STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
Where would the Imperial forces be without their plethora of environment-specific troops? More importantly, where would toymakers be without and endless supply of Stormtrooper variants to keep selling in rotation from now until the end of time? They’d definitely have to get a little more creative, to say the least. Interestingly enough, the Sandtrooper, the very first climate-specific Trooper wasn’t initially recognized as it’s own separate thing for quite some time, so it wasn’t until the ’90s that it actually got an action figure.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Sandtrooper was released in the 1996 assortment of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line. As noted in the intro, this was the first time the design was released as a figure. In fact, it was such an uncharted area that initial releases weren’t even called Sandtroopers. They were “Tatooine Stormtroopers.” Pretty crazy, right? The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation. Given the similarities between the two designs, you might think the Sandtrooper re-used a lot from the basic Stormtrooper. Not the case, though. Apart from the head and pelvis, the two figures are unique. I mean, they still are clearly styled from the same basic look, and are the same figure in differing poses, but the two figures maintain mostly unique tooling nevertheless. The PotF2 Stormtrooper is, of course, one of the goofiest, most 90s-ified figures in the line, so this guy follows suit. I will give him this, though: he’s at the very least designed to actually hold his weapon two-handed. It would be a little while before a standard Stormtrooper got that. Similarities in design aside, the paintwork is the real dividing line between these two figures. The Sandtrooper is, appropriately, covered pretty much from head to toe in sand. Seriously, he’s just a real mess. The figure handles this very nicely, making use of an airbrushed sort of look, which helps to keep him looking quite worn-in. You definitely won’t be mistaking these two for each other, even without the orange pauldron. The Sandtrooper is packed with a removable back pack, and a rather large blaster rifle, that, as noted above, he can actually hold the proper way. Yay!
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Sandtrooper is another figure in the ranks of Power of the Force figures I had access to but did not technically own as a child. There was one at my Grandmother’s house, meant to be shared by my cousin and me. When the figures were split up and sent home between the two of us, the Sandtrooper went with my cousin, who’d always been more of a trooper fan than myself. I got this particular figure from the Farpoint charity auction this past year. He’s just as goofy as his standard issue compatriot, but that doesn’t stop him from being fun.