Hot Topic is an interesting store. Personally, I don't think anybody over the age of thirty has any business in the place. It is EXTREMELY trendy, if not downright edgy. It sells a wide range of clothes and jewelry, and yes, some toys. Everything is very edgy-pop-culture related. But there's the occasional cool retro product. The last time I was in there to purchase anything, it was when they were offering G.I.Joe and Transformers T-shirts. I got a nice Crimson Guard T-shirt in there, as well as shirts with the Transformers Autobot and Decepticon logos on them.
The store clerks for this place can be interesting. They tend towards
Ultimately, though, it was worth it, in order to obtain these figures.
GUILE - One of my longtime personal favorites. Although technically the Street Fighter concept revolves mostly around Ken and Ryu, Guile gained a certain prominence at least in the American edition of the concept when he was the lead character, portrayed by action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, in the live-action Street Fighter movie. The movie was a bit of a turkey, but it gave the Guile character a greater emphasis, which carried over into a generally excellent weekly animated series on the USA Network that ran for two seasons.
And, given my longtime interest in G.I.Joe, it's also not surprising that Guile is one of my favorites, since clearly he's not only an American, but with a substantial military background. The character has the mother of all flat-top haircuts (it's worth noting that, just like the Hasbro Street Fighter Guile figure that was made part of the G.I.Joe collection, the SOTA Guile can stand on his head without bracing himself with his arms), an army green tank top, camouflage trousers, and army boots.
According to the book STREET FIGHTER ETERNAL CHALLENGE, which I regard as "the" authoritative work on Street Fighter, Guile is a major in the United States Air Force, and is searching for the truth as to what happened to his best friend Charlie, who Guile believes was captured by M. Bison during an investigation of the tyrant's activities in Shadaloo. Guile has connections with other Street Fighters. His wife, Jane, is the sister of Eliza, Ken's wife. And Guile's daughter Amy is close friends with Dhalsim's son, Datta.
Something of a divergence needs to be explained here. In the live-action movie, and USA animated series, Charlie was transformed into Blanka by M. Bison. That is NOT the case in the video-game storyline, where Charlie and Blanka are separate characters.
The Guile figure is excellent. The amount of detail, both in sculpting
Really, the GUILE figure is a major treat here, and probably one of the coolest figures in the entire collection to date.
BALROG - Like Guile, Balrog is one of the Street Fighter characters
The figure is huge, larger than Guile, but a bit smaller than T. Hawk,
SAKURA - Most casual fans of Street Fighter, who have been familiar with the concept for long enough, are likely to be familiar with the core 16 or 17 characters, which would include those from Street Fighter II and Super Street Fighter II. These were the ones that gained the most prominence in the early to mid 90's thanks to the Hasbro toy line, the live-action movie, and the animated series. Sakura, although she did put in one appearance in the animated series, is one of a very small handful of characters that didn't come along until after this wave of popularity, that has nonetheless managed to earn a place among that upper echelon of most readily recognized Street Fighter characters, even though she wasn't officially introduced until the game Street Fighter Alpha 2.
Sakura has perhaps the least-likely physical appearance for a Street
According to the book, Sakura Kasugano is an energetic high school
If there's a Japanese word for "spunky", it could likely be used to
The figure is excellent. Certainly distinctly smaller than any of the
Although the character is a little more cartoonish than some, SOTA has managed to find areas to put considerable detail into. Check the sneakers on the figure. Highly detailed right down to stitching and laces, and the front of the sneakers even have a ridged front to them. They certainly match the character illustration, but really, looking at my own footwear, if these weren't based on Converse All-Stars (a surprisingly trendy brand of shoe, I have discovered), I'd be very surprised.
ADON - Although most people believe that Adon first appeared in Street Fighter Alpha, Adon is one of a handful of characters that, while they might not have been part of the mega-popular Street Fighter II era, actually were first introduced, in a simpler form, perhaps, in the very first Street Fighter game, a rather primitive piece of work that many Street Fighter fans would just as soon sweep under the table.
Adon might be best regarded as "Sagat Light". He trained under the
Yeah, I'd say he has a few screws loose somewhere. The figure is
The scariest part of Adon, though, is his face, and it is certainly
Most Street Fighter figures come with a second head, that can be popped onto place. Generally speaking, the second head is a more extreme expression compared to the one that the figure is assembled and packaged with. Adon is an exception to this, as his alternate head actually has a saner expression -- its mouth is closed.
I'm not even going to try to figure out what's up with this guy's hair.
GEN - Like Adon, Gen is a character who didn't turn up until the later games -- specifically Street Fighter Alpha 2, but who has his origins in the original Street Fighter game.
Gen may look like an old goat in a bathrobe, but don't underestimate this guy. According to the book, Gen was a master martial artist and legendary assassin working out of China. Over the years, he mastered multiple martial arts and finally created two distinct fighting skills of his own. He taught some of his maneuvers to Chun-Li's father, who would in turn pass those skills on to her.
Now on the high side of 70, Gen recently learned that he has contracted a fatal disease. He has entered the Street Fighter tournament looking for worthy opponents, feeling that it would be better to die in combat rather than linger and suffer in a sick bed. Sounds like someone who's seen a few too many "Klingon" episodes of Star Trek...
The figure is very well done, and the long tunic doesn't hinder the
I suspect Gen might have been more of a challenge for them than some of the previous figures, as many of the prior Street Fighters have either been minimally dressed, or wear fairly tight-fitting clothes. Gen looks like he's wearing an Oriental bathrobe and pajamas. Still, the end result is impressive, and certainly accurate to the character.
About the only complaint I have about the figure is a bit of the paint
There's a few final comments I'd like to make. SOTA has done something very interesting in the painting of these figures. While the figures tend to hve a fairly flat painted finish (and they are painted from head to toe), SOTA has seen fit to paint the eyes in a glossy finish. This lends a certain additional air of realism to the figures that is extremely impressive. Take one outside and let his eyes reflect the sunlight. You'll think he's staring back at you.
Also, it's worth mentioning that the next TWO assortments of Street
Finally, I would like to recommend the book STREET FIGHTER ETERNAL CHALLENGE. Recently published by UDON Studios, the people responsible for the Street Fighter comic book, this book, originally published in Japan but now fully translated into English, has everything you want to know about all of the Street Fighter games and characters. If you're enjoying the Street Fighter action figures as I am, but are a little hazy on some of the less-well-known characters, this will bring you up to date, It includes character profiles, game histories, interviews with the game creators, and tons of artwork. It's really a fantastic book.
And the latest assortment of STREET FIGHTER action figures are just as fantastic. They have my highest recommendation!