FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
The backbone of the First Order and Imperial forces, and really the Star Wars universe as a whole, the Stormtroopers are a prominent fixture of the toys from the galaxy far, far away. That being said, given their general unchanging appearance within each trilogy, keeping them fresh can be a little difficult. We got our first standard First Order Stormtrooper in The Black Series back with the Force Awakens product launch, with a few exclusive derivations since then. The Trooper is returning to the main line for the trilogy’s conclusion Rise of Skywalker.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The First Order Stormtrooper is figure 97 in the Black Series line-up, the final of the Force Friday launch figures numerically. Given the grouping of the other three Rise tie-in figures, plus his general level of repeat, I wouldn’t be shocked to find out that he was a late addition to the line-up to fill out the case. The figure is a little over 6 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation. The majority of this figure’s sculpt is re-used. He shares all but the had and arms with the initial First Order Trooper from 2015. The parts that are kept are actually the best parts of that release, being not only accurate to the source material, but also quite nicely articulated, especially at the mid-torso and the ankles. The head was first introduced on the two Last Jedi troopers, representing the slightly more angular trooper helmet that was used in the second film. It’s different from the original helmet, but I can’t really say that one of them is better than the other. The arms are the new parts for this figure, and they’re notable for fixing the one major flaw of the original release: the poor range of motion on the elbows. For the first time, a FO Trooper can get more than 90 degrees of motion, meaning he’s also the first Trooper that can properly hold a blaster rifle. That’s gonna be fun to talk about in a moment. The paint work on this figure follows the trend of all of the FO troopers I’ve grabbed, in that he’s okay, but not without a few noticeable flaws. My figure has some slop on the helmet, but just in general the change overs from black to white are kind of fuzzy. This release of the FO Trooper is packed with the riot trooper gear, meaning he’s got the shield, the improved TLJ version of the baton, and a small blaster pistol. What’s not listed there? That’s right, a blaster rifle. Yep, the first FO Trooper that can properly hold a rifle doesn’t have one. Irony of ironies.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I picked up the standard and riot troopers during the TFA run, so I haven’t really felt the need to pick up any of the subsequent figures. I didn’t think much of this figure, but I’d already decided to pick up the whole assortment when he was announced, so he was along for the ride. After Kylo, he’s a pleasant surprise. Sure, it’s frustrating and almost baffling that there’s no rifle included, but the core figure is a solid improvement on the prior releases, making this the best version of the design out there.