Mike T. stopped by to share the latest entry in his Forgotten Figures series – This time around, he introduces us to the Clear Shadow Ninjas Prototypes. From Mike –
A great many collectors hate the Shadow Ninjas. Actually, that’s probably not overly accurate. It’s more correct to state that most collectors are indifferent to the existence of the Shadow Ninjas. They may own a couple that were acquired in lots of better figures. But, few people actually collect them and fewer still consider them an integral part of the Joe line.
It appears, though, that the Shadow Ninja concept morphed a bit in the design process. Instead of the color changing plastic that was released at retail, Hasbro originally considered clear figures for the series. A few samples of these clear version made it out into the world and you can see examples of Snake Eyes, Stormshadow and Night Creeper below.
While the idea of clear figures would have been novel at the time, the design would have run its course quickly. Maybe if one of the figures in the set had been “invisible”, it would have been a cool gimmick. But, a whole series of them quickly showed the fad’s limitations. You can see the inner workings of the figures. And, since these molds all had spring loaded features, there’s a lot of guts to see.
There’s no real info as to why this concept was abandoned for the color changing plastic. We can speculate that the color changing gimmick was better received than the clear plastic. But, we don’t know for sure. These figures are an interesting look into what might have been, though.
What are your thoughts on these clear Shadow Ninjas? Would you have preferred this gimmick, or was the color changing option the better route to take? Sound off after the break!