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Street Fighter Round 3
GUILE

Ah Guile! The last of the Street Fighter's "big 3" (sorry Ken!) finally makes it to figure form, feeding the fan enthusiasm that has been back-burning since the Resaurus Guile got cancelled.

If there's a name that's synonymous with Street Fighter in the English speaking world, it's Guile. This fighter's fame got so out of hand that at one point many thought he was the star of Street Fighter II. Like the fools who made that Van Dumb movie... It's hard to fault them, though. His easy to use charge moves were more enticing to new game players than the circular motions of the hadouken and shoryuken.

M. Bison had previously killed his best friend Charlie (aka Nash in Japan), and Guile was out for revenge. Leaving his wife and daughter behind, Guile entered the Street Fighter II tournament to seek out and destroy Bison. However, when he was on the verge of taking his revenge, he is stopped by his family, and decides to cherish what he has rather than what he has lost. Fans were so enamoured of Guile that Charlie / Nash was eventually introduced as a playable character in the Alpha series of games.

When Guile first appeared, he looked like a withered, crack-smoking addict. Thankfully capcom bulked him up over the years, and since Super Street Fighter II, Guile's likeness has had little visual discrepancy despite being in many games since.

SOTA's Guile seems to take a hint from the Street Fighter II animated movie, with a very chiseled facial structure. Everything about the face is squarish, and he has the intense, steel-eyed stare and the trademarked frown. His hair isn't a thick box on his head like early Guile art shows, but tapers out as it reaches the end, giving him a sloped look not unlike the design featured in the SF animated movie (thank goodness it's not the terrible SNK version!). All in all, I think it's one of the best Guile likenesses I've seen, period. If anything, his lip liner is a dash too distinct.


I don't quite like his alternate head. He's sculpted with a wide-eyed, screaming expression, which doesn't look to be in character at all. Game-wise, Guile has pretty much been a stone-faced character, although he does lighten up and smile a bit more in the Alpha games (pre-dead Charlie). Personality clashes aside, I don't fancy the screaming sculpt in an aesthetic manner either. The jutting upper teeth and the deep groove of the sides of the mouth, and the thick lipstick all look.... weird.

Guile sports a uniquely sculpted body. A lot of Guile art tends to show him with a small head, to emphasize his chest and arm muscles. SOTA has managed to retain that quality, while keeping his head to scale with most of the other characters in this series. He also stands pretty much in scale with the other figures; being slightly taller than the shotokans yet shorter than Vega and Balrog. He's got a well-defined build that manages to stray away from being too over-muscled or "skin-tight" like Marvel Legends tend to be. 

 

I am very impressed by the attention to detail on this figure. While the flag tattoos on his arms don't have 50 stars (not that I expect them to), you will find that you can see the stitching on his pants and boots, and that his belt is textured! I think one look at his boots will put any toy collector in awe due to the sheer detail alone. And to all the companies that complain that they can't control paint details properly, LOOK AT GUILE'S PANTS! The camo pattern is extremely clean and clear at this scale, and SOTA even went and painted the joint parts that run between the thighs and the calves. And it looks convincingly like army camo too! A lot of work went into this paint application, and it shows.

Guile comes with 5 hands. 2 of them are your standard clenched fists default. He doesn't have any real "open fist" hands, but comes with 3 other "action" hands that can lend to his poses. A third hand has him holding his trademark accessory :a comb, which he pulls out in some of his classic win poses. The next hand is a flat right hand, so you can pose him saluting. Guile doesn't actually do much saluting in the games per se, but it makes sense, what with him being Capcom's equivalent of Captain America and all. I did think that this hand seemed a tad out of scale. It looks like it's too large when compared to his other hands. The last hand is a thumbs down/up hand, similar to the ones we've gotten with Ken and Adon. Frankly I thought this was a waste, since I don't really think of that kind of pose as being signature to Guile. We fans would have been better served by a semi-open fist that can hold his dog tags.

Now about those tags. They're a very signature accessory for Guile, so yes, he does come with them. The tags themselves are plain, detail-less plastic, and they're strung into the bead-like type of chain that you can usually find on keychains. It does slide around a bit, but should stay on as long as you don't invert your figure or fling him vigorously about! If you lose it that way, it's your own fault! I'd advise some care when doing head-swaps, and you should be OK. I am concerned about the longevity of the chain. I have some older keychains that use the same type of chain, and they seem prone to rusting.

Guile also comes with 2 pieces of "energy" that fit over his closed fists. They're supposed to simulate his initial charge into a Sonic Boom, but I've seen them used on other figures for just any generic energy sweep. they are sculpted specifically for Guile's hands, though, so trying to get them to fit elsewhere may require some innovation on your part.

I still stand by my previous dissatisfaction with SOTA's energy effects. They're still too simple-looking for my taste. Toybiz was making effects like these in the 90's. Nowadays, everything from Star Wars to Marvel Legends is taking a hint from anime-inspired toy sculpts, and introducing more details and dynamic flow into their energy effects. I would really like to see SOTA take it there. It's disheartening that they're providing such plain looking items in a package that contains so much detail. It doesn't seem coherent.

Coming back to Guile, I also don't understand why his Sonic Booms are blue. In the games they were originally yellow, and they later evolved into a blue-yellow gradiented effect. If they were going with a monochromatic look for these, why not yellow?

Addemdum:

DragontheBomb of the action-figure.com forums notified me that Guile's screaming head and blue sonic booms may have been inspired by Udon comic's cover below. It sure looks like it. Thanks man!

***************

Our Flash-kicking friend here scores moderately on the articulation meter. His upper torso provides the standard that we've come to expect from this line. As usual, the joints provided are generally useful, but I would categorize Guile as one of the beefier characters, and as such, he faces some limitations in terms of movement. He's pretty good with your standard poses, but he won't be able to hold his own hands.

 

Like many of his peers, Guile still lacks it below the belt. Compared with something like a Marvel Legend, he actually has quite a bit of good, working equipment down there, with thigh swivels, double jointed knees, calf cuts... the usual SOTA fare. Again, it's the cut of the crotch piece that hampers the range of his ball hips.

Do I need to say more? If you're a Street Fighter fan and you're not thinking of buying a Guile that's this good, you need your head examined!

 
The good Colonel impersonates his favourite Chaplin movie

Guile will be available in 5 colours. One regular, and 3 variants based on his palette swaps in the Alpha game.

Green Guile - Regular mass retail version, packed 4 per case.

Blue Guile - Exclusive to various online retailers.

Tan Guile - Exclusive to various online retailers.

Dark Brown Guile is exclusive to ePlanet Toys Inc.

The final variant is All American Guile (extreme right), that was a San Diego Comic Con 2005 exclusive. It's based on a fan-made palette swapped gamesprite by DragontheBomb, who caught SOTA's attention over at the http://www.action-figure.com forums.
You can still buy him at SOTA's website for $19.99 plus shipping.

Coming up next: The individual reviews! Click on the links to read em!

Adon
Gen
Guile
Sakura
Balrog


Back to Street Fighter Round 3!


Got a question or feedback? Think I suck at this? Do let me know... -Dare


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All text and commentary are the opinions of the authors solely, and not to be attributed to any other parties.
All images, format, content, and design are copyright © 1999-2008 D. ”Julius Marx” Pickett unless otherwise noted. No part of these pages may be reproduced without express written consent of D. Pickett. Licensed character names and images are copyright © their respective companies. But hey, ask me; you just never know what I'll say. - Logo Design by Matt Cauley. Web Design by Jason Geyer.