#1871: Rebel Fleet Trooper

REBEL FLEET TROOPER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Aboard the Rebel Blockade Runner, Rebel freedom fighters begin their defense against an Imperial invasion.”

The Rebel Fleet Troopers are our first glimpse at the heroes of Star Wars.  They are also our first glimpse at what happens to anyone who’s not a main character, as they are quickly dispatched in an uncharacteristic bit of spot-on marksmanship from the Stormtroopers.  The greatest indignity of all, however, would come from Kenner, who didn’t grace those poor Fleet Troopers with a single figure during the run of the original Star Wars line.  Fortunately, Power of the Force II would sort of make up for that, though with perhaps one of the line’s most infamous figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Rebel Fleet Trooper was released as part of Power of The Force II‘s 1997 line-up, alongside the Hoth-themed variant of the Rebel Trooper, amongst others.  He is, of course, based on the dome-helmeted Troopers from A New Hope‘s opening sequence, though perhaps a bit more loosely based than some of this line’s offerings.  The Trooper was one of the line’s biggest offerings (in more than one way), clocking in at over 4 inches tall.  And he’s not just tall, he’s built.  And when I say “built” I mean like a truck.  If the actual Fleet Troopers in the movie had been anywhere near as big as this guy, maybe they wouldn’t have gone down so quickly.  This guy’s sculpt definitely represents Power of the Force at the peak of its ’90s macho man insanity.  It’s actually a little surprising to see when compared to the rest of the figures from this same year, who had started dialing these things down.  At this point, it’s almost caricature.  Like someone, somewhere along the line was trying to win a bet or something, and seeing how far they could get with this.  Whatever the case may be, he’s perhaps the goofiest sculpt in the line, and that’s saying something.  As far as paint goes, the Fleet Trooper is fairly standard for the line.  Somewhat surprisingly, it’s actually a somewhat subdued color scheme compared to the movie, but the application’s clean and he’s close enough to work.  The Fleet Trooper is packed with two blasters: the standard-issue Rebel blaster, as well as a re-pack of Han’s, because this guy wanted to feel more like a main character.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Fleet Trooper was amongst the figures my cousin Patrick and I had shared custody of at my grandparents’ house back in the day.  That one got lost along the way, so this one’s a replacement I picked up during one of Lost in Time’s sidewalk sales at the beginning of the summer.  He is super, super goofy, and a prime example of PotF2‘s “worst”, but man oh man do I love this guy.

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#1807: Rebel Solider – Hoth

REBEL SOLDIER — HOTH

STAR WARS: THE VINTAGE COLLECTION (HASBRO)

In the hiatus between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Hasbro launched a brand-new style of Star Wars figure.  They were higher quality sculpts, much more articulated than the standard faire, and, coolest of all, they had packaging based on that of the old vintage figures.  The Vintage Collection ran for three series of four figures each, one assortment from each movie in the original trilogy.  In 2010, the line was re-launched, with a more expansive selection of figures.  It went on hiatus in 2012, and was in the mean time replaced by the smaller-scale Black Series offerings.  Following the franchise’s 40th anniversary, however, the line has been brought back from hiatus!  I’ll be looking at the first assortment’s one true “vintage” character, the Hoth Rebel Soldier!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Rebel Soldier is one of the six figures in the first series of the re-launched Vintage Collection.  He, like all but one of his case-mates, is essentially a straight re-release of a prior figure, specifically the clean-shaven Rebel Soldier from 2010’s Target-exclusive “Defense of Hoth” boxed set.  The figure was meant to see a single-packed release as a running change to The Legacy Collection’s bearded Rebel, but that never materialized, leaving this guy exclusive to a boxed item, and thereby difficult to acquire for the purposes of army building.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 22 points of articulation.  While he’s not quite as mobile as some of the more recent offerings from Hasbro, he’s pretty good for a figure who was sculpted almost a decade ago.  He’s well-proportioned, and his uniform is sharply detailed, matching up well with the film.  The helmet is removable, albeit slightly tricky to get off the first time.  I like it well enough, though I’m not super crazy about the scarf, as it seems to make him a little too specific for army building.  The underlying head is distinct enough to look like a real person, while still being generic enough to allow for some army building.  He’s not bearded, which is good, since most of the Hoth Rebels were not.  The skirt piece is cloth, which looks slightly off when compared to the rest of the figure, but allows for much better posability, so I don’t mind it so much.  The paintwork on this figure is clean, and well-applied.  I generally like to see weathering on these sorts of figures, but for the Hoth guys, it’s not as big a deal, since snow’s trickier.  The Rebel Soldier is packed with a blaster rifle, a pistol, and a survival pack, which is a pretty decent assortment of extras, especially given the smaller available area in the vintage packaging.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Rebel Soldier’s been by far the scarcest of the new Vintage Collection, no doubt due to his army building potential.  As such, finding one wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.  I managed to track one down by scouting out an out of the way Walmart that had just put out its case.  I’m glad I got him, because he’s a really strong figure, and the best Hoth Rebel out there.

#1775: Hoth Rebel Soldier

HOTH REBEL SOLDIER (w/ ANTI-VEHICLE LASER CANNON)

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—wait, wait, hold up.  I already ran this review a month ago.  Ah, but you see, that was the Kenner Power of the Force II Hoth Rebel Soldier from 1997.  Today, I’m looking at the Kenner Power of the Force II Hoth Rebel Soldier from 1997…with Anti-Vehicle Laser cannon.  That’s very different, and it should most certainly be treated as such.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

So, as the intro touched on, the Deluxe Hoth Rebel Soldier was released in 1997 as part of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line, specifically of the Deluxe variety.  The initial Deluxe offerings were goofy non-canon variants on main characters, but by the time this guy came along, things had become more normalized.  He stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Not entirely surprisingly, this figure has a few parts in common with the standard Hoth Rebel Soldier I looked at last month.  Specifically, these two share the same legs and pelvis.  His upper torso and arms are also quite similar to the basic release, but the pose on the arms is a little less wide spread, and the torso lacks the goggles.  Given the uniformed nature of the characters, it’s a fairly sensible re-use/similarity.  The main change between the two figures is the head.  Where the last figure had his goggles pulled off his face and a beard, this one has his goggles on and a clean shaven face.  This aids him in being a little more generic than the other figure, and a bit more accurate to the Hoth Soldiers as a whole.  Given how much more suited to army building this particular figure is, it’s actually a bit of a surprise he was the one in the deluxe set, rather than the other guy.  The paintwork on this figure is another point of difference, which is actually a little bit surprising.  This one is a fair bit more subdued than the basic release.  It’s not quite as eye-catching, but the application is decent enough.  This Hoth Soldier included the same survival pack from the basic release (with a slightly tweaked paint to match the base figure), as well as the previously mentioned Anti-Vehicle Laser cannon.  The cannon is decent enough, and good for scenery, I suppose, though it’s got the “exploding” effect that Kenner was so keen on for this line.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

In doing my usual background research for the basic Hoth Soldier, I was reminded of the existence of this figure, who I recalled always wanting to track down.  He doesn’t really crop up as frequently as some of the other figures in this line, so I wasn’t sure how quickly I’d be able to find him.  Fortunately, while I was visiting 2nd Chance Toys for my birthday, I found this guy in a stack of figures from a collection they’d just gotten in.  Of the two Soldiers, this one’s my favorite, and I’m quite happy to have found him.

#1760: Endor Rebel Commando Infantryman

ENDOR REBEL COMMANDO INFANTRYMAN

MILITARIES OF STAR WARS (SIDESHOW)

“The men and women of the Rebel Alliance were fiercely dedicated to the principle of freedom, and would lay down their lives to win their objectives. Some were Imperials disillusioned with their government’s tyranny. Some were from worlds subjugated by the Empire. In stark contrast to the faceless anonymity of the stormtrooper ranks or the precision drilling of Imperial Academy training, Alliance troops were aggressively individualistic and much more rag-tag.”

Back in the day, Sideshow Toys was a much smaller company, whose primary focus was largely horror.  Their first big break came along in the form of Star Wars, a property that had previously been confined pretty much exclusively to mass retail.  They were granted a special license (no small feat when you take all of Hasbro’s exclusivity deals), and got right to work producing characters from all throughout the saga.  The line’s still running (though they’ve started partnering with Hot Toys for a lot of releases), but today I’ll be jumping back to the line’s earliest days, and having a look at one of my favorite “characters” from Star Wars, the Endor Rebel Commando!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Endor Rebel Commando was released by Sideshow in 2007, as the debut offering in their Militaries of Star Wars line.  The Rebel was no doubt chosen for the relative ease of creation, especially when compared to the likes of the Stormtroopers.  There were three versions of the Commando available: the Infantryman, the Pathfinder, and the Sergeant.  The figure seen here is the Infantryman, the most widely available of the three, and the one meant to represent the most basic “army builder.”  It’s the same basic design as the Endor Rebel Soldier I looked at from the PotF2 line, though he’s obviously aiming for a more screen accurate appearance.  The figure stands 12 inches tall and has over 30 points of articulation.

The headsculpt was a slight change of pace for Sideshow’s Star Wars stuff, since he’s not meant to be based on one particular actor or character.  However, he’d look kind of odd if he were too generic. So, what Sideshow did was create a sculpt that was realistic, and clearly one individual, but still generic enough that if you have a few of them standing around, it’s not going to look too odd.  While I don’t know that the sculpt they gave us is my ideal head for a Rebel Soldier, there’s no denying it’s a very well crafted sculpt, which looks quite lifelike given the period of time in which it was released.  He’s perhaps a little cartoonish by modern 1/6 standards, but he’s right on par with the rest of Sideshow’s stuff at the time, and a marked improvement over the types of sculpts we were getting from Hasbro just a few years prior.  The paint work is somewhat thickly applied and a little basic by modern sculpts, but once again was very good for the time, and, admittedly, not bad even by modern standards.   The eyes in particular showcase some incredibly lifelike work.

The figure’s outfit showcases another area where the industry really changed following this figure’s release.  It’s a mixed media affair, as you’d expect.  He’s got a vest, jacket, undershirt, and pants that are all tailored pieces.  Though by today’s standards, they may be somewhat bulky, loose-fitting, and sport some rather sizable seems, they were decent work for the time, and again an improvement over similar figures from other companies.  With a little bit of careful posing, you can get them to look pretty great.  He also gets a belt with number of sculpted pouches (and one cloth one) and a bandolier, which both match the other offerings in style, and replicate the gear the Rebels were carrying in the movie.  His boots and gloves are sculpted.  The gloves are actually just hands, and they’re very nicely detailed, and quite well scaled to the body.  Sideshow at this time was always very good with the gloves.  The boots are, unlike with later figures, actually boots that slip over the figure’s feet.  Due to being made from a softer material, their detailing isn’t quite as sharp, but they’re still very good.  Lastly, and most importantly, the Infantryman has his helmet.  The Endor helmets are my favorite aspect of this design, and while this one isn’t a 100% match for the ones from the movie (it’s a little flat at the top, and sits a little high on his head), it’s still a very nice piece, and really pulls the whole figure together.

The primary failing of this, and really all of the early Sideshow Star Wars offerings, is the base body he’s built on.  He uses Sideshow’s Buck body, which was decent when they first started using it, but was almost a decade old by the time of this figure’s release.  It’s a rather stiff body, and clothes have trouble hanging the right way on it.  It’s also very skinny and suffers from some very odd internal proportions.  It’s this body that makes the uniform look a bit more off than it should, despite how it looks when not on this body.

The Infantryman’s uniform was more involved than some of the line’s other figures, so by comparison, he’s a little lighter on accessories.  He includes a Blastech A-295 blaster rifle, his hard-pack survival pack, and a display stand with the Star Wars logo on it.  He doesn’t get some of the more interesting smaller extras, but what he gets all of the basics.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

It took me quite a while to actually break into the Sideshow Star Wars line, and it was a ways after this figure’s release.  I remember being very interested in possibly getting this figure, but I just never did.  He’s not a bad figure at all, especially when you look at when he was released.  What’s more, this is still the only time that the Endor Rebels have been released in this scale.

The item reviewed here is not from my personal collection, but was instead loaned to me for review by my friends over at All Time Toys.  If you are interested in owning the figure from this review, he’s available through All Time’s eBay page.  And, if you’re looking for other toys, both old and new, please also check out All Time’s full eBay store front, and take a look at their webstore at alltimetoys.com.

#1741: Hoth Rebel Soldier

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.

#0797: Endor Rebel Soldier

ENDOR REBEL SOLDIER

POWER OF THE FORCE II

EndorRebel1

Star Wars has always had army builders and generic troops as an important part of the story (and toylines). The Imperial forces tend to get the most focus and have the most effort devoted to them, but we can’t let the bad guys have all the fun, right? Enter the Rebel Soldiers. The Rebels have a tendency to change up their designs to suit their environment, even more so than the Imperials, so they’ve got a few divergent looks. One of my personal favorites has always been their uniformed look from Endor, which has been privy to a few different figures over the years. Today I’ll be looking at the second of those figures.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

EndorRebel2The Endor Rebel Soldier was released in the 1997 series of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line. The figure is a little bit over 3 ¾ inches tall and he has the standard 6 points of articulation of the time. He doesn’t appear to be based on one Rebel Soldier in particular, but is instead an amalgamation of several of the Rebels from the Endor scenes. The sculpt is generally very well done, and I’d consider it above the usual quality of a PotF2 figure. The general proportions aren’t too exaggerated, and there’s only the slightest bit of pre-posing to him. The best work is definitely on the head, particularly the helmet, which is a great recreation of the film design. From the neck down the details are a bit looser. The Rebel uniform had a few different looks, and this figure tries to make itself work well enough for a bunch of them. It does this by going a bit fuzzy on some of the more defining elements of the uniform. The texturing on the uniform is pretty nicely handled, and rather abundant, which is a little surprising on a figure from this time period. The only real iffy part of the sculpt is his feet, which look more like ugg boots than the WW2 inspired look from the film. The paint on this guy is probably his weakest point. It’s not bad, mind you, just not terribly accurate to the film. Instead of the more complex selection of various colors, the majority of this figure has been painted in a generic camo pattern. It doesn’t look half bad, and I think it probably ends up making him a bit more interesting as a toy than a more faithful color scheme might have done. The Rebel Soldier includes a backpack and a rifle. Both are a little oversized, though not as comically so as other PotF2 figures.  He also included a “Freeze Frame,” which was the gimmick of PotF2 at the time.  It’s just a projector slide of Han, Leia, and several of the Endor Rebel Soldiers in front of the Imperial base.  It doesn’t add much value to the actual figure, but I guess it’s sort of nifty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I originally got this figure from the KB Toys outlet near where my family vacationed every summer. I recall just liking the basic look of the guy, and just being fond of the Endor Rebels in general. He was one of my favorite PotF2 figures, and I even gave him a name (Pterlick, after one of my middle school teachers). Somewhere along the line, I lost track of him. Ever since, every time I came across a selection of well-priced PotF2 figures, I’d always look for him. After a few years, I finally got lucky just last month, when I found him at the House of Fun. I’m glad to have him again, and even more glad that he held up as well as I remembered.

EndorRebel3