#2299: First Order Jet Trooper

JET TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Specialized Stormtroopers of the First Order, Jet Troopers soar into battle equipped with agile rocket packs”

Alright, let’s keep this Black Series ball rolling.  Heck, let’s trek down that Rise of Skywalker path again while we’re at it.  Rise added the usual bank of new troopers, as each film tends to do.  While the Sith Troopers got a lot of the marketing focus, the coolest new additions for me were the Jet Trooper.  A Jet-equipped Stormtrooper isn’t a new concept by any means, but it’s a cool one nevertheless, and I was quite a fan of the new design they were sporting.  Lucky for me, that design is one of the earlier Rise of Skywalker designs to get covered by The Black Series.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jet Trooper is figure 99 in the Black Series line-up, the second of the two Rise figures in this second post-Triple Force Friday assortment.  He was also one of the figures to receive a “Carbonized” variant on the Force Friday launch, which is the same mold, but with a different finish.  Also, a little fun fact: aside from Rey, the Jet Trooper is the only design to be available across the three styles Hasbro is producing.  Not even Kylo gets that honor.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  The Jet Trooper is probably the most impressed I’ve been with a Trooper’s articulation at this scale, with a respectable range of elbow motion right out of the gate, hips that aren’t terribly restricted, and an amazingly improved range of motion on the neck joints, especially when compared to the Sith Trooper from the last assortment.  He’s not quite as stable on his feet as his GoA counterpart, but he’s better than the Vintage Collection version, and I only had one fall during photos.  Like both of his smaller-scale counterparts, the details on his armor are nice and crisp, and his design means that the sculpt is largely unimpeded by the articulation.  Unlike both smaller Jet Troopers, he’s got a little bit of extra posability on the jet pack itself, which adds movement to the two thrusters.  It’s a nice little touch to be sure.  And, though real-world inspired, this figure maintains a lot of that same sleekness that I enjoyed so much in the GoA figure.  Perhaps the only moderately baffling element to this figure’s sculpt for me is the presence of a holster spot on his right thigh, despite the fact that his included gun doesn’t include a matching tab.  I can only guess this was in order to facilitate a straight re-use of the mold for the upcoming Sith Jet Trooper, who will presumably be including the same armaments as the standard Sith Trooper.  The paint work on this figure more or less matches the GoA figure.  It’s basic, but that’s what you expect from one of these troopers.  He does get a few more black spots, but curiously loses the outlining of his faceplate from the prior figure, despite that outline being present on other versions of the design.  There’s still a sculpted element to it, so it’s not totally gone, but it’s much easier to miss.  The Jet Trooper is on the lighter side for accessories, including only his unique blaster rifle.  The regular troopers don’t have anything else in the movie, but it’s still a little light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I liked the Jet Trooper design as soon as I saw it, but I was admittedly unsure I’d need him in every style, and wasn’t sure what role, if any, he’d play in the final film.  After seeing the movie, and finding the Jet Trooper to actually be the best utilized of the new troopers, I was very happy to have picked him up across the board.  In a similar fashion to Jannah, I opened him up after the movie, already with heightened expectations, only to discover that he was even better than I’d been anticipating.  I’d go so far as to say that the Jet Trooper is the best designed and implemented trooper of the sequel trilogy Black Series offerings, if not possibly the best Black Series trooper as a whole.

The Jet Trooper was picked up from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2219: Jet Trooper

JET TROOPER

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

For the last four films, each Star Wars product launch (at least from Hasbro’s end) was built around two main components, aimed at two different markets.  For the adult collectors looking for higher-detailed sculpts and the best posability, there was the 6-inch Black Series line, and for those looking to stay truer to the old Star Wars roots, there was the 5 POA 3 3/4-inch line.  I found that to be a pretty good balance, but it didn’t sit with the adult collectors who were attached to the Vintage Collection-styling that merged the Black Series articulation with the 3 3/4-inch scale, so those higher end 3 3/4 inch figures have been slowly making their resurgence over the course of the four movies.  For Rise of Skywalker, they’ve replaced the basic 3 3/4-inch line entirely, which creates a slight marketing issue, since those figures really aren’t all that kid-friendly like the 5 POA ones were.  So, to maintain a more kid-friendly line, Hasbro’s launching yet another scale…yay?  Galaxy of Adventures is a series of cartoon shorts re-telling stories from the franchise, and Hasbro had been running a 3 3/4-inch line of re-issued main characters to tie into it, but has now replaced that with a more dedicated line.  The primary focus of this new line (at least at launch) is Rise of Skywalker, and that follows through on the first figure I’m looking at, the Jet Trooper.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Jet Trooper is one of the six figures that make up the first basic wave of Galaxy of Adventures figures.  Believe it or not, he’s the only troop builder in the set; there is as of yet no basic Stormtrooper of either First Order or Imperial variety in the line at this time.  It’s also our first official look at the standard Jet Trooper, after having gotten the Sith derivation in the VC line.  The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation.  The Jet Trooper is a surprisingly mobile figure given the price point of these guys.  While it’s not quite at Black Series level, it’s certainly more practical than the VC articulation I’ve encountered recently.  Perhaps the most impressive inclusion are the ankle tilts, which make this guy really stable.  Remember how one of my primary complaints with the recent VC figures was lack of stability?  Really wasn’t an issue with this guy.  Beyond that, let’s talk about the sculpt itself.  The whole line is definitely stylized, to match the cartoony style of the animated shorts.  For a fully armored character like the Jet Trooper, it’s a bit less immediately evident, but you can still see the signs of it in the general proportions of the figure.  He’s a little skinnier than his real life equivalent, and the angles on some spots of the armor are a lot sharper.  On the scale of cartoony Star Wars figures, he’s closer to Clone Wars and Rebels than to Mashers or Toybox, and I’m honestly alright with that.  Despite being stylized, the Jet Trooper’s sculpt still has a bunch of small detail work going on, though, especially with the fully-detailed undersuit for his armor, and quite a bit of detailing on the figure’s helmet.  The paintwork on this Jet Trooper is fairly similar to the smaller Sith Jet Trooper, but obviously swapping out white plastic for the red.  It’s cleanly applied and even includes the writing on his chest plate. The Jet Trooper is packed with a blaster rifle, which he has no trouble holding.  He’s also got a spring-loaded feature in his right arm, which is a “quick draw” feature of sorts.  It’s pretty low-key in its implementation, with no buttons or releases, and it doesn’t impact posability, so it gets no complaints from me.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these figures were shown alongside the rest of the Triple Force Friday offerings, I really didn’t know how to feel about them…well, that’s actually not true.  I really wanted to hate them, because they replaced the 5 POA line, which was the one I most enjoyed.  Because of this desire to hate them, I passed on them when doing my Friday morning run.  It wasn’t until a few weeks later that I finally decided to give them a try, in part due to a positive review from Max.  I picked up this guy first, because I liked his general look the most of the starter figures.  Honestly?  He’s a really good figure.  I just can’t help but enjoy him.  No, it’s not the 5 POA line, but he honestly left me far more satisfied with my purchase than any of the VC figures I picked up, and he’s going for $3 less than those, making him a pretty awesome value.  I hope that the size-shift doesn’t scare people off of these guys, because they’re probably the best value out there right now.

#2195: Sith Jet Trooper

SITH JET TROOPER

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)

What’s a Star Wars movie without some fancy new army builders?  …I mean, seriously, what is it?  Has there ever been one?  I don’t believe so.  Unsurprisingly, Rise of Skywalker is following the well-established conventions of the movies and providing us with various assortments of new faceless goons to choose from.  Today’s is actually a double header, being not only one of the fancy new all-crimson-clad Sith Troopers, but also being based on a new specialization of trooper, the Jet Trooper.  Smash them together and, boom, Sith Jet Trooper!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Sith Jet Trooper is figure VC159 in the Vintage Collection line-up.  He’s part of the same six-figure line-up as Poe and Rey, and was one of the Triple-Force Friday launch figures.  He is one of two army builders in the assortment, with the other being the Knight of Ren.  He’s also one of three variations of the Jet Trooper available at launch, though so far the only one under the Sith Trooper heading.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 28 points of articulation. Compared to Rey, the Jet Trooper’s articulation is a little more practical, and certainly a little more resilient.  That said, the hips are still the weak point, and at least on my figure don’t end up adding a ton of posability.  On the flip side, I was actually quite impressed by the range of movement on the figure’s neck, so kudos to Hasbro on that.  Of all the figures in this assortment, the Jet Trooper’s articulation and design is definitely the best rendered.  He’s also got possibly the best sculpt of the bunch.  The fully armored appearance is certainly more forgiving to a highly articulated small-scale figure, and honestly they’ve managed to keep the detail work pretty sharp on him, making this the most technically impressive of the launch sculpts.   It’s also helped by having one of the more basic and straight forward paint apps for this line-up.  It’s really just red and black with just a little touch of yellow, so there’s not a whole lot to possibly mess up here.  It’s clean, and definitely striking in appearance.  The Jet Trooper is packed with two different styles of rifle, which is certainly nice for mixing things up if you do intend to army build.  I also appreciate that one can be holstered on his leg while he holds the other, meaning nothing needs the to be tossed into storage when this guy goes on the shelf.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

My only early morning run Triple Force Friday purchases were Poe and Rey from this line, because I wasn’t sure I was totally on board with the switch over.  Then I got into All Time later that day and discovered a shipment had come in there, and that gave me a second chance to think about picking up a few of the figures, with the Jet Trooper at the top of that list.  Ultimately, I’m glad I gave him a second thought, because while I still am not completely on board with full time collecting for The Vintage Collection, I do feel like the Jet Trooper is the nicest showing of this bunch.

The Jet Trooper was picked up from my friends All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay Store.