Updated: Nov 25, 2018
Review : Shock Trooper, Star Wars Battlefront Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro) Wave/Series : Walmart Exclusive 2015 / UK Import 2016 Released : US November 2015 / UK February 2016
Price : £22.95 - £24.99 (UK Import Price)
The Shocktrooper was first announced way back in September 2015, and when I say announced - it turned up on some UK sites first for pre-order with a due date some 6 months later in March 2016.
It transpired that the Trooper was a US exclusive for Walmart who would be selling the Shocktrooper alongside the Battlefront game when it launched in November. After that UK fans would still have to wait for the 2016 date to get their hands on it.
Thank fully the trooper has landed a month or so early, and our review figure was purchased from Star Action Figures, who provided their usual top notch service and ensured the review figure arrived in pristine condition.
The Trooper arrives in a standard size Black Series, Phase 3, Red & Black themed box. Unlike the main range, and any of the other exclusives we have seen to date in phase 3, the Shocktrooper comes with a variant box design where as the bottom right front box art is actually done in both grey and red lined art and overprinted with the Battlefront logo. I guess the US plan of selling this alongside the gain made sense, but I can't help wonder what the result would have been for both the figure and the game if they had been tied into a pre-order or first release package?
To the right spine, the red colouring remains but there is no numbering - just the bar-code type printing with the character name. Round the back is the usual four language top line overview of the figure - on this one leading in with how the "Shocktrooper is adept with heavy weaponry". Remember that line when we look at the weapons packed in with the figure.
Out of the box, and this is the same base Stormtrooper body that we first saw in wave 3 of the Black Series. There is not a great deal wrong with this sculpt, and with it being an early model it retains the original articulation - so those all important double jointed swivel elbows are still in place. This articulation allows the Shocktrooper, and its recent exclusive cousin the Crimson Trooper, to get into much better poses than say the more recent Force Awakens Stormtrooper.
The issue however with this, and the Crimson Trooper, is that Hasbro seem to have gone with a cheaper plastic on these newer troopers and unlike their 2014 counter-parts the new Troopers are very soft in the legs and knee joints which makes standing the new troopers really difficult. As you will see from the review shots, most of the time our Shocktrooper had to be propped up on a stand as the legs are quite bowed, with the shins and ankles then bowing back inwards.
The paint is the real difference on this figure, and the whole reason it is badged as an exclusive. Every red panel is crisp, well painted and pops off the usual white and black armour. The head in particular is extremely neat with varying panels of red making up the overall pattern. If you look at the Battlefront game characters, then Hasbro have matched every panel like for like, and the result is a very striking trooper for your Imperial garrison.
It's not all great news though on the decoration as for some reason the back half of the belt seems to have been painted in a very off white, almost yellow colour. I can find no reference reason for this, so not sure if mine is an error or I am missing why this belt colour is significant? Either way, it does sadly look unsightly. I could also argue at this point for some weathering? With the Shocktrooper being an elite and battle hardened trooper you could expect some paint wear and a bit of grime on the armour - an effect Hasbro has already done to some degree on the Clone Commander Cody.
The Trooper is packed with a standard E11 blaster, which is fine - cast in plain black plastic and fits neatly into either hand, or into the holster to the Troopers hip. It also comes with the DLT-20A rifle, which is a carry over from the wave 3 Stormtrooper and not really associated with the Shocktrooper. I would have rather them pack in the DLT-19 rifle that originally came with the Sandtrooper - the sculpt exists, so it would have simply needed a tray insert amendment. Or if they wanted to be more faithful to the game, gone with a unique new sculpt of the Shocktroopers rocket launcher. Ideally the trooper should have also come with a backpack, similar to that of the Sandtrooper, and the fact that this is missing and the weaponry is wrong will frustrate some fans and feels a tad lazy considering all the work that went into the paint job,
As an exclusive, paint variant troopers will always go down well and the Shocktrooper will make a striking recruit to any collection. Sadly, many will be let down with those bowed hips and an inability to stand. And the purists will be further frustrated by the lack of attention to detail with the equipment, particularly if they cast a glance at the version Hot Toys will be releasing later in 2016 - yes I know there is a HUGE price difference, but it wouldn't have taken much to make the 6" version more accurate.
With the stability issues, that odd coloured belt and the equipment inaccuracies I am scoring this figure a 3 out of 5.
I do have a 2nd figure on order (it is army build worthy) and I will report back if the belt and leg issues continues into my 2nd figure.