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With the recent release of the Return of the Jedi (ROTJ) stormtroopers by Hot Toys (HT), it became apparent that the new product required additional sculpting and molding, partly intended to reflect the subtle changes in appearance between films and partly to improve any imperfections with earlier (especially A New Hope (ANH) ) versions of their stormtrooper. All this lends itself to comparison and, having promised that in my review of the HT ROTJ Stormtrooper, here it is.

At this point, HT has released three different versions of the basic imperial stormtroopers, not counting the slightly different Spacetrooper, Sandtrooper, etc. The three versions, in order of production, are those from ANH, Rogue One (RO), and ROTJ. Why a character type from the same franchise featured in films set in the same fictional era should exist in so many versions should be a mystery, but it is not: the appearance of the basic stormtroopers was altered between films. Some of this had to do with improving the actors' experience and was not intended to alter the overall look, some of it was intended to cause minor "improvements" to the appearance. A dubious rationale from the point of view of continuity, for sure, but it was done, and it gave HT the opportunity (or excuse) to produce several versions.

In the comparison photos below, the stormtroopers are arranged according to the chronology of the Star Wars fictional universe: RO - ANH - ROTJ. I realize that RO is not technically part of the Original Trilogy, but since it is set mere days (or minutes?) before ANH, and since it is intended to portray the same character type from the same era, I am including it here.

First, a side-by-side comparison of the all-important stormtrooper helmets made for each film:

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Then, a side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; front view:

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HT's first basic stormtrooper depicted the character type's appearance from ANH. It was a sharply executed, beautifully sculpted and painted figure, and an improvement on any that existed among higher-end sixth-scale models. The one serious departure from a correct reproduction of the appearance of the stormtrooper was HT perpetuating a mistake already present in the earlier Marmit and Sideshow versions. This was making the space along the nasal ridge larger between the toothed "frown" and the "mouth" than between the "mouth" and the lower edge of the integral "goggles." It should have been the reverse. Perhaps in part due to this error, the helmet also became too "snouty," extending too far down and forward. The result was a striking and attractive sculpt, but ultimately an inaccurate one. I should point out that the stormtrooper helmet is nearly impossible to get right due to its complexity, its variety (there were two slightly different types, "hero" and "stunt," from the start), and due to the fact that the original molds were based on a hand-sculpted and unintentionally asymmetrical sculpt. That smaller-scale toys and collectibles should "correct" this to a streamlined, symmetrical version (which might even be logically better grounded) is probably unavoidable. Even so, the basic error in proportions should have been spotted and avoided.

Side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; side view:

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For Empire Strikes Back (ESB) and ROTJ, the stormtrooper helmets, though still based on molds from the original film, were altered by Lucasfilm (Mk II). The most obvious difference was the repainting of the "frown" from gray to black, and a less extensive black paint application on the sculpted "mouth" area. Because of the way the molds were produced, the helmets also assumed a slightly thinner, taller, aspect. Note that although the Mk 2 helmets were produced for ESB, they were barely used in it (most scenes were already shot, using slightly altered ANH helmets), and were mostly used in ROTJ. HT's recently produced ROTJ Stormtrooper feature a new helmet sculpt that reflected the changes in appearance fairly well, and undid the earlier mistake in the ratio above and below the "frown" along the nasal ridge -- now the length above is longer than the length below. In fact, they seem to have over-corrected, making the difference a little too large, and still ending up with a slightly too "snouty," if generally more accurate, helmet.

Decades after the Original Trilogy had been filmed and released, the stormtrooper helmet was altered once again for RO. In this instance, it was streamlined by computer design, although some of the original asymmetry was allegedly preserved. The RO helmets naturally attempted to recreate something closer to the ANH look (e.g., the gray toothed "frown"), but the slightly larger and uniformly bubble lenses did alter the appearance a little bit. HT's RO figure appears to have captured the on-screen appearance perfectly in the helmet, with a correct ratio along the nasal ridge above and below the "frown."

Side-by-side comparison of HT's stormtrooper figures; rear view:

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In terms of the rest of the stormtrooper armor, changes undertaken during the filming of the Original Trilogy were largely minute and mostly undetectable, being mostly related to the way the armor was designed to fit onto the underlying body suit. The most visible external changes included adding a narrow trim along the edges of the torso armor elements -- chest and upper-back plates, abdomen and lowe-back plates, cod and butt plates -- and also inverting the small rectangular button plate in the middle of the abdomen. Both of these changes are featured correctly in the HT ROTJ Stormtrooper figures.

The RO armor design made larger departures. Generally speaking, the edges of the armor pieces receded to allow for better articulation, and also the lengths of the body armor pieces changed, presumably for the same reasons. The chest and upper-back plates became narrower but longer. All this is most easily spotted when looking at the troopers from behind. In the same area, the upper-back plate now features a long groove running along the upper edge of the integral "backpack" area, and a little circular hole just above it on the right. The cod piece, belt, and thermal detonator all received minor redesign. The small rectangular button plate in the middle of the abdomen returned to its ANH look, except that the one "stray" button was now made rectangular; also, all the buttons became recessed. All this is correctly reproduced in the HT RO Stormtrooper figure.

Finally, there is the question of holsters. In ANH Stormtroopers were usually portrayed with them (on their left hip), in ESB with them (on their right hip) and ROTJ sometimes with (on their right hip, Death Star scenes) and sometimes without (Endor scenes). Except for that last variation, HT's ANH and ROTJ Stormtroopers are correctly equipped, with the holsters on the correct sides, respectively. HT's RO Stormtrooper comes without a holster, which is also correct. Although this is not illustrated here, HT's ANH Stormtroopers came with two weapons each (or three, if you got the two-pack), but the ROTJ and RO Stormtroopers came with only one, the E-11 standard blaster rifle.

Overall, I would say HT was most successful in recreating the RO stormtrooper appearance; if you get that belt unstuck from the abdomen plate, it would also be the best-articulated of the three stormtrooper figures. The ANH and ROTJ figures are also very well designed and executed, but somewhat undermined by the errors in helmet design (especially ANH, less so ROTJ).

You can find detailed reviews on the HT stormtroopers below:
ANH Stormtrooper (HERE , by Michael Crawford)
RO Stormtrooper (HERE )
ROTJ Stormtrooper (HERE)

I hope this has been useful. What do you think?

#starwars #hottoys #imperial #stormtrooper #galactic #empire #review #comparison #fiction #scifi
Search in: General Talk  Topic: STAR WARS Original Trilogy Stormtroopers Comparison  Replies: 15  Views: 302
Update: For the addendum on the Deluxe version, please see Post 21 below.

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Introduction
The boys are back in town, and by "the boys" I mean the Imperial Stormtroopers from the Original Trilogy (or, as I like to think of them, "real Stormtroopers"). More specifically, the Imperial Stormtroopers as seen in Return of the Jedi. Excluding the "Sandtroopers" and "Space Troopers" (which are very similar and, especially in the second instance, differ mainly in sporting extra gear), the dubiously canonical "Shock Troopers" and "Shadow Troopers" (AKA "Blackhole Stormtroopers"), and the strange chrome and porcelain versions (what a waste!), Hot Toys has now produced three different versions of the basic, classic look of the Star Wars Original Trilogy-era Stormtroopers: those from Rogue One, those from A New Hope, and now those from Return of the Jedi, reviewed here. Hot Toys is releasing these in two versions, standard and deluxe. This review covers the standard version (MMS 514). I have a deluxe version on order and will post an addendum (Part II -- see Post 21 below) to cover the extra features after it arrives. While I will be making occasional reference to Hot Toys' other classic Stormtroopers (from Rogue One and A New Hope), I will reserve a detailed comparison for its own separate thread, coming shortly.

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Packaging: 3.5/4 stars
The Hot Toys Return of the Jedi Stormtrooper comes in the long familiar two-shades-of-black shoebox container with removable lid, featuring a fine image of the collectible on its top cover, credits and warning on the back/bottom, and decorated by a cigar band running along near the bottom edge of the lid. This cigar band seems to be more elaborate than ever, featuring color photography of a couple of cut out images of the Stormtrooper figure (one of them is out of view in the photo below) and of the Death Star II docking bay where numerous real and painted-in Stormtroopers had assembled to greet the arriving emperor. It is nicely done and more elaborate than before, although the basic concept is familiar and unexciting. Below the lid lies one of the now standard color cards with an image of the product among others, photoshopped to look like they are firing volleys of blaster bolts at the enemy. As I have written before, the card is a nice, though perfectly unnecessary item. Below that lies a mercifully single black plastic trey with its transparent plastic lid, in which you can find the figure and all of its accessories. Everything is safe and collector-friendly.

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Sculpting: 3/4 stars
We are treated to the usual excellence of Hot Toys sculpting, and they certainly have accumulated a great deal of expertise sculpting Stormtrooper armor over the years. While there is not human face or other biological features to get right and realistic here, there is plenty of detail on the armor and weaponry that needs to be right. As far as I can tell, Hot Toys succeeded in this, and spotted the differences specific to Return of the Jedi armor, like the trim (or lip) on the edges of the torso armor (the chest and upper back plates, the abdomen and lower back plates, the crotch and buttocks plates); the sculpt of the armor is also a little softer than before. These were changes introduced in the Mk II Stormtrooper sets designed but barely used for Empire Strikes Back and produced in large quantities for Return of the Jedi. Another obvious difference is the configuration of buttons on the central panel of the abdominal armor, which is rotated 180 degrees from its original look in A New Hope. The figure stands about 11.75 inches (29.8 cm) and looks to be just a little shorter than the one from Rogue One. Except perhaps for the height, so far, so good.

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The problem is that, like George Lucas himself, Hot Toys couldn't leave well enough alone. I refer to what they did with the helmet, which has been historically the most difficult part of the Stormtrooper's appearance to replicate correctly or convincingly. Like Marmit and Sideshow before it, Hot Toys got the proportions on their first Stormtrooper helmet (from A New Hope) wrong: the helmet protruded a bit too far down in the front (so to speak, it was too "snouty"), and the distance along the "nose" ridge between the lower edge of the sunken goggles and the upper edge of the toothed "frown" was smaller than the distance between the lower edge of the "frown" and the upper edge of the sunken "mouth" (it should have been the reverse). This error (which still allowed for an attractive, if inaccurate helmet sculpt) was then carried over to the Space Troopers, Shock Troopers, Shadow Troopers (Blackhole Stormtroopers), and the various other derivative products. Then Hot Toys fixed the problem, getting the Sandtrooper about right in 2015 (though unfortunately replicating an exceptional costume oversight with the twisted up brow), and getting the Rogue One Stromtrooper right in 2017: the distance between the sunken goggles and the "frown" was now correctly a little longer than the distance between the "frown" and the "mouth." But today, another two years later, we are treated to another Stormtrooper with a problematic helmet. This time Hot Toys has over-corrected their initial mistake (though they had already fixed it since then!) by making the distance between the sunken goggles and the "frown" just a little too long and the distance between the "frown" and the "mouth" a little too short, resulting once again a helmet that is not quite right in its facial proportions and is a bit too "snouty." It is not horrid looking, but you cannot unsee it once you have spotted it (it is more pronounced from some angles than others), and it is quite disappointing, especially as the hurdle seemed to have been surmounted. There are other, less obvious issues with all of these helmets, which are symmetrical, whereas the originals (apparently even the streamlined Rogue One originals) are famously asymmetrical; the molding process for Return of the Jedi produced a narrower and taller-looking helmet, something of which is in fact conveyed in the Hot Toys product. So we are left with a nice but ultimately inaccurate recreation of the characters' appearance in the film; at this price point we might expect better.

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Paint: 4/4 stars
The paint scheme of the set is fairly simple. Stormtroopers have glossy white, black, and grey armor, with a couple of blue buttons among the black ones on the abdomen armor. The paint correctly reflects differences between the characters' appearance in Return of the Jedi (and to some extent Empire Strikes Back) and in A New Hope; for example, the toothed "frown" is now painted black as opposed to grey. The paint application is very precise, and some light weathering has been applied. It is most obvious on the boots and the belt, with some finer or subtler touches on the rest of the armor, all the way to the helmet. The Stormtrooper's blaster rifle is given a very good amount of weathering, perhaps more so than usual with Hot Toys. The helmet is fitted with screen-accurate translucent green bubble lenses, and you can catch a glint of green more readily in this product than the previous iteration (see also the photo under "Value' below).

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Articulation: 3/4 stars
While the underlying body surely allows for virtually unlimited articulation, unrestricted poseability is hampered by a combination of factors. First, Hot Toys continues to supply its products with padding undergarments even where that is unnecessary, as here. Second, although the body armor ought to be virtually identical in shape and size to what was used for A New Hope (both on screen and in the action figures), it is often impeded from a fuller range of poseability when bending at the knees and hips, as different armor pieces run into each other. It would be exceedingly difficult or impossible to get this Stormtrooper figure to sit properly or take a knee; its A New Hope and certainly (with some minor modification) Rogue One predecessors were a bit more poseable, if memory serves me well. This is another disappointment, and I wonder whether the problem might have been mitigated or avoided if only the figure were designed a little taller (with longer limbs, especially legs); it is just a little on the short side anyway. Removing the padding helps, both by freeing up the joints and by maing the overlying pieces of armor more movable. Additionally, perhaps one could transfer the armor onto a taller body or at least remove the unnecessary padding. While I realize that Stormtrooper armor was pretty limiting even in 1:1 scale, a less restricted articulation (without necessitating any modifications) would have been welcome.

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Accessories: 3/4 stars
This is difficult category for evaluation, as the set technically contains everything you see a Stormtrooper wielding in Return of the Jedi (in other words, a blaster rifle), yet it contains so very little. The accessories (really everything that does not come already attached on the body) include: the nicely weathered E-11 blaster rifle, the thermal detonator that attached to the back of the belt, several spare or alternate parts (a couple of spare wrist pegs, a total of seven hands: pair of relaxed hands, pair of fist hands, pair of gun-grip hands, and a single left outstretched fingers hand), a little instruction booklet (telling you how to put the gun into its holster and how to attach the thermal detonator to the belt) mercifully unencumbered by messy tape, and an action figure stand with grey Death Star floor surface and the label "Sith Trooper" on the little sign. Yes, "Sith Trooper." Not that I really care about it, but Quality Control seems to be slipping. I'd be curious to know if anyone else encounters the same oversight. That's it for the standard version, whereas the deluxe version comes with a cool light-up function background (more on that in the forthcoming update).

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Outfit: 3.5/4 stars
Another difficult category to evaluate, as the set features little visible outfit besides the armor already covered above. Underneath the armor, the body is clothed in a stretchy black bodysuit with a back zipper; nothing fancy, but perfectly usable and articulation-friendly; the same cannot be said for the partial padding (like the padded shorts). The covering for the neck (which includes a ribbed collar) seems sloppier than before, although admittedly you are not very likely to see that part of the figure exposed, unless perhaps you took off the helmet to replace it with a head of your choice. Of course, Hot Toys does not really take customizing and kitbashing into account, and there are multiple warnings that the armor and outfit are not designed to be removable, and might be damaged if you do it. That is not entirely true, but proceed at your own risk. The belt and its holster come attached (the belt can be undone with velcro on the back) and the holster can close, even when the weapon is inside it, with a magnetic strap.

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Fun Factor: 3.5/4 stars
Alone or in groups, combined with others from their own line or earlier releases, classic Stormtroopers lend themselves to any Original Trilogy Star Wars environment (in the case of these, especially Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) and so much beyond. While they could be better articulated (some of which can be fixed) and proportioned, they are still very good figures and offer plenty of possibilities. Of course, ideally, you would need a bunch, and there the price point becomes a serious issue.

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Value: 3/4 stars (standard); 2/4 stars (deluxe)
The standard version retails for about $190 (USD), the deluxe version for about $243 (USD), not including shipping. Even the lower price is an issue for an army builder character, an issue compounded by the fact that there are aspects to this nice set that ought to have been better (proportions, articulation). That said, I have to admit that at $190 the regular version costs about the same as the Rogue One version from a couple of years ago, and palpably less than a number of other trooper figures we have seen since; while it is not a low price for an army builder, that is something to be appreciated. I cannot quite fathom how what seems like a fairly simple light up display option (3 AAA batteries not included) for the deluxe version would merit a cost difference of $53, and that is all the more disappointing as these background panels are all but useless on their own; you would need two, three, or four next to each other to set up a nice backdrop to one or two figures.

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Things to watch out for
Not much. As always, be gentle with the relatively delicate wrist pegs, and ideally warm up the hands before swapping (that is why I own a hair dryer). The thermal detonator is of the type that can slip off and fall with annoying ease while handling, and since it is not big, it might be easy to misplace. I would keep an eye on the magnetic closure for the holster, just in case some magnet becomes unglued. Be careful with the foldable stock on the blaster rifle -- this is a delicate articulated part. The figure stands and balances pretty well, but take the appropriate precautions against it tumbling down.

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Overall: 3.3/4 stars
The Hot Toys Return of the Jedi Stormtrooper is a very nice set that could easily have been perfect, with but a little more attention to proportion (helmet, height) and articulation (less padding); then the only negative would have been the price, and even that was relatively decent, considering what it might have been. In other respects, like the painting and weathering, as well as most of the sculpting, the set is remarkably well done. If you love Stormtroopers and are looking to build up your ranks, the new product is a good addition to the bunch.

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Where to buy
As always, you can check out various offerings on eBay, or visit the online stores below, among others, but they seem to be selling out fast:

Alter Ego comics for $243 (deluxe )

Big Bad Toy Store for $190 (standard ) or $243 (deluxe )

Cotswold Collectibles for $243 (deluxe )

Timewalker Toys all sold out

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Hope this has been useful. As always, what do you think?

Update: For the addendum on the Deluxe version, please see Post 21 below.

#hottoys #returnofthejedi #rotj #starwars #stormtrooper #male #scifi #military
Introduction

It has been all Star Wars over the last week here, what with the Jabba Tatooine Skiff review (HERE) and the updated sixth-scale Sandtrooper (HERE).

To my delight, Hasbro has revisited "super" articulation in their "classic scale" (3.75") figures from their new
"Vintage Collection" (which was rebooted in 2018, after a hiatus since 2013). Among a large array of other figures, this year (2019) has seen the release of three imperial characters from Rogue One: Imperial Stormtrooper, a Death Star Gunner, and Imperial Assault Tank Commander.

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Packaging: 4/4 stars
Each figure comes packaged in a transparent plastic bubble on a classic-style card, complete with nice color photos of each character from the film and a blatantly nostalgia-exploiting "Kenner" label on it. For all of its obviousness, I do like and appreciate the packaging.

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Sculpting: 4/4 stars Stormtrooper and Tank Commander; 3.5/4 stars Gunner
The sculpting appears to be excellent on all three characters, taking advantage of the apparent new techniques and possibilities developed over the period when the Vintage Collection was on hiatus. The Tank Commander and Stormtrooper are particularly well done; the proportions of the Gunner might be just a little bit off, with the helmet probably just a bit undersized, while its antenna looks far too thick, but would probably have been impossible to supply otherwise. Nevertheless, this figure features the same excellent complexity of detail as the other two, with the natural folds of the jumpsuit, the ribbed segments of the top, and the (possibly too subtle) patterning on the armor.

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Paint: 3.5/4 stars Stormtrooper and Gunner; 2.5 stars Tank Commander
Overall, the paint work is really impressive, given the small size of the figures (just 3.75"). The Stormtrooper is actually surprisingly well-painted, though I realize I might have gotten lucky, and someone else might get a misaligned paint application; here the imperfections on mine are limited to a few specs of white (or exposed underlying paint at the joints?) on the black body suit below the armor. On the Gunner one can find just a little bit of silverish paint bleed on the belt, but again, given the size of the thing, this is still a very good quality application; the imperial "cog" crest on the helmet's forehead is applied flawlessly. When it comes to paint, the Tank Commander is the most complex and arguably most poorly executed figure of the three. Both the movie character and the figure are given a lot of weathering and dirt, perhaps inexplicably much. But it just does not translate as well on a figure this small, as opposed to what you might get in 1:1 or even 1:6 scale; this is most obvious on the helmet, where the weathering ought to have highlighted (or actually tarnished) the recessed lines, but does nothing of the sort, thereby reducing the likeness to the film appearance. On the other hand, the parts that should have received a precise and clean paint application on the Tank Commander are executed very well indeed.

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Articulation: 4/4 stars
Each of the three figures features an excellent 16+ points of articulation (ball-jointed neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, upper body, hips, knees, ankles, and swivel thighs. The joints are relatively well hidden and work very well, allowing for pretty much any pose one might want to recreate. The figures appear well-balanced and relatively easy to stand and pose. This is what action figures should be like when it comes to functionality, in any scale.

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Accessories: 3/4 stars
Considering what we see the characters use on screen, the limited accessories we get (one blaster each) are adequate or more than adequate (we don't see the Gunners or Tank Commanders handle blasters -- I think). For what it is worth, each of the blasters features some nice painted detail (clean in the case of the Stormtrooper and Gunner, and very weathered in the case of the Tank Commander). That said, they are rather limited, although I suppose it would have been too much to ask to get a control panel background or cannon station with the Gunner, or an Assault Tank with the Tank Commander (though the tank is available separately!). I do not recall if regular Stomtroopers are seen with long blaster rivals or other alternative weaponry in Rogue One. Some of Hasbro's older figures (including Gunners/Englineers and Stormtroopers/Spacetroopers) had featured removable helmets, and their recent Han Solo in Stormtrooper disguise figure showed they could now make even the removable Stormtrooper helmet look as nicely sculpted, proportioned, and painted as the non-removable version we get here. (By removable helmet, here I mean one that fits over a separate sculpted head.) This might have been a relatively easy and sensible additional detail to which we are not treated. Hence the good but less than optimal rating in this category.

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Outfit: 4/4 stars
Since everything is sculpted, this is about general appearance. As I noted above about the Gunner, the clothing elements are nicely sculpted and include plenty of detail, like ribbing on the Gunner's top and the tiny segmented (ribbed) surface of the Stormtrooper's black body suit. It should be noted, again, that these figures are based on the unit types' appearance in Rogue One. Thus, the Stormtrooper sports a rectangular side button on his abdominal armor, and has a little indent running along the top of the protruding section on his upper back. The Gunner's top does not feature the imperial "cog" emblem on the sides of his upper arms at the shoulders, which were there on both the ribbed top and on the underlying jumpsuit in the Original Trilogy. While I don't think these changes from the Original Trilogy look were advisable, those were questionable choices on the part of the filmmakers, not Hasbro, and the figures are accurate to their stated source, Rogue One.

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Fun Factor: 4/4 stars
With their good proportions, faithful detail, and excellent articulation, the new imperial figures from Hasbro lend themselves to plenty of fun display options; and we should not forget that although they are bound to appeal to collectors, these are actually toys for children. With Hasbro seeming to produce more sets and vehicles (in this instance, most pertinently, the Assault Tank), there should be additional possibilities for playing with or displaying the figures.

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Value: 3/4 stars
While the figures are awesome for adult collectors, they are also supposed to be mass-produced toys for children. That is where the cost of about $15 (USD) per figure is not exactly cheap, although the product quality in appearance and articulation has improved over preceding versions (if any) in every way, and product costs in action figures have been rising across the board. It is a rather tolerable price compared to the larger-scale figures we might look to (e.g., those in 1:12 scale).

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Overall: 3.6/4 stars
For action figures in the 3.75" line, these little guys are almost perfect and I think better than any previous iterations. I had previously showcased a simple kitbash to produce a perfect or near perfect Stormtrooper in this scale (using the Rogue One under-articulated figure's fine helmet and the older Vintage Collection's Spacetrooper body, HERE), but you no longer need to do that to get an even more perfect Stormtrooper: you can simply pick up the new Vintage Collection Rogue One version. Similarly, despite the unfortunate design changes (as to imperial emblem at the shoulders) in Rogue One, this is the best articulated Gunner we have gotten.

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Things to watch out for
Since these are technically intended for children, they are relatively safe and cause little concern. The blasters are small enough to lose or misplace easily, so keep an eye out for that. I imagine that, if carelessly stored, the antenna on the Gunner's helmet might end up bending in an unfortunate manner.

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Where to Buy
Some of these are already widely available in the States, while others (the Stormtrooper) appear to be at the pre-order stage at most places. You can look on eBay or Amazon or here (for example) :

Big Bad Toy Store for $15-16

Entertainment Earth for $14 (Stormtrooper)

Atomic Universe for $14.25 (Stormtrooper)

Hope this was helpful. What do you think?

#starwars #classic #vintagecollection #hasbro #galacticempire #stormtrooper #deathstar #gunner #assaulttank #commander
Part I
For Part II (updated and modified figure), please see Post 18 below.

I'm very late to the sandtrooper party. For one thing, I prefer my stormtroopers clean and ship shape for the parade ground (who was it that said wars just mess up armies?). For another, I've always had a suspicion that sandtroopers were a combination of accident and post-fact rationalization: they were the first stormtroopers used and filmed for Star Wars (Episode IV/A New Hope), and the minor differences in their armor (not just equipment) may have been the result of changing design rather than pre-thought-out purpose (to wit, spacetroopers in the same film don't differ from regular troopers except when it comes to their equipment to breathe in space).

It didn't help that Marmit, Medicom, and Sideshow messed up the helmet in different ways (Marmit and Sideshow got the facial proportions wrong, Medicom used a regular stormtrooper's helmet of the hero variety). And all this was (mostly) before I was collecting high-end sixth-scale figures anyway. When Hot Toys released their sandtrooper, I was very tempted (apart from the most convincing weathering, they had finally gotten the helmet pretty much right -- improving on their standard ANH stormtrooper design which had perpetuated the same error as Marmit and Sideshow). But I was put off by their choice to depict what was definitely a costuming error, the upward arched brow band of one sandtrooper ("these are not the droids we are looking for"). Since then, I have come across photos of the various sandtroopers in all their glory, and have also come to realize that at least the finished HT product's helmet looked acceptable for my delicate sensibilities after all. Of course, by then these collectibles, which had been pricey (for their time) to begin with, were becoming rarer and grossly overpriced. So I kept putting it off or talking myself out of it.

But one by one I picked up pieces from broken down sets (still eschewing the HT helmet until it was too late) until I was gradually able to put together a makeshift complete sandtrooper with the purchase of the last few rare and overpriced pieces. You can see it below, both by itself and also compared with the Rogue One version of essentially the same thing (though less elaborately equipped), the "heavily weathered Jeddha Patrol."  My ANH sandtrooper kitbash/custom consists mostly of different parts from Hot Toys (sandtrooper lower body armor, stormtrooper long blaster rifle, Jeddha patrol upper body armor and helmet) and Marmit (undersuit, pouches, pauldron); I did some custom fitting, greeblies, and repainting.

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Hope you liked it.

#starwars #anewhope #sandtrooper #stormtrooper #rogueone #jeddha #patrol #custom #kitbash
Search in: General Talk  Topic: STAR WARS Sandtrooper kitbash/custom (updated with Part II)  Replies: 26  Views: 513
Note: For the ready-made fully-articulated new Hasbro Rogue One figure, see HERE.

Stormtroopers were among the original set of Star Wars action figures, but have encountered a long string of imperfections in any common collectible scale. Of those based on the films set in the time of the Original Trilogy, the Rogue One 1/6-scale version by Hot Toys probably came closest to capturing the precise appearance of what we saw onscreen, but that version of the imperial stormtroopers was itself slightly modified from the basic original design (you can check out my detailed review HERE ). I am not talking about these here and today.

I am talking about the "classic" or "vintage" scale of figures (generally about 3.75 inches tall) established by Kenner and continued by Hasbro. First, a brief journey through a few of the more important stages of Stormtrooper action figure evolution at that scale. Kenner's original Stormtrooper (1978) was nicely sculpted for its time, but unfortunately under-articulated even then: the usual five-point articulation (swivel shoulders and hips and head) was brought down to four points, because the helmet was sculpted as part of the torso. A sparse and often sloppy paint application made the figure's appearance even more unfortunate.

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(More photos and brief review HERE .)

Kenner's figures became more and more sophisticated in sculpting and paint, but the Stormtrooper was not revisited and continued to be produced on the basis of the same molds. Until, that is, the Power of the Force collection included with a hideous, misshapen, and standing-challenged figure (1995). The less said about this, the better. The one improvement was that the head could now swivel around on top of the neck, and the waist could swivel around its axis.

Topics tagged under stormtrooper on OneSixthFigures The-Power-Of-The-Force-2-Stormtrooper_Big_2
(More photos and brief review HERE .)

After that travesty, things looked up when Hasbro acquired the license. In 1999 it produced its first Stormtrooper (with battle damage), complete with a gun rack and 10 points of articulation (admittedly, of the rather basic, swivel kind, except for the ball-jointed neck and shoulders).

Topics tagged under stormtrooper on OneSixthFigures The-Power-Of-The-Force-2-Stormtrooper-Commtech_Big_2
(More photos and brief review HERE .)

Hasbro's improved model took off, and was reiterated and occasionally slightly modified over the following years. By 2011 (Vintage Collection # 41), the little Stormtrooper featured not only a removable helmet and an underlying battle-scarred human face, but also 14 points of articulation and ball-jointed neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, knees, and ankles. I had started collecting action figures again.

Topics tagged under stormtrooper on OneSixthFigures The-Vintage-Collection-Stormtrooper_Big_2
(More photos and brief review HERE .)

What more could you ask of a 3.75 inch action figure? These figures were not perfect, but for the most part the issues were the preciseness (or lack thereof) of paint application and the often soft or distorted sculpt of the helmets (and not just those that were designed to be removable and made of softer plastic). Then Hasbro went backwards instead of forwards, abandoned the excellent articulation it had achieved, and reverted to... five points of articulation (except for the 6-inch Black Series Collection). And that was enough to get me stop collecting Star Wars action figures in the Classic scale.

But while the articulation went back to Neolithic, Hasbro's sculpting improved dramatically and so did the resolution of its paint application (I say resolution, because it is not always applied with absolute precision or correctness). The sad under-articulated Stormtroopers produced for Rogue One appeared perfect until you tried to pose them. This made me think: is it possible to combine the excellent head (i.e., helmet) sculpt of these new figures with the nicely articulated Stormtrooper bodies of Hasbro's more felicitous products? In almost all cases, that proved impossible -- not without serious alterations (whittling off parts of the neck pegs) and compromises (like having exceedingly wobbly heads or sacrificing neck articulation completely). But there was one combination that worked perfectly, and that is the point I have been getting at.

You would need a Hasbro Rogue One 3.75-inch Stormtrooper (either the ones carded by themselves HERE or, better yet, the ones in the two-pack with Baze Malbus HERE -- these have a better/more complete paint application) and a Hasbro 3.75-inch Spacetrooper (Legacy Collection # 32, HERE and HERE ).

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The Spacetrooper is nothing more than a Zero-Gravity-kitted-out Stormtrooper, let loose on the surface of your friendly neighborhood space station. He has been given a removable rebreather tank system with a hose and an additional blaster rifle.

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The face, which has been described in somewhat unflattering terms, is actually a decent attempt (given the scale and the time when it was made) at capturing set photos of none other than the versatile Star Wars designer and occasional extra Joe Johnston preparing to be filmed as a Spacetrooper.

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At any rate, the crisply sculpted and (usually) precisely painted new Stormtrooper helmets fit perfectly on the "Spacetrooper" neck peg, making for the simplest custom of all time (I am sure it's a draw, but it is one of them). Now you can get a good looking (as in screen-accurate) and well-articulated Stormtrooper all rolled into one.

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Can it get any better? Yes. If you used the helmet from the single-packed Rogue One Stormtrooper, you'd probably want to paint in the two trapezoidal areas on the back of the helmet (if you used the helmet from the two-pack, they are already -- and correctly -- painted). More importantly, while the "Spacetrooper" has 14 points of articulation, unfortunately the hips are swivel rather than ball-jointed. My attempts to swap out the legs with those from even better-articulated versions failed, although they should have worked in theory.

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I helped myself to a bunch of both figures some years ago and did some army building. The under-articulated bodies would act as holders for the unused heads and helmets and could always be used for background characters in formation (which would be more authentic than painting them in as they did for the emperor's arrival scene in Return of the Jedi).

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Now here's the possible rub: these figures are getting rarer to find, but are still available and often inexpensive (even the 2-pack). But Hasbro has re-launched its Vintage Collection and started putting out some excellent and (even more encouraging) excellently-articulated 3.75-inch figures. Not yet available at the time of writing but advertised to appear this year is the Vintage Collection Rogue One Stormtrooper. If it is like the others in the series, and if its sculpting is on a par with the earlier under-articulated versions, it would obviate the "need" to kitbash the perfect Stormtrooper. Of course, you might prefer a real Original Trilogy figure (I think we all would), but the differences -- especially in this scale -- are largely too minute to notice (unlike with the sixth-scale figures). And you can never have too many Stormtroopers. So if you happen to have a bunch of these already in your collection, you could still apply this easy kitbash to make them more compatible with the new ones you might be interested to get. That, at least, is how I see it.

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As always, let me know what you think.

Note: For the ready-made fully-articulated new Hasbro Rogue One figure, see HERE.

#starwars #hasbro #stormtrooper #stormtroopers #spacetrooper #film #fiction #scifi #rogueone
The Stormtrooper armor has always been one of the most beloved designs in the classic Star Wars trilogy! With that in mind, Hot Toys is adding a vintage touch to this iconic armor and is excited to present today, a special shiny copper chrome version of the 1/6th scale Stormtrooper collectible figure!

This copper chrome colored Stormtrooper is for diehard Star Wars collectors and is only available in selected markets as an Asia Exclusive item. The rare collectible figure is specially crafted based on the image of Stormtrooper in Star Wars featuring the eye-catching shiny copper chrome painted armor and helmet, a blaster rifle, and a hexagonal figure stand.

This distinctively colored Stormtrooper will surely stand out in your prized Star Wars collection!

Star Wars fans in Asia can contact your local Hot Toys official distributor for pre-order information.
SPECIFICATIONS
PRODUCT CODEMMS330
PRODUCT NAMESTORMTROOPER (COPPER CHROME VERSION)
HEIGHTAPPROXIMATELY 30CM TALL
POINTS OF ARTICULATIONS30
SPECIAL FEATURESEYE-CATCHING SHINY COPPER CHROME PAINTED ARMOR AND HELMET, A BLASTER RIFLE, AND A HEXAGONAL FIGURE STAND.
ARTISTSHEAD SCULPTED BY N/A.
HEAD PAINTED BY N/A.
HEAD ART DIRECTED BY N/A.

The 1/6th scale Stormtrooper (Copper Chrome Version) Collectible Figure specially features:
- Authentic and detailed likeness of Stormtrooper in Star Wars
- Specially applied shiny copper chrome painted armor
- Body with over 30 points of articulations
- Approximately 30 cm tall
- Seven (7) pieces of interchangeable gloved palms including:
- One (1) pair of fists
- One (1) pair of relaxed palms
- One (1) pair of palms for holding weapons
- One (1) gesturing left palm

Costume:
- One (1) Stormtrooper armor
- One (1) black under-suit
- One (1) Stormtrooper belt with leather holster
- One (1) pair of boots

Weapon:
- One (1) blaster rifle

Accessory:
- Specially designed hexagonal figure stand with Imperial crest, Stormtrooper nameplate and Star Wars logo

Release date: Q4, 2015 – Q1, 2016

**Prototype shown, final product may be slightly different
**Product details could be subjected to change without further notice

©️ & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
©️ 2015 Hot Toys Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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#newproduct #HotToys #AsiaExclusive #StarWars #StormTrooper #Copper/ChromeVersion #Sci-Fi
Stormtroopers are elite shock troops fanatically loyal to the Empire and focused on the Imperial cause. Their iconic white armor, which offers a wide range of survival equipment and temperature controls to allow the soldiers to survive in almost any environment. With blasters in hands, Stormtroopers attack in hordes to overwhelm their enemies enforcing the will of the Empire.

Being one of the most recognizable and popular characters in the Star Wars saga and pop culture, Hot Toys is delighted to present another opportunity for passionate Star Wars fans to collect by introducing the new 1/6th scale Imperial Stormtrooper collectible figure from the classic Star Wars film!

The highly accurate collectible figure features a newly refined Stormtrooper helmet and armor allowing improved articulations, all new paint applications, a fabric under-suit, a blaster rifle.

This Deluxe Version will exclusively include a specially designed space station themed diorama figure stand with LED light-up function!

Expand your Empire collection by enlisting this Deluxe Version of 1/6th scale Stormtrooper collectible figure in your ranks!
SPECIFICATIONS
PRODUCT CODEMMS515
PRODUCT NAMESTORMTROOPER (DELUXE VERSION)
HEIGHTAPPROXIMATELY 30 CM TALL
POINTS OF ARTICULATIONS30
SPECIAL FEATURESA SPECIALLY DESIGNED FIGURE STAND AND DEATH STAR WALL PANEL DIORAMA BACKDROP WITH LED LIGHT-UP FUNCTION
ARTISTSHEAD SCULPTED BY N/A. FIGURE PAINTED BY LOK HO
HEAD PAINTED BY N/A. FIGURE ART DIRECTED BY JC. HONG
HEAD ART DIRECTED BY N/A.

The 1/6th scale Stormtrooper Collectible Figure (Deluxe Version) specially features:

- Authentic and detailed likeness of Stormtrooper in Star Wars
- Newly crafted Stormtrooper helmet with details
- Body with over 30 points of articulations
- Approximately 30 cm tall
- Seven (7) pieces of interchangeable gloved hands including:
- One (1) pair of fists
- One (1) pair of relaxed hands
- One (1) pair of hands for holding weapon
- One (1) gesturing left hand

Costume:
- One (1) newly crafted Stormtrooper armor with weathering effect
- One (1) black colored under-suit
- One (1) Stormtrooper belt with blaster holster

Weapon:
- One (1) blaster rifle

Accessory:
- Specially designed figure stand and Death Star wall panel diorama backdrop with LED light-up function (white light, battery operated)***

*** Exclusive to Deluxe Version

Artists:
- Figure Painted by Lok Ho
- Figure Art Directed by JC. Hong

Release date: Approximate Q2 – Q3, 2019

**Prototype shown, final product may be slightly different
**Battery not included for figure stand, 3A batteries (3 pieces) are required
**Product details could be subjected to change without further notice

©️ & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
©️ 2018 Hot Toys Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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#newproduct #HotToys #StarWars #StormTrooper #male #movie #Sci-Fi

Stormtroopers - Thu May 31, 2018 9:39 am

So, I have been promising pics of me in my new Stormtrooper armour with some of my 1/6 figures, but to date I have not been able to get a "photographer" round to take any pics.   So here is the next best thing, which I am hoping I can sneak in here  Very Happy .

As you can see my display of 1/6 Stormtroopers and Darth Vader have now gotten a new addition.  The left hand stormtrooper is a bandai, and the other a SideShow.  Darth Vader is the H/T ANH version.
 
My new armour is Shepperton Design Studios Battle Spec armour.  
It is displayed on a half mannequin, so there is actually nothing in the legs Shocked Shocked .  The mannequin is also a little smaller than me so it doesn't quite fit as it should, but it gives you an idea anyway.

I am slowly fitting the armour and making adjustments so that its fit and comfort are improved, and also making some accuracy changes like the canvas belt which I have just added to replace the plastic one which came with the suit.  I am also waiting for a TRamp voice changer to arrive so that I can sound like a stormtrooper too Shocked

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hope you like it, and I will post some pics of the figures with me in the armour as soon as I can get some taken Very Happy

Paul

#starwars #stormtrooper #scifi
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Stormtroopers  Replies: 8  Views: 376

Hasbro Solo 12" figures - Mon May 14, 2018 7:49 am

[quote=GubernatorFan]

Anyway, here are a couple of shots of the figures:

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#starwars #solo #stormtrooper #male #fiction #hasbro #disney[/quote]
Hey Gub,
Is it me, or do you a get a "young Arnold " vibe off the Han head sculpt?

I think the heads for these figures can be great affordable alternatives for kitbashing. The heads on the original Hasbro 12" figures were always a smidge too big, while these seem much better.

As for high end 1/6 figures from the new movie, I think it will be a certainty, even if the movie doesn't score ( I don't know much about it yet, waiting to surprise myself)
Then it will come down to who buys the liscencing versus who offers us "Gambling Space Pilot" , " Furry, Loyal Companion" and "Smooth Talking Confidence Man"
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Hasbro Solo 12" figures  Replies: 32  Views: 575

Hasbro Solo 12" figures - Sat May 12, 2018 11:09 am

Hasbro has a near monopoly on the more affordable lines of Star Wars action figure collectibles, and it has a variety of lines and sublines of related products. For a while they brought us some high quality "super articulated" (14 points of articulation) action figures in the "classic" scale (3.75"), which they later abandoned for nicely sculpted and painted but underarticulated (5 points) figures; lately, they have brought back some of the "super articulated" figures with the nostalgic classical packaging; unfortunately (from my perspective), these have tended to be from the sequel trilogy rather than the original one (which remains my main interest). The Hasbro "Black Series" also includes a line of "super articulated" 6" figures, which have been quite good on the whole -- certainly in terms of articulations, and in many (if not all) cases in terms of quality of sculpt and paint.

Then there are their larger figures. But whether these are 1/4 (?) scale or 1/6 scale, and whether they are just regular figures or have electronic/sound features, these have been disappointingly underarticulated. I generally ignore them completely, except for the Rogue One stormtroopers, who have yielded up their nicely sculpted and proportional helmets for the use of my nicely-articulated Bandai models. But with the new Star Wars movie Solo coming up, we see products related to that film crop up in all Hasbro lines. I don't know how much of this will be translated into high-end sixth-scale collectables (besides, of course, the protagonists), so I did look at it. Especially the imperial troopers. In the tradition of Star Wars films, we are served with additional and increasingly dubious trooper types: the dirty and slightly modified Mimban Stormtrooper, the Ranger Trooper, the Mud Trooper, and the Patrol Trooper. Why regular stormtroopers and scout troopers could not have made do (besides the occasion for additional toy designs) remains (and will surely remain) a mystery. I suppose not everyone is like me, willing to shell out more money for already-existing trooper types. To add to the annoyance, so far they seem to be scattered among different lines: the Mud Trooper is 1/4 (?) scale, the Ranger Trooper is 6" (1/12 scale), the Mimban Stormtrooper is 3.75" (there might be a different scale version too), and the Patrol Trooper is 12" (1/6 scale). Perhaps eventually we'll get more of them in the same scale -- these products have a notably poor consistency of distribution, as Michael Crawford has pointed out.

I picked up Hasbro's basic 12" Han Solo and Patrol Trooper. At first sight I was impressed with the former's head sculpt, and I thought the Patrol Trooper might come in handy for kitbashing later on. The figures appear to be slightly under scale, closer to the 11.5" mark. As I expected, the articulation is atrocious: we are back to the old Kenner 3.75" five-point articulation, except that the hands can also rotate around the axis of the wrists. The paint application is also pretty poor: this is more visible on the Patrol Trooper where we need clean lines (ironically, it seems to be worst on the helmet, where it should be best), but also on some spots of Han, too (for example, the hair around and especially behind the ears). A repaint might help both. The sculpts are very good overall, especially considering that these were being sold for $8. In both cases the belts are (or were) a separate, softer-plastic piece affixed into place. The Patrol Trooper's lenses and Han's buckle are given appropriately glossy or shiny paint finishes; Han's eyes feature the dreaded paint dot. The Patrol Trooper design looks like a Stormtrooper, Scarif/Beach Trooper, and a Scout Trooper had some unholy union and somehow produced a bouncing baby boy featuring aspects of each type, vaguely reminiscent of things we end up seeing in the sequel trilogy; that said it is marginally cool-looking, or it would be, if it were not so transparently derivative and unnecessary. I suspect the same could be said for the other new trooper types.

Anyway, here are a couple of shots of the figures:

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#starwars #solo #stormtrooper #male #fiction #hasbro #disney
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Hasbro Solo 12" figures  Replies: 32  Views: 575

Sand Troopers (pic heavy) - Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:56 am

Hello again, and here is another one of those sort of catch up posts on my collection.

This time it is the 3 Sand Trooper figures I own.

I love stormtroopers!!! there I said it, I love all things Stormtrooper, and perhaps nothing more so than the Sand Troopers from ANH.  I really like their weathered look, the pauldrons and the extra equipment they carry.  So it should be no surprise that I own 3 of these characters.

I have the Hot Toys Sand Trooper Squad Leader, the Sideshow Sergeant and the SideShow Desert Sands Detachment.  The Sideshow figures are from the Militaries of Star Wars series from a number of years ago, and are now becoming harder to find, also meaning that sadly they demand an increasing premium price wise.  The Hot Toys figure is newer and fairly readily available, but of course at Hot Toys prices Rolling Eyes

Stormtroopers will, it seems often draw a lot of discussion about how accurate they are, but I will not be touching on the minutia of how these measure up to their on screen counter parts or really to each other here.  This is more a chance for you to see some of what is available out of the box if you are looking for a Sand Trooper figure.

First up is the Hot Toys Squad Leader.  A very nice figure that comes with a sand textured base, and a surveillance droid.  All the equipment is there that you would expect with a Sand Trooper.  He has T21 light repeating Blaster seen in the pics, an E-11 blaster, a DLT 19 blaster rifle and the binoculars also pictured.  Quite posable as are the other two troopers seen here also, even if the armour is a bit restrictive.  The base has a lovely sand finish but sadly Hot Toys put two foot prints in it which are quite visible if the figures lower half is not posed as per the box art.

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The SideShow Sand Trooper Sergeant is another nice figure.  This one has all the usual Sand Trooper bits, and comes with the pictured RT-97c blaster rifle and an E-11 as well.  Of course being a Sergeant he has the white pauldron.  Aside from different hands (which all these figures have by the way) that is pretty much it for this one.  The base on this one does no come with the sand cover interestingly, but I was able to find one elsewhere.

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Last of the 3 that I have is the SideShow Desert Sands Detachment figure.  This one has a real arsenal included comprising of E-11, DLT-19, RT-97c and T-21 blasters.  He also comes with they grey pauldron shown and an additional white one.  The stand for this one does come with the sand cover this time and there are long and short options for the vertical pipe shaped object on the back pack.  I would say the is the best equipped of the 3 and gives the most options for achieving different looks.

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And here are all 3 together

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I hope as always this was helpful, and I welcome any comments you may have.

Paul

#starwars #sandtrooper #stormtrooper #ANH #scifi #movie
Search in: General Talk  Topic: Sand Troopers (pic heavy)  Replies: 82  Views: 1262

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