Today we’re looking at Hasbro’s Mortal Kombat Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Reptile, and Smoke from 1994. We’re also looking at the Mortal Kombat Movie Editions of Scorpion and Sub-Zero from 1995. They all use the exact same mold (with some cloth embellishments), so I figured I’d do them all in one go. Even if I spread them out over the course of a couple years, I feel like the reviews would get redundant.
This post is meant as a resource as much as it’s meant as a review. There’s not a ton of good info out there on these, other than some grainy archival photos and eBay listings.
Plus, once you look at the mold, you probably know which figures you do or do not want. The colors are the main difference between the figures, and the accessories are pretty much generic.
After you finish reading this, hopefully you’ll be able to choose your favorite flavor (it’s lime, right?) and frown really hard at eBay prices.
Get over here!
A Brief History of 1994-1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Ninjas
Hasbro released their Street Fighter 2 toy line, branded as a GI Joe sub-line, in 1993. At that time, one-on-one fighting video games were very popular, and every video game developer was trying to cash in. In 1992, Midway released Mortal Kombat, which was one of the more successful challengers to Street Fighter 2’s throne.
And, since Hasbro’s Street Fighter figures did pretty well in 93, they gave Mortal Kombat a go, too, in the next year.
In 1994, Hasbro released its first Mortal Kombat figure series. Unlike their Street Fighter 2 counterparts, they were not branded as GI Joe releases. GI Joe was mentioned nowhere on the packaging, even though they used GI Joe parts. That’s either because of the licensing agreement, or because Hasbro didn’t want people ripping each other’s spines out associated too closely with A Real American Hero.
Hasbro released 13 figures and 3 vehicles for the Mortal Kombat line in 1994, which covered every character in the first video game. They released two versions of Johnny Cage, two versions of Shang Tsung, Raiden (called Rayden by Hasbro), Liu Kang, Sonya Blade, Goro, Kano, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Smoke, and Reptile. For vehicles, they released repaints of the Cobra Piranha, the Ninja Lightning, and a Pirates of Dark Water boat. It was a pretty solid lineup.
In 1995, Hasbro released a line of mostly repainted MK figures in honor of the Mortal Kombat movie. Notably, this assortment contained some molds meant for the 95 GI Joe line, which never actually saw its intended release. Rayden used the body meant for Ninja Commandos Flint (along with a Street Fighter Ken Masters head) and Shang Tsung used the entire figure meant to be Ninja Commandos Budo.
Other than those two very noteworthy figures, the 95 line contained Liu Kang, Johnny Cage (who used the Street Fighter Movie Ken mold), Goro, Sonya, Scorpion, and Sub-Zero.
And that’s it for Hasbro’s Mortal Kombat releases. Toy Island upscaled some of the Hasbro molds to use in their 6” scale Mortal Kombat Trilogy line, which they released along with their own molds.
Now that I think about it, MK toys in the 90s were very weird.
In 1994, I bought nearly as many Mortal Kombat toys as I did GI Joe toys. I loved playing the first game on SNES, and the toys were very appealing to me. I bought Scorpion, Smoke, Liu Kang, and Reptile with his speedboat.
I sometimes used the toys as their intended characters either with or without the rest of my GI Joe figures in the mix. Sometimes, though, I just used them as powerful ninjas or martial artists for my Ninja Force and Street Fighter figures to fight. Smoke, in particular, made a very good generic ninja.
Hasbro’s Mortal Kombat toy line is something I have a huge soft spot for. I’ve managed to find most of them at this point, but there are still four figures I don’t have. I’m missing some accessories (which you’ll see), but I feel like I have enough of a solid foundation to write this review and provide some good information.
So let’s start with Scorpion, who was the character I usually played as in the SNES version of Mortal Kombat.
1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Scorpion Review
Maybe the real reason Hasbro agreed to make Mortal Kombat figures in 1994 was that they got to do the most positively Hasbro thing of all– several easy repaints.
1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Scorpion uses the exact same mold as Smoke, Sub-Zero, and Reptile from the same year. And Hasbro got to use the exact same mold again in 95 for Movie Edition Scorpion and Sub-Zero, too.
In fact, the only new part Hasbro had to sculpt for the Mortal Kombat Ninjas was the head. Other than that new part, each of the MK Ninjas use the torso, waist, and legs from 1992 Slice and the arms from 1992 Dice. It’s a parts combo that actually comes together really well to represent our favorite palette-swapped martial artists. It’s not exactly what you see in the video games, but it’s pretty damn close. A lot closer, in fact, than most other Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter figures.
Here’s a close look at Scorpion:
Scorpion is cast in black plastic, yellow plastic, and flesh tone plastic. There aren’t many paint apps, but the white eyes, eyebrows, and black arm bracers all look very good. He also retains the cloth belt sashes from 92 Slice.
The figure uses a nice, vibrant yellow, and the paint matching on the mask and torso are very well done. Hasbro has somehow gotten worse at matching yellow paint over the years.
In the games, the MK Ninjas wear some sort of cloth tabard over their black ninja suits, resulting in skirts and shoulder pads. This figure doesn’t exactly replicate that look, but it gets very close. In fact, when I close my eyes and picture Scorpion, I’m much more likely to see this figure than I am the actual game model.
That’s probably because I spent so much time playing with this figure as a kid. He fought Storm Shadow, Zartan, Jinx, Scarlett, Guile, Ken Masters, Slice, and Quick Kick many times.
I’m actually much more partial to the simple “change the main color and call it good” ninja designs from the first three MK games than I am to the later designs. Sure, they’re individualized now, but they just end up looking too busy. And edgy. Somehow they made a ninja with a hidden skull head who burns people to death and has a spear living inside of his arm look even more ridiculously Hot Topic than he already did in 1992.
This figure also retains Slice’s action feature. You pull his right arm back and it punches forward, or slashes forward if he’s using a sword. Interestingly, the action feature still works the same with Dice’s arms instead of Slice’s. I’d honestly like to take one apart to see how the feature works, but I’m not sacrificing my perfect canary ninja boy to do so.
The figure’s articulation is good by Ninja Force standards, as only the waist is locked in place. The head doesn’t have a ball joint and is reduced to a swivel, but it’s not too bad.
Before we get to the accessories, here he is with the three other ninjas released in the 94 assortment.
Yep, they’re the same figure with precisely one color changed. But there is something appealing about seeing them all together like this.
Now onto the accessories. 1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Scorpion comes with 1992 T’Jbang’s katana and weird double hook sword, both cast in a nice silver plastic.
These accessories were released a billion times during the Joe vs. Cobra, ARAHC, and repaint eras in almost exactly these colors. So it’s easy to find weapons for an incomplete Scorpion figure, but they may not be exactly the ones he originally came with. Unfortunately, there’s really no good way to tell and you might have to settle for “good enough.”
I have so many of these swords from back when I was a kid and from the aforementioned repaint eras that I have no idea which swords go to which figures, which is a fact I’ve made peace with.
Do the accessories even matter, though? It’s not like Scorpion comes with his trademark harpoon. And it’s probably a good thing he doesn’t, or he’d look like this.
I used the swords with my figures all the time as a kid because I like my ninjas to have swords. And, in the later games, the MK ninjas do all use various weapons. So the weapons may not be essential to the average collector, but I quite like them.
Before we get to an analysis of the character, I want to say that this figure (and all of my childhood MK figures) has held up well. I’ve had this exact figure since 1994 and he shows no signs of loose joints or a deteriorating o-ring. His cloth sashes look a bit worse for the wear, but they’re still mostly fine. The action feature still works well, and “resetting” the arm to different positions doesn’t worry me in the least. This is a sturdy, well-made toy.
So, what does Scorpion mean for a GI Joe collection? Probably not much. If you like the character Scorpion, you’re going to want this figure. But, if you’re just a GI Joe collector, this is a yellow ninja and not much more. He does make a cool generic ninja, but you have other options for that, too.
You even have plenty of options for generic ninja figures that use the MK ninja head sculpt, too, as Black Major (and possibly other factory custom manufacturers) have included this head with many of their v1 Storm Shadow repaints.
Personally, I love Scorpion and I love this figure. But, if you have no attachment to Mortal Kombat, ninjas, or the color yellow, you might want to skip him.
Overall: This is a very nice version of the Mortal Kombat character Scorpion done in vintage, ARAH GI Joe style. His colors are vibrant, he’s sturdy, and he looks great. If you don’t care for action features, non-standard construction, ninjas, fighting games, or bright yellow then you can easily skip him. But, for people who have an open mind and want something fun and different in their Joe collection, he’s Recommended.
1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Scorpion (Movie Edition) Review
That last section will be the wordiest part of this review, as it covers the basics on all six of these figures.
There are some differences between the 1995 Movie Edition ninjas and their 1994 ancestors, though, which I’ll describe in this section. Let’s start with Movie Edition Scorpion, the Naked Ninja. Naked only because I don’t have his cloth tabard. You’ll get to see one of those when we get to movie Sub-Zero.
Here’s the figure in his birthday suit:
As you can see, this figure uses the exact same mold as the 94 Scorpion. His torso is normally covered by a yellow cloth tabard, but Hasbro did at least paint the torso part underneath yellow. It was more work than they had to do, I guess.
There is notably less paint on the legs and arms on this version– they’re both all black, without any painted detail. The Dice arms do look pretty weird in all black, but I doubt too many kids at the time noticed.
If you’d like to see what the figure looks like in his intended form, with the cloth tabard, I’ll refer you to the below screenshot from YoJoe.
The all-black arms and legs are accurate to the movie look, so it’s not the worst thing in the world. The blue face mask does seem odd, though. In the movie it seems to be a grey or brown color. When it’s rendered in blue, it just makes him look like a guy who can’t decide between being Scorpion or Sub-Zero.
If you turn the figure to the side, you’ll notice a big gaping hole. That’s because Hasbro didn’t include the Slice mold’s trademark cloth sashes for these movie releases. They probably figured that they were already paying for new cloth ninja dresses, so they didn’t need to pay for both. They weren’t wrong.
The figure still retains the same action feature as every other version of this mold.
Here he is beside Scorpion from the previous year. Doesn’t the 94 version look better in every single way?
Bear with me, but here are the accessories. 1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Movie Edition Scorpion came with 1992 Nunchuk’s curved sword and 1992 Dojo’s short sword, both cast in silver plastic. He also came with 1991 Desert Scorpion’s giant rubber scorpion. Because Scorpion needs a scorpion that originated with another Scorpion.
In the photo, you’ll notice that I don’t have the correct short sword. Just picture it in silver or look at the image from YoJoe I embedded above. It’s a fun imagination exercise.
The accessories are okay, even if the scorpion is ridiculous. Getting the Dojo short sword in silver is pretty cool, and I’m kind of sad I don’t have it. Nunchuk’s sword is widely available in silver, though, and should be very easy to find– even from Chinese eBay sellers.
Overall: This is the weakest of the six GI Joe-style Mortal Kombat Ninjas released by Hasbro. Movie Edition Scorpion lacks paint details and is inferior to the 1994 version in every way. The blue mask and accessories are funny but also questionable. I’d say you can skip this one in favor of the original Scorpion. When it comes to this figure, I am Neutral.
1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Sub-Zero Review
Sub-Zero was the only one of the original four MK ninjas I didn’t own as a kid. I think after I got Scorpion, Smoke, and Reptile with his boat, my mom drew the line at one more version of the same toy. Plus, I always liked Scorpion more than Sub-Zero anyway.
Sub-Zero is a more important character in the Mortal Kombat mythology. At some point there was a Sub-Zero that was not the original Sub-Zero, who got his own side-scrolling video game. I was very into MK as a kid– I played the games, read the manuals, obsessively read all the lore in magazines like Nintendo Power, and pored over the toy file cards. But, at some point, either I lost the plot or Midway did, because I got very confused.
But none of that is the fault of 1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Sub-Zero. It’s a very nice looking toy. The bright blue and black are a great color combination, and they’re something you don’t see very often on GI Joe toys. He is bright and unique.
The blue also allows you to notice all the good details present on the Slice torso and legs. The musculature and the layered clothing look spectacular. The unpainted belt is a little bit weird, but it’s easy to overlook.
Obviously, this figure is identical to Scorpion, Smoke, and Reptile other than the colors. But, again, the colors are stunning and Sub-Zero is a very popular character. Who doesn’t love an otherworldly ninja with ice powers?
Sub-Zero is also the only one of the ninjas who’s a “good guy,” so I imagine he was the most popular of the four Hasbro released in 1994.
For accessories, Sub-Zero comes with both of 1992 Slice’s weapons, both his sword and knife, cast in silver plastic. The sword was also available in silver with 95 Movie Shang Tsung, so that’s what you’re seeing here. I unfortunately don’t have the knife, as I got this figure incomplete a few years ago, so you’ll just have to imagine Slice’s knife in silver.
You can also head over to YoJoe.
Compared to the 93 Street Fighter and Ninja Force figures, all of the Mortal Kombat figures are low on accessories. And none of them come with figure stands. But, if you’re only going to give a ninja figure two weapons, these two are a good choice. I have no complaints.
Of course, Sub-Zero probably should have come with ice weapons instead of regular swords, but that would be rectified in 1995, as you’ll see in our next section.
As with 94 Scorpion, this figure has held up well. It has no loose joints and the o-ring is fine. The sashes are prone to discoloration, but it’s a well-made toy in almost every regard.
Overall: 1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Sub-Zero is a great action feature. He’s one of the most iconic MK figures, and this is a great representation of him. The accessories are fairly good and the colors are vibrant. If you like GI Joe ninjas and bold colors, then he’s Recommended.
1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Sub-Zero (Movie Edition) Review
Now onto our second movie figure and our second Sub-Zero. And wow– if Movie Edition Scorpion was ho-hum, this toy makes up for it in every single way.
Plus, I actually have the cloth tabard with this one, so you can see it up close.
Movie Edition Sub-Zero is cast mostly in dark, transparent blue plastic and some black plastic. It’s so beautiful. When it catches the light in the right way, it has a cold, unearthly glow– which is perfect for Sub-Zero.
Sub-Zero has more paint detail than Scorpion from the same year, as well, which is evident from the bracers on his legs and the gloves and strap on his arms. A lot more effort went into this one.
The tabard itself is a tad oversized, and is made of a slightly fuzzy, felt-like material. It still looks great with the figure, though. It isn’t easily removable, despite the tied sash at the waist, and I don’t dare even try to take it off.
He doesn’t resemble the movie character as much as Scorpion does, but I’m glad about that. He’s his own thing.
Despite any shortcomings due to big cloth pieces or a built-in action feature, this is a toy I just love looking at. And although he’s made of translucent plastic, he doesn’t seem nearly as fragile as a Shadow Ninja. I am careful when I put a weapon into his hands, but I’m not afraid to do it like I am with a Shadow Ninjas Slice or Snake Eyes.
Speaking of weapons, here’s what 1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Movie Edition Sub-Zero comes with.
He basically comes with four of Shadow Ninjas Storm Shadow’s accessories– a claw, scimitar, dagger, and short sword, all cast in clear blue plastic. The claw, scimitar, and dagger were all new for the 93 Ninja Force line, but the short sword originally came with Dojo.
The blue on these weapons might not be exactly the same as what you see with Shadow Ninjas Storm Shadow. But you’re seeing Storm Shadow’s accessories here instead of Sub-Zero’s, so keep that in mind. They are likely nearly impossible to tell apart.
At last, Sub-Zero has ice weapons! These were an inspired choice on Hasbro’s part. 94 Sub-Zero looks great with clear blue weapons, too, of course, so the two figures can share if you want.
I will note that I am okay with using every accessory but the claw with this figure. I don’t even dare use that claw with figures made of regular plastic, as the handle is a total thumb buster.
I’d say if you’re going to pick one Sub-Zero figure, this should be the one. If you’re going to pick one Mortal Kombat figure, this should be the one. 1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Movie Edition Sub-Zero just has such a beautiful, haunting look about him. He will stand apart from literally every other figure in your collection.
Overall: This is probably the best Mortal Kombat figure and the best use of the MK ninja mold. The dark, clear blue plastic is gorgeous and the cloth tabard really sets him apart from everything else. The paint details are good, even despite the translucent plastic and soft goods. The weapons are perfect. I have nothing but nice things to say about this toy. Unless you hate ninjas, this figure is Highly Recommended.
1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Smoke Review
By the time the 1994 assortment of MK toys were released, Mortal Kombat II had arrived on the scene. Naturally, MK II brought a couple of new ninjas along for the ride. One of them was Smoke, who was just like every other ninja, except he was grey! And he could turn into smoke. Possibly second hand smoke. You never know with those scoundrels in Outworld.
So, in effect, Hasbro could lean on the first two games for their character assortment. Except they mostly didn’t. Except for Smoke here. They just really wanted another easy ninja repaint.
And I’m glad they did!
Smoke just replaces Scorpion’s yellow plastic with dark grey plastic, and additional grey paint apps for the eyes. And man oh man, it looks cool.
Of all of the MK ninjas, this is the one you can best use as a “generic ninja or assassin” to fight your other GI Joe figures. We all pretty much picture ninjas prowling around in dark colored pajamas, and Smoke fits the bill perfectly. I have absolutely no attachment to the actual Mortal Kombat character, but I love how this toy looks.
I adore the bright colors on Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Reptile, but I might like this subdued color palette even more. 1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Smoke just looks like a classic ninja, you know? The kind that shows up in every Sho Kosugi movie and every eight year old’s wildest dreams.
This figure is the platonic ideal of an evil ninja and I love him for that.
Other than the colors, this figure functions the exact same way as every other Hasbro MK ninja.
He also comes with the same accessories as Scorpion, which are re-used from T’Jbang.
I know most people hate the double-hook sword. I’m not wild about it either, though I think it can look cool in certain contexts. I absolutely love the big, beefy katana, though. I used it all the time with this figure as a kid, and still find myself using it pretty often in photos these days, too. I have at least 10 of them at this point.
If you’re using Smoke as the actual MK character, the swords probably aren’t necessary. If you’re just using him as a ninja, you’ll probably at least want the regular sword.
I think this is the most “useful” figure to a larger GI Joe collection from either year of Hasbro’s Mortal Kombat toy line. It looks great and has mass appeal. It’s also the closest to generic 80s B-Movie ninja any GI Joe-style figure has ever come, and that has to count for something.
Overall: I love 1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Smoke. If you have a GI Joe collection and you’re not a boring person who hates ninjas, you’ll love him, too. I don’t think he’s as pretty or interesting as the movie Sub-Zero, but he is the single MK figure that can go toe-to-toe with Snake Eyes or Storm Shadow in a believable way. He’s Highly Recommended.
1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Reptile Review
When I was a kid, green was by far my favorite color. And when it became common playground knowledge that there was a hidden green ninja in the first Mortal Kombat game, Reptile became my favorite MK character. He instantly overtook Liu Kang and Scorpion, even if I couldn’t play as the character unless I pumped some quarters into MKII at the arcade.
That’s why I wanted the Reptile figure so badly in 1994. I already owned the 1990 GI Joe Piranha, and Hasbro’s Reptile was exclusively packaged with a repaint of that boat (that included a new spring-loaded missile launcher, of course). My mom relented and I got him for my birthday that year.
As it turns out, the boat looked very nice in blue and silver, too. I ended up using it with my GI Joe toys quite a bit. So, even though it was a package containing two repaints, I got a lot of use out of the set.
It won’t surprise you to learn that Reptile is a straight-up repaint of Scorpion, Smoke, and Sub-Zero. But instead of blue, yellow, or grey, he features a stunning bright green. This isn’t a neon green or the olive green seen on other GI Joe toys– as far as I know, this is a unique shade of green among GI Joe-style figures. And it looks positively splendid.
1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Reptile features the same white eyes as Scorpion, by the way, which is a nice touch. It really adds an air of menace to the figure.
There’s not much to say about this figure that I haven’t said about the others, but I will always be enamored with this black and green color scheme. It just pops. There is nothing I don’t like about this figure.
That being said, unless you like green as much as I did as a child, there’s not much here you can’t get with Scorpion, Smoke, or Sub-Zero.
In fact, Reptile comes with the exact same accessories as Scorpion and Smoke do. Katana and double hook sword.
Since Hasbro didn’t include a “tongue lashing” action feature with this figure, I suppose the swords were necessary. But maybe they weren’t necessary, because he was a vehicle driver. He came with them anyway, though, because Hasbro was feeling generous.
Reptile probably doesn’t need swords and, if you buy one, you may not care about having a complete version. I don’t blame you either way.
Like the other ninja figures in the 94 assortment, Reptile seems very sturdy and well made, though the sashes can discolor over time. That’s really my only complaint, and it’s a minor one.
Overall: 1994 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Reptile is only a must if you love the character or love the color green. You’re seeing my original childhood figure in these photos, so he has a ton of nostalgia value to me. But he’s also a vehicle driver, which makes him even harder to find than the other MK figures. I really like this toy, but it’s only Mildly Recommended.
Closing Thoughts on 1994-1995 Hasbro Mortal Kombat Ninjas
I’ve been planning this review for a while, and I thought it would be fun to do something Big because I didn’t post a full review last week. I hope you enjoyed it!
I also hope this post serves as a useful resource. There are some good individual profiles on Mortal Kombat figures scattered over the web, but you usually don’t see them all in one place.
I finished this review up over the last couple of days. I’ve also been sick the entire time. According to those rapid results home tests you can get at Walgreens, I don’t have COVID (I also took a professional test and am waiting on the results). It seems like it’s just a combination of allergies and a gnarly common cold. As such, I didn’t feel great when I was doing this and some of the “action” photos feel a bit phoned in. Thanks for bearing with me– I might retake them or take additional photos later on.
What do you think of Hasbro’s Mortal Kombat line? Do you integrate the figures into your GI Joe collection? Who’s your favorite MK ninja? Let me know in the comments!