CROWD CONTROL STORMTROOPER
STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“Feared throughout the galaxy, Stormtroopers are elite shock troops deployed in support of both ground forces and the Imperial fleet. They are responsible for policing Imperial outposts and territories, accountable for sustaining Imperial control in even the most dangerous sectors. This can be a challenging and often deadly assignment for the most reliable shock troop squadrons. Tough port cities such as Mos Eisley have high populations of outlaws, criminals, smugglers and other anti-Imperial types who create a typically chaotic atmosphere.”
Before making use of the sub-line to get out some larger figures and accessories seen in the film, Kenner’s first approach to the “Deluxe” offshoot of Power of the Force was…well, it was certainly more at home in a ’90s toyline. The first three offerings (as well as one of the two offerings that followed) in the line were all slight re-workings of previously released heavy hitters, but this time with some big gimmicky gizmo included. On the positive side, it did give collectors a second chance at a little bit of army building in the form of today’s figure, the Crowd Control Stormtrooper.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Crowd Control Stormtrooper was released in 1996, alongside Han Solo w/ Smuggler Flight Pack and Luke Skywalker w/ Desert Sport Skiff. The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation. The core figure to this set is effectively the same sculpt as the standard Imperial Stormtrooper figure. Certainly, that’s hardly Kenner’s finest attempt at a Stormtrooper sculpt, but it was the standard one of the time, being only a year old. It’s still got all the goofy quirks of that particular release, meaning he’s rather muscle bound and also lacks both a neck and the ability to stand for long periods of time unassisted. The one change this release makes to the sculpt is adding a port to his back so that he can make use of his big gimmicky gizmo. The other change is a paint change, rather than a sculpt change. This guy has the same basic paint elements as the regular release, but with a bunch of flecks of dirt all over the body now. I guess this guy’s been a little worn-in. Or maybe he’s a really early preview of a Remnant Trooper! That’d be something! Whatever the case, he kind of reminds me of cookies and cream ice cream. The supposed main selling point of this set is not the figure, of course, but rather the Crowd Control pack he includes. It’s big, and it plugs into is back, and it has some moving parts. I’m not entirely sure how this monstrosity is meant to aid in crowd control, but this is the Empire we’re talking about here; they tend to go for the crazier, mad-genius-style solutions to things.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Growing up, these deluxe figures always baffled me a little bit. I wasn’t really alone on that front, I suppose. Now that I’m an adult, though, and I’ve really gotten into appreciating PotF2 for what it was, they’re kind of key to that appreciation, because what else sells the true ’90s-ness of the early line better than these guys? This guy also benefits from really being the only one in the first set that makes any sort of internal sense; a Stormtrooper with an extra gimmick really isn’t that far out there.