Monday, June 24, 2024

Action Figure Review: Ken from Ultra Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers by Jada Toys


   Jada Toys seems to have big plans for their Ultra Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers toyline, though they stated off slow with only three characters last year: Ryu, Chun-Li, and Fei Long. Series 2 has been hitting slowly over the past few months and it seems that Ken shipped before M. Bison and Dhalsim, the other two figures in the series. While Ken was a bit of a Ryu clone in the game Capcom worked over time to differentiate him from his best friend and rival. The Jada Toys Ken uses much of the same body as Ryu, but his outfit is different so they're not just the same figure with different heads and paint jobs. Ready to check out Ken and see if he's "Kenough" to win the World Warrior Tournament? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 6 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, shin swivels, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed waist, balljointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders w/lateral pec hinges, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck, and a barbelljointed head.

Accessories: 4 swappable hands, 2 swappable portraits, gi, belt, belt peg, hadouken, and 2-piece effect stand. 

Non-Scalper Price: $25 dollars

The Positives:

* Ken looks really cool in his bright red gi with a black belt. He's instantly recognizable and just a bold looking figure despite his simple design. Jada Toys has gone with a slightly stylized look here that nicely matches the look of the art from the game and has just a bit of an anime feel. While Ken wears an outfit incredibly similar to Ryu's, his sleeves aren't ripped and his pantlegs are neat and trimmed, not uneven and ragged. 

* Ken's gi is removable as well. The belt comes off easily as it's quite rubbery and elastic, held in place by a small plastic peg. The gi is also quite pliable and comes off easily. Jada Toys didn't just leave Ken bare-chested and molded in plastic the color of his skin; he has some nice highlights that add some depth and toning to his muscles. It's pretty impressive looking.

* Ken's usually portrayed as a a happy, go-lucky guy so his first portrait is his smiling face. He looks pretty happy, like he's just destroyed a small automobile with his bare hands or he's getting ready to endorse some new product that he's the paid spokesperson for. 

* The second head shows Ken with his teeth gritted. He's ready for battle and his hair is definitely a bit more messed up. Ken has some serious eyebrows and they definitely show off his demeanor here. He's pissed! Maybe someone just dodged his tatsumaki senpuu kyaku? 

* Ken's articulation good. Really, really good. Jada Toys is putting out some durable action figures with a great range of motion. He's a joy to pose and can take most poses you could want him in. Everything moves smoothly and all of the joints are pinless, so he looks very sleek. The joints all feel really good and the extra joints like both a balljointed waist and mid-torso and the pectoral hinges allow for more movement than your average action figure.

* Ken comes with two swappable pairs of hands: A pair of open palms with the fingers curled up, like he's striking his opponent or launching a hadouken and a pair of fists. The hands swap easily and nicely complement most poses.

* I'm really a fan of each figure coming with an effect showing off one of their special attacks. This is was ahead of the spring activated attacks or reused missile launchers that the Street Fighter II G.I. Joe figures had when I was a kid. Ken's hadouken is a translucent fireball that is very reminiscent of the in-game design. 

* It also comes with a 2-piece stand with two hinges as well. The inclusion of the stand really makes this a cool accessory. This almost feels like it could be an import quality figure!

* Check out the inside of the hadouken: You can actually see Ken's hands! Apparently, the hadouken is the result of Ken gathering his ki, or life energy, into his hands and releasing it towards his opponent like a projectile. For posing this guy who could even remove his hands and place them right up against the back of the fireball if you want to do a close-up pose of him generating the hadouken.

   I loved my Street Fighter II figures from Hasbro as a kid. Yeah, they were weirdly inaccurate as they were based on reused G.I Joe bodies, but I had a lot of fun with them. Street Fighter figures have been tougher to come by in the past few decades (or pricey) but Jada Toys' are excellent. Reasonably priced, incredible articulation, and a nice amount of accessories and extras. Ken is a Great and a 1/2 figure and, if you didn't know he was a domestic retail release, you probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between him and a pricier import figure. Jada Toys seems to have a nice lineup prepared, so let's hope they keep making their way through the roster.

Looking for more of Ken? You can also check out my review of the Super7 M.U.S.C.L.E. Street Fighter II Pack B with Ken, Dhalsim, and Balrog.

For more Ultra Street Fighter 2: The New Challengers reviews check out the following:

1 comment:

  1. Yeah I got this one a couple weeks ago. Overall he's fine but ugh, the head sculpts are bad. Both him and Ryu have weirdly large foreheads. And Ken's 'angry' face is just ugly. Also at first I liked the hair was soft enough that it doesn't get in way of articulation, but it's now starting to tear.
    Also the skin on their faces is painted even though the plastic is skin-toned anyway. I noticed on my Ryu, the skin had started to show cracks which at first I thought was the plastic til I noticed it was paint and so I scrubbed it all off and think he looks better. As for his large forehead I managed to prise up the front of his hair, then slice a bit out of his forehead, glue the hair down again and paint some extra red to bring his headband down to his eyes. Looks a bit better.


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