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Review : First Order Snow Trooper, Star Wars Black Series Wave 4 (Hasbro 2016)

Review : First Order Snow Trooper

Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)

Wave/Series : Figure #12 (Phase 3 Wave 4)

Released : Jan 2016 in US / June 2016 in UK

Price : £22.99

Wave 4 in itself posed a peculiar challenge to collectors, with a US release at the turn of the year - but no such release in the UK until very limited numbers were obtained by specialists some 6 months later in June. By this time the UK had already had wave 5 and wave 6 - and that will have damaged the demand for the #12 figure, The First Order Snow Trooper, as Hasbro re-packed him two to a box in wave 6. Add to that the Snow Trooper officer exclusive at Toys R Us which has been around, and in quantity, since Autumn last year and you can see why collectors are a bit "meh" about this figure and why the prices are so low at time of writing.

The Snow Trooper, #12 in phase 3, comes in the red phase 3 packaging. Interestingly there have been three reported inner tray positions for the figure - some apparently using the same inner tray as the Toys R Us figure with gun in hand and pointing down, another with gun in hand pointing up and this one where the gun sits separate.

In hand the Snow Trooper stands a touch under 6 inch, which does make him look a little "short for a Storm Trooper" particularly against the standard First Order Troops. He is however a very solid, squat and heavy figure. He comes packed with his blaster rifle and his backpack.

The sculpt is very clean and crisp, as we expect from Hasbro in terms of armoured figures. It is also cast in a nice contrast of gloss plastic for the helmet and armoured panels on top of a duller white under-suit. There are no paint applications as such other than some black and grey accenting on the helmet, arms and boots - as well as some touches on the chest control panel and above this a decal of some sort. I would say this decal may well indicate rank, but it is identical to that on the Snow Trooper officer.

Paint niggles include some spots of paint caused in the factory, and the black of the visor is too short and should extend further to either side of the helmet.

The backpack sits into an octagonal hole on the troopers back. I had assumed the octagonal shape would keep the backpack in the correct position - but they then made the backpack peg round, so the fit is not as tight as one might hope. The backpack, like the armour, is cast in high gloss plastic with a few black and grey paint apps to pick-out the controls.

Articulation starts with the standard Black Series head ball joint and even with the overhanging helmet, the Snow Trooper can rotate a full 360 degrees and can look straight or downwards - any backward movement to aim the head looking up is blocked by the helmet.

The arms are retractable shoulder ball joints with the armour on the shoulder sliding neatly into the chest armour when you raise the arms. They will not go to a full 90 degrees to the body, but move more than I might have expected. The elbows are the now standard single joint with the swivel function. The elbow will bend 90 degrees in the natural motion, and has some degree of backward movement too - not that this looks natural. The pegged and jointed wrists will rotate fully and bend forward a little to help cradling the gun.

There is a hidden joint up under the chest panel, and this lets the torso rotate a full 360 degrees if you wish. Watch out though for turning it too far to the side as the backpack will get pushed off to an odd angle.

The legs are tucked away under a rubberised skirt, but still hold a good range of movement. The hips would swing out to a seated position and a splits position without the skirt - but with it you will be held to neutral stances only. There is a thigh split and swivel, most likely to allow the feet to move out for more stability - but as always as you twist the joint the lines of the sculpt are thrown out. The double jointed knees are also held back by the skirt - but I have found you can get a walking position that will still allow the figure to stand, and with some support you could get a running motion too. There is an ankle joint of sorts, but the overhanging ankle armour keeps that in check allowing for minor adjustments to the foot position.

The only other accessory is the rifle, which can be held in either hand and you can also get a cradling pose using that elbow joint. The rifle is nicely painted with white paint applications over a black plastic. This does however mean the white of the gun does look a little yellow up against the armour of the figure. Further paint apps on the gun pick out the scope and barrel in silver.

The First Order Snow Trooper is a nice, average figure in the Black Series. Yes, a thinner or differently designed skirt would have aided the posing options. And I think I would have liked him to stand a little taller. Sadly he will suffer from the way he has been packed in both wave 4 and wave 6, with the exclusive release ahead of him coming out, and from the pretty lack luster way the Snow Troopers were portrayed in the movie.

I gave the Snow Trooper officer a 5 out of 5 on release, and I think this version needs to be a little less than that at a 4 out of 5.

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