#1642: Sandtrooper

SANDTROOPER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

Where would the Imperial forces be without their plethora of environment-specific troops? More importantly, where would toymakers be without and endless supply of Stormtrooper variants to keep selling in rotation from now until the end of time?  They’d definitely have to get a little more creative, to say the least.  Interestingly enough, the Sandtrooper, the very first climate-specific Trooper wasn’t initially recognized as it’s own separate thing for quite some time, so it wasn’t until the ’90s that it actually got an action figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Sandtrooper was released in the 1996 assortment of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line.  As noted in the intro, this was the first time the design was released as a figure.  In fact, it was such an uncharted area that initial releases weren’t even called Sandtroopers.  They were “Tatooine Stormtroopers.”  Pretty crazy, right?  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Given the similarities between the two designs, you might think the Sandtrooper re-used a lot from the basic Stormtrooper.  Not the case, though.  Apart from the head and pelvis, the two figures are unique.  I mean, they still are clearly styled from the same basic look, and are the same figure in differing poses, but the two figures maintain mostly unique tooling nevertheless.  The PotF2 Stormtrooper is, of course, one of the goofiest, most 90s-ified figures in the line, so this guy follows suit.  I will give him this, though: he’s at the very least designed to actually hold his weapon two-handed.  It would be a little while before a standard Stormtrooper got that.  Similarities in design aside, the paintwork is the real dividing line between these two figures.  The Sandtrooper is, appropriately, covered pretty much from head to toe in sand.  Seriously, he’s just a real mess.  The figure handles this very nicely, making use of an airbrushed sort of look, which helps to keep him looking quite worn-in.  You definitely won’t be mistaking these two for each other, even without the orange pauldron.  The Sandtrooper is packed with a removable back pack, and a rather large blaster rifle, that, as noted above, he can actually hold the proper way.  Yay!

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Sandtrooper is another figure in the ranks of Power of the Force figures I had access to but did not technically own as a child.  There was one at my Grandmother’s house, meant to be shared by my cousin and me.  When the figures were split up and sent home between the two of us, the Sandtrooper went with my cousin, who’d always been more of a trooper fan than myself.  I got this particular figure from the Farpoint charity auction this past year.  He’s just as goofy as his standard issue compatriot, but that doesn’t stop him from being fun.

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The Blaster In Question #0038: First Order Stormtrooper Blaster

BlasterInQuestion1FIRST ORDER STROMTROOPER BLASTER

STAR WARS

stormpistol1One little word sure can make a big difference, especially when that word is “deluxe.”  Yes, this is in fact a different blaster review from last week, it’s not a typo.  So what does the First Order have to offer when “deluxe” is off the table?  Well… not very much, as it happens, but let’s have a look at it anyway.

THE BLASTER ITSELF

stormpistol2The First Order Stormtrooper Blaster was released in 2015, alongside the deluxe version as a promotion for The Force Awakens.  If you’re not sure what part of the movie it’s from, you can be forgiven for missing it because it doesn’t get a lot of screen-time, but it’s there, I promise.  Now, having just recently The Last Jedi, I can tell you it gets a couple scenes where characters using it are front and center on the screen, so that’s nice.  The blaster itself is almost as basic as you can get.  It is a single shot, muzzle loaded pistol with a little spring loaded priming tab in the back.  While the tab does a good job of maintaining the blaster’s aesthetics even when primed, it does mean the actual size of the plunger tube is severely limited.  You can really get a sense of this by how short and light the priming stroke is.  The outer shell is completely new to resemble the blaster from the film and looks pretty accurate… until you actually hold it.  In the film, the SE-44C blaster, which this is designed after, is built on a Glock 17 pistol.  If you’ve been keeping up with my Star Wars Nerf reviews, you’ll know that in general the Nerf blasters have pretty good ergonomics as they’re modeled after props that used real world firearms.  In the case of the FOSB, the shape is right, but the scale is waaaaayyy off.  It feels tiny in the hand.  As such, the normally quite comfortable grip of the Glock has been shrunk down so it no longer lines up with regular human sized hands.   I understand the reasoning behind it, because otherwise there would be just an unnecessarily large body housing a small internal mechanism.  Sure, they could have scaled up the plunger tube to get more air into the system but that… actually, that’s a good idea.  Why didn’t they just do that?  I guess it’s probably safe to assume that it all comes down to cost cutting measures, as is so often the case.  But hey, at least it comes with a cool attachment piece, right?  I mean, it does come with an attachment piece which clips onto the standard Nerf rail on the top of the blaster, but what even is the piece supposed to be?  As far as I can tell it’s a sight(ish) but it sits in the dead center of the blaster and has no other sight to line up to, so it’s kinda useless.  It’s actually really useless, but its on the blaster in the film, so there it is.  The FOSB’s performance is about what you’d expect for a Stormtrooper’s backup blaster.  Distance and power are lacking pretty heavily from that of a regular N-Strike Elite blaster, but you can usually hit your target if the muzzle is just about 5 or 6 inches away from it, so… yay?  Stormtroopers are meant to be imposing and scary, but a couple shot from this blaster and I doubt you’ll be able to maintain that kind of fear-based dominance over your younger siblings when you bust into their room.  The First Order Stormtrooper Blaster comes packaged with the useless sight/spike thingy and 3 of the red Star Wars branded Elite darts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got the FOSB at the same time I bought its deluxe bigger brother.  I think having the deluxe blaster there distracted me from how lackluster the pistol was.  I’m not saying I regret buying it or owning it, but for the price, we essentially got a Star Wars logo that came with a free Nerf blaster.

The Blaster In Question #0037: First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster

BlasterInQuestion1

FIRST ORDER STROMTROOPER DELUXE BLASTER

STAR WARS

stormrifle1Look at this post.  Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so punctual.  Ok ok, technically this week’s blaster isn’t from the “empire” so to speak, but the First Order is basically the Empire 2.0, so yeah.  Also, I know there is a more recent First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster on the market now, but I couldn’t justify hefty price tag on that one just yet so we’re going with the older one.  But that’s enough about that, on with the review!

THE BLASTER ITSELF

stormrifle2The First Order Stormtrooper Deluxe Blaster (the first one) was released in 2015 as part of Nerf’s Star Wars tie-in products, at the time, corresponding with the release of The Force Awakens.  Functionally, the blaster operates just like the N-Strike Elite Rampage, or Raider before it as it built on virtually the same internal mechanism using a pump-action magazine fed setup.  This makes a lot of sense as a design choice since it probably saved the good people at Hasbro some time and therefore money working out how the blaster was going to work.  Also, given that the Sterling Mk. IV SMG (the real steel firearm on which the F-11D Stormtrooper rifle is based) loads magazines from the side, I’d say the decision practically made itself.  The blaster looks and feels pretty good.  Leaving enough to clearly denoted it as a toy, the blaster resembles the prop from the film pretty closely.  Being modeled after a real world firearm, the ergonomics are pretty good.  The pistol grip is simple but does the job well.  The pump grip could be a little more rounded for comfort in my opinion, but it’s understandable squaring it off to accommodate the proportions of the blaster body.  As a fun side-note, most of the official promotional stormrifle3images for the blaster show it with the pump grip installed backwards.  The FOSDB also comes with a scope and stock accessories that fit onto standard Nerf attachment rails and lugs, respectively.  The scope is very low-profile and actually provides quite a nice sight picture for what that’s worth in a Nerf attachment.  The stock is nice and solid, if a bit short on its own but the way the body of the blaster extends back past the grip means it’s at least a useable length when attached.  At the very least, it fits with the overall compact size of the blaster.  Without the stock, the blaster itself is really sized more like a large handgun than a rifle, something that it has over the Rampage.  That and the fun primed indicator disguised as a vent that changes from black to red when the blaster is primed.  Both of these little improvements make it that much more disappointing that the performance isn’t up to the same standard as Elite blasters.  I’ve been over the reasons why this is the case, but it still bums me out sometimes, especially with blasters that should be awesome by all rights.  Even if you’re not getting exactly the same range and power, at least you can throw out movie quotes as you bust into your younger sibling’s room and start blasting.  Good luck hitting anything, though.  It is a Stormtrooper rifle, after all.  The FOSDB comes packaged with a scope, a stock, an all-white 12 round magazine, and 12 red Star Wars branded Elite darts with transparent red tips.stormrifle4

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This blaster was really the first Star Wars Nerf blaster I can remember seeing and getting excited about.  Before this series, the best we got always seemed to be single shot, muzzle loaders, so it was really great to see tie-in blasters get more serious designs, even if they’re almost direct copies of existing blasters.  Clones, maybe.  Wait, no, we’ve confirmed the First Order doesn’t do clones.  Only bad movies do that, that’d be stupid.

#1516: Luke Skywalker as Stormtrooper

LUKE SKYWALKER AS STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Disguised as stormtroopers and fighting off a regiment of Imperial troops inside the Death Star, the escaping band of heroes finds refuge in a garbage receptacle. The Rebels realize their problem has changed when the walls begin closing in.”

So, apparently there was this movie released yesterday.  Star Wars?  Kind of a big deal I guess.  While I’m still totally up to date on the actual Last Jedi stuff in my collection, I still have plenty of older figures in the backlog.  And, since I looked at the Stormtrooper Disguise Han Solo two weeks ago, why not take a looksie at his companion Luke figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Luke Skywalker as Stormtrooper was released in the 1996 assortment of Power of the Force II, as that year’s third variant of Luke, and the fifth overall Luke in the line.  This was our second Stormtrooper Disguise Luke, following the one released in the original Power of the Force line.  He’s about 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Despite how it may look, the only re-used piece on this guy is the torso, which is the same one used on the Stormtrooper Han.  Nevertheless, he’s still the same height as Han and the basic troopers, meaning he’s not actually short for a Stormtrooper.  Instead of Han’s more pre-posed look, Luke has a more generic standing pose, which looks decent enough.  He still follows the general style of the line, so he’s far more muscle bound than any of the troopers we see on screen.  But, like I said with Han, if you’re gonna have the style, I guess it’s best to stick with it.  His head is a re-working of the early PotF2 Luke head.  It’s not one of the better Hamill likenesses, but it’s not as terrible as some of the early sculpts.  Plus, it means he fits with the rest of them, which I suppose is for the best.  The paint on Luke is fairly straight forward stuff.  It’s pretty clean overall, and matches up with the rest of the line pretty well.  Luke was packed with a removable helmet (the same one included with Han) and a standard Stormtrooper blaster.  It’s a pretty standard set of extras, but more than one accessory is always nice with a Star Wars figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After getting Han as a mail-away, I was on the look out for this guy.  It took him a little while to hit, but I ended up finding him at Another Universe, the comic book store in the local mall.  I was pretty excited for him, and he makes for a pretty cool pairing with Han to be sure.

#1471: Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader

SCARIF STORMTROOPER SQUAD LEADER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Specialist stormtroopers stationed at the top-secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility.”

Though the main Star Wars line has moved onto all of the product from this December’s Last Jedi, I’ve still got a few Rogue One products sitting on my shelf waiting to be reviewed.  There was sort of a mass influx of new figures over the summer, and a lot of them had to wait for their slot in the reviewing schedule.  None more so than the Rogue One stuff, which got put on hold so that I could focus on TLJ.  Now that I’ve got a bit of lull, I can finally get back to some of them.  So, after much delay, here’s this Shoretrooper figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader is the fourth and final figure from the Rogue One assortment of the Walmart-exclusive small-scale Star Wars: The Black Series line.  Of the four, this guy was by far the most difficult to acquire (which is part of why he’s being reviewed four months after the other three), largely due to his status as an army builder.  The name on this guy is a little confusing.  He’s listed as the “Squad Leader,” which is the name generally associated with the more decorated guy from the two-pack with the Moroff.  That name was again used for the more decorated look in the larger Black Series, where the look seen here was listed simply as “Scarif Stormtrooper.”  And when this look showed up in the basic line, it was “Shoretrooper.”  If I had to guess, I’d say Hasbro may have been initially planning to release the guy from the two-pack, but changed their minds after the packaging was underway.  At the end of the day, none of this actually affects the figure, though, so I guess it doesn’t really matter that much.  The figure stands a little under 4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  As with the rest of his assortment, the Shoretrooper’s articulation represents a marked improvement over the Force Awakens offerings from the prior year.  I’d place this guy on par with Cassian in terms of posabilty.  It’s nice that Hasbro put in the effort on these guys, since they’re probably less likely to see new figures going forward.  The sculpt on this guy is totally unique to him; no parts shared with any of his less articulated brethren (though I feel certain we’ll be seeing most of this body again for the Vintage Collection Hovertank Pilot).  It’s definitely solid work, and on par with the larger version of the same design.  The helmet could perhaps be a little sharper, but the detailing on the body is definitely top-notch.  The paint on this guy is definitely solid work.  All of the base work is pretty clean and the colors match what we see on-screen.  Like the larger Shoretroopers, he gets some dirt and grime, to help make his armor look a bit more used.  It’s a nice touch, and really adds a lot to the figure.  The Shoretrooper is packed with a standard E-11 Stormtrooper blaster.  That’s a bit less than the others in this assortment, so he feels a little light, but it’s not terrible.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve been looking for this guy pretty much since they hit back in last December.  He and Cassian were definitely my most wanted, but while I was able to find Cassian back in May, this guy eluded me for several more months.  I ended up finding him at the Walmart across the street from the apartment I was moving out of back in August.  Which, of course, was just in time for Walmart to bring the price on these figure back up to their full $12, rather than the $6 they’d been at all summer.  Oh well.  At least I got him.  Is he the most thrilling figure ever?  Perhaps not.  I’ve gotten every other Hasbro Shoretrooper, so he’s not particularly different or new, nor does he blow me away the way Cassian did.  That being said, he’s still a very good figure, and I’m glad I found one.

#1451: Jedha Revolt

JYN ERSO, SAW GERRERA, EDRIO TWO TUBES, & IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

With all of the Last Jedi product floating around, it can be a little difficult to fit in some of my older Star Wars products, especially when it’s stuff that’s only a single movie back.  At least the Power of the Force stuff is noticeably different, right?  Not so much the case with Rogue One, from which I still have a few lingering figures.  Today, I’ll be crossing a few of those off my list and taking a look at the Jedha Revolt boxed-set!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

The Jedha Revolt set is comprised of Jyn, Saw Gerrara, Edrio Two Tubes, and an Imperial Hovertank Pilot, all of whom came from the film’s first big set piece, Jedha.  This set is part of the Rogue One line, and is very similar to the Takodana Encounter set from The Force Awakens.  The real notable difference here is that there’s three new figures and one repack, instead of one new figure and three repacks.  Those numbers are better.

JYN ERSO

“Pushing behind a checkered past by lending her skills to a greater cause, Jyn Erso is impetuous, defiant, and eager to bring the battle to the empire.  Used to operating alone, she finds higher purpose by taking on a desperate mission for the Rebel Alliance.”

The Jyn in this set is the same one released in Series 2 of the main line.  I didn’t get that one, though, because I knew this set was coming.  That being said, the mold is also the same one used for the Jyn included with the AT-ACT.  It’s not a bad sculpt at all.  The paint’s a little different on this figure.  It’s not an incredible difference, but there’s enough to notice.  I prefer the work on the AT-ACT figure, truth be told, but I guess this one’s passable.  She gets the same blaster pistol, and adds in her scarf she wears on Jedha for good measure.

SAW GERRERA

“A battered veteran of the Clone Wars as well as ongoing rebellion against the Empire, Saw Gerrera leads a band of Rebel extremists.  Saw has lost much in his decades of combat, but occasional flashes of the charismatic ad caring man he once was shine through his calloused exterior.  Gerrera is bunkered on the ancient world of Jedha, coordinating a prolonged insurgency against the Imperial occupation.  Saw’s ailing health has not withered his resolve to fight.”

Saw is definitely a big selling point of this set, since he’s a fairly prominent character and this is literally the only proper figure of him released at this point.  We see Saw here in his garb from later on in the film, during the “present” sequences.  It’s a sensible choice, since his other look is only seen briefly and it’s not the one he’s sporting on Jedha.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has 5 points of articulation…in theory.  All of the joints are there, but you’re not really going to get much range out of any of them.  Saw’s not super agile or anything, so it’s not a big loss, but it’s still slightly frustrating.  The sculpt is all new to this figure, and it’s a fairly nice piece.  There’s quite a bit of detail work going on, and he certainly has a lot of depth.  The head has a passing resemblance to Forrest Whitaker, which is nice, and the overall design seems to have been translated quite nicely.  Saw’s paintwork is generally pretty decent and clean.  I do have one notable complaint, which has to do with the breathing apparatus.  It’s just molded in a solid off-white sort of color, which looks a little goofy.  It really would have looked better if they’d done it in clear plastic and added a few painted details.  Saw is packed with his walking stick which is almost seen carrying in the movie, as well as a small sidearm which he never uses, but is seen carrying on his hip just the same.  Both pieces are nicely detailed and great additions to the figure.

EDRIO TWO TUBES

“Edrio Two Tubes is a mercenary pilot who flies alongside his eggmate, Benthic.  They share the nickname derived from the breathing apparatus that allows Tognath physiology to process oxygen atmospheres.  Edrio’s notice world of Yar Tonga was conquered by the Empire, forcing him to flee as a refugee.  With a desire to strike back at the Empire, Edrio and Benthic have allied with Saw Gerra’s movement on Jedha.”

And now for the “who the heck is this guy?” portion of the set, it’s Edrio Two Tubes!  Yeah, I don’t know either.  But he looks cool, and that’s really the only necessary element for a successful Star Wars character (see: Boba Fett).  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has the same 5 points of articulation as the rest of the set, albeit in better working order than the ones on Saw.  Edrio gets another all-new sculpt, and it’s certainly top notch.   There’s a lot of really awesome detail work, especially on the jacket.  I dig the similarities between the chest piece and that of the Rebel Pilots.  Definitely a cool touch.  The only real complaint I have is that he’s a little hard to get standing, but once you get him there, he stays up alright.  Edrio’s paint is pretty solid, offering up clean base work, as well as some pretty sweet accent work on his jacket.  He definitely has the best work in the set.  He’s packed with a big ol’ rifle, which he sadly can’t hold particularly well, due to the limitations of his posability.  You can still get a decent “over the shoulder” sort of look, so it’s workable.

IMPERIAL HOVERTANK PILOT

“Imperial combat drivers operate the Empire’s arsenal of armored repulser vehicles, from troop transports to heavily armored hovertanks.  Combat drivers are lightly armored, relying instead on the thick skin of their vehicles to protect them in battle.” 

No set would be complete without some sort of Stormtrooper variant, and this one actually gets one of my favorites.  We got the Hovertank Pilot in the 6-inch line pretty early on, but it’s certainly still cool to get him again in the smaller scale.  The figure is largely built from re-purposed parts from the standard Shoretrooper.  It’s a more than adequate starting point, as that was a pretty solid figure in its own right.  He gets a new head and belt, both of which are incredibly sharp sculpts, which certainly add a lot of polish to the final figure.  The paint on this guy is pretty straightforward, off-white and dark brown.  It’s all cleanly applied, though, and he looks pretty spiffy.  He’s packed with a large blaster rifle, which is the same one we saw with the Shoretrooper, Scarif Squad Leader, and AT-ACT Driver.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I was rather excited for this set when it was first shown off, but by the time it actually hit about 6 months later, I had sort of cooled down, and was actually in a bit of a tight spot financially.  Fortunately, it stuck around for a bit, and I was actually able to pick it up from Target for about half of its original value.  I will say, this one definitely has a lot more to offer than the TFA set, since most of the figures are new.  Saw, Edrio, and the Hovertank Pilot are all really solid offerings, and are among some of my favorite figures from the Rogue One line.

#1298: Imperial AT-ACT Driver

IMPERIAL AT-ACT DRIVER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The Empire’s combat drivers are trained to handle everything on the Imperial ground arsenal, from heavily armed AT-ATs to the more utilitarian AT-ACT walkers.”

You can’t have Star Wars figures without a metric ton of generic Trooper figures.  They’ve long been the backbone of the line, so it’s not a huge surprise that the movie makers put effort into introducing a few extra variants every time there’s a new movie.  Rogue One gave us the whole Scarif sub-set of troopers, which are some of my new favorites.  Today’s figure isn’t *technically* a Scarif trooper, but he share’s a lot of design elements, and he only actually shows up during the Scarif sequences of the movie, so I’m grouping him with them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Imperial AT-ACT Driver is a Target-exclusive entry in the Star Wars: The Black Series line.  He follows the store-exclusive trooper trend, coming out after the TRU-exclusive Hovertank Pilot and the Walmart-exclusive Scarif Trooper.  In the movie, there are actually two drivers seen in the AT-ACT; a basic driver and a commander.  This figure represents the commander.  Of course, thanks to the fairly easily swapped heads on all these troopers, if you swap the head on this guy onto the Hovertank Pilot’s body, you can get both the basic AT-ACT driver and the Tank Commander, if one were so inclined. The figure stands about 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Structurally, he’s a total parts re-use; he’s got the body of the Hovertank Pilot and the head of the Scarif trooper.  It’s totally warranted re-use, since the movie design was the same.  Plus, the pieces are solid, so I have no issues with having them used again.  This figure’s main differences are, of course, the paint.  The basic colors match up with those of the Hovertank pilot (no doubt intentional, since it makes the previously mentioned head swap much easier), but he also gets the additional grey markings on the shoulders to denote him as a commander.  The markings are nice and sharp, which is good.  There’s also a little bit of weathering on the armored sections, offering a bit of accenting to the sculpt.  I’m glad to see the weathering on troopers is remaining a rather consistent thing.  The AT-ACT Driver includes a standard E-11 Blaster.  In uses the same extra detailing used for the blaster included with the K-Mart-exclusive Jyn, which is another thing that’s nice to see be a recurring feature.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This guy caught me by surprise, since he wasn’t really promoted that much by either Hasbro or Target.  On the same trip where Tim bought me Moon Knight, I also found this guy, but I was still planning to pass, since I was trying to hold off on buying as much.  Of course, this just wouldn’t sit with Super Awesome Girlfriend, who insisted on getting him for me.  This figure doesn’t exactly offer anything new, but I do really like him.  He’s probably my personal favorite of the various Rogue One troopers that have gotten Black Series releases.

#1296: First Order Stormtrooper

FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: ELITE SERIES (DISNEY)

“Equipped with sleek armor and powerful weapons, the Stormtroopers enforce the will of the First Order.

Wow, that’s the same bio used on the Hasbro Black Series figures.  I guess Disney’s really strict about what goes in those bios.  I mean, I guess it’s a decent enough write-up for the Stormtroopers.  It’s not like there’s a whole lot to them, right?  So, hey, it’s been a while since I reviewed a basic Stormtrooper (First Order or otherwise).  How about one of those?  This time, the figure’s metal.  Oooooooooh!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The First Order Stormtrooper was released as part of the very first series of Disney’s Star Wars: Elite Series, which hit way back on the first Force Friday event.  The figure stands about 7 inches tall and he has 16 points of articulation.  He’s very similar in construction to the previously reviewed Poe figure (metal for the torso,arms, and legs, and plastic for the hands, feet and head), though he does feel a bit lighter weight.  That’s probably due to the slightly more svelte design.  He’s still rather restricted in terms of movement (he’s yet another FO Trooper that can’t actually hold his blaster two-handed), but he’s on par with the other two figures I’ve gotten.  It could certainly be worse.  While there was a definite upturn in the level of detail displayed on the K-2 figure, the Trooper, as an older release, is still rather on the soft side.  Given the sleeker nature of the Stormtroopers, it’s not too bad, but he does miss out on the fun underlying jumpsuit details that we saw on the Black Series version of this design.  On the plus side, he lacks the weird hand thing that plagued the Poe figure, and just seems to have better proportions in general. He also doesn’t face any issues of facial likeness, which seems to alleviate a major issue the Disney figures seem to face.  Like both prior Elite Series figures I’ve looked at, the Stormtrooper is assembled using screws along the back of the figure.  10 of them to be exact.  While K-2 added covers so as to prevent them from ruining the aesthetics, the Stormtrooper takes after Poe, which means his assembly screws are left totally uncovered.  It’s definitely distracting, but at least it’s confined to the back of the figure.  The paint on the Stormtrooper is decent enough; it’s not like there’s a lot of really complex work or anything going on, so there’s less that can be screwed up.  There’s still some slight slop here and there, but for the most part he looks pretty clean.  The figure is packed with two blasters (one large and one small) and a display stand, which is the same as the ones included with Poe and K-2.  The smaller blaster is designed to be stowed on the right thigh, but I ended up having to do a little work on my figure to get the two pieces to fit together, due to a slight malformation of the gun.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This figure was given to me by my friend Rio, who is an exchange student visiting from Japan.  Rio has been staying with one of Super Awesome Girlfriend’s friends, and has become a fixture of our group of friends over the last several months.  She also really likes to give gifts, so she’s made a point of getting something for each of us over the course of a few trips she’s made to various attractions.  When she traveled to Disney World, she got something for Super Awesome Girlfriend, but not for me.  I wasn’t expecting anything, so I was far from upset, but Rio wanted to get me something.  On her trip to NYC over spring break, she tracked down the Disney Store and, with a little guidance from Super Awesome Girlfriend, picked this guy out for me.  He’s actually pretty cool, and you can never have too many Stormtroopers, right?  Anyway, Rio is heading back home to Japan today, so I thought I’d give this figure a review as a send off and a testament to how great it’s been to have her around these last few months.  Good luck, Rio!

#1276: Shoretrooper

SHORETROOPER

STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE (HASBRO)

“Specialist Stormtroopers stationed at the top-secret Imperial military headquarters on Scarif, these Shoretroopers patrol the beaches and bunkers of the planetary facility.”

Okay, is it “Shoretrooper” or “Scarif Stormtrooper?”  Make up your minds already!  I mean, at least before it was a company to company thing, but now Hasbro, who have up to this point labeled every other version of this squad as “Scarif Stormtrooper,” jumping on the “Shoretrooper” bandwagon.  Why just this one figure? Why!?!  I NEED TO KNOW!!!!

Okay, actually it doesn’t really matter all that much.  It’s really neither here nor there.  Figures have names on the package, and then the package gets thrown away.  The name on the box could have been Throat Warbler Mangrove, and I’d still buy it.  Because its the Scarif Trooper, and that’s, like, my new favorite Imperial design!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Okay, so the *Shoretrooper* was released in Series 3 of the Rogue One line.  There are a number of different variations of this armor, denoting ranks and the like.  This guy here is the most basic of the bunch; he’s the real cannon fodder.  He’s also the same design as the Walmart-exclusive 6” Scarif Stormtrooper.  The figure stands about 4 inches tall and has the usual 5 points of articulation.  It appears that this figure uses the same mold as the AT-ACT Driver, which I never actually got (because $300 is a lot of money).  It’s worth noting that this mold does *not* share any parts with the Squad Leader figure.  That’s probably a good thing, because, while I like that figure, his sculpt does have some issues.  This one improves the shaping of the helmet, and adds a few details that were missing at the top.  It also adds some nice texturing to the pants, and gives the overall figure a less stiff posture.  All of those things are definite positives.  Also, we’ve flipped back to a separate attachment piece for the “skirt,” as opposed to one that’s stuck to the legs.  It’s my preferred way of handing it to be sure, but it just seems a little odd that they go back and forth.  The paint on this guy is pretty much what we’ve come to expect from this line.  All of the basic details are there, and the colors match up well enough with the on-screen stuff.  The application is mostly pretty clean, with some slight bleed here and there, especially at the edges at the pants.  He lacks the weathering on the larger figures, but that’s the difference between the two lines.  The Shoretrooper is packed with the same larger blaster rifle included with the Squad Leader, as well as…wait for it…a zipline.  Oh yeah, those ziplines!  This one’s got a retracting feature, which is different, I guess.  Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I’ve noted numerous times in the past, the Shore/Scarif Trooper is a favorite design of mine, so I’m down for pretty much every figure they release of it.  Of course, like I said in yesterday’s Bodhi review, Series 3 hasn’t been very prominent much of anywhere at retail, so I didn’t really have any chances to pick this one up.  I ended up finding him at the same time as Bodhi, and certainly wasn’t going to pass him up.  He’s a decent enough figure for the basic line.  If you like this design, you could do worse than this figure.

#1223: Governor Tarkin & Stormtrooper

GOVERNOR TARKIN & STORMTROOPER

STAR WARS: COMIC PACKS (HASBRO)

tarkintrooper1

Back before they were both owned by the same parent company, the first comic book company to hold the Star Wars license was Marvel Comics.  They had a pretty solid run with the license, going a full decade.  The series started off with a pretty straight adaptation of the events of A New Hope, and then eventually filled in the gaps between movies with some of the earliest Expanded Universe stuff.  When Hasbro started releasing packs based on specific comic stories and issues, the Marvel stuff was right at the forefront, including today’s pair, Governor Tarkin and an Imperial Stormtrooper!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Tarkin and the Stormtrooper were part of the very first series of Star Wars: Comic Packs from Hasbro.  They were pack 03 in the line, and included issue #2 of the Marvel Star Wars comic (albeit with all the Marvel stuff scrubbed off and replaced with Dark Horse, the then current holders of the comic license).

TARKIN

tarkintrooper2This was only Tarkin’s third time in the 3 3/4 inch scale, which is honestly a bit surprising.  In the Marvel adaptations, the colors were rather different from the movie, in order to make some of the designs a bit more comic friendly.  Tarkin and the rest of the Imperial officers were dressed in grey in the film, which was a rather difficult color to replicate with 1970s printing processes.  So, Marvel changed their pallet to something more akin to Hydra, their in-house branch of fascists.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 10 points of articulation.  As far as structure, he’s a pretty straight re-use of the Revenge of the Sith version of Tarkin.  It’s slightly odd, since that’s not actually a Peter Cushing Tarkin sculpt, but it was the most recent Tarkin sculpt at the time, and, by virtue of being meant to emulate a comic version of the character, I guess he’s not really that far off.  The sculpt is a decent enough piece of work.  He’s rather cartoony, which ends up working a bit better for this particular figure than it did the originator of the sculpt.  There’s not much in the way of posability, but Tarkin was never a super mobile sort of dude, so I guess that’s okay.  The paint work is okay in some spots (mainly on the head), but really bad in some others (mainly anything that’s yellow).  Seriously, I’ve painted customs that looked more professional than this.  Maybe the yellow’s so off because it’s not actually following any sculpted lines?  Tarkin was packed with a standard Stormtrooper short blaster, which is better than nothing, I suppose.

STORMTROOPER

tarkintrooper3The Stormtrooper’s comic design was more or less the same as the movie look, which makes this figure a bit more reliant on replicating comic shading than anything else.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 13 points of articulation.  Not an awful amount of articulation, but slightly disappointing.  See, this figure is a repaint of the CommTech Stormtrooper, which was, at the time of this figure’s release, 7 years old.  That’s not an insane age for a Star Wars mold, and it’s a decent enough sculpt, but the issue that really arises is one of consistency.  The comic versions of Han and Luke from this same line were both also sporting the Stormtrooper armor, but those two figures were built on the body of the Vintage Collection Stormtrooper, which was quite a bit more advanced than this one.  Why didn’t Hasbro just use that body for this guy too?  Wouldn’t that make more sense?  Then he’d at least be able to hold his gun the right way.  Oh well.  The main selling point on this guy is the light blue shading of the paint, which showcases the whole dynamic lighting thing of the comics.  It’s replicated pretty well here, though, as with most figures of this nature, it really only works from select angles.  The Trooper is packed with a Stormtrooper longblaster, which, as I noted above, he can’t actually hold.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like last week’s Baron and Hobbie, this pair came from my Super Awesome Girlfriend.  This is actually a set I almost picked up a few times back when it was new, but never got around to.  Now I understand why.  I’m not an advocate for leaving toys in the package, but this is definitely one of those times where I was more impressed with something before I took it out and played with it.  Both figures are perfectly fine, and I’m happy to have them, but the execution could have been so much more!