Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,459: First Order Stormtrooper Officer (The Last Jedi Line Look)

The Last Jedi Kohl's Exclusive Force Link Set
Item No.:
   No. C3248
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: 4 figures, lightsaber, staff, taser, 3 blasters
Action Feature: Force Link sounds
Retail: $49.99
Availability: October 2017
Appearances: The Last Jedi

Bio: Stormtroopers, also referred to as First Order stormtroopers, were the military infantry units of the First Order. Like their predecessors, the original stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire, the First Order's troopers were equipped with stark white body armor; its design reminiscent of the Imperial style as well as the version worn by the clone troopers of the Galactic Republic. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  This First Order Stormtrooper Officer has had a few figures, each of which is a little different.  This one has a tactical vest from the Squad Leader, but the pauldron is red, and he has a more refined sculpt of the Snowtrooper's blaster.   The base figure is the The Last Jedi Stormtrooper [FOTD #2,444].

The base figure is fundamentally the same as the single-carded white Stormtrooper with slightly fuzzier detailing - perhaps it's a different tool, perhaps it's from stamping out kajillions of figures.  I don't know which, but it looks pretty good with decent painted details consistent with other 5 points of articulation troopers from this film.   He sands, he sits, and the plastic tolerances are still good.  You can fit the blaster in his hand or in his thigh holster slot, which means it does pretty much everything it should.

If you buy this set, odds are you're buying it for the trooper.  The included Rey, Luke, and Rose were previously sold elsewhere before this set was even announced, not giving fans a chance to skip the identical single-carded figures before doubling up on this exclusive set.  If you don't have any of these figures, and can get the set on sale, it's a decent grouping.  Given the $50 regular price tag and duplicate figures, this is a completist-only set that you should probably hold off to buy until there's a sale, Kohl's cash, or other stackable offers to get it down to $30 or less.

Packaging Notes: I've been ragging on the packaging for toys and this is almost preposterously worse.  The figures come in a nice big box, but cram all the figures in like sardines in a small window to make room for a big Force Link burst on the front.  That's not unreasonable - but the back of the packaging has five large graphics showing the figures and the Force Link band.  Five.  It takes up about 80% of the packaging, rather than upselling a vehicle, or other figures, or giving any biographical information.  The collage on the front showing character head shots is repeated on the panel right next to it, and the top of the box makes the most out of its dramatic use of white space.   The single carded figures were reduced in size and gave each character a generous portrait with multiple languages' worth of warning labels, but here there's less of an excuse for such an ugly waste of packaging real estate.   Not upselling customers seems like a bad idea, but repeating the same marketing message of "buy Force Link" five times on the back of the box is utterly ridiculous.    It's featured so prominently that, for the $50 price, you might think it's included.  And it's not.   A band with one figure is about $25-$30, and 3 action figures on top of that would be $21-$25.  The resulting package is one of Hasbro's least attractive packages to date, both in terms of graphic design and the repeated figures within.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Kohl's with several stacked discounts that brought it down to about $23 - but it got even cheaper as time went on with various coupons.  Kohl's pricing is a labyrinth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,459: February 28, 2018

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