1993 Blanka

1993 Blanka

For the most part, it’s my opinion that the Street Fighter GI Joes are one of the weaker 90‘s sub-lines. No doubt, there was some curious figures I had as a kid that saw plenty of play, but most of them had terrible sculpts or glaring flaws because of the tooling they reused (Zangief with exposed robot parts!). Blanka is one figure whom has almost always been immune to my critical outlook, however.

I’m partly biased towards Blanka because I’ll readily admit, he was my favorite Street Fighter II character as a kid and to this day the character I play as the most. So when I was a kid having a figure of my favorite character from the game meant Blanka received an ample amount of my attention. From then and up to now, I felt like one of the appeals that Blanka had was that he was a fairly ambiguous character, even in the game. So it was easy to find a place for him in a variety of roles, as either a friend or foe depending upon what I felt like.

Outside of his head, Blanka is a full repaint of 1988 Roadpig. The muscular, shirtless Roadpig body works well for Blanka and is among the better reuses of tooling for the Street Fighter GI Joe line. There’s not much that seems out of place besides maybe the arrows on his leg, and the physique is a good match for Blanka. The new head is also a pretty good sculpt, nicely sized and featuring a fierce expression that suits the character.

The version of Blanka I’m highlighting is the one that came packaged with the Beast Blaster. It has slightly more muted colors over the single carded version. The green for his skin has been replaced with blue, while the red details have been replaced with two shades of brown. It’s still a pretty eccentric figure, but these colors fit with how I like to use him more, and visually just look better to me on a subjective level.

To incorporate Blanka into my GI Joe universe, I’ve usually had two ways I liked using him. The first way that’s probably more typical, is to use him as a mutant creation by Dr. Mindbender. It’s a fun scenario that ties Blanka into Mindbender and possibly Serpentor. Alternatively, I’ve on and off contemplated him as a more mentally competent ninja character, as an adversary to the Ninja Force. I sort of got the idea when I was 13 or so after playing Samurai Warriors 2 and thinking Kotaro Fuma looked like this Blanka. I guess you could say he’s always captivated my imagination.

Beast Blaster Blankas aren’t as common as other versions of Blanka, but they show up from time to time and aren’t worth too much. Typically an auction will go around $10, and as he has no parts there’s little variation in his value. In my opinion, this is the most appealing version of Blanka, though he’s a figure that might be easier to fit into some people’s collections more than others.

Gi joe Street fighter II 2 Blanka guile chun-li Ninja Force Hasbro 1993 90's

1993 Blanka Links:

Yo Joe

(Note: There’s almost nothing on the internet about this figure! Some content about the green version, but nothing on this guy.)

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3 Responses to 1993 Blanka

  1. A-Man says:

    That was an interesting set, the Beast Blaster, two figures included…a rarity for Hasbro (The Defiant and Dino Hunters were the others). I did miss the gatling guns, but it was the only Thunder Machine reissue ever outside of Funskool.

    The Hasbro Toy Fair catalogs used a completely repaint Roadpig for the photos.

    The only bad thing about the Street Fighter 2 figures were the ninja force and new ninja force style molds, due to the fact the o-ring cannot be replaced easily and the hips on Chun-Li and E Honda. And, maybe the glued on shoulder pads on some M. Bisons. I have one were the pad has come glued in a spot on the chest and it’s not pretty.

  2. Mike T. says:

    I went looking for a single carded Blanka about a year ago and was shocked at how high they went. At the time, all the SF figs were fetching decent money for loose, mint and complete figures. There was a time you couldn’t give these guys away. But, even I avoided them like the plague and I don’t have a single SF Joe in my collection. (I have some movie figures, but not the Joe versions.) But, until they come down in price, they’re going to remain missing.

  3. R.T.G. says:

    Blanka was actually a very strong figure, he wasn’t a perfect interpretation, but still pretty great. The Street Fighter: The Movie Blanka is a very good version of the video game style figure.

    Your idea to use Blanka is actually pretty cool. I still think the SF2 figures were kind of important to the line at the end of the day. I don’t think there would’ve been a Ninja Force Scarlett without the Chun Li figure.

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