Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 437: Scout Trooper

30th Anniversary Collection Tins
Item No.:
Asst. 87154 No. 87205
Number: 6 of 6
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: Flip-up helmet, blaster fits inside holster
Retail: $19.99-$29.99
Availability: Fall 2006
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

Bio: Scout troopers are often assigned to small, ground-based units. They operate in groups of four called lances, and are relied upon to identify potential threats and notify the larger main force of stormtroopers. (Taken from the figure's internal cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Endor (complete galaxy) playset.

Commentary: In 2006, it was really hard to find this figure-- actually, since the beginning of the modern line, Hasbro/Kenner made it particularly difficult to get a Scout Trooper (formerly Biker Scout). The 1996 release came with a Speeder Bike which itself was hard to get for a while, the Power of the Jedi one was just too popular for its own good, and the vintage one... well, you know what happened there. So Hasbro trotted out the mold again with this particular version, identical to the Vintage release in every way but one-- the helmet could flip up, revealing the face of a clone. No doubt, this was done for either of two reasons: one, to tie the entire saga together (retcon), or two, to grab the dollars of the cult of clone trooper collecting, which has lots of disposable income and buys loads of identical figures to line up in little rows most of the time. (A good demographic to court, surely.)

This one is unique in that it was one of two flip-up mask Scouts released in a very short window-- there's this one, and a similar head was put on the 2000/2001 mold as well. This one has a ball-jointed neck and the other does not, so they aren't identical heads-- but they do look similar enough so that unless you're a hardcore collector, odds are the one that was packaged with the AT-AT will not appeal to you nearly as much as this one. With great sculpting, good detail, and the best-yet articulation on a Scout, this is a great figure. Hasbro also made it so the flip-up helmet is in no way excessively bulky-- if you leave the mask down, there's almost no telling this figure from the previous, normal release of the figure. (This is a good thing-- unobtrusive action features are the best kind because they rarely get in the way.) If you don't have any Scouts in your collection, get this one first-- it offers everything that the best figures could offer, and then some.

Collector's Notes: The tins, so far, have been iffy sellers-- some stores can't keep them in stock while others put them on the big final clearance. As such, these are still in circulation so you can probably get one if you really want one. And let me assure you, you do really want one. The set also included Darth Vader (Vintage OTC release), Princess Leia (Endor Dress, POTF2 Princess Leia Collections), and an Endor Rebel Trooper (1998 body with new head and removable helmet,) overall, it's a very good set for a new collector or for a fan that enjoys having (mostly) really good figures.

Day 437: July 17, 2007

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