Skeletor’s ninja henchman is named Ninjor. That… that’s special. Special in a not-good way. Mattel seems to have lost the trademark for his name, and he’s been rechristened “Ninja Warrior,” but that hardly matters. The original Ninjor came out near the end of the He-Man line, and it kind of showed – his design was simultaneously bland and generic, as well as bizarre – what’s with those clawed feet? But since he was one of the last of the Evil Warriors left, Ninjor became a major selling point for 2015, with the promise that he would be appropriately spiffed up.
NINJA WARRIOR: EVIL NINJA MASTER
REAL NAME: UNKNOWN
Armed with nunchucks, a longsword and longbow, this awful assassin was summoned from another world by a spell of light to serve Skeletor on Eternia. His mission is to eliminate all of the Heroic Warriors one by one until He-Man no longer has any help in defending Eternia. This Ninja Warrior, sometimes called “Ninjor” by his foes, always moves with great speed, skills and silence. His true motivation however has been kept secret from all. Even while serving Skeletor, he reports back to his true master, Horde Prime, detailing Skeletor’s weak points and how to exploit them. Ninjor appears out of nowhere to ambush Heroic Warriors!
…Oh come on, you guys. The proper word is “nunchaku,” though “nunchuks” works in a pinch. Words like “numbchuks” or “nunchucks” just makes you look uneducated. Ah, well. Might as well look at the figure, then.
I have been talking about this package design for a couple of years, now. What more is there to say?
The original Ninjor had cloth clothing, and this one obviously does not (thankfully). But Mattel has kept some of the oddities of his sculpt, like the clawed feet. He’s also got some of Skeletor’s spikes on his forearms, and red eyes. This raises the question of just what Ninjor is – officially near-humanoid alien, but couldn’t he also be some sort of disguised Oni? As weird as the detail is, I like that they kept it. It gives the guy an air of mystery.
Ninjor’s torso armor and loincloth are all removable, revealing a skin-tight ninja outfit underneath. Since the loincloth is an addition for the new line, it’s nice that you can swap to furry underwear if you really feel like it. The belt is a little hard to fasten around his waist, but no biggie. It looks really impressive, though.
As a surprise, Ninjor comes with an alternate head! Between this and the armor embellishments, it makes me wonder if he isn’t based on a heretofore -unseen 200X design, or something… though granted, you could unmask the vintage figure for basically the same effect. So maybe it’s just an expected accessory. Ninjor’s unmasked head answers the question of what he is under the hood – and he’s a mostly-humanoid asian. The head’s sulpting is really detailed, more so than many other figures in this line. It helps turn him into the kind of character you want to take seriously. The ponytail is positioned in such a way as to suggest movement, which kind of forces you to put him in an action pose when he’s wearing that head.
Ninjor is… mostly black. It’s because he’s dressed like a historically-inaccurate ninja. See, REAL ninjas were pretty much just peasants with shivs. But in traditional theater, the way to make a ninja “invisible” was to dress the actor up like a stagehand – all in black – so the audience wouldn’t realize he was there. So we westerners botched it up. But Ninjor has plenty of non-black – mostly red and gold – and the paint is pretty neatly-applied, without any real slop to worry about.
Ninjor’s alternate head turned out to be a pretty big surprise in the paint department. It’s daaaang good! Crisp! Clean! Excellent!
Ninjor is articulated just the same as any MOTUC figure – ball-and-socket shoulders and hips, ball-jointed head, swivel biceps, waist, wrists, and shins, hinged elbows, knees, and hinged ankles. He has no extra articlation, nor does he have any flaws.
Ninjor comes with more accessories than the average bear… er, I mean, MOTUC figure! First up, he has his nunchaku, which are made of flexible plastic. Pretty standard for a toy, but they look good in action. And hey, since we’re on the topic, nunchaku are essentially weaopnized threshing flails – weapons were banned in Japan (for the public), so commoners had to make/disguise their own from ordinary tools. Now, since the Egyptian Pharaohs wielded threshing flails as a symbol of office, it can therefore be stated that the pharoahs did, indeed, wield nunchaku. Awesome!
Ninjor also comes with a katana. Much like the nunchaku, it isn’t exagerrated or cray, it’s just a good, Japanese sword. Egyptian pharaohs never used these.
Ninjor also has a compound bow with a scope. Now, getting an action figure to properly hold a bow is an immense challenge, and Ninjor’s muscles and stubby arms really get in the way. He can kindasorta hold it, and the fingers on his left hand seem sculpted for thebowstring, but you’re better-served keeping it on his backpack.
Ninjor’s backpack is his quiver, with some slots for his katana and bow. It’s too bad that he has no place to store the nunchaku, but it fits really well on him, and looks fantastic. It’s good to give an action figure the opportunity to hold every accessory at once.
Ninjor’s final accessory is his alternate head. And as much as it could be used for his face, I prefer to have him carry it as a gristly war trophy. Evil Ninjor!
Their base cost is all right, but shipping and tax are surprisingly expensive, so blah, I say! Blah!
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Ninjor isn’t fragile, though I would be careful about bending those nunchaku too much.
WHERE TO BUY:
He sold out on Matty after about three days, so run off to the secondary market!
This was not a figure that I cared much about beforehand, and yet when I got him in-hand, my opinion changed. Mattel really did a good job taking a bland design like Ninjor and un-blandifying it without actually compromising the original figure’s design. He’s a great generic beast man-ninja, and he’s better armed than most figures in this line. That alternate head was a fantastic idea, too, and Ninjor is overall a really good figure for the first quarter of 2015!