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Review : Stormtrooper. Star Wars Black Series (Phase 1 / 40th Anniversary)

Updated: Dec 16, 2018

Review : Imperial Stormtrooper

Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)

Wave/Series : Wave 3 (Phase 1)

Released : 2014

Price : £19.99

Our first Imperial Trooper in the 6" Black Series was the Sand Trooper in the debut wave. The more generic Stormtrooper then arrived in Wave 3 alongside Luke Bespin, Obi-Wan Kenobi and a repack of Han from the previous wave.

The Stormtrooper is packed with an E11 Blaster and a DLT-20a Blaster Rifle and comes in the matt black box with the original orange line trim. The box has a cut out window insert through which the figure is visible. A frame around three sides of the window gives you the Star Wars Black Series logo top left and to the right of this the grey scaled art we know so well.

In the phase 1 packaging this is in a circular frame and is of the characters head only. To the bottom of the box is the character number and name in orange text. The Stormtrooper is #09 in the Phase 1 series. There is then the Hasbro logo and some warning text around age and choking hazards.

The two sides of the packaging are quite plain. The right is a wrap around of the window and the left is essentially plain black. Round the back the orange line returns down one side and the back is headed up with the Star Wars Black Series logo. Under this sits a repeat of the character name in orange and then in grey text a very positioning text about Imperial Stormtroopers boarding the Tantive IV in A New Hope. In italics is a quote from A New Hope "Inform Lord Vader we have a prisoner".

For US releases the rest of the box rear is an image of Stormtroopers charging into the corridors of the Tantive IV blockade runner. this is converted to grey lined image. For international releases this is often covered with a large over-sticker containing the figure info in alternative languages - if you are careful you can peel this off if you wish.

Review : Stormtrooper

Star Wars Black Series (Hasbro)

Wave/Series : 40th Anniversary

Released : June 2017

Price : £24.99

The new card backs are sized to accommodate the 6" figures, without being a direct upscale of the original 3.75" figures. They utilise the same character image as well as the Star Wars and Kenner logos. The Storm Trooper is packed on a deep red coloured panel, with the E11 blaster up near his head and the larger DLT-20a blaster rifle on the same side, but down near the feet. The red of the blister backing is used on the name panel.

A neat 40th Anniversary logo sits in the top left corner, the only real change vs the original Kenner card backs.

Round the back of the card is a checklist of the 12 figures that will be released. These are framed in various colours, each colour matching the scheme that will be used on their card. Under the 12 figures is an image of the Legacy pack, the stand that revisits the original Early Bird pack and gives collectors who aren't keeping these on card a display option for loose figures.

A subtle Black Series logo is atop the card and of course being 40 years after Kenner & Lucasfilm, we now find the Disney logo at the base of the card along with the present day safety notices and legal logos.

Out of the box the Imperial's finest stands dead on 6" high. The sculpt is proportional and screen accurate with the armour cast in bright white plastic.

The helmet is well proportioned to the body, and looks like a human head can fit inside. The eye slots are black gloss, but do suffer with a touch of paint bleed into the eyebrow rim that runs round the helmet above the eyes. There are a number of cut in panels, each painted in grey and black. The mouthpiece is a matt black, and here the paint really needs to go a bit further back on the sculpt. Either side of this central mouthpiece are the two silver studs. A line of blue decals are applied either side of the helmet.

The body panels are all angular and hard and in the main match up to each other in shade. Softer areas like the shoulder armours and belt do seem a little yellower, and over time these will become more of a contrast to the harder plastic elements. The same yellowing can be said of the articulation pins on the elbows and knees,

Under the armour is a black undersuit. On our review figure here we do get some white patches on the black parts which is frustrating. The only other colours used on the Stormtrooper are grey paint on the rear of the belt canister and on the soles of the boots. The belt is a separate piece and is hooked around the waist with a holster hanging from the troopers right hip.

Articulation starts with the ball jointed helmet which rotates fully and has a pivot to look up and down by quite a distance. The shoulders are ball jointed, but will not raise much past 45 degrees as the armoured shoulder panel doesn't retract and blocks the movement. The elbows are double jointed, an unusual feature on the Black Series on the whole. and this really helps two handed weapon poses. There is even a bicep swivel to turn the arms inwards or outwards. The final arm articulation is a pivot at the wrist to help adjust hand movement.

A torso joint is built in under the chest armour and like the helmet, this both rotates and can pivot forward and backwards. Legs start with the hips, which like the shoulders are restricted by the armour. The knees are double jointed and allow kneeling positions to be reached, but not one knee firing or action poses. Ankle rockers allow the figure to stand easily. One criticism of the figure is around the joints which are loose in place, and the figure has a definite loose wobble when handled.

The two guns are cast in black plastic. The E11 is left at that, with no further paint decor. This fits into the troopers right hand, with the trigger finger of the trooper lining up to the trigger of the gun. The E11 can be cradled in two hands also thanks to the double elbow articulation. The larger D20a has a silvery dry-brush on top of the black plastic. This also sits in the right hand and can be held one or two handed.

The holster allows both weapons to be held easily, although it is designed specifically for the smaller E11. The larger gun can be slotted in place, but it will stick up past the waist and across the back of the figure.

The Imperial Stormtrooper ticks a lot of boxes as a figure. It is well designed and fairly well executed - the only questions being around the yellowing on some of the softer plastic and those floppy joints. It is an Army Builder and is representative of the troopers appearance in all three original films. He of course also fits in with Rogue One and Solo so is a figure for all collectors of Imperial era movies.

The Stormtrooper would only need a few tweaks to be perfect. As it stands I award it a 4 out of 5.

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