As Street Fighter V is out today, I thought we'd take a look at one of the worst pieces of Street Fighter merchandising in the entire franchise. No, we're not going to be talking about the movie, we're going to be talking about the G.I. Joe toyline from 1993
Released in 1993, Hasbro worked with Capcom to produce GI Joe figures of the Street Fighter characters, Naturally, we were all excited that we were finally going to get figures of one of the biggest fighting games of the 1990s.
Once we got the figures out of the packaging, we found out very quickly that these figures were preexisting GI Joe figure molds with one or two new pieces per figure, mainly heads and torsos for characters like E. Honda and Sagat. This lead to some interesting character designs, like Zangief having robot legs painted in flesh tone. Ken, Ryu and Chun-Li wearing Ninja Gear. Even M. Bison was wearing a baseball jersey and Balrog was wearing a bondage harness.
An interesting fact about the cards is that they still retained the GI Joe/Cobra factions whilst still being Street Fighters. Interesting that in this universe, Shadoloo answered to Cobra Commander. The cards not only had the GI Joe filecards, but they also came with a GamesPro Magazine cheat card that had moves on them
A collection of commercials for the 1993 and 1994 toys, including the 12 inch Hall of Fame figures
Yes, you heard me right, Hasbro released 4 12 inch GI Joe figures based on main characters from the series. We had Blanka, Ryu, Guile and M. Bison, Blanka, as seen above comes with a khaki military suit, an M16 assault rifle with grenade launcher, katana and grenades. They all share the Assault Rifle, Grenades and Katana accessories, though there are some variations between each of them. Ryu has a GI Joe logo on his gi and a Rambo style knife. Guile has a combat knife and pistol. Bison has a Luger and knife.
Overall, the toys based on the video game were poorly received by fans and eventually were canned. They did have figures based on the movie, but we'll save that for another review. These figures have been consigned to the scrapheap of forgotten licenses and bring back many bad memories for fans,Of course, it'd be another 15 years before we'd see another series of Street Fighter action figures, this time in 2007 from SOTA toys.
If anyone is really interested in seeing what happened when GI Joe met Street Fighter, then you can find them for very cheap on the secondary market, like eBay, Amazon and even local flea markets and swap meets. Some people might find a home for them in their collection, others might just throw them on the scrap heap, your mileage may vary.