Yamada Keiichi, born November 30, 1964), better known as Jushin Liger, and later Jushin Thunder Liger a Japanese retired professional wrestler and mixed martial artist who is best known for his work in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Debuting under his real name for NJPW in 1984, he was given the gimmick of Jushin Liger in 1989, based on the anime series of the same name. Becoming Jushin "Thunder" Liger the following year, he saw unprecedented success in the junior heavyweight division when he won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship a record 11 times and set the record for its longest reign during his second reign, which lasted for 628 days. Liger was the first three-time Best of the Super Juniors tournament winner, is a former six-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, won the Super J Cup twice (in 1995 and 2000), and was inducted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 1999. Liger also wrestled the opening match for the first January 4 Tokyo Dome Show in 1992. He is frequently cited as one of the greatest junior heavyweight wrestlers of all time.
I always loved Jushin “Thunder” Liger. He was a cartoon superhero come to life. Its no secret how much I used to enjoy professional wrestling and he was always a favorite of mine. From his NJPW work to his times in WCW here in America he was always one I loved to watch. He had the amazing colorful costume, the acrobatics, which at the time were not as widely used as they are now. The outfit was nothing short of amazing. It was like Inframan and a Power Ranger had a love child and this is what it was. He really and truly was the man, and definitely someone you need to see. It doesn’t matter if you like wrestling or not, Liger is something you must see to believe.
Now one thing that was always a shame is he never had a proper figure. Sure there were some sloppy knockoff ones overseas but never a proper action figure like the WWE makes of their superstars. It was always something that never made sense as it would have been a two fold figure. You would have had a wrestler and a superhero figure all in one. Anyway flash forward to now and Storm Collectables is finally taking care of that. For those who don’t know Storm Collectibles is a Hong Kong based company that was established in 2007 They make high quality figures for the collector market. Now don’t worry you can still play with them. In fact they usually come with interchangeable hands and accessories, sometimes even different heads. They have a great line of Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat figures, among many others. And now they have the one and only Jushin Thunder Liger.
So if you are one of those “Leave it in the box guys” you enjoy this packaging. Great box art, and as the center is clear you can not only see Liger, but all his accessories as well. Everything will be in full display. A jet black oversized box with a fantastic painting of Jushin Liger right on the front with huge red lettering lettering on the bottom left side, it’s an eye catcher to say the least. The box itself is oversized and it makes for quite a sizable display piece. The back shows off Liger in several different poses featuring him in different hand attachments. It has the original Japanese Lettering above his name that’s written in bright English letters. The font they used for “Liger” is very eye catching to say the least. It has the NJPW (New Japan Pro Wrestling) log stamped on the bottom left side, and the usual warning label as the figure does contain small parts. I personally love the Left side pose Liger is in with his cape. I did not leave mine in the box, as immediately after I opened, and photographed it my son grabbed it and started playing with him with his other wrestling figures. He’s a bit smaller than a standard WWE figure, but he’s a cruiser weight so it works out just fine. He even did battle with some superhero figures my son has as well.
Now here he is unpacked. Lets start with his head. The mask on this one is one of my favorites as it has such a menacing look about it. The speckled red and gold bug style top with the giant black eyes and white eyes look like a cartoon come to life. The mask was always one of the coolest out there in the world of professional wrestling and this matches it perfectly. Its red, gold, and white. Standard colors but blended and shaped in such a unique way. The golden horns with white tips shoot out from the sides, and if you look close you can see there is a little horn right in front of them that’s in a slightly deeper shade of gold. The mask has a big wide mouth that’s bordered in jet black bold lines, as well as a blacked out part inside as well. The two tiger style fangs are a bright white and really stand out . Gold is decked out like fire above the bee like white almost silver eyes in an almost fire look. He has three red horns sticking out the top all in bright red. Two small ones on the left and right and one big menacing one dead center with golden lighting and a golden star in the center that’s backdropped in deep blue. I own a replica mask, this is a perfect match.
In this shot liger still has his entrance gear on which is a huge gold and black chest piece that hold his cape. The piece itself does come off and is a rubber golden horned beauty. The etching in it is remarkable for an action figure whether it be collectable or not. You can see all the padding sculpted into it making it look real. The golden horns are all lined in black as they come off each side sticking up and out. The lining of the piece is a bold black, and you can see Ligers long black hair, which is etched to look real coming out of his mask and flowing down his shoulders. You can get a good glimpse of the red and white outfit underneath his entrance gear. I always like how elaborate the costume was, but it really was only a few colors used throughout. You can see the outfit is red and white, but that bright golden belt really shows it off.
Now looking at the back you get a look at the cape, which is patterned exactly like his ring attire one. If you noticed on the front shot his cape is almost silver on the inside. But the back is totally different. Made out of a heavy duty cloth this thing looks amazing. Its golden with a sequence like pattern throughout it. You can see all the bead of light it generates in this photo towards the bottom. It long and bulky just like the one he wore. It truly does flow behind him. Connected to the bottom of his golden shoulder piece this is the nicest clothing accessory I have ever seen on an action figure. And yes, it does come off.
Here he is without the entrance gear. I have him in his fist hands as he will soon be beating up bad guys. The costume is a perfect match to the real one. Every color, line, shade, its perfect in every way. I mean just look at the thigh area. You can see that wrinkles have been sculpted into this piece as it’s a spandex outfit that does bunch up and wrinkle when Liger would fight. That’s something you see in statues, not action figures. Storm has really out done themselves in terms of detail on this one.
Zooming into the torso, as we already covered the head you can see how bright and smooth this figure is. The bold bright red, white, black, gold, and even a touch of blue just shine. Ligers trademark chest piece is in full effect. It’s a golden wing of sorts with the four blue circles in the center. You can see the bottom of the chest is one of the many points of articulation. Same for the arms and head which I have turned slightly to the side. The bright gold belt with the black double stitch. I love how the gold is so bright as is the blue. Speaking of the blue you can see the blue and gold star pendant on the top of the abdomen area of the costume. You can see the muscles sculpted in throughout the whole figure. The white is pure satin white that looks so good with the bright red and deep black. Not only is this an eye catching figure but it looks perfect as a display piece.
Even the legs and boots are done like a statue. The thighs have wrinkles sculpted in throughout the piece which is really amazing. My son has easy over 200 wrestling figures and this is without a doubt the best looking of the bunch. Its, like I stated a bit smaller, but it looks leaps and bounds better than the average “toy”. The boots are also a perfect match and a different color. If you look you can see the front of the shin and foot is the same variation of white used in the costume, but the top and back is a light, almost faded grey. It is like I keep saying accurate to the real costume, but it needs to be pointed out. The average figure, display, play, high end, low end, usually does not make it a point to put that much detail into the product. Sure many figures out there look fantastic, but adding things like wrinkles, shadowing, folds and bends are usually reserved for statues, not action figures. This is a great design.
The back shows off the hair which if you look not only flows down over the shoulders but you can see the back of the golden mask inside where the part is. That’s another great touch as the easy route would have been to just have the hair flow over completely. You can see the same gold and blue star in the back of the costume as well as the gold belt. You get a good idea of the articulation here as well. You can see where the legs and thighs move as well as the arms and hands. He is a fully articulate figure which is great as if your playing with him you can recreate all his signature moves with ease.
Here are the hands he comes with. It’s a simple pop off pop on system like they use for their other figures. So now you can recreate his punches, chops, grabs, everything. As the wrists are also one of the many articulation points this figure really can mimic and professional wrestling move out there. My son changed the hands a few times when he was playing with them and the pop on and off with ease. Storm makes a Hulk Hogan figure as well which Liger matches perfect in size, so you can have a dream match between the two if you like. My son had him battling in a ladder match with The New Day. As I said he’s a bit smaller than the WWE figures but not much and as he moves better than those so it a great balance.
This figure is a must for collectors, wrestling fans, kids, you name it. Inside the box it looks great and you can see everything, outside the box it looks better, especially with the cape on. I cant stress enough how amazing a job the did with that cloth cape on the shoulder pads. I looks great flowing behind him. Outside the box it stands easy and looks good, but if you’re a parent or a kid at heart, its also a toy that can be played with. As I said my son had hours of fun playing with him. As a big fan of Liger I cannot stress how amazing this looks compared to the real deal. I highly recommend picking this up and adding it to your collection. Now it has sold out in a few places But I found a place that has some and have included the link
Overall 5 out of 5 Stars!
To order from Ringside Collectables click HERE!
(Please note they are on back order now but expecting more in July)