Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,137: Stormtrooper (Epic Hero Series)

Epic Hero Series Basic Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F9405 No. G0104
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster pistol
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: January 2024
Appearances: Everything   

Bio: Stormtroopers are elite shock troops fanatically loyal to the Empire and the Imperial cause. (Taken from the packaging)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Commentary: My immediate reaction to hearing that new kid Stormtrooper figures were coming was one of excitement - the last kiddo one was a cheap 6-inch figure from 2022 [FOTD #2,955] that was five bucks. This is ten bucks, and I'd say it's not proving to be worth twice the price. As a toy, it's very charming but there aren't significantly more paint applications or moving parts here, although not molding the blaster to the hand is a big improvement.

It's a good figure - it's not junky, it's not flimsy, it feels sturdy and I would go as far as to say even though I don't love it, I'm going to reach for it to play with a lot in the coming weeks. He stands without any fuss and holds his blaster. It's rewarding to futz with it, and to mix around parts with the deluxe figures to make super troopers of some sort. (Could you imagine one with more accessories like Sabine's jetpack in white and maybe a better scaled head as a deluxe? That would be nice.) If you've got ten bucks you've just got to spend, this is a well-made figure and this entire line is, in its own right, excellent. But we judge stuff based on the whole collection usually, and in that context some of these guys may not be quite the perfect fit.

I would have preferred Hasbro steer this 4-inch figure's size closer to the 3 3/4-inch size we've seen for most figures, just because it would fit in existing vehicles or allow fans to army-build them as diorama filler. The decision to up the size seems punitive, rather than something that makes the figure better for kids - it's like if they tried to do a 3 1/2-inch scale just to appeal to a slightly different demographic. It wouldn't make any sense, but I digress. This fellow is a bit taller than Mando and that just feels wrong somehow. He's fun - you can plug other characters' gear to his armor. I slapped on Paz Vizsla's gauntlet and backpack, and both look excellent. Assuming Hasbro has plans to build out this scale (and that is, I should note, only an assumption) I could see these guys being Flamethrower troopers or other new specialized figures. The forearm holes, while ugly, get the job done and while the OII on the back has been replaced by the hexagonal backpack port, again, it serves a play function.

At first blush seeing the final figure, I bet a few fans thought "wait is this a POTF2 Stormtrooper?" Back in 1995, Kenner Stormtroopers had big beefy chests, oversized Imperial blasters, and what looked like a smaller helmet with no black paint around the neck - just like this one. It's not nearly as exaggerated or stylized this time, but anyone who was collecting in 1995 will have some sort of PTSD the first time they see this. It looks familiar, and the proportions aren't quite as realistic as the aforementioned cheapo 6-inch trooper. He also seems to be big and burly enough to match the deluxe Paz Vizsla, which also seems wrong. But this figure has a ball-jointed neck, legs that swing forward, and theoretical compatibility with future vehicles should we get any - and that's kind of exciting. And I do mean "kind of," mostly because I could see this line either running forever or being snuffed out by the end of the year. This seems like the assortment you'd want to drop in figures for the new TV shows, mostly because they're simpler and I assume easier to quickly design and get out the door.

After Hasbro has made figures roughly this size for collectors for years, it's fascinating to play with a brand new one engineered specifically to be a toy after roughly a decade of collector troopers only. I really wish there was a mini-rig or vehicle for him to pilot, as I bet Hasbro would make a really good one with their current crop of designers. When they get an assignment to make something cool, it always comes out well - and when they get a boring assignment, well, last year we got more Speeder Bikes. Consider giving this line a shot if you've got $10 to spare.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,137: May 28, 2024

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