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Star Wars 6" Hero (Budget) First Order Stormtrooper (Aldi Exclusive in UK)

Review : First Order Stormtrooper

Star Wars 6-Inch Hero Series

Wave/Series : Aldi Exclusive (UK) / Walgreens in US

Released : December 2017

Price : £6.99

Pro's : Not too bad looking at a distance for fleshing out background squads

Con's : Too short, articulation is limited and no real posing other than a neutral stance

As well as producing the successful 6" Black Series range of Star Wars figures, Hasbro do produce and distribute a budget series of 6" figures. These limited articulation figures share similar qualities to the 12" Hero series. They were predominantly made for the Far East market as well as discount stores in the US and of course the UK, where Aldi stores have become the retailer of choice.

These first hit UK stores in 2015 in line with The Force Awakens release. The first set of figures included Stormtroopers, Snowtroopers, Finn, Kylo Ren and a Darth Vader. A second set was released in December 2016 as part of the Rogue One merchandising, but didn't contain any Rogue One figures - instead we got figures of Rey (Force Awakens), Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker, Darth Maul, Han Solo and Kanan Jarrus. The only Rogue One figure we are aware of is a Deathtrooper which has only been circulated in Canada.

In 2017 we have a new set, this time just the four figures, and these went on sale in Aldi on the 10th of December for the £6.99 price tag which is unchanged since 2015. In the US these have been on sale in Walgreens since September. The 2017 set includes re-releases of Rey and the Stormtrooper. We then get two new figures - Captain Phasma and C-3PO.

Like the previous two years, the figures are packed in a small window box. It uses the white backdrop and red highlighting as is used for all The Last Jedi product - but there is no direct reference to The Last Jedi. All four characters are due to appear in the movie.

The box front includes a half window, through which we see the top half of The Stormtrooper against a red card backdrop. Under this sits a large red Star Wars logo and then a black section wraps the bottom of the packaging. This carries the character name as well as the age rating and the Disney and Hasbro logo's.

The left hand spine of the box carries a further red Star Wars logo and a nice illustration of the Trooper. While a nice picture, it is not as dynamic or eye catching as the illustrations that were included on the 2016 releases.

The other spine is made up with various notifications and safety markings. This is the same on the bottom half of the box back. Above this is a red section which contains some basic text about the Stormtrooper, this is taken word-for-word from the rear bio on the 2015 Black Series release.

The box top has a hanging tab attached. This appears to be factory installed rather than at the retailer - particularly as Aldi and Walgreens both merchandise these on shelves or in baskets and not on pegs.

The figure is accessed by the top flap which is taped down at either side. The figure slides out attached to a three sided backing card. The ties round the figure are elasticated rather than being twisty ties. There is a printed safety notice which sits behind the figure.

In hand the figure is a good representation of a First Order Stormtrooper. The helmet and armour are well proportioned and the lines are sleek and curved. The colouring is a little "off white" and there are some painted details missed around the chest section and round the belt.

The gun is cast into the hand and is a plain black plastic. The black makes the detail less obvious, but there is a pretty good amount in the blaster sculpt and it just needed an extra couple of paint apps to bring it out.

For those like me who saw this and thought here is a £7 army builder to bolster my Black Series, I am sorry to tell you that this chap is "a little short to be a Stormtrooper". He comes in a head shorter than the Black Series equivalent and when lined up with his more expensive big brother you can see where the paint detail has been missed. It is good to see though that the white of the armour is a closer match in 2017 to the Black Series, when this figure was first release in 2015 it had a definate yellowing to the plastic straight out of the box.

Articulation is a very basic 4 points. The head rotates on a basic peg and can be moved to look either side. The arms can be raised or lowered by means of a similar basic peg joint at the shoulder.

The waist is jointed between the upper and lower belt and this allows the torso to be turned. The legs themselves are fixed, but they are cast to stand well so we have no obvious stability issues.

For £7 this is not a bad effort for a Stormtrooper, and while you wouldn't have these front and foremost in a 6" display they can be strategically positioned towards the back of a display to swell the ranks. It is a pity that these figures are being produced to a set size regardless of character... had we had some scale differentiation between characters then this line would be a lot more sought after. As it stands it remains quite niche.

Articulation will never be a strong point of this line, it is how the price is kept so low. And the same applies to the paint application. The figure does have a good sculpt going for it and for that I score it a 2 out of 5.

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