1993 Scarlett, Ninja Force

Objectively speaking, the Ninja Force sub-line was one of ARAH’s lowest points, if not, perhaps it’s lowest. GI Joe was following trends, they sacrificed the figure construction for gimmicks, and in general the toys were very silly. But, I like some of them, and they were the first GI Joes I ever got as a kid, so I have a special respect for them in my collection. Of them, Scarlet is a figure I used a lot, and for a long time was the only Scarlett in my collection.

As a kid, female figures often served weird roles in my battles. They were usually spies, hostages, spies pretending to be hostages, and sometimes a GI Joe’s girlfriend who’d typically die. Sometimes some pretty weird stuff, but there was a long time where I never really saw Scarlet in the cartoon or anything, as this was the mid 90‘s and ARAH reruns were sparse. She often times would work in tandem with Chun-Li (her repaint), and on a few occasions I even rationalized that they could be suicide-bombers because of the grenade sculpted on the center of their chests. Some mildly strange ideas, but overtime she morphed into being a more ordinary Sunbow Scarlet once Cartoon Network started running GI Joe and I was able to watch more of it.

Like other Ninja Force figures, Scarlett features a non-standard construction to accommodate her kicking gimmick. As such, she has no o-ring, and no hip movement. Her leg joints are a t-crotch, so she also has no horizontal movement in them. In my eyes, this doesn’t necessarily ruin the figure, but it limits her uses and makes her cumbersome. In general, the gimmick is one of the less well done from this sub-line.

Despite that this figure features such an overbearing action feature, the sculpt and painted details on her are honestly fantastic. If this figure had been released with no action feature and a standard o-ring sculpt, she would have easily been the best ARAH female figure released. The sculpted details are very sharp on this mold, particularly the head. It’s more feminine looking and the scale is more appropriate than on the 80‘s female heads. I’m also really amazed they painted the irises and eyelashes separate colors. That’s something I don’t think I’ve seen on another figure.

The rest of the design is really nice. The original Scarlet has an iconic look, but the cowgirl-ninja in a leotard costume never really worked for me. This design at least makes her look more like a ninja of some sort, so for that alone I can appreciate it. I also really don’t mind the colors too bad, despite the fluorescent green being rather bright. It’s matched with dark green, black and gold for an overall detailed and strong palate of colors.

Her parts are the typical fair for a Ninja Force figure: random and bright. She includes three different swords, a knife, nunchucks, two claws and a figure stand. The parts are all bright yellow, which hinders their uses. I was also really stunned she didn’t include any sort of bow or crossbow, given it’s Scarlet’s trademark weapon and there were a few bows they were actively using at the time they could’ve included. None of these parts are very interesting and there’s a poor variety here, even for a mid-90‘s figure.

Overall, Ninja Force Scarlett would be an excellent figure, but the gimmick knocks her down to an interesting figure for those that can ignore it. Most cannot, and this is reflected in how collector’s value the figure. A full 25 years later and the figure can be acquired carded for as little a $5. None of the Ninja Force carded figures are worth a lot, but it’s kind of sad when you think about what could’ve been if only this figure was made without the gimmick.

GI Joe Hasbro 90's ARAH Scarlett V2 Ninja Force TBM Custom GI Joe Hasbro 90's ARAH Scarlett V2 Ninja Force TBM Custom1993 Ninja Force Scarlett Links:

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3 Responses to 1993 Scarlett, Ninja Force

  1. Mike T. says:

    You beat me to her. I got a carded version of her right around Christmas (for about $5!) and have been sitting on a profile for a while. I came to the same conclusion you did. There’s a lot to like about this figure. But, the non-standard construction really ruins all the good they packed into the mold. I’ve seen the heads on tons of good Scarlett customs, though. So, at least she get some use.

  2. Matt Owen says:

    She has a great sculpt and a beautiful face IMHO. The t-crotch is disappointing and visually districting but nothing a good loincloth can’t fix. She also really needs her signature crossbow, either the one from the 1982 Original or a substitute. I usually give my Scarlett the mini crossbow that came with Roadpig, though she also looks nice with the 1990 Night Creeper crossbow. That one looks so much like a refitted Sunbow laser rifle that I don’t know why it wasn’t reissued with one of the good guys.

  3. Jester says:

    At least four of the six 30th Anniversary figures (Action Marine, Pilot, Astronaut and mail-away Joe Colton) had their eyes painted in separate colours from their eyebrows: blue for the first three and brown for Colton. I think those were the only others besides Ninja Force Scarlett, though…

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