With the release of Storm Collectibles Akuma, it’s probably time to either accept that this is a Street Fighter V line (which it is), or just wait things out until the Ultra Street Fighter II series they announced earlier this year kicks off. Similar to Ken before him, Akuma’s look was considerably altered for the fifth game. While Ken got a whole new wardrobe, Akuma’s change isn’t quite as dramatic. However, the giant red mane he grew certainly stands out. So let’s get all of the “Akuma Matata” talk out of the way in the first paragraph. I love the new look. It took a little time to grow on me, but by the time preorders came about for this figure I was 100% on board with this Akuma. The giant burst of hair coming out of his head makes him look fierce as all hell!
Just to set the record straight:
Does he include a classic head? No.
Is the hair removable? Yes, a layer of it is but he looks pretty stupid without it.
If you are looking for a classic Akuma, that princess is in another castle! Figuarts IS releasing one in their Street Fighter line and you can preorder it here.
Storm Collectibles Akuma looks to be 100% new sculpting. Originally, I had thought he might share parts with Ryu, but I would be wrong. He’s actually quite a bit taller and thicker than Ryu. His giant hair explosion really makes him stand out. I’ve had the guy in hand for a few weeks and still can’t get over how neat he looks. We’ve come to expect a healthy dose of accessories with Storm Collectibles’ figures, and in this regard, Akuma does not disappoint. He includes three extra sets of hands, two alternate faces, two lightning effects for his arm, a haduken effect, a stand for the haduken, a stand for him, and an alternate gi.
Akuma’s gi is actually removable. This is because they included a second that has the burning letters on his back. In order to remove the gi, you need to first locate the belt and pop off the tied up portion. Once that is gone it will expose a pin that holds the rest of the belt together, so slip the loops off on both sides. Then carefully pull the gi flaps off as well. As you can see there is a lot of pulling and manipulating small, soft plastic loops off of a pin. I could see some of these loops wearing down or breaking over time if you are the type to change things up often.
One thing that is concerning is the sheer amount of soft plastic used for this figure. All of the Storm Collectibles Street Fighter releases use a soft plastic overlay for the body sculpts. This gives the internal articulation a lot more free range to move around. However, Akuma loads soft plastic on top of soft plastic, then requires you to remove it to change out parts. As I mentioned before, I do start to question the longevity of the figure. Especially with heavy play, which I feel Street Fighter figures deserve.
While the swapping of the gi could possibly cause quality control concerns, I’m still glad that they included it. I like having the option. A neat little detail that probably goes unnoticed from still photography is that his sandals are actually removable. You can display Akuma with bare feet if you so wish! They aren’t the easiest things to get on and off, but it can be done.
Another quality concern, at least on mine, is that the wrong end of the neck pin keeps popping out when I pull off the head. This causes me to have to blindly poke the thing back into his neck hoping to catch the chest socket it plugs into. It’s not always easy to find, either. More often than not I will pull off one of his arms in order to get a better look at where everything is internally. My main concern is the constant popping of the sockets can’t be great for the figure’s longevity.
I’m probably being a little over-critical of the soft plastic, but it really is the one thing holding me back from completely loving this figure. All in all, he’s really fun. He brings a great shelf presence, and Akuma is a great toy to just leave on the desk and mess around with during boring teleconferences.
Would I recommend Storm Collectibles Akuma?
If you can get past the mane, he’s a great figure that is spot on to the game’s model. You really just have to watch out for the usual quirks of a Storm Collectibles figure, such as the soft plastic and joints popping out every now and again. Honestly, I would even recommend him to that person who hates the new design. I’m willing to bet that if you gave this guy a spin you would likely change your mind.