STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
“It is a period of Civil War. The Rebel Alliance struggles to free the galaxy from the clutches of the evil Galactic Empire. Discovering that Imperial forces have begun developing a new type of stormtrooper, the Rebels call on mercenary Kyle Katarn. His mission: seek out and destroy the secret Imperial project called Dark Trooper. Known as phase III, this most powerful of the Dark Troopers is actually a figure known as General Mohc. Practically unstoppable, he represents the greatest threat to the success of the Rebel Alliance.”
Kenner’s Expanded Universe sub-set covered a few different EU tales, giving them each at minimum a pair of figures. Though previously unexplored in the toys, that included some video game coverage, in the form of two figures based on the video game Dark Forces. The first of those was the game’s protagonist, Kyle Katarn. The second was today’s focus, the Dark Trooper, a concept that’s certainly moving up in the world, thanks to a proper canon appearance in the second season of The Mandalorian. But, let’s jump to those humble beginnings, shall we?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Dark Trooper is the final single carded figure in the Expanded Universe sub-line of Kenner’s Power of the Force II. He’s the other of the two later release figures I mentioned in last week’s Spacetrooper review. Also of note is the fact that the Dark Trooper was the only of the nine single release figures not to be shown off on the cross sell on any of the packaging, for whatever reason. The figure stands 4 1/4 inches tall (the second tallest in the set) and he has 6 points of articulation. He’s definitely one of the stiffer figures included in this line-up, only further highlighted after looking at the Spacetrooper last week, with his extra movement and all. Given the bulked up design of this particular look, the slightly more restricted set-up isn’t totally shocking however. This mold was new to this figure, but would later be re-used in its entirety for the Fan’s Choice rerelease in 2007, likely due to the combination of rarity and popularity of this particular release. It’s an interesting sculpt, because it feels more dated than the rest of the assortment, but that’s actually because he’s going for a recreation of the game model, which means he really should be that bulked up and geometric. Hard to take the ’90s out of a ’90s design, I suppose. There’s a fair deal of detail work going into this guy, which does a lot to make him a bit of a step up from a straight recreation of the game look. I also appreciated that the jet pack is actually a separate piece, with full detailing on the figure beneath it. In terms of paint work, the Dark Trooper’s actually got a bit more going on than it seems on the surface. All of the silver is painted, rather than molded, and there are actually two distinct shades between the outer armor and the mechanics. The Dark Trooper includes a rather goofy looking heavy blaster lifted straight from the game, as well as yet another fold out display. This one’s definitely one of the most clever, being based on the game’s HUD, allowing you to simulate an in-game set up. That’s pretty nifty!
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Dark Trooper was a figure that was almost not mine, and was almost the cause of a real tussle between me and Max….okay, not really. But, when we were pulling the figures out when they came in, he had called dibs on the Sentinel, and then also set this one to the side…only I didn’t realize he’d set this one to the side with the intent to buy it himself, so I grabbed it with the rest of my set and innocently sent him a shot of the whole set after I’d opened them and set them all up. Then there was much discussion between the two of us, at which point Max very graciously let me keep the Trooper, because he’s nice like that. It’s nice to have the whole set-up of these guys after all these years, and the Dark Trooper is certainly nifty, especially after their TV appearance!