This is the point, folks, where we can finally decree that Storm Collectibles Street Fighter line is a success. Ken, Ryu, and Akuma, hell even Chun-Li are nice characters to get. Every try at a Street Fighter toy line gets to them. But it isn’t until you release the guys that break the mold, the real weirdos, that you can officially say that the series has arrived.
Zangief has never been very well represented in plastic. The SOTA line did get to him, but it was also during their final wave that was ironically named “Revolutions.” There was nothing revolutionary about that last set of figures. They were a step backwards in just about every respect: sculpts, paint, aesthetic, and plastic quality. I simply glanced at my SOTA Zangief recently and it crumbled to pieces. The look they went for in the SOTA line didn’t particularly age well to begin with, but the figures put out after Jerry Macaluso sold the company are exceptionally bad looking in retrospect.
The nice thing about Street Fighter V’s version of Zangief is that his look hasn’t really changed much over the years. Unlike characters like Dhalsim, Ken, or Akuma who got major reworks for the fifth game, this figure can easily be used for any Street Fighter, Wreck-It Ralph, or Marvel vs Capcom display (except Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite because it’s a terrible game that snubbed the ‘Gief).
Storm made Zangief a big boy! Right out of the box this is an impressively large action figure, and it probably should be with the higher $90+ price tag. He comes boxed with 5 pairs of hands, three heads, motion effects, and a figure stand. One thing that I finally noticed with this release is that Storm includes the character’s level-themed backdrop in the box. How I never realized this before, I have no clue.
I can’t stress enough that this figure is BIG! Large enough that he’s just about the maximum size and weight to be propped up by the included figure stand. For a large character he’s also extremely posable. He can pretty convincingly hit most of his grappler moves like the suplex and piledriver without issue. Not only is he large and imposing, but the three included heads just ooze with character.
As with all Storm Collectibles figures I’ve had in the past, the interchangeable hands and attachments are very easy to swap around. Nothing ever feels too tight, like it’s going to break. In fact, if something pops out it’s usually very easy to put back in.
I’d be ready to declare this the greatest action figure ever made, if it didn’t have a few unfortunate setbacks. First off, the neck peg is just a bit too short. I’ve found this to be a common problem with Storm Collectibles in general. They don’t appear to be big fans of necks, so most of their heads rest very tight to the shoulders. Zangief’s rest a little too tight so the head isn’t even able to plug completely into the top of the neck barbell. This can make posing him frustrating since the head will keep on popping off.
Second, he came out of the box with super-tight joints on his shoulders and arms. The tightness was to the point where I felt like I was breaking him when I attempted to raise his arms. One nice aspect of the Storm Collectibles Street Fighter line is that most ball joints pop in and out without a problem. This is especially nice when attempting to push the joints to their limits. I’ve had other action figures just snap on me. Not these ones, however. And this plays into the factory tightness. I found that the best remedy to the tight joints was to pop them all out and place them back in. It worked like a charm! If yours still feel tight after that, a little bit of shock oil may help as well.
Would I recommend Storm Collectibles Zangief?
Of course I would! We’ve been long, long overdue for a good Zangief figure, and we finally have one that’s not only acceptable, but great! This of course comes with the caveat that you will need to accept the way Storm Collectibles engineered him. He’s incredibly posable, but parts of him will pop off on you. Especially if you try to push their limits. You’ll just have to put the big guy back together every once in a while.