Friday, August 27, 2010

Figure of the Day: Day 1,358: Concept Art Snowtrooper

SNOWTROOPER Episode V Concept Art
The Legacy Collection Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87535 No. 87866
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #BD48
Includes: Blaster, backpack, droid part
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $7.99
Availability: November 2009
Appearances: Art of The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: In this concept art by Joe Johnston, the Imperial snowtrooper wears armor with features that are reminiscent of armor actually worn by samurai warriors. The gear has stylized elegance while still protecting the trooper from blaster fire and extreme cold. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's AT-AT. The POTF2 one.

Commentary: The Snowtrooper has a unique distinction in having not one, but two completely different concept figures made. The first was based on Ralph McQuarrie's art, and this one was based on Joe Johnston's. I think this one makes for a better toy, as he has a cloth piece covering his legs and even more articulation than his predecessor. The samurai-inspired helmet and armor plating looks great, and it's hard to fault the markings on the helmet as they seem ripped right out of the late 1970s. If anything, this figure looks more like the Return of the Jedi Biker Scout in a lot of ways. There isn't a lot of dirt or grime here, which is sensible for an art-inspired toy, and his silver blaster fits right into his holster. Given the relative scarcity/popularity of this release, army building may not be possible, but it's a very good figure if you're lucky enough to get one or more of them. After all, few concept figures are truly super articulated, and this one made the cut. Nice job!

Collector's Notes: As of summer 2010, this figure commands a slight premium-- you can still probably get one for $10-ish. I expect this to fade in a couple of years, but who knows. I still would suggest getting him sooner over later if he can be found for under $10.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,358: August 27, 2010


Ben Carthage said...

Best. Concept. Figure. Ever. Well, so far, anyway, but this guy IMO is one of the best figures Hasbro's ever made period, and while I love the McQuarrie subset, this guy just takes the cake.

Bravo said...

Decently made figure and I'm glad I got one, but once the concept uniqueness wears off, he sort of looks like a Power Ranger character in a long skirt. Not sure why anyone would army build them, as they are quite out of place amongst Imperial forces (more so than the first concept art snowtrooper), but there's no accounting for reason amongst the obsessed.

And I get the impression this figure was made for the sake of just having another easy-sell stormtrooper type and hyped-up concept subset release, rather than making something more deserving.

Adam16bit said...

As soon as you imply a character "deserves" to be made your argument goes out the window. It's a toy, it made people happy. There are more than a thousand Star Wars action figures, most of which don't even qualify as recognizable by most fans of the series. Just enjoy (or hate) a figure for what it is, not what it could have been instead.

Bravo said...

Hey, you actually read the comments.

"Just enjoy (or hate) a figure for what it is, not what it could have been instead."

That's an odd statement from someone who's reviewed hundreds of action figures.

"As soon as you imply a character 'deserves' to be made your argument goes out the window."

Argument? It's all opinion, of course. Weren't there a few times when a figure was made and you thought "that's nice, but I'd just as soon preferred they made ________ before that"?

"It's a toy, it made people happy."

Is that what these things are about? I got the impression they were to line up in rows on shelves and nitpick.

Adam16bit said...

I have to moderate for spammers.