FIRST ORDER DRIVER & TREADSPEEDER
STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)
Oh, you probably thought I was done with Galaxy of Adventures, didn’t you? What with the “please buy the line” urging at the end, plus that whole shot of all the figures, and it seeming like I was done. Well…I kinda thought I was done, too. But I forgot there was actually one more item in the launch, which is the thing I’m gonna be looking at today. See, one of the things that was surprisingly absent on Triple Force Friday was vehicles. With no basic 3 3/4 inch line, we only really had the Vintage Collection to go on, and that was just the two X-Wings. Galaxy of Adventures did give us one more little reprieve of vehicle coverage, however, with an update on the speeder bike concept, the Treadspeeder!
THE TOYS THEMSELVES
The First Order Driver and Treadspeeder set is the highest price-point item in the Galaxy of Adventures line, following the classic 5 POA-style vehicle packing of “figure and vehicle”. It’s sold in one of those open style boxes, which is always a little frightening to me, but ultimately mine was in okay condition, so no worries.
FIRST ORDER DRIVER
While the Jet Trooper is the only single-packed army builder at launch, we do get one more trooper, the First Order Driver. Not a terribly imposing name, but it’s fairly descriptive. The Driver merges the basic First Order Stormtrooper with a little bit of Scout Trooper. I’m always okay with mixing in a little bit of Scout Trooper. It’s worth noting that this particular look stays a little more on-brand than the old Scout Trooper did, making him feel more like a later-era take on the Imperial Patrol Trooper. Ultimately, it’s a design that’s is distinctly different enough from a standard Stormtrooper to warrant them both getting a release in the line, while close enough that the lack of a basic Stormtrooper at launch doesn’t hit quite as hard. The figure stands 5 inches tall and he has 23 points of articulation. Structurally, this figure is very similar to the Jet Trooper figure, although it’s worth noting that as similar as parts of them may look, there are no shared parts between the two figures. I do, however, expect for this guy to have some of his parts re-used for the inevitable standard Stormtrooper. Whatever the case, the articulation on this figure is essentially a match for the Jet Trooper, meaning that the Driver is quite mobile, which does seem pretty important for a guy who needs to be able to properly sit on a vehicle. By this point in the reviews, the stylization of this line is pretty cut and dry. As a masked character, the Driver is slightly less impacted by it, though it’s a little more obvious on him than it was on the Jet Trooper. Again, there’s a real Clone Wars-vibe on him, especially with the proportions on the body, and the general layout of the articulation. His paintwork is fairly standard, though I appreciate that he actually has a few little details on his chest piece to differentiate him from the basic Troopers. The white/black is a clean combo, and while there’s a little bit of white bleed through on the black sections, it’s generally pretty good. The Driver is packed with a small blaster pistol, and like the Jet Trooper, features a quick draw action.
The Treadspeeder is an all-new vehicle for Rise of Skywalker (though we’ve gotten a taste of it in a few of the comics ahead of the movie), but it’s not like it’s all that new a concept, and in many ways is following the sequel trilogy of similar story beats for each corresponding movie compared to the original trilogy. But I won’t complain if you don’t. Compared to the much smaller, much more nimble speeder bike of old, the Treadspeeder is a big boi, more of a utilitarian tank than its predecessor. It’s an interesting design element, because other sequel trilogy elements have tended to go sleeker and more futuristic, while this seems more primitive. Perhaps Kylo’s influence on the First Order is slowing progress a bit? Whatever the case, it’s a cool design, and a slightly different take on things, which is never a problem. The actual toy is definitely designed with gimmicks in mind. The most basic and simple is definitely the rolling wheels on the bottom, which make it a bit more practical than other speeders in that regard. Of course, since it’s a speeder, the main gimmick is a pop-apart function. It’s been that way since ’83, and it’s not going to change now. Pushing the button on the back pops the front plate in two separate directions and launches the driver out of his seat. It’s a little bit temperamental, and the armor plate has trouble staying in place when you’re not using the feature, which can be a little annoying. The speeder also has a missile launched built into one side, as well as storage for the driver’s gun on the left side of the vehicle.
Okay, so this would be the one thing I didn’t get at the same time as all of the others, mostly because it appears that Walmart isn’t carrying it. I had looked at it at the same time that I picked up the Jet Trooper, but was ultimately unsure about dropping $25 to try out the line. After being confident that I liked the line, I tracked it down again, courtesy of Target, who happened to be having a sale on it, which really pushed me over the edge on picking it up. The vehicle’s not bad. Not the best vehicle I’ve ever picked up, but not the worst thing either. The Driver’s another solid figure, though, and I’m certainly glad to have him with my set.