online retailers but I found mine in store at Target. Ready to check out Chun-Li? Then join me after the break...

 



The Facts:

Height: 5 3/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed waist, balljointed torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, swivel/ hinge neck, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: 4 swappable hands, 2 wrist bands, 2 swappable portraits, lightning leg effect, and 2-piece effect stand. 

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* I really like the style that Jada is using on this line! It's a nice mixture between a slightly exaggerated anime aesthetic and a more realistic appearance, and it matches perfectly with the in-game art and the accompanying art of the various editions of Street Fighter II. This is a really nice looking version of Chun-Li! She's recognizable in her blue and yellow qipao that has clearly been tailored to allow her legs a full range of motion. The lower part of her dress is rubbery and hangs over her waist and hips, but doesn't constrain them in any way. her qipao has a texture to it that sets it apart and the yellow details are very cleanly painted on. Oh, and her thighs? They are suitable muscular. Chun-Li is know for possessing some pretty powerful thigh muscles and Jada Toys captured that well here. 


* Chun-Li is an undercover Interpol agent, a master of martial arts styles such as taekwondo, sanda, and judo, and the self proclaimed "strongest woman in the world." She's tough and Jada definitely captured that in her look. Her normal headsculpt, while gorgeous, still lets you know that Chun-Li is not someone to be trifled with. 





* Her hair is styled into niújiǎotóu, better known as ox horns or double buns. They're held in place with various ribbons and they look quite elegant. 

* Chun-Li's second head (which swaps very easily) definitely shows her in the middle of battle. She's ready to throw down on Bison! 

Dang, now I just want to go watch the movie. I love Street Fighter II but I'm not all that good at it. I'd rather watch the anime or the movie. Especially the movie. I 100%, unironically love the movie. Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li was something we just didn't deserve, but we were fortunate enough to still be able to experience. 


* Chun-Li's spiked wristbands just seem like something you wouldn't allow into a legit martial arts tournament. Then again, when folks are throwing fireballs and sonic booms, I guess regulations are pretty lax. The spiked bracelets are removable, but why take them off? They're just such an integral part of Chun-Li's look. 


* Let's talk about the articulation as it's very impressive. Chun-Li has a crazy level of motion. Her joints are nice and tight but still very fluid, especially her head and neck, hips, waist, and mid-torso. I picked up a few Storm Collectibles figures last year that I never got around to reviewing and while the articulation isn't quite as smooth on Chun-Li as it is on those figures, she still blows most other 1/12th scale figures available at retail out of the water.  





* Chun-Li comes with two sets of swappable hands: A pair of flat striking hands and a pair of fists. They swap easily and feel pretty sturdy. 

* So far all of the figures come with effects pieces, and they're pretty impressive. This is definitely one of the things about this line that makes them feel closer to import quality pieces. Chun-Li comes with a translucent blue energy effect that represents her Lightning Legs attack. It's a set of three energy effects, designed to mimic her rapid series of quick kicks, and it attaches to the top of a clear plastic stand.


* The stand rotates at the base, has two hinges on it, and the Lightning Legs effect can rotate on top, too, making it very versatile for different poses.





* You can place Chun-Li's leg in any of the spots and it makes for a really impressive display. 






* I'm not sure if you'd count this as an accessory or not but the inner tray cardboard tray of the packaging really looks impressive as it's a nice recreation of Chun-Li's Chinese marketplace arena. This makes for a cool way to display the figures if you have the space. 









   Chun-Li is a very impressive figure. I own some Jada products (the General Mills cereal monsters, some Nano Metalfigs, and a 2014 RoboCop 3.0 figure) and while I've liked some of their stuff, the Ultra Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers line is far above anything else they've previously released. This is an impressive figure that can stand toe to toe with most fighting game import figures and does so at around a quarter of the price. Chun-Li is an Epic figure and she gives me hope that we'll complete the full main roster of 16 Street Fighter II, plus some other extra characters along the way. "Yatta!"



Looking for more of Chun-Li? I've also reviewed the Super7 minifigure Chun-Li figure from M.U.S.C.L.E. Street Fighter II: Pack D

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I got her and Ryu a few months ago and Fei Long a couple days ago. She's probably the best overall so far. Ryu's face bugs me a bit (as does his skin tone) but he's fine. Fei Long is fun but really wish the second head had been shouty. Also he lacks a stand to do his fire kick thing and the flame piece for that move is weirdly sticky on mine anyways.
    But overall yeah, nice to have some affordable and well articulated SF figures.

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