SONYA BLADE is a member of the US Special Forces and, unlike her co worker Johnny Cage, she NEVER GIVES INTO HER EMOTIONS. She is logical and stoic to a fault, and always considers all sides of an argument. She waits for all evidence before jumping to conclusions, and never lets feminine things like “feelings,” “good judgment,” or “intuition” cloud her reasoning, which makes her popular on web forums dedicated to gaming and atheism– that is, until her fellow forum members find out she’s a woman! Then, not even her extreme discipline, legendary toughness, extensive military training, sheer fighting prowess, and considerable intelligence can put her back into their good graces. When she’s playing Quake online, Sonya never turns on voice chat, but she always wins.
Sonya accidentally entered the Mortal Kombat tournament when she chased the renegade men’s cybernetics model KANO onto a boat bound for Abu Dhabi. The boat ended up on Shang Tsung’s Fantasy Island, and she ended up fighting candy colored ninjas, a four armed guy with a manbun, and a lightning god wearing a potentially culturally insensitive hat. Now, she’s tangentially related to GI JOE!
Qualified Expert: Cobra Commander’s Machine Gun, Knife, Nerf Football Missile, 14 Forms of Martial Arts, Live Motion Capture, FRIENDSHIP
From the Files of Shang Tsung, Mortal Kombat CEO: “All I really know about this Sonya Blade woman is that she’s a total narc. I was once minding my own business in the Earth Realm, driving my Pontiac Grand Am to an arms deal at an abandoned warehouse. She pulled me out of the car and confiscated a baggie of green leaves from my glove compartment. It was just sleepytime tea! You try getting to sleep with so many stolen souls swimming around in your body. It ain’t easy! Anyway, I skipped town for Outworld before my court date.”
1995 Mortal Kombat Sonya Blade, Skate Shops, and Movies on VHS
I was big into the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter toys in 1994. Battle Corps Flint was the last “real” Gi Joe I bought during the original run, but I still bought several Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter figures. Though the MK toys weren’t GI Joe branded, we all knew what they were.
As a kid, GI Joe was all about science fiction, martial arts, and military grit to me. Having a bunch of color-coded ninjas, shirtless Kung Fu men, and Yoga Masters just made good sense. Soon, though, I stopped seeing even Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat product on the shelves, and moved on back to Lego, Transformers, Star Wars, and other interests.
I also watched THE SHIT out of the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie. I saw it in theaters, and I rented it on VHS countless times during my youth. I know it’s not “good” or whatever, but it was enjoyable to me at the time, and I still think it’s worth a watch if you want to have another couple of drinks after the bars close down. And, of course, I played the crap out of the first Mortal Kombat in the arcade and on SNES, as well. Although I either used Liu Kang or Scorpion instead of Sonya. She was just suited to better players than I.
In the summer of 1998, my house burned down. Thankfully, no one in my family was hurt, but we lost pretty much everything. I was 13 at the time. I’ll tell this full story in a future blog post, but one of the only items that survived the fire was my Battle Figures Collector’s Case, which was full of figures. It wasn’t my entire collection, many of which were in a box in the basement, but it did afford me some Joes after I lost nearly everything else.
In 1997, the GI Joe brand relaunched. Using insurance money that summer of 98, I was able to buy the 1997 Viper with Trouble Bubble, The Cobra Command Pack, The Slugger, and the Cobra Rage with Alley Viper. But I still wanted a few more “good guys.”
Enter Ronson’s, a skateboard shop located in downtown Idaho Falls, ID. A little later in life, I’d go there to put up flyers for my punk band’s shows. But in 1998, I went there looking for toys. They always had a fully stocked toy aisle with all sorts of wonderful things from the 80s and 90s. There, you could find Gobots, Transformers, Dino Riders, Centurions, and many other treasures.
In 1997, I found the original Mortal Kombat Sonya Blade and bought her immediately. Even as a kid, I thought the GI Joe toyline lacked women. I had a Baroness at that point, and once had a Ninja Force Scarlett, but that was it. I loved characters like Scarlett, Lady Jaye, Jinx, and The Baroness, but it was impossible for a 90s kid to find any plastic representations of most any GI Joe or Cobra woman.
Sonya happily joined the ranks of my GI Joe team, where I felt she fit in nicely. With her green and black color scheme, no-nonsense head sculpt (only badasses wear headbands), and cool weapons, I thought she fit in better than the likes of Ken Masters, Dhalsim, or or Liu Kang. She instantly became one of my favorites, and I still have her to this day.
This is not a review of that figure.
1995 Mortal Kombat Sonya Blade (Movie Edition) Review
Recently, I came across a carded version of the 1995 Mortal Kombat Sonya Blade (movie edition) figure on eBay for a reasonable price, so I bought it. She differs from the 1994 Sonya Blade in several ways. She still uses Jinx’s arms and torso, but uses the legs from 1994 Flint (according to these comments, anyway). Her head is a new sculpt, re-used from the previous year’s Sonya figure. She also uses an all black color scheme, and her hair is a slightly more sandy color than the original’s bright yellow.
Have a look:
The biggest improvement here, in my mind, is that she loses the ballet flats in favor of combat boots. Now, Jinx can rock fashionable flats whether she’s throwing elbows at CBGB or wasting a Tele-Viper with a length of piano wire, but I don’t feel like Sonya has that kind of street cred. She’s a special forces woman, so the full boots suit her much better. I do miss the green, though.
Anyway, here she is on card:
Here’s the back of her card:
And here’s her file card:
The all black look is a pretty good one. It’s a visually appealing figure, and I think the head sculpt is pretty dang good. People like to malign the sculpting on the female Joes’ faces, but I think most of them are reasonably good, and this one definitely holds up. The lipstick is a bit much for a special forces operator, but it’s a 90s toy– you take what you can get.
This body definitely suits the head sculpt better than Natalie Poole— there’s just something very off about that toy.
Here’s the figure:
And here she is All Geared Up:
First, let me say that her accessories are fantastic. She has a black version of the 1991 Cobra Commander’s submachine gun, which is a really cool weapon you hardly ever see with other figures. It looks better in black than in gold. She also has a black version of the 1989 Stalker’s knife– and man oh man, that’s a nasty looking blade. Good taste, Sonya.
And then, because she’s a mid-90s GI Joe(ish) figure, she’s has the requisite spring loaded missile launcher. This one came with Alley Viper v2, I believe, and is one of the more reasonable giant weapons from the time. It’s done in a really nice metallic blue, and the figure can either hold it by the handle, or clip it onto her arm.
Here’s a look:
That missile, though. Ugh. It looks like someone taped a Nerf Football to a stick and jammed it into a space marine’s rocket launcher. Still, it’s not the worst spring loaded weapon from the era.
So, her look is good, and her accessories (minus the launcher) are top notch– so what’s not to like?
This is the first time I’ve talked mess about a figure I’ve reviewed on this site, but it has to be said: the construction on this figure is not good.
It’s a common ailment among the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat Joes (or non-Joes in MK’s case), but they just weren’t put together as well as older figures. They either had an intrusive action feature, or they were a mishmash of parts that didn’t play well together. My original 94 Sonya Blade actually works just fine and still has tight joints, but the 1995 Mortal Kombat Sonya Blade has some problems.
Here are my grievances:
- Her head barely turns AT ALL
- Though she still has a tight o-ring/rubber band, her legs were fairly loose right outside of the packaging– she definitely can’t stand while holding her launcher, and her legs fall out from under her easily
- Her plastic just doesn’t feel as “nice” as older Joes
She also doesn’t resemble Sonya Blade from the movie, but that doesn’t particularly bother me. I bought her to integrate with my GI Joe collection, not to have a faithful representation of a character from a lovably bad video game film. Though, to be fair, she doesn’t really look like Sonya from the first Mortal Kombat game, either.
But she works as her own thing, and that’s her strength. It’s good to have another woman among the GI Joe ranks, and she fits in much better than most characters from the MK or Street Fighter lines. She is what she is, and what she is IS PRETTY DANG GOOD.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a faithful recreation of Sonya from Mortal Kombat, this won’t satisfy that urge. And if you’re a slavish devotee of 1980s GI Joe, this figure won’t float your boat. She’s not an official Joe release, her construction isn’t the greatest, and she has no original accessories. But, if you’re looking to build a more interesting, more diverse cast for your GI Joe collection, I think this figure is great. Though they’re re-used her accessories are fantastic, her head sculpt is good, her colors are perfectly military, and she just looks cool. Mildly Recommended.
- Joe A Day has a fantastic write up on this figure
- Here’s a look at the whole Mortal Kombat line on YoJoe.com
- Mike T recently did a write up on Forgotten Figures as well!
- Here’s an in-depth article on the Mortal Kombat line, and how some of the figures even used unreleased GI Joe parts!
Other Thoughts on 1995 Mortal Kombat Sonya Blade (Movie Edition)
I still really like the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter toys from the end of the GI Joe line. I have several, but want to track down more. At least until I get her best frenemy Kano, Sonya remains my favorite figure from either line.
Here are my friend Kyle’s thoughts on the 1995 Mortal Kombat Sonya Blade (Movie Edition) figure:
“I think she’d be like the hard ass leader no one really liked. Like she always seems like she has no sense of humor and for some reason I just feel like the Joes would hate that. Especially Shipwreck, like he just wants to hang tough with his parrot and she’s seems like she wouldn’t be fond of a dude taking a parrot into battle.”
What do you think of the Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat figures? Let me know in the comments!