HOTH REBEL SOLDIER
STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“The Empire has located the Alliance’s secret headquarters on the Ice Planet Hoth. During the consequent invasion, Rebel Soldiers hold out bravely against an unbeatable ground assault until a retreat salvages their heroic effort.”
When it comes to Star Wars-related army building, the Stormtroopers and their ilk get the lionshare of the attention. I guess a lot of people like to stack the odds against the heroes a bit, but it’s also a little easier to buy lots of faceless minions. The Rebels, by comparison, all have a face, making buying a bunch of the same figure for the purposes of an army a little more difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Hoth Rebel Soldier was released in 1997, as part of the third year of Power of the Force II‘s run. He was one of two Rebel Troopers released that year. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the usual 6 points of articulation. The Hoth Rebel Soldier is a little different than the previously reviewed Endor Rebel Soldier, who was an amalgam of a few soldiers from the movie. This guy’s actually directly based on one of the soldiers seen in the trenches on Hoth during the Empire’s attack. The trooper he was based on was even shown on the packaging for this guy, allowing you to pick him out in the movie proper. While this makes him more screen accurate, it does have the flipside of making him less an army builder and more a very specific background character from the movie. Honestly, I’m a little surprised he doesn’t have a proper name, like Leber Reidlos or something. That feels right up the Star Wars EU’s alley. Wasted opportunity if you ask me. Anyway, Leber’s sculpt is mostly unique. The legs were shared with the Deluxe Hoth Rebel Soldier from the same year, and the head would later be stuck on the Hoth Luke body for the Saga line in 2003. That said, the parts were all pretty well sculpted. The uniform is very sharply defined, especially compared to some of the earlier figures in the line. There’s a lot of detail going on there. His head matches up pretty decently with the guy we see on the back of the card (though his goggles are off of his face; a minor change), and likewise features some solid detailing. Leber’s proportions are not terrible for this line. I mean, they’re still way jacked up from real life, but at least he looks mostly human (which is better than can be said for another Rebel Trooper released that same year). His paintwork is kind of monochromatic, as you would expect for a guy that’s trying not to stand out. It matches pretty well with the movie, and it’s surprisingly well-detailed for a background character. Leber is packed with a blaster rifle and a survival pack.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Growing up, this was another of the figures that was jointly owned by me and my cousin and kept at our grandmother’s house. When we finally divied them up, my cousin got this guy, since he was more of a Hoth fan than I. The figure reviewed here was just recently added to my collection, courtesy of Lost in Time and one of their sidewalk sales. He’s not a bad figure at all, and I’m actually pleasantly surprised by him. That said, he’s less an army builder, and more a unique extra to fill up the background of your collection.