Friday, March 2, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,753

REBEL TROOPER Capture of Tantive IV
30th Anniversary Collection Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87503 No. 87212
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, removable helmet, 4 other figures
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: February 2007
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Though inexperienced in combat against trained and determined fighters like the Imperial stormtroopers that swarmed onto their ship, these troopers were utterly loyal to Princess Leia and the Rebel Alliance. They fought to the last man in defense of their ship. (Taken from the figure's box.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' boxes

Commentary: After skipping him entirely for the first 20 years of the franchise (imagine that-- 20 years!) the Rebel Trooper began getting more releases than anyone expected. This mold alone has had no fewer than 5 unique head sculpts, plus a comic book-themed redeco. It has also been eclipsed-- the 2011 Vintage Collection version of the figure is really sharp, but for the purposes of dioramas and cannon fodder, the older ones are mostly quite good too. Based on the late 2001 mold, this figure came out in 2007 with a new head sculpt and a removable helmet to set it apart from previous releases. The Capture of Tantive IV Battle Pack was an excellent value in its day, if for no reason other than to throw out the Darth Vader figure and keep the 2 Rebels and 2 Stormtroopers.

Back in 2001, the mold was pretty impressive with its unusual swiveling legs that allowed for the figure to kneel and aim his blaster. By 2007, fans were screaming for a new take on the trooper, and it would take a little longer for one to actually show up. With only 12 joints (and no ball joints), the figure was dismissed as being primitive, but I can't help but like it for what it is. If it means getting a cheaper figure, I don't need 8 ball joints-- sometimes I just need somebody to be shot in the fface, and this figure works for that purpose nicely. He has a bit of a sneer, so I can't say I feel bad about Stormtroopers stomping him. He has a blaster, and little hope of surviving the first wave of an Imperial attack.

If you buy this set, this figure will probably not impress you. The leg engineering wasn't reused on many other Star Wars Hasbro figures, but it was used on 21st Century Toys military figures. (This construction was used on a 2002 Darth Maul.) His vest is removable, if you feel like having that fight, but I would suggest grabbing him if you can get him cheap. I'm hoping Hasbro will make an actual Blockade Runner vehicle in 2015, and I've got about a dozen Rebel Fleet Troopers (not counting the 1997 one, because he sucked then and sucks now) to populate it should the need arise.

Collector's Notes: The secondary market pricing for this set is at (or under) retail, which given inflation is good news. The boxed set looks pretty nice, so you may just want to get one to leave in the box with the diorama-style packaging. I ended up with a bunch of these due to damaged units showing up missing figures, someone got these and stole the Darth Vaders out of them. Which is dumb. Why not steal the Stormtroopers? I'll never understand some forms of thievery.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,753: March 2, 2012

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