Ninja Force

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Ninja Force
NinjaForceLogo.jpg
Ninja Force Logo
Type Action Figures
Company Hasbro
Country United States
Availability 1992–1993

Ninja Force is a fictional sub-team from the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toyline, comic books and cartoon series.

Fictional history[edit]

Led by Storm Shadow, a group of ninjas affiliated with the Arashikage clan form the Ninja Force as a part of the G.I. Joe Team, in order to combat Cobra. Its inaugural members are Nunchuk, T'Jbang, and Dojo. For their first mission, Ninja Force goes to Beirut, Lebanon in order to help the arms dealer Destro avoid bounty hunters sent by Cobra Commander.[1] On this mission, Ninja Force clashes with a group of "corporate ninja" mercenaries known as the Night Creepers, who become a recurring enemy. Ninja Force's roster is later expanded to include Snake-Eyes, Jinx, and Scarlett.

After leaving Beirut, Snake-Eyes (appointed as their new leader) and Ninja Force head to Trans-Carpathia, the home of Destro's ancestral Silent Castle. Before they arrive, Firefly disguises himself and summons the Red Ninjas, a group of renegade Arashikage clansmen, to the castle. Two Cobra Ninjas, Slice and Dice, would become recurring antagonists. Firefly convinces the Red Ninjas to accept him as their leader before they begin a battle with Ninja Force.[2]

Firefly eventually reveals his true identity and defeats both the Red Ninjas and Ninja Force, with knockout gas and robotic Battle Android Troopers.[3] He uses the Brainwave Scanner to brainwash them into serving him and takes them to Cobra Island, the former headquarters of Cobra Command.[4] Firefly uses the ninjas to take over Cobra Island, but Snake-Eyes frees himself and Ninja Force from the brainwashing, and Ninja Force defeats Firefly, leaving the island.[5]

Members[edit]

T'Jbang[edit]

T'Jbang is the G.I. Joe Team's ninja swordsman. His real name is Sam LaQuale, and he was born in East Greenwhich, Rhode Island. A former member of the Arashikage clan founded by Storm Shadow, who is also his second cousin, and the only other person who knows the reasons behind his self-imposed oath of silence. He has crafted his own personal sword, for he was Onihashi's pupil, designed for his secretive "Silent Backslash" technique inspired by the bats' flapping. T'Jbang is also skilled in piloting helicopters when he is not in deep meditation.[6]

Nunchuk[edit]

Nunchuk's real name is Ralph Baducci, and his code name is a variation on the word nunchaku, his preferred weapon. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and is a former student of the Blind Master in Denver. He felt he needed to improve and moved to San Francisco, where he caught Storm Shadow's attention, who trained him and supervised his acceptance into G.I. Joe's "Ninja Force". Nunchuk prefers to drive the "G.I. Joe Battle Wagon", and favors the fighting form known as "Samurai Smash".[7]

Nunchuk later moved to training other Joe soldiers in various forms of hand-to-hand combat, and developed a grudge against the Cobra operative Firefly, because he is angry that the man would use martial arts for evil purposes.[8]

Dojo[edit]

Dojo is the G.I. Joe Team's silent weapons ninja. His real name is Michael P. Russo. Born in San Francisco, California, he was the Soft Master's last disciple. Impressed by his skills and integrity, Storm Shadow recruited Dojo for the G.I. Joe's new sub-team, "Ninja Force". He is noted for using "patter" to distract his opponents, therefore he is often referred to as "the talkative one". His weapons of choice are Kusarigama and the G.I. Joe vehicle "Brawler", and his fighting style is named "Lightning Strike".[9]

Banzai[edit]

Banzai is the G.I. Joe Team's Rising Sun ninja. His real name is Robert J. Travalino, and he was born in Hartsdale, New York. Banzai's primary military specialty is first-strike commando. His secondary military specialty is nunchaku instructor. Banzai trained for some time in the hostile mountains of Tibet; training with a reclusive ninja master. He is noted for training while blind-folded. His technique is called "Banzai Bash"[10]

Bushido[edit]

Bushido is the G.I. Joe Team's snow ninja. His real name is Lloyd S. Goldfine, and he was born in Hollis, Queens, New York. Bushido's primary military specialty is cold weather specialist. His secondary military specialty is strategist. He has trained in Iceland, and continues to prefer to train in cold weather environments. He wears a helmet similar to the one his father wore and he had master the "Teisho Chop" technique. He considers fellow Ninja Force member Banzai his "blood brother".[11]

T'Gin-Zu[edit]

T'Gin-Zu is the G.I. Joe Team's "Pile Driver" operator. His real name is Joseph R. Rainone, and he was born in Somers, New York. T'Gin-Zu's primary military specialty is Pile Driver vehicle operator. His secondary military specialty is ninja swords master. T'Gin-Zu has studied martial arts for more than two decades. He has learned some of the secrets of the Arishakage ninja clan, and has spent time as a student of Storm Shadow, who considers him his most talented pupil. T'Gin-Zu has a developed a deep desire to single-handedly capture Cobra's band of "Red Ninjas". His fighting form is known as "Samurai Shave"[12]

Toys[edit]

1992[edit]

Dojo, Nunchuk and T'Jbang were first released as action figures in 1992, as part of the Ninja Force line. Unlike most Joe figures, all the Ninja Force figures were designed with a "real ninja move".[13]

Dojo's spring-loaded right arm could be pushed forward, then released, causing it to spring down in a chopping motion.[14]

Nunchuk's spring-loaded right arm could also be pushed forward, then released, causing it to spring down in a chopping motion.[15] In 2002, a re-designed Nunchuk was packaged in a double-pack with Firefly.[16] In 2003, Nunchuk had a double release in a double-pack with the Joe soldier Cross Hair, and as part of the "Battle in a Box" release with Dart and Tunnel Rat.[17]

T'Jbang was designed with a spring-action hip; if T'Jbang's right arm was pushed back, his upper torso turned right. When the arm was let go, the torso sprang back forward, resulting in a punching motion with the right arm.[18]

Additionally, Storm Shadow was released as a Ninja Force figure. If Storm Shadow's left arm was raised, the right arm would move back. The left arm could then be let go, causing the right arm to spring forward in a double punching motion.[19]

1993[edit]

Banzai, Bushido and T'Gin-Zu were first released as action figures in 1993, as part of the Ninja Force line. Again, all the Ninja Force figures were designed with a "real ninja move".

Banzai was designed with a spring-action hip; if Banzai's right arm was pushed back, his upper torso turned right. When the arm was let go, the torso sprang back forward, resulting in a punching motion with the right arm.[20]

Bushido's spring-loaded right arm could be pushed forward, then released, causing it to spring down in a chopping motion.[21]

T'Gin-Zu was designed from the same mold as Storm Shadow; if T'Gin-Zu's left arm was raised, the right arm would move back. The left arm could then be let go, causing the right arm to spring forward in a double punching motion.[22] T'Gin-Zu was released with the vehicle "Pile Driver".[23]

Additionally, Snake Eyes and Scarlett were released as Ninja Force figures. Snake Eyes's legs could be squeezed together, causing his arms to make an "uppercutting/chopping" motion.[24] Scarlett's spring-loaded right leg could be pushed back, then released, causing it to spring forward in a kicking motion.[25]

Shadow Ninja[edit]

In 1994, Snake Eyes, Storm Shadow, Nunchuk and Bushido were released as part of the "Shadow Ninja" line. All Shadow Ninja figures had inviso power; when exposed to water and light, the figure's color would change. In addition, all the Shadow Ninja figures were re-made from the original Ninja Force molds, and retained the "real ninja move" that they were designed with.

Ninja Commandos[edit]

Prior to the cancellation of the G.I. Joe toyline in 1994, the Ninja Commandos line was planned for 1995 featuring action figures for Budo, Storm Shadow, Road Pig, Flint, and Knock-Out. The Budo figure from the line would be recolored and released as Shang Tsung as part of the Mortal Kombat line.[26]

Ninja Battles[edit]

Following the success of G.I. Joe: Valor vs. Venom, Ninja Battles was released as both a film and set of action figures in 2004, including Storm Shadow, Tiger Claw, Snake-Eyes, Shadow Strike, and Black Dragon Ninja.

Enemies[edit]

In 1992, Slice and Dice were released as Cobra ninjas, as part of the Ninja Force line. Like other Ninja Force figures, Slice and Dice came with a "real ninja move". Slice's spring-loaded right arm could be pushed back, then released, causing it to spring forward in a punching motion.[27] Dice was designed with a spring-action hip; if Dice's left arm was pushed back, his upper torso turned left. When the arm was let go, the torso sprang back forward, resulting in a punching motion with the left arm.[28]

In 1993, a repaint of Slice was released, with the same weapons and "real ninja move". Additionally, a repaint of the Dice figure was released as Red Ninja, with the same "real ninja move" as Dice. The Red Ninja came packaged with the "Battle Ax" vehicle.[29]

Two other figures released in 1993 as part of the Ninja Force line, were new versions of the Night Creeper and Zartan. Again, all the Ninja Force figures were designed with a "real ninja move". The Night Creeper's spring-loaded arms could be raised up, then released, causing them to spring down in a chopping motion.[30] Zartan's figure was a complete departure from his classic uniform, with a leather jacket and neon green pants. Instead of a cowl, he wears a short orange mohawk on his otherwise bald head. Zartan was designed with a spring-action hip; if Zartan's right arm was pushed back, his upper torso turned right. When the arm was let go, the torso sprang back forward, resulting in a punching motion with the right arm.[31]

In 2004, Toys "R" Us released an exclusive six figure set entitled "Ninja Cobra Strike Team", featuring Black Dragon Ninja, two Red Ninja Vipers, Storm Shadow, and the Vypra Twins.

Vehicles[edit]

Three vehicles were released in 1993 as part of the Ninja Force line. The Ninja Lightning was a high-speed motorcycle, which featured rip-cord pull action, and spring-loaded surface-to-surface missiles.[32] In addition, two "Ninja Raider" vehicles were released. The Ninja Raider Battle Ax had a spring-loaded "Cyclone Slash" blade mechanism, and came packaged with the Red Ninja figure.[32] The Ninja Raider Pile Driver had a spinning "Ninja Knockout" hammer mechanism, and came packaged with the T'Gin-Zu figure.[32]

Comics[edit]

In the Marvel Comics G.I. Joe series, Dojo, Nunchuk and T'Jbang first appeared in issue #117, as part of the class being trained by Storm Shadow. The entire "Ninja Force" goes to Beirut to answer a call for help from Snake Eyes.[33] They become involved in helping a Joe/Cobra force fight against the Night Creepers, with further assistance comes from the Joe "Sky Commandos".[34] The Ninja Force is seen later in New York, undergoing intensive training.[35]

When G.I. Joe was relaunched under the Devil's Due name, Ninja Force was referenced again. During the team's line up, General Hawk stated he would not repeat Ninja Force a second time after seeing Kamakura.[volume & issue needed]

Ninja Force makes a cameo appearance in the alternate IDW continuity; the series called 'Cobra Civil War'. The group is targeted by Cobra during the contest to determine who will be the next Cobra Commander. Dojo, Nunchuk, T'jbang, Banzai, and T'Gin-Zu are all killed while Bushido is seriously wounded.[36]

Cartoon[edit]

DiC[edit]

Dojo, Nunchuk and T'Jbang appeared in the DiC G.I. Joe cartoon series.

Ninja Battles[edit]

Snake-Eyes, Tiger Claw, Kamakura, and Jinx appeared in the animated film G.I. Joe: Ninja Battles. Storm Shadow was joined by Slash, Slice, and Shadow Strike.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #117-118 (1991)
  2. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #120-124 (1992)
  3. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #126 (July 1992)
  4. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #128 (September 1992)
  5. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #129-134 (1992-1993)
  6. ^ "T'Jbang filecard". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  7. ^ "Nunchuk filecard". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  8. ^ "Nunchuk's 2002 filecard". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  9. ^ "Dojo's filecard". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  10. ^ "Banzai's filecard". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  11. ^ "Bushido filecard". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  12. ^ "T'Gin-Zu's filecard". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  13. ^ Santelmo, Vincent (1994). The Official 30th Anniversary Salute To G.I. Joe 1964-1994. Krause Publications. p. 140. ISBN 0-87341-301-6. 
  14. ^ "Dojo toy information". yojoe.com. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  15. ^ "Nunchuk toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  16. ^ "Nunchuk 2 toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  17. ^ "Nunchuk '03 toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  18. ^ "T'Jbang toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  19. ^ "Storm Shadow '92 toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  20. ^ "Banzai toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  21. ^ "Bushido toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  22. ^ "T'Gin-Zu toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  23. ^ "Pile Driver information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  24. ^ "Snake Eyes '93 toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  25. ^ "Scarlett '93 toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  26. ^ http://www.yojoe.com/archive/unproduced/ninjacom.shtml
  27. ^ "Slice toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  28. ^ "Dice toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  29. ^ "Red Ninja toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  30. ^ "Night Creeper toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  31. ^ "Zartan toy information". Yojoe.com. Retrieved 2012-09-17. 
  32. ^ a b c Bellomo, Mark (2005). The Ultimate Guide to G.I. Joe 1982-1994. Krause Publications. p. 240. ISBN 978-0-89689-922-3. 
  33. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #117 (October 1991)
  34. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #118 (November 1991)
  35. ^ G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero #135 (April 1993)
  36. ^ Cobra Civil War #0 (2011)

External links[edit]