Sunday, October 15, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 162: Swoop Trooper

SWOOP TROOPER Shadows of the Empire
Power of the Force Light Vehicle Assortment
Item No.:
Asst. 69760 No. 69591
Number: n/a
Includes: Swoop Bike
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Summer 1996
Appearances: Shadows of the Empire

Bio: A swoop was a repulsorlift vehicle similar to a speeder bike; in fact, it was in essence simply an overpowered speeder bike, "an engine with a seat." Swoops were often used by gangs. After the Galactic Empire outlawed podracing, swoop racing became the favored alternative. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus. And yes it's dusty.

Commentary: As one of the first ever original designs said to have come from Kenner, the Swoop Trooper drew a lot of heat-- but most fans generally liked its unique, damaged, colorful design. The figure had a tilting neck, and joints at the shoulders, knees, and hips. He wasn't what you would call super-poseable, but since he had knees and his sculpt didn't give him an especially awkward pose off of the bike, a lot of fans generally liked this one. His boots had treads, his armor had damage, and he had a bike with the first-ever firing rocket on an action figure scale Star Wars vehicle. Fans gobbled this release up for a while, but then got bored as they realized it really didn't appear in the game or movie in this exact format. A redesigned Swoop Trooper would appear in the Star Wars: Special Edition and elsewhere. Still, it's a great original design.

Collector's Notes: The years are not kind to old toys-- this old release can be had shipped for less than the original $9.99 retail. The figure was never rereleased or repackaged, but a variant does exist-- some came with a promotional WideVision trading card from Topps promoting the then-upcoming theatrical rereleases of the original trilogy. It's a fun figure and it fits in nicely with most Cantina/Jabba's Palace/Tatooine dioramas so it's one you might want to get if you haven't snagged one or two already.

Day 162: October 15, 2006

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