Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 950: Stormtrooper

STORMTROOPER Vintage Edition
Original Trilogy Collection Vintage Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 85213 No. 85272
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Imperial Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Late 2005
Appearances: Star Wars and everything else

Bio: Stormtroopers were the elite shock troopers of the Galactic Empire. Like Imperial-class Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters, stormtroopers served as reminders of the Emperor's power, extensions of his will, and a method of keeping the Empire's thousands of star systems in line through fear. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.

Commentary: In 2004, some fans said this Stormtrooper was the best thing ever, and others saw it as an insult-- even though it was the best articulated Stormtrooper ever (and continues to be), well, I guess there's no pleasing everybody. Its sculpt allowed for it to be the first super-articulated bodied Stormtrooper, however the design did restrict some movement. His legs are basically very... tightly kept together, unable to get much dynamic movement. His arms can be moved in and out, up and down, but his poses tend to keep him looking like he's trying to avoid letting anyone see his armpit stains. They're very close to the torso, which can look a little weird. These guys are perfect for lining up on a Death Star, or manning certain kinds of equipment-- but if dioramas or action scenes are your thing, future figures with less articulation might give you more what you want.

Honestly, I can't complain too much here. He's about the right size, can move quite a bit, and the sculpt is above and beyond our expectations of what we should hope for out of a Stormtrooper figure. There are, however, two key problems I have with it, one of which was really just a flaw of its time and has since been fixed. 1. Holster. Hasbro designed the figure to have a holster to carry his blaster. The sculptors, I presume, in China goofed this up and the fit is extremely awkward. 2. Plastic. This is the one Hasbro has since fixed-- the 2004-2005 shipments of the figure (as in, any and all from the original cardback) have an off-white plastic that almost looks like its yellowing. Later releases in Battle Packs are pure white, or at least seem that way by comparison.

Collector's Notes: The figure was shipped for a while and even showed up at Tuesday Morning stores on closeout. (I got one of mine there.) It was repackaged as a more pure white figure in 2008 in Target's Force Unleashed Kashyyyk Battle Pack. In 2006, it was retooled as a Sandtrooper, and several versions of this figure have been issued since and they're still in circulation. The $7 Sandtroopers may be your best alternative to the "vintage" version, because many are also pure white, without battle damage, and all the gear can be removed. So, keep your eyes peeled for those. Also, in 2007, this figure was retooled to have a human head and removable helmet as part of the basic figure line. Oh, and it was recolored in black too. And they did some comic packs with Basso and Mouse in Stormtrooper disguises based on this mold, as well as Marvel-colored Luke and Han Stormtrooper figures. Movie colored version of Luke and Han are due out any day now, and odds are there are a few other figures based on this original mold too. While Clone Troopers are the most repainted figures, it seems this mold may well be the one with the most unique resculpts and reapaints available.

Day 950: February 3, 2009

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