Friday, June 29, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 419: Biker Scout Stormtrooper

Power of the Force Light Vehicle Assortment
Item No.:
Asst. 69760 No. 69765
Number: n/a
Includes: Speeder Bike vehicle
Action Feature: Bike explodes!
Retail: $9.99
Availability: January 1996
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: A scout trooper was an Imperial stormtrooper specially trained for scouting and reconnaissance. Scout troopers wore specially modified lightweight armor with greater flexibility than standard stormtrooper armor, and often used light repulsorlift vehicles, such as the 74-Z speeder bike, in the course of their duties, earning them the nickname "biker scouts". (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Commentary: Back in 1995, when we first saw this in a Lucasarts software catalog, fans went nuts for the first modern Biker Scout with Speeder Bike. And rightly so-- this all-new figure had bending knees and a head that could look up and down, making it an ideal pilot for the small size vehicle. For the price of just $9.99, it was a really exciting release! It took months to hit stores, and nobody really ever found one (or got their shipment) until 1996, but the figure was a good one. It has seven points of articulation, no weapon, and a decent sculpt-- especially for the time. This was the first-ever modern Star Wars figure to have knee joints, and as such it was an early favorite despite an awkward pose when it isn't sitting on the bike, or a toilet.

Collector's Notes: Fans saw this figure and loved it, and then waited for Kenner to make a "normal" Scout Trooper with legs and hands that were a little less... exaggerated in their pose. Unfortunately, it wouldn't be until 2001, and that figure had only six point of articulation and yet another awkward pose. It wouldn't be until 2006, ten years later, that Hasbro would crank out a Scout Trooper that, for its time, was so good that fans really didn't have much to complain about. Also, the figure featured above in today's column saw a brief reissue in 2004 as part of a Toys "R" Us exclusive Endor gift set which also included Endor Han Solo, Wicket, Logray, and an Endor Rebel Trooper. (Considering it was $20 for a $10 figure/vehicle and three more $5 figures, it was a really great deal-- but featured nothing new for the collector. Finally, the original vehicle had a "special offer" variant which included an exclusive Star Wars Topps Widevision trading card which nobody seems to care about much these days.

Day 419: June 29, 2007

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