I've opened four of my five (I promised Chux Jr she could help with Lady Jaye) and, since I did it before, I'll grade them.
Basically yet another re-use of the Storm Shadow/Red Ninja mold. Unfortunately, they cheaped out a bit, and he doesn't have the rocker ankles, and only has a ball joint in one wrist. Aside from those gripes, the figure itself is perfect, and the two-toned grey-and-black scheme is gorgeous. He comes with four sets of claws (two of which are attached to the arms in-package), two swords (I'd say katana and wakizashi, based on the lengths, but neither is curved), a backpack, and this glider thingy. I haven't used the glider much (might re-use it for someone else), but it seems like it fits well, and actually looks pretty cool. The two claws he's wearing in-package are cool, but the other two are comically oversized. And his backpack doesn't fit hardly at all. I'm a bit torn. I have to consider the lack of articulation relative to the earlier Retaliation ninjas, and go with an A instead of the A+ he'd easily get otherwise.
(Also, the packaging shows a second head based on another Storm Shadow figure, but it's not included.)
A partial repaint of the Wraith mold, with some changes. The head is new (online photos have shown the original Wraith head with the face painted to look like an African-American (rather like Marlon Wayans, to be honest)) and I don't recognize it. The legs are either new or re-used from another ninja figure. Curiously, he also cheaps out a bit, having the rocker ankles but not the ball-jointed wrists. He comes with the POC Firefly backpack, the same ninja swords and backpacks the Dark Ninja includes (in a different color scheme), two laser pistols, a laser rifle, and a silly zipline device in multiple parts. The Firefly backpack can hold the handle for his zipline and the two pistols, and the actual zipline itself can attach on the posts where Firefly's mines originally went. However, the zipline itself can't fit in the backpack (it's a bit too long, even without the other small accessories), and there's no accommodation for the scabbard backpack (though it can easily be jerry-rigged to fit in the side when the pack is closed). I really like the paint scheme on him, and, even with the accessory storage issue, he'd be an A+ with better wrist articulation. As it is, he's a solid A, and will be a nice commander to the Wraiths I use as advanced-model BATs since I thought that character was stupid.
The mold is one we've seen before, but, well, it's awesome. We all know this. This time around, the Alley Viper is wearing a brighter red-and-grey color scheme. He comes with the Alley Viper webgear, two knives (one stores in the webgear, the other on his right wrist), the interlocking shield and billy club from earlier versions, the two-part armored helmet, and two machines guns (one from earlier AV's, the other new to this version, IIRC). He does lack a backpack, though, so at least one accessory has to be left in the cold. Oh, he also has some sort of action doohickey I didn't even bother with. (And, call me stupid, but the picture on the back finally clued me in to what the circular cutouts in the shield are for... duh.) Being a re-use of an older mold, he's lacking a little of the articulation, but I find it tough to hold that against him too much. I love Alley Vipers, and he deserves an A.
I was pleasantly surprised upon opening Colton to find that he includes almost the full range of what was once standard articulation, missing only the rocker ankles (which aren't as big a deal to me on non-ninja figures). I thought he had the new one-part ankle joint. This makes John McClane a much better figure than I'd expected. (And, really, I imagine a lot of "classic" collectors are going to use this figure as John McClane, who joins celebrities like Sergeant Slaughter on the Joe team's reserves.) For collectors, he comes with a pistol, revolver, and shotgun. The only complaint I have about his collector-oriented weapons is that he has a detachable shoulder holster, which has a molded-in pistol almost exactly like the one he includes; it would've been nice to have this holster work to hold the third gun. For kids, he has the same neon orange laser rifle last year's Retaliation Duke includes, along with a quadruple rocket launcher that snaps onto it. For Colton (who appears to be a semi-retired older fellow from what previews have shown), it's ludicrous, but I have to admit it doesn't look too bad and I may find a home for it with someone else. The biggest issue is the way the suspenders are molded onto his chest, meaning they look ridiculous if you swivel him at the torso joint. The second biggest (and maybe only other) issue is the paint application on the face; he looks a bit crosseyed, and photos online seem to indicate this is a really common problem. Still, yippee-ki-ay, Cobra f***ers, this guy is an A-. (Had to be a little harsher because the suspender issue does make him look pretty goofy in many poses.)
Solid wave so far, and, with Jaye being a repaint of the awesome Renegades Scarlett figure, I expect her to be just as good.