Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : Flametrooper (The Force Awakens) Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro) Wave/Series : Figure #16 (Phase 3 Wave 5 / Wave 1 2016) Released : January 2016
Price : £22.99
Thank you to Kapow Toys, from whom we purchased this figure for review.
From the moment the First Order Flametrooper exploded onto the screen in the trailer I wanted one. When Disney revealed their Elite range of 7" figures I nearly went all in just so I could have this figure on display. Thank fully I restrained myself, and just a few months later my patience is rewarded with the Hasbro 6" version of this First Order specialist trooper.
The Flametrooper is part of Wave 5 of the Phase 3 red packaging, or wave 1 2016 as per the Hasbro codes on his shipping case. He is number 16 in the 3rd Phase, and comes in the black and red Phase 3 packaging.
Slid out of the tray, the Flametrooper comes "disassembled" for want of a better word. The figure itself is packed in the centre of the tray with the gun to his right and the backpack to his left. Before we assemble, let's have a close look at the actual body of the figure.
The sculpt, like most of Hasbro's armoured Imperial / First Order troops is really good. The helmet, which is a brand new design for this trooper and kind of an amalgamation between normal First Order trooper and the Snowtrooper is smooth and well proportioned with only the smallest hint of a seam running over the crown. The eye slit is neat and straight across the helmet. And it is just a shame that the lines and the breathing valves are a bit untidy and not as crisp as perhaps I would have liked them. The helmet is cast in gloss white, and there is an indication in certain lights that it is a different shade/material to the rest of the armour. Nothing hugely noticeable unless you have very bright spotlights on the figure. The vision strip is painted black, as are the lower lines of the helmet. Just above these are some gray linings around and a couple of these on mine are smudged and not as crisp.
You would be forgiven for expecting that you would find reused parts on the Flametrooper carried over from the earlier First Order Stormtrooper. I was certainly expecting some, but to my surprise I can't identify any directly re-used elements. The chest plate is similar to the standard trooper, but with a variation in the panel design and a wider bulkier look around the neck area. Under this is a lower abdomen panel, and this is again a different piece almost a girdle with a separate piece further up that tucks in behind the chest plate. The arms start with shoulder pads and go down to wrapped panels on the biceps and then into wrist guards and the armoured hands.
There is a black belt, again different to the FO Trooper, and on this is simply one white pouch to the left hand side. The code piece is wider and bulkier and then down from this the legs start off with thigh panels, of which the right one has a thigh strap. If you spin them round they also separate into two panels just before the buttocks. Each knee panel is different, with similarities to the New Hope Sandtroopers. The thighs armour is thicker again and the boots/shoes are also bulkier.
All the amour pieces are cast in white gloss plastic and these all sit over a plain black under-suit. To that end there is hardly any paint applications on the figure itself. But where the black meets the white the lines are in the main crisp and neat.
The articulation is fairly similar to that of the First Order trooper. The neck is a ball joint and the helmet on the Flametrooper sits higher and allows a wider range of movement and if you want you can spin this fully round the body. Shoulder articulation is the standard ball joint, with the shoulder withdrawing into the torso and therefore you can get the arms of the flametrooper out to the side and up above his head. Elbows are a pivot that also spins, and this is crucial a little later when you hook him up with his flamethrower that has to be held two handed. The torso joint is hidden away under the chest plate, but still allows the torso to almost fully rotate vs the leg position.
Legs are jointed at the hips on another ball joint. You can use these to sit the Flametrooper down, and that means that in conjunction with the double jointed knees you can achieve that wide legged firing stance we see on the film. The ankles are the only weak spot as they are quite loose, that means that my Flametrooper has already taken two shelf dives. With such a bulky and relatively heavy figure the ankles have to be robust enough to hold his weight and stand him firmly - sadly this is an ongoing issue across all the First Order troopers to date.
So time to assemble the weapon. And even though there aren't any instructions, it isn't hard at all to work out. My advice is to get the gun into the hands first. The right hand holds the grip and this slots in reasonably easily. The left hand, which holds underneath the barrel, is a bit tougher and I had to prize the fingers out and open and then let them close back up on the gun. Thankfully they are flexible enough to do this. Once gun is in hand, then the back pack slots into corresponding holes on the reverse of the trooper. The back pack is not as tight a fit as I would like, but it stays on and once in place you take the flexible hose and bring it round to attach to the socket on the grip of the gun. With everything assembled you can then tweak the arms into a firing position.
The articulation and design of the gun will satisfy most people in getting the relevant poses out of the figure.
So to sum this one up, the Flametrooper is a great figure and I think will be a fan favourite and sought after even if he is packed two per case in the wave 5 assortment. The negatives are a few clumsy paint apps on the helmet, the left hand grip on the gun and the ankles being a tad too weak for the weight and bulk of the figure. I score the Flametrooper a 4 out of 5 and I look forward to probably adding a 2nd at some point to bolster my First Order forces even further.