I'm generally not one for picking up recolors and remakes of figures all that much. There are exceptions, like if it's an army-builder or something. I don't mind having multiple recolors of a Cobra B.A.T. v.3 around, because I consider it entirely plausible that Cobra might choose more than one color scheme for their Battle Androids. But for the most part, I don't need that many multiples of established characters.
This is especially true in the Sigma Six line. I don't need twenty versions of Duke or Snake-Eyes just because the figure has a different specialty and all they've really done is repainted the existing figure and given it different equipment.
On the other hand, I'm not one to pass up a bargain, either. I'd certainly seen "Airglide Kamakura" plenty of times, and while I rather liked the reworked color scheme, I didn't see a whole lot of need to buy a second Kamakura. I had the original. That was sufficient.
Kamakura is an interesting character in the G.I. Joe universe. First introduced in the Devil's Due G.I. Joe title, he was originally chastized by General Hawk, who was in the process of reassembling the team, claiming that they were not about to repeat the "Ninja Force" fiasco, and called Kamakura the "Green Power Ranger". In the 3-3/4" line, Kamakura's main uniform color was green. However, when it was learned that Kamakura was Snake-Eyes' protege, Hawk changed his mind and welcomed the young ninja onto the team.
The character quickly gained popularity, and was soon added to the 3-3/4" newsculpt toy line, and over the years, several versions of the figure, mostly using the same basic molds, were produced. In a sense, Kamakura was the newsculpt line's version of the Baroness. By that I mean that in the original line, the Baroness was introduced into the comics and the first animated mini-series before she was actually made as a figure by Hasbro -- and by a considerable margin. The Baroness was in the very first issue of the G.I. Joe comic book in 1982. Hasbro didn't make a Baroness figure until 1984.
Kamakura, fortunately, didn't have to wait that long. Interestingly, when the Sigma Six line commenced, Kamakura, despite being a relative newcomer, made the jump to the 8" line. It was probably a result of his being a perfect character to work into the animated series. He, along with Jinx, were both Snake-Eyes' students, and it probably helped to have a couple of relative "greenhorns" in the series, as well as someone to, in a sense, speak on Snake-Eyes' behalf, since of course Snake-Eyes remained ever-silent even into Sigma Six.
Although the file cards for Kamakura never revealed his identity, Devil's Due did. In the "Master and Apprentice" mini-series, it was revealed that Kamakura was in fact Sean Collins, adopted son of Wade Collins, an old army buddy of Snake-Eyes, Storm Shadow, and Stalker, who had joined Cobra for a time following the Vietnam War. He eventually left Cobra, and took his Cobra-assigned family with him, to live in relative peace. In the last issue of the Marvel comic, Sean expressed interest in joining the Army. Wade talked him into writing Snake-Eyes to get a feel for what life in the military was really like, and Sean subsequently decided to think about his decision more. Somewhere in the intervening years, obviously, Sean decided to be trained as a ninja instead, and Snake-Eyes either agreed or was talked into it by friends.
The original Sigma Six Kamakura figure maintained the established Sigma Six practice of wearing a mostly black Sigma Suit, with a specific color of trim. In Kamakura's case, that trim color was not the green that the 3-3/4" figure was best known for. Instead, it was yellow, and a fairly bright yellow at that. Kamakura had this yellow along the sides of his Sigma Suit, as well as wrappings around his wrists and lower legs, and part of an accessory belt he wore, plus a small bit of fabric that was attached to the belt.
The Airglide Kamakura figure largely reverses the color scheme, but also makes the main color a yellow-orange. It's not the same fairly deep orange as the Wet-Suit figure, and in fact is a fairly bright yellow-orange, although it doesn't seem as such next to the original Kamakura. The bulk of the Sigma Suit is this yellow orange, with black and grey trim along the sides, black wrappings around the wrists and lower legs, and notably black gloves. The original Kamakura only wore partial gloves with the fingers exposed. Airglide Kamakura has no shoulder belt or fabric piece, but he does have a nice pair of goggles, which given the probable wind friction caused by flying in his glider, I'm sure he needs.
While I'm not really one to pay a lot of attention to accessories, I have to say that the Sigma Six line has always done a superb job with its accessories, and the ones that Kamakura comes with are no exception. He has two long swords with ridged sections, described as Chokuto swords on the file card on the package. These have holding slots in his glider pack, and pegs so they can be attached to areas on his Sigma Suit. Now, imagine that Kamakura is gliding down towards you. As if that isn't problem enough. suddenly he whips out these two swords.
He also has a couple of other nasty weapons called "Tessen handblades". These things look like bladed half-fans, each with a handle and a spread of nine short but sharp and mean-looking blades. I don't even want to think about what Kamakura could do with these, but it would not be pleasant.
Of course, the main accessory is the item which gives this Kamakira his designation as an "Airglide Ninja" -- his so-called Ninja Wings. This is a fairly clever device that features fabric wings, matching the main color of Kamakura's Sigma Suit, mounted to an angled plastic framework, and the whole thing is on a spring-loaded mechanism. The wings can be folded down and locked, and then released with the touch of a button on the back of the pack, which very nicely fits onto Kamakura's back via three pegs that connect to holes in his Sigma Suit.
You know, it's probably just as well that they changed the color scheme of Kamakura for this. If he'd kept his Sigma Suit mostly black, and the fabric wings of this glider pack had been made black, the temptation to spring open the wings and say, "I -- am -- Batman!" would've been far too great. The visual image is almost there anyway.
Kamakura's file card reads as follows:
SIGMA 6 WEAPONS SPECIALIST
Code Name: KAMAKURA
Specialty: Hand-to-Hand Combat
Personal History: Daring and reckless, Kamakura is a skilled and self- confident ninja who likes to live on the edge. No matter how dangerous the mission, he enthusiastically takes on the challenge. He leaps headfirst into a situation, opting for a direct, power-charged attack, unlike his reacher, the wiser and more patient Sigma 6 ninja commando, Snake-Eyes. Kamakura adapts traditional ninja equipment with new technology to create the perfect weapons for his aggressive style. His winged backpack allows him to swoop down on his opponents in a surprise air attack, carrying a chokuto sword in each hand. He created the Ninja Wings to emulate the legendary ninja warrior Karasu who could fly down from the sky to fight his opponents. Kamakura also wields tessen handblades that have a customized battle-grip for extreme combat situations.
That personality profile certainly fits the character as he was presented in the CGI movies from a few years back that were marketed with the 3-3/4" newsculpt line.
As I said at the start of this review, I'm not really one for repaints and remakes, especially in a line like this when there's such a wealth of characters from the 3-3/4" universe that can be brought over, which fortunately is gradually happening more and more. On the other hand, this is an impressive version of Kamakura, I like the color scheme, and I like the accessories. The glider pack is cool, although given some of the ridiculous product warnings that can turn up on packages these days, I was almost surprised that the instructions didn't read, "Warning: Ninja Wings do not enable figure to actually fly" or some such.
If for some reason you missed out on the original Sigma 6 Kamakura,
then this is an abundantly cool figure to have. And if you're collecting
the entire Sigma Six line, you certainly don't want to miss this one.
AIRGLIDE NINJA KAMAKURA is a very cool addition to the Sigma 6 collection,
and he definitely has my enthusiastic recommendation!