STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“Sith troopers were a stormtrooper variant that served the First Order during its war against the Resistance. Named after the Sith, an ancient order of Force-users devoted to the dark side of the Force, these troopers were the next evolution of Imperial/First Order stormtroopers. They wore red-colored stormtrooper armor and wielded a type of black and red blaster rifle.”
Hey, new Star Wars movie! You know what that means: new trooper variants created to sell new toys! Ain’t no stopping the merchandising juggernaut…unless, you know, you stop it…the way that the market has come increasingly close to stopping the Star Wars merchandising juggernaut in the last few years. But that’s kind of sad and bleak, so maybe I shouldn’t talk about that. Where was I? Toys! Always toys! So, for the new Star Wars, there’s a cool new trooper called the Sith Trooper, Kylo Ren’s new elite force. I’m looking at one of those guys today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Sith Trooper is figure 92 in the Black Series line-up, the third figure from the Force Friday product launch. The Sith Trooper was previously released as this year’s SDCC-exclusive preview figure, which included some additional weapons to differentiate it from the basic release. The core figures are the same between the two releases, however. The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Perhaps the most impressive bits of articulation on this figure are the butterfly shoulders, which I believe are a first for Black Series. Given the design of the various trooper armor, it’s actually a little surprising that we’ve never seen this type of joint implemented, since it’s so nicely hidden. However, while there’s great movement in the shoulders, the neck joint is surprisingly limited for one of these figures; they’ve been doing the double ball joints a lot recently, and the range has been pretty solid, but for this guy, it’s little more than a cut joint. Maybe it’s just my figure, but I was rather disappointed by that. Plusses and minuses of the articulation aside, how’s the actual sculpt? Overall, it’s pretty strong. I definitely dig the Stormtrooper/Clonetrooper/Praetorian Guard hybrid that’s going on with these guys, and I look forward to seeing the design in action in the movie. The sculpt is quite sharply rendered, and I really dig all of the texturing, both on the armor and on the underlying jumpsuit. The sculpt also does a really nice job of making those two elements feel like separate pieces as well, which is an improvement on a lot of the earlier troopers. The Sith Trooper’s paint is decent enough, though not overly involved. Most of the red is molded, and most of the black is painted. The application is overall pretty clean, but there’s a little bit of fuzziness on the helmet. Beyond that, it’s pretty clean and striking. This Sith Trooper is quite packed with the impressive armory of the SDCC release, but he does still get two styles of blaster, matching the ones included with the smaller Sith Jet Trooper. They’re decent weapons, but are also the source o my biggest complaint about the figure. He’s got a holster much like the First Order Troopers, meaning there’s a spot for a gun the plug into his right thigh. Unfortunately, the hole is too large and the pegs on both guns too small, meaning that the blasters just fall right out at the slightest touch. The fact that there are two blasters and he can only hold one really exacerbates this issue.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
The Sith Trooper was one of the earliest designs we saw from Rise, and I knew I wanted the figure pretty much right away. I didn’t even try with the SDCC release, because those have always been a barren source of amusement in the past, and the Troopers always get the standard release. This figure was the one I opened right after Kylo, and that may have slightly colored my opinion, as I found myself a bit underwhelmed with him at first. Playing around with him for the review, I did find myself enjoying him a bit more. That said, there are still a few issues that keep this figure from being “great.”