Thursday, March 26, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 987: Snowtrooper

30th Anniversary Collection Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 87295 No. 87305
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Helmet, blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Spring 2007
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: Snowtroopers, also known as Cold Assault Stormtroopers, were Imperial stormtroopers trained to operate in arctic climates. Some snowtroopers were deployed under Death Squadron's Blizzard Force, as well as other arctic forces. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: A desk.

Commentary: In the old days, Kenner didn't use shortcuts-- they spelled names out. That's why to my generation, a lot of fans will call this guy Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) rather than "Snowtrooper." I have no idea why one name was used over another, but I gotta say the shorter names like Snowtrooper and Sandtrooper have done wonders for the world of brevity online. This figure is particularly neat in that it combines aspects of the original figure as well as some benefits from the modern day, plus a newfangled notion of including a removable helmet. If you pop off the helmet/hood, you'll see a face of a Clone Trooper. This sort of thing upsets some fans as it supposedly means that all the troopers in the movie were spawned from the DNA of Jango Fett, which retroactively destroys your childhood perceptions of the figure. It's also possible that Hasbro just did this to do something different and it means nothing in the grand scheme of continuity. Either way, the face looks good, the expression is decent, and if you don't like it you can leave his hat on.

He's super articulated, which means he has that full range of 14 points of movement. He can basically sit, he can stand, and he has a cloth skirt-- an improvement over the vinyl piece that always fell off or tore in the 1980s, and a huge improvement over the rock-solid, never-gonna-bend hard plastic skirts used in the 1990s and early 2000s. This is clearly the superior trooper, and for once Hasbro had the good sense to not sculpt on the command rank marking on his chest armor so you'll have an incentive to buy a lot of them. The one thing that really struck me as odd about this figure is his helmet. While the armor is as good as or better than all previous attempts, the helmet seems wider. I'm used to seeing a more elongated looking head, so this is a little off-putting. It's not enough to ruin the figure, though, and if you really can't stand it you can pick up the 2006 tin edition Snowtrooper and swap helmets. If you're looking to fill an AT-AT or crush some snow Rebels, this is your go-to figure. Don't expect it to get much better than this in the next five or so years.

Collector's Notes: Hasbro isn't shy about reusing this mold. In 2007, it came out in the Spring. Come November, it was repainted for the exclusive Target Ultimate Battle of Hoth Battle Pack. In early 2009, the figure was released as a basic carded Saga Legends figure with all his original gear plus a bonus weapons locker. So this new release is cheaper and has more stuff than the original. How great is that? This version is just as good as the Target repaints, I'd say buy both just for some variety.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 987: March 26, 2009

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