Sunday, March 25, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 323: Stormtrooper

STORMTROOPER Capture of Tantive IV
30th Anniversary Collection Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 84205 No. 84367
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, removable belt, 4 other figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: February 2007
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Unfailingly loyal to the Emperor, and without concern for their own life or safety, stormtroopers went about the messy business of capturing enemy ships with grim dedication. They flooded through narrow corridors filled with enemy fire, overwhelming defenders with sheer numbers. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' computer desk on top of a "Groovie Ghoulies" CD.

Commentary: Now this is how you do a good repaint. This Stormtrooper began life as a Sandtrooper in 2005, as part of the Evolutions line. To make the Stormtrooper, Hasbro dropped the shoulder pad and backpack, left off the dirt, and ta-da! Now you have a Stormtrooper. Of course, there are some imperfections, like the belt not quite exactly matching that of the traditional Stormtrooper, and the helmet having flatter lenses than a Stormtrooper. (That's one of the big differences between Stormtrooper and Sandtrooper helmets.) That said, this figure is otherwise excellent-- in the tiny size, the helmet lens issue really doesn't matter all that much. The belt is something most fans can ignore, because the lack of the grenade on the back and the missing holster really aren't deal breakers. The figure has a much better stance than what is usually considered the "best" Stormtrooper* and can be posed in pretty much any way you see fit-- it's only missing waist articulation for some reason.

It's a good, solid trooper. It can sit down in vehicles without a holster getting in the way, it can pose with its gun, it can look around, it's nearly perfect. I say "nearly" because Hasbro's packaging damages the figure before you even open the box, because rubber bands that help secure the guns in the figure's hands cause the hand to become distorted and misshapen, so each figure has one hand that can easily grip the gun well and another that, well, is going to need some work. Still, for $20, this set gets you two Stormtroopers, two Rebel Troopers, and a Darth Vader you can ignore. That's a good value any way you slice it, and Hasbro would be smart to ship this set for as long as humanly possible. Or better yet, ditch Vader and the Rebel Troopers, add in another Stormtrooper, Commander Praji, and pack in Captain Antilles and call it "Capture of Tantive IV volume 2."

Collector's Notes: Imperfections abound with this figure. The first packaged samples of this set showed "dirty" Stormtroopers, which resulted from a Sandtrooper mold being used and not fully cleaned up before its release. (This caused this Battle Pack to be delayed slightly.) Also, the final production samples had the belts put on backward. This is OK, if you open it-- the belt is fully removable and can be twisted around to look a bit more accurate. This battle pack also included a second Stormtrooper as well as Darth Vader and two Rebel Troopers, making it a dream set for many fans and collectors. By not buying this, you offend everything your parents worked so hard to give you.

Day 323: March 25, 2007

* - For the record, this "best" Stormtrooper is usually considered to be the 2004 Vintage Original Trilogy Collection release.

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