Some characters I have simply no attachment to. That goes for the entirety of the 1994 Mortal Kombat line, and for several reasons: 1) I wasn’t a fan of fighting games. 2) Even if I was, I gravitated towards the drawn style of a Street Fighter II over the photo-realism of Mortal Kombat or Pit Fighter. 3) These aren’t great representations of the characters since they involve so many re-used G.I. Joe parts. 4) Oh, they’re not even in the G.I. Joe line.
That last one might be a boon here. That the SFII line of action figures sported the G.I. Joe logo (and Duke in the commercials, argh) felt like a misstep. Yes, here’s a popular thing, and our other thing over here could use a shot in the arm, so synergy marketing-speak gobbledygook. But the two worlds didn’t fit, so it felt awkward at best and desperate at best.
So along comes the hyper violent but highly desirable Mortal Kombat license. And Hasbro says “Yes!” But with a caveat — it can’t say “G.I. Joe” anywhere. (Carded figure HERE.) But Joe fans recognized what was going on.
Today’s post is a test shot of Sonya Blade. Erm, daytime colors, not “Movie Edition.” MK fans will have to chime in below in the comments (“MOOOOOORTAL KOMBAAAAAAT!”) and tell me why she’s awesome. I only ever saw the first movie and it’s been awhile. But not fully painted, and using (for certain components) whatever plastic was last in the mold, she (as do all test shots) comes across as wondrous, strange, and frightening. And as I’ve probably said elsewhere, an unpainted face reveals more of the sculpted details. Also of note, her hairpiece is a secondary sculpt, a separate piece glued on that’s not meant to come off.
No doubt a few fans bought Sonya here as a new Joe or Cobra recruit. That was a pleasant side effect to the MK and SFII lines — they weren’t such perfect representations of Midway and Capcom characters that we couldn’t pretend they were just more undiscovered G.I. Joes. And for some that remembered, this was also a great way to revisit the lovely-in-its-simplicity sculpt of 1987 Jinx.
And speaking of Street Fighter II, anyone else see a female version of Blanka here?
4 responses to “Mortal Kombat Sonya Blade test shot”
I wasn’t into video games such as Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat back then (or now) so these lines seemed indeed like a last ditch effort to pump new life into the Joe brand. It did give us that previously unreleased Budo along the way and you can view the figures as custom fodder or integrate them into the Joe and Cobra forces.
In a way, the Joes never got Sylvester Stallone but they did get Jean-Claude Van Damme. Heck, there’s even a sumo wrestler in there for Yokozuna fans to add to their ranks. (If Slaughter and the Fridge could hack it…) So these aren’t a total loss aside from the awful marketing strategies used to promote them. Even a few classic vehicles saw the light of day once more before Hasbro pulled the plug on anything ARAH for the next couple of years.
Originally the Mortal Kombat line was going to be fused to the GI JOE line in the same way Street Fighter was. Obviously, they were worried about all the backlash MK was getting but honestly, GI JOE already had one foot out the door at that point (not that anyone probably saw it coming).
As for Mortal Kombat itself? I’ve met a few of the actors who were in the video game. (My brother does motion capture for the MK games). So for me I don’t see Johnny Cage I see Danny. I don’t really know Danny. He lived upstairs from my mother at one point and a bunch of the Mortal Kombat actors came to my mom’s memorial (that sounds odd, I know). But what’s fascinating to me, is that MK boasted this digitized actor thing and if you know the people, even to a small degree, it’s just weird to play them or see them in a game. Like I refuse to play any game my brother has done motion capture for. I can SEE his moves behind the skins. It’s unnerving.
Not really what you asked but ….. yeah.
As for the Sonya ….. multi-colored first shots are totally accidental art. I’ve bought test shots that I could care less about character-wise but had to own them just for how funky they were (then when it wears off they find a new home, but still). I think it’d be great if someone set up an art installation at a gallery of colorful test shots from multiple toy lines. That’d be pretty fantastic.
She-Hulk Sonya! It’s a very cool test shot. The movie version of her figure swapped lower legs for more combat-ready footwear and it’s a decent figure. All the MK figures are a little detail lacking, though.
This one crotch is “made in Hongkong”, also another version “made in China”, the hair is yellow and the face is grey.