I’m calling it right off the bat; this figure is really cool. Any toy that can make a grown man go; “Pew pew pew!” is a winner in my book.
I was really excited to see the Star Wars Black series 6 inch figures at Dutch toy stores. The last collector oriented 6 inch figures that we saw here in stores were the Marvel Legends series 8, with Ultimate Cap, Storm and Iron Man. This was give or take 2004. So you can understand my excitement after finding these. I guess it’s now our job to pick these figures up and show the Dutch retailers that there is a market for collector oriented stuff at toy stores.
The Force Awakens figures have different packaging from the normal black series line. It is similar in the fact that it’s pretty minimalistic and you can put the figure back in after opening it, but the design and layout are all new. These boxes really stand out on the shelf at the store between all the other toys. I love how stylish it looks with the red and black. It gives off a nice premium vibe, even though there is nothing high-end about these figures.
First of all, I really like the proportions of this new Stormtrooper. It makes him look very realistic. He actually looks like a real person wearing an armor. Another thing that is noticeable right away, is that the plastic has a rubbery feel to it. It’s kind of hard to describe, since it’s actually hard plastic, but it’s somehow different from the original Stormtrooper. The plastic that is used in this case, however, is very convincing as armor. This in part due to how it catches and reflects the light. The helmet and the shoulder pads are especially shiny.
The sculpt of this figure is fairly detailed and as far as I can tell pretty accurate to the Stormtroopers that we have see in the trailers so far. Too bad that, just like all other Hasbro figures, nothing is done, paint wise, to bring out the details in the sculpt. A simple black wash would have been sufficient to highlight all the nooks and crannies in the armor. All other paint applications are applied well enough, with a couple of tiny misses, but nothing really bothersome. So, even though the paint apps are pretty basic they are serviceable to make the figure look cool. The only thing that I really miss, besides the wash, is a glossy black finish on the visor to help sell the illusion of a transparent material.
Let’s start with the biggest screw-up; why in the hell did Hasbro decide to remove the double jointed elbows they had going on the original Stormtrooper? The elbow articulation on this guy is just poop. You can barely get a 45 degree angle out of it. So getting the First Order Stormtrooper to hold his blaster with two hands is nearly impossible. This is such a missed opportunity, since all the other articulation is good enough. Except for the ankles that don’t move forward and the absent waist swivel. And then there’s the neck that doesn’t move back far enough and the wrists that have no outward motion. A bicep swivel could have easily been added judging by the sculpt.
Okay, so maybe the articulation is not that great, for some reason all these drawbacks are forgivable, because you can still get the figure in some decent stances, albeit not the super dynamic, gun wielding poses that I would like.
The First Order Stormtrooper comes with two blasters. Both have a very basic paintjob. It’s just good enough, to not be crappy. But from a distance it looks okay, so I’m not too bummed out. I personally prefer the smaller blaster, because it looks much more realistic to me. Come to think of it, why the hell do these blasters have scopes on them? Stortroopers always fire from the hip anyway.
Both blasters can be pegged in to the right leg for storage. The smaller blaster looks really cool attached to the leg.
In closing; this figure is really nice. Seriously! Sure, it has its drawbacks, but it’s just so cool. The design of the new Stormtroper armor is extremely appealing to me. They look much beefier then the original Stromtroopers and they look like they could actually kick some ass. By the way, I’m not poopooing on the original Stormtrooper design here, I love those guys.
Anyway, I really recommend this figure to even the most casual Star Wars or action figure fan. I’m definitely getting, at least, two more to make a squad.