Monday, September 24, 2012

GI Joe Retaliation Ninja Dojo Set feat Kamakura, Roadblock and Beachhead

Presenting Kamakura, Roadblock and Beachhead from the GI Joe Retaliation Ninja Dojo set.

Of these three characters, only Roadblock is available individually from the Retaliation line. I'm not really a fan of the individual Roadblock, so I decided to pick up the Ninja Dojo set instead.

As with the GI Joe Retaliation Ninja Showdown set, the Ninja Dojo set comes chock full of accessories which is definitely a plus to the set and a definite reason to pick it up. We'll go into this in greater detail later, but the Ninja Dojo set comes with some of the best - and probably some of the most fan favorite - accessories from the 25th Anniversary GI Joe series.

The GI Joe Retaliation Ninja Dojo set's blister card reads the same as the GI Joe Retaliation Ninja Showdown set's blister card "G.I. Joe is the world's greatest special-ops fighting force with top-secret ninja training from the toughest of masters. Led by ultimate Ninja Commando Roadblock, these elite heroes defend the globe from the evil forces of Cobra."

Not particularly creative, and it again raises the issue "Who the hell is Hasbro trying to target?" Honestly these are not toys for 5 year-olds who believe in the magical world of ninjas. And the pack is chock full of choking hazards. Besides, look at Roadblock, everything about him screams "I'm not a Ninja!"

Sigh. No wonder they moved the movie back. Anyway, the GI Joe Retaliation Ninja Dojo set comes with:

  • Most of the gear of the GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra Duke (Wave 1) including
    • His incredibly detailed M4 assault rifle repainted in desert colors with a brand new (unpainted) Rail Adapater System, Vertical Forward Grip, suppressor and Aimpoint CompM2;
    • Duke's battle harness riddled with extra ammunition for the M4 and inclusive of a removable machete; 
    • Duke's unsuppressed rapid-fire AM-2J light-machine-gun with removable ammo clip;
  • Some of the gear from the "Ultimate" Snake Eyes (AKA the Ninja Commando Snake Eyes or GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra Snake Eyes Wave 3)

    • His Claymore Sword;
    • His UZI with optional suppressor;
    • His 9mm pistol with optional suppressor
  • The Jungle B.A.T.s (GI Joe Pursuit of Cobra Wave 5) mini-gun, ammo chain and ammo storage.  
  • A Heckler & Koch MP5K (K for Kurtz which means short);
  • A Heckler & Koch MP7A1 with a built in suppressor, extended magazine and reflex sight; 
  • A pair of nunchucks;
  • A three pronged battle claw;
  • Two battle harnesses; 
  • A backpack with built in scabbards for a pair of long and short Ronin Ninja swords. 
  • A pair of combat knives
  • And an oversized spring-loaded cannon leftover from the Rise of Cobra line - not sure who originally carried it, nor to I care who did because I think it's just a waste of good plastic. 
What' to like about the GI Joe Retaliation Ninja Dojo Set?

A) Roadblock. Sadly there really isn't much to like about the Retaliation Roadblock action figure. To begin with, isn't the Rock black? Even if we assume that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is "mulato", his action figure has him as white a Goldberg. Hell he looks more like Goldberg than the Rock.

I'm Asian and a healthy dark brown in color and this action figure has lighter skin than me. What kind of message does this send when the skin of an action figure has to be changed? Was it politically incorrect and potentially unfinancially viable to have an African American Action Figure? I don't know about you, but I've bought the previous incarnations of Roadblock. This is the one that makes me scratch my head.

To make matters worse, that's not the worst of it.

Happily he's a solid figure. Retaliation Roadblock stands taller than most at 4 inches in height. He's got muscles that definitely pay tribute to the action figure's inspiration. And he comes with a pair of really heavy-weapons that complement his stature.  Posing Retaliation Roadblock is a delight:

That's about it. Have you noticed yet that Retaliation Roadblock's feet are locked? Retaliation Roadblock does not have ankle joints nor does he have that second knee joint that allows him to kneel. It's the same problem as Retaliation Zartan. He also does not have the new wrist joints so when he uses the AM-2J Light Machine gun, the butt of the weapon is not supported by Retaliation Roadblock's shoulder or upper arm. All the recoil is therefore absorbed by his wrists.

Give him a pair of shades and he looks more like Riddick than the Rock. Speaking of Riddick, Retaliation Roadblock can still hold a combat knife, though he does not have a sheath for one. He can theoretically be made to pose firing that ridiculously huge cannon, but I'm not a fan of oversized weapons.

B) Kamakura: Kamakura was once called the Green Power Ranger by General Hawk and as you can see, he's still living up to that image.

On to the bad: Aside from being a sickly Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-green, Retaliation Kamakura is also made out of recycled parts, specifically, the Rock Cobra POC Rock Viper merged with the chest piece of something else. So like the Rock Lobster, Retaliation Kamakura comes with the same joint hampering armor pieces, but unlike the Rock Lobster, Retaliation Kamakura does not come with the new wrist joints.

Retaliation Kamakura also comes with a removable hoodie. The jury is still out on whether I like it or not. But it's nice to know it can be removed if you don't like it.

By default you'd think that the UZI would be the weapon of choice for Retaliation Kamakura - simply because he's a Ninja and the UZI is his mentor's weapon of choice, but because he's sporting  Duke's battle harness, he actually carries ammunition for the M4. The UZI has an optional suppressor.

Retaliation Kamakura's primary weapon of choice seems to be his battle-claw - which lacks a grip by the way - but unfortunately a lot of pose-ability is hampered by his Rock-Lobster shin armor.

Strip Retaliation Kamakura down a little more and you have him using his swords - starting with his little machete. Happily Retaliation Kamakura has no problem holding any of his blades:

Speaking of I don't believe I've ever mentioned how much I like the intricacies of Ninja Commando Snake Eyes Claymore Sword - specifically the detailing in its hilt.

The other big let down is Retaliation Kamakura's nunchucks. The cord that hold the two ends is simply too long:

C) Beachhead: Retaliation Beachhead is actually the gem of the Ninja Dojo set. Yes, Beachhead is actually built from a recycled/repainted  Ninja Commando Snake Eyes body with what is most likely the head taken from a Steel Brigade Trooper (Happily without the puppy-dog eyes that the Steel Brigade Trooper sports). 

Aside from the fact that he has one of the nicest Joe bodies in the market, Retaliation Beachhead's repaint is a refreshing desert tan which is a fine contrast to his dark-alleyfighting POC Beachhead version. The result is a more versatile figure that can fit more scenarios in your toy collection.

Retaliation Beachhead is a find combination of looks, poseability and cool accessories:

Even when you strip him down, Retaliation Beachhead is still pretty cool:

The GI Joe Retaliation Ninja Dojo Set was purchased at Toys R'Us Galleria Branch here in the Philippines for PhP 1,499.75 (Roughly US$ 36). It is available on Amazon for US$ 31.70 (PhP 1,331 plus shipping). Is it worth it? Personally for one excellent figure, one so-so-figure and one prime example of racism figure? Yeah why not? 


  1. The one i bought has snake eyes head on kamakuras body, worth money? Or ripped off?

  2. Sounds like a factory defect. SOmetimes you can make a lot of money off of those :)


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