As the Cartoon Network original series SAMURAI JACK continues to set records for the animation-oriented cabler (since its debut in August, all plays averaged together have shown a double-digit rating increase compared to the same time periods last year), a new product line based on the popular series has been introduced to capitalize on its success.
For those unfamiliar with the show, SAMURAI JACK tells the story of an ancient warrior determined to bring an end to the evil reign of the shape-shifting wizard Aku. As a young boy, Jack witnesses his people's overthrow at the hands of the sorcerer, evading capture himself by running off to study with the world's foremost scholars and masters in the martial arts.
With his mind and body sharply honed, Jack returns home years later to end Aku's terrible reign. However, just as he is about to vanquish the wizard with his magic sword, the samurai is thrust through a time portal. Landing in a strange and dark future lorded over by Aku, Jack's only goal is to find another time portal so that he may return home and liberate his people.
Now, Cartoon Network has made it easy for fans to join the "warrior out of time" on his epic journey by introducing a new line of SAMURAI JACK action figures, sold exclusively through www.cartoonnetwork.com. The initial run of figures (four eight-inch and one 12-inch) sold out in record time, prompting the network to go back for a second run. With a number of accessories and special movements/actions, each figure depicts the hero as he originally appeared in a particular scene or episode from the series.
Specifically, the toy line includes:
TWO-HAND SLICING SAMURAI JACK By pushing the button on Samurai Jack's back, both of his hands slice downward in a sweeping chop of his sword. With his mouth gaping in the midst of a battle cry and his brow furrowed, this is Jack at his most action-packed. The figure includes a samurai sword, dagger and battle blade.
SIDE SLASH SAMURAI JACK By squeezing Samurai Jack's legs, the warrior's torso spins and his arm snaps out to the side simulating a sword thrust. This version of an expressionless Jack brings to mind images of the warrior as he faces down Aku's robot beetles in the show's first episode. The figure comes with a samurai sword, helmet and body armor.
SPACE BATTLE SAMURAI JACK Squeezing Samurai Jack's legs causes his torso to spin left and his arms to slash up and down. Clad in a retro-looking space suit, the toy represents one of the hero's space bound adventures. The figure includes a samurai sword and removable space helmet.
SPINNING BLADE SAMURAI JACK Perhaps Samurai Jack at his fiercest, this figure comes with a wheel built into its back. Turning the wheel makes both his hands spin furiously. His tattered samurai robe and oil stained upper body depict the hero after defeating Aku's legion of robot beetles in the series' pilot. The figure includes a naginata, chigiriki and battle banner.
WARRIOR ACTION SAMURAI JACK The largest toy of the bunch brings Jack to life as a 12-inch, fully articulated action figure able to simulate a number of samurai stances and poses. This serious looking Jack is how fans of the show have come to know him. The figure also includes a samurai sword, dagger and battle blade.
Additionally, all eight-inch figures retail for $7.99, while the 12-inch deluxe figure has a suggested retail price of $14.99. The Cartoon Network Web site has restocked the toys and is currently accepting new orders.
Future SAMURAI JACK products include a 12-inch SPIN ATTACK AKU action figure with evil spinning motion and SAMURAI JACK'S SWORD with electronic battle sounds.