Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 1,031: Hoth Rebel Trooper

HOTH REBEL TROOPER Bearded, first release
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 87851
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD42
Includes: Backpack, helmet, blaster pistol, 2-piece tripod cannon
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: April 2009
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray. Also, that rifle is not included-- it was borrowed from the "Saga" Hoth Rebel because it looks cool.

Bio: To withstand Hoth's brutal climate, Rebel troopers wear polarized snow goggles, insulated jackets, heavy boots and white helmets. They also make adjustments to their weapons to endure their blasters and cannons function in the subzero conditions. (Taken from the figure's cardback, typos and all.)

Commentary: There are few figures to have been produced as consistently lackluster as the Hoth Rebel Trooper, which Hasbro finally nailed on this release. The 1997 version was too distinct and looked like Han Solo with facial hair. (Although the deluxe radar cannon version was pretty swell.) The 2004 version was like the 1997 one, except with a more awkward pose and lacking the height he needed. Numerous repaints and head swaps later, Hasbro has now given us the perfect Hoth Rebel Trooper body in 2009, and a head variant (with a different weapon, too) is scheduled to ship later this year.

The release you can get now has a beard, and 14 points of articulation. Previously, the most articulated Hoth Rebel Trooper had 6 joints. 6. That's sad. This figure has all the articulation you've come to expect, plus they do a bang-up job of hiding the joints within the costume design. It's really a gorgeous release, with its pristine costume, top-notch sculpting, and working blaster holster. (Earlier releases had non-removable blasters in their holsters.) I fully expect to see Hasbro reuse this body for numerous other revisions in the coming years, so expect good things if you add this one to your collection. It actually made me grab a number of other Hoth toys to futz with, reminding me that there's still a lot of fun to be had with The Empire Strikes Back even though there are precious few new items to produce in an action figure line.

Collector's Notes: This figure is a big ol' middle finger to variant hunters. Fans were already aware there would be bearded and beardless variants, but there are more variants within the bearded variety. So far, the figure could come with either silver or champagne-colored U-3PO parts, and the figure has either a cloth "skirt" (shown) or no "skirt" (not shown because it looks kinda stupid).

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,031: May 27, 2009


Bravo said...

The POTF deluxe Radar laser version was decent, but for some reason they made his arms out of harder plastic than the 1997 single carded trooper.

tomfabulous said...

And it's really nice that hasbro finally made an accurate cannon for this figure. The POTF version was WAY too big and the vintage version was too generic.

Ben Carthage said...

As one of maybe three people in the world who isn't all that excited by Empire figures (IMO this is one of the most lackluster waves in years), this guy is hopefully close enough to 'perfect' that collectors can check him off the ultimate wish list and be done. He's good, and I feel for variant hunters who feel the need to have both the bearded and unbearded versions.