Back Row (left to right): Sagat, Zangief, Guile, Ken Masters.
Front Row (left to right): Ryu, Liu Kang, Shang Tsung, Johnny Cage.
We all know that G.I. Joe action figures in the 1990s were a neon ninja mess of a toy line. However, there are still a number of pretty cool figures that came out along the way. In a strange twist, and I suppose since G.I. Joe was already neck deep in martial arts based action figures, Hasbro dumped two more martial arts based properties into G.I. Joe from 1993 until 1995. Enter: Street Fighter II & Mortal Kombat.
Street Fighter II Ryu is one of the most impressive figures of the "spin-off" lines.
Both Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat were martial arts based video game properties from the early 1990s which ended up having movie spin-offs as well.
Street Fighter II came first in 1993 and was actually branded as a part of the G.I. Joe toy line. It even said so right on the package with G.I. Joe logo and all. These toys used previous G.I. Joe parts with a few new head sculpts and such along the way. I only have a few of these in my collection but I particularly love Ryu who absolutely fits into the G.I. Joe line very well.
Several figures from the line including Liu Kang, Johnny Cage, Guile, (and the not pictured Blanka) figures all used the massive torso sculpt of Dreadnok Road Pig.
In 1993 we got the following Street Fighter II action figures as part of the G.I. Joe line-up: Blanka (a blue & green versions), Chun-Li (blue & red versions), Dahlsim, Edmond Honda, Guile (green & brown versions), Sagat, Ken Masters (red & blue versions), Ryu (white & grey versions), and Zangief. These are all considered actual G.I. Joe action figures and part of the G.I. Joe toyline.
Shang Tsung from the Mortal Kombat line could easily pass as a member of Ninja Force.
In 1994 and 1995 Mortal Kombat, the video game property, released multiple series of action figures using G.I. Joe sculpts and parts as well. Unlike Street Fighter II action figures, these toys were not considered part of the G.I. Joe line up. So, despite the fact they look like G.I. Joe's and use G.I. Joe parts, they aren't actually G.I. Joe action figures.
A criticism of the line is using the massive torso of Road Pig on so many figures including Mortal Kombat's Lui Kang. Kang should have been a smaller figure much closer to Quick Kick than to Road Pig.
Later, Street Fighter had a live action movie starring Jean Claude Van-Dam which also used some G.I. Joe parts. This series also is not considered part of the G.I. Joe official toy line.
Johnny Cage appears just as massive (and virtually identical except for the head sculpt and arms) to Sagat. Sagat should be significantly bigger than Johnny Cage.
Zangief was almost one of the best figures of the line up but using obviously textured legs repainted flesh colored virtually ruined the figure. Ken Masters is one of the worst sculpts in all of G.I. Joe history. He body is a total Ninja Force repaint and his head sculpt is horrendous.
For it's obvious flaws, the Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat lines fit in rather nicely with other G.I. Joe figures in scale and color scheme. Had several not been specifically branded as Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat they could have easily been G.I. Joe or Cobra. (Pictured here with G.I. Joe's Sgt. Slaughter)
Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II action figures displayed alongside both classic and modern era G.I. Joe action figures.
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