Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,851: Flametrooper (Gaming Greats, The Black Series)

Gaming Greats

The Black Series 2020 Line Look Blue Star Wars: Gaming Greats GameStop Exclusive
Item No.:
No. F2844
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #03
Includes: Backpack, flame thrower
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $24.99
Availability: June 2021
Appearances: Jedi: Fallen Order
Bio:Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order features Flametroopers, specialized commandos that support the war machine of the Galactic Empire, highly proficient in the use of incendiary weapons. (Taken from the packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

I always feel weird when I point out I skipped a game (like this one) and have started skipping some figures from the line that don't sing to me - but this one I really liked. The Flametrooper doesn't look exactly like the in-game model, but it does sort of look like a McQuarrie Concept Snowtrooper. And that was enough for me! The more-expensive-than-it-should-be retool has new forearms, new lower legs, a new backpack, a new blaster, and a new helmet. I would like to think it would cost the same as an entirely new figure, but it's more.

If you bought the Snowtrooper a few years ago, it's functionally similar, with the same kinds of joints and basic silhouette. The new helmet looks like a Snowtrooper with new goggles, a painted stripe on the back, and a couple of things to let air out of the mask which don't seem to be present in the renders I saw from the game. (Which, hey, I like how the figure looks better.) They also rotate the shoulder pads around so the lines are on top, rather than the bottom - just like in the game. It's a much cleaner trooper with no ashes or soot, as opposed to the somewhat muddy Snowtrooper. Early photos of the figure do have darker grey boots and a higher level of contrast in the mask, which the final product does not share.

You can plug the torch into the backpack, which is a retooled Snowtrooper backpack. It all fits together nicely and he has no problems holding the weapon, which has a subtle red glow around the tip. It doesn't have a giant clear flame piece like the one from The Mandalorian, but the newly-tooled weapon is big, threatening, and most importantly looks like something from the early 1980s. The boots, in particular, look like something someone bought at a gardening shop and painted white. It's great. The new wrist armor also looks really good, adding new glove pieces to what looks like typical Stormtrooper armor. It feels legit. If this showed up in a new Disney+ streaming show, it seems like it belongs in that whole McQuarrie-esque early Empire look we've seen since Star Wars Rebels.

If you like what you see in the pictures, I can recommend this figure. It looks like a concept design, it fits the aesthetic of the 1980s, and you can probably find lots of reasons to like it if you like Imperial troopers. I'm finding I miss what I got in this line for in the first place - robots, aliens, and vehicles - but this is one of the best troopers we've had in the last year. This is, admittedly, somewhat light praise as we've had weird holiday troopers and carbonized troopers and other stuff that doesn't feel like it's doing much to reward long-haul fans... but we're not the market that we were in the 1990s.
I wish I had more to say, but part of what makes me feel like the world is passing me by is they're doing a smattering of toys from new stories, quickly moving on, and mostly all I can do is say "this is a nice-looking action figure" since there's no long-term desire. All kids of the 1970s and 1980s probably had figures that, upon release in the 1990s, felt like they achieved a life's goal merely by plunking down $6 for Ishi Tib or Pote Snitkin. I still get excited by new prequel guys or anyone from The Mandalorian since it's such a rich well of characters and designs. For this reason, it's a little tough to be genuinely amazed by a Snowtrooper retool, but I can't fault it. They did a great job making an action figure out of it, but there's no collection to be built around the game, no vehicle to pilot. Those with a relationship with the game may feel differently, but I don't feel particularly inspired to actually play around with a lot of these guys after the review is done - they're good, but they exist in a playtime vacuum. Also I am old.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from GameStop.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,851: August 31, 2021

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