Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 900: Stormtrooper Commander

STORMTROOPER COMMANDER GameStop Exclusive Promotional Figure
30th Anniversary Collection
Item No.:
No. 87463
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, helmet, stand
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: n/a
Availability: September 2008
Appearances: The Force Unleashed

Bio: The stormtroper commander patrols the front lines, leading his troops into fierce combat on the fungal planet Felucia. Clearly visible with his enhanced, uniquely detailed armor, he confronts the Felucians with a mighty BlasTech E-11 blaster rifle - and the pure willingness to pull its trigger. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelf.

Commentary: First revealed to fans by accident early in 2008, this Stormtrooper Commander was the subject of much speculation and frustration-- we'll leave that to the end. So what is this figure? In short, it's a repaint of the 2007 Stormtrooper basic figure-- that's the one that had a removable helmet, and was itself based on the 2004 Vintage Original Trilogy Collection sculpt-- except for the head/helmet part. Basically, what Hasbro did here was take the existing mold and apply the blue and white markings from the game to it-- no fuss, no muss. They took their most popular design and repainted it to fit the newly released game, and did a great job-- the figures were largely painted cleanly, and I thought it turned out quite nicely. Hasbro even fixed the weird thing on the original release with the figure's lenses being painted so that they seemed to merge with the band around the forehead. As far as production goes, the actual product and its packaging was totally within expectations and Hasbro didn't miss a beat. Short of giving it more weapons or better distribution, there's very little to dislike here.

In case you're wondering the function of the figure in the game, it's basically just a super-tough Stormtrooper. They're mean, and colored differently. While some fans see this as another ploy for Hasbro to make more figures with the same mold while we line up to buy-- and it sort of is-- it's also nice to see the Empire's troops get fleshed out a little bit more. After Revenge of the Sith so many fans were left wondering just why the Empire switched to all-white armor, this makes it apparent that either they didn't, or it took a while. It's almost a shame fans couldn't easily build an army of these, but who knows what the future holds.

Collector's Notes: The figure's official offer rules were revealed a mere 4 days before the game went on sale, and by that point nobody could have actually participated in the process to get one. Officially, GameStop stores were to give this figure out to people who pre-ordered the game. Many fans got the figure, but few knew they were owed one, or cared, as they weren't toy people. A lot of frustrated fans experienced numerous difficulties which weren't helped by some store managers bragging they sold the figures out the back door, or just kept them for themselves. As such, many complaints to Hasbro have resulted in their official comment which I will now paraphrase: the figure may return to circulation in some form by Comic-Con 2009. For a blue repaint of a figure nearly everybody who wanted it got, it's a lot of hassle.

Day 900: November 25, 2008


Homie Bear said...

Nearly everyone got? There was no end to troubles up here in Canada. I didn't get one though I tried my darnedest.

Sinkchicken said...

And I got two in Canada by laying down two $5 pre-order deposits...the next day I tried again and got told the rules had changed. Anyway, I sold neither on ebay to scalp and actually bought one copy of the game I pre-ordered so I don't feel too guilty. I never tried to scalp anyone directly anyway.