FIRST ORDER STORMTROOPER
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES
Stormtroopers are really the backbone of the Star Wars universe. None of them even get a name in the Original Trilogy, and they’re certainly never in focus, but they’re always there, with a near-limitless supply of them for the heroes to plow through. The original Troopers also have one of the best, most distinctive designs of the franchise, meaning all the faceless goons that followed had quite a bit to live up to. The Battle Droids proved rather disappointing in this respect, and the Sequel Trilogy seems to be playing things safe by bringing the Stormtroopers back, albeit with a slightly tweaked design. The new Stormtrooper has been one of the hottest “characters” when it comes to new merchandise, no doubt due to consumers also playing things safe, just in case the new movie isn’t quite what everyone wants. Today, I’ll be looking at the Black Series version of the design.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The First Order Stormtrooper saw two different ways of release. The figure was first offered as a SDCC exclusive item, which proved quite difficult to obtain. This was then followed up with a release in the main Star Wars: The Black Series line, where the figure is #04 in the Force Awakens-inspired relaunch of the line. No points for guessing which release I got. The figure is a little over 6 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. The articulation on this figure is just a bit frustrating. While some areas, such as the torso joint and the ankles, have a great range of motion and are very easy to maneuver, other joints, notably the elbows and wrists, are very stiff and limited. The end result is a figure that is mostly pretty fun to mess with, but one that certainly could have been just a bit better. The FO Stormtrooper is yet another new sculpt, and he’s a pretty good match for what we’ve seen of the design. The details on this figure are a fair bit sharper than those on the smaller scale trooper (like the one included with the Assault Walker). The armored parts are still smooth and very rounded, so the level of detail there hasn’t changed much, but the underlying bodysuit is full of quite a bit of folds and patterned texturing, which gives the figure a nice bit of “pop.” Paint-wise, the figure is pretty good, but far from perfect. Generally speaking, the figure is molded in white with black details painted on. Most of the application is pretty good, but my personal figure has a bit of a smudge on the forehead of the helmet, which is pretty annoying. Also, the belt should be the same color as the rest of the armor, but it’s actually a very light grey, most likely due to it being white paint on black plastic. Dark paint over light, guys, dark paint over light. The FO Stormtrooper is packed with a basic Stormtrooper blaster, as well as a smaller blaster pistol. The guns can both be held in the figure’s hands or either of them can be clipped into the “holster” on the right thigh. They’re pretty cool, but they could both use some better paintwork.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I really like the new Stormtrooper design. It’s nice and sleek and it just looks pretty cool. And I like to have toys of things I really like (heck, I collect toys of things I don’t particularly like!). So, I really, really tried to get the SDCC preview version of this figure when it went up on Hasbro’s site after the con. I actually managed to get one on my cart, but it was gone before I could check out. That meant I was waiting for the regular release. On Force Friday, the First Order Stormtrooper was the number one item on my list. As previously noted, the Black Series figures were a no-show at my local TRU, so no luck there. Fortunately, the trooper ended up being one of the two remaining Black Series figures at my second stop, Target. Yay! The figure has a few minor flaws here and there, especially when it comes to articulation, but I’m really happy I found one. Definitely a cool figure!