I might be camped out in front of stores tomorrow to ensure I get Star Wars: Force Awakens on Blu-Ray. The fantastic new entry in the Star Wars saga was a great step forward while paying homage to the past. Not that I needed to get any more hyped about it, but I figured now was as good a time as any to finally review the First Order Stormtrooper from Hasbro’s Star Wars The Black Series line.
Packaging: The Black Series has a unique design. It’s not the most dynamic packaging, but the black with red accents gives it a classy touch. The trooper is showcased well and displays well for MOC collectors. The back packaging is so dark the portrait of the character is barely visible and all the various warnings crowd an already jammed space.
Likeness: The First Order redesign of the classic Stormtrooper armor is one of those sensible upgrades that retains the style or the original while being distinct enough to hold up on its own. The biggest change is the revised helmets, which connect the eye slits and mouth area. It’s an inspired look and I appreciate the designers not going overboard trying to differentiate it from the original look. The figure retains that classic aesthetic as well.
The various segmented plating, pouches and paneling are all well detailed. At first glance, you’d think there’s just a lot of reuse from the Star Wars The Black Series Stormtrooper Figure 6 Inches, but there’s a lot more new parts than I was expecting. For the scale, this is a very impressive looking figure and without having to nail an actor’s likeness precisely, it looks like it stepped right out of the screen in a way the Rey figure couldn’t.
Scale: On the 6″ scale, this looks like the sweet spot for a regular sized guy in a suit of armor. I appreciate Hasbro adding enough pieces to have some variation among the figures in the line so all the guys aren’t just one standard size.
Paint: Considering the basic white and black color scheme there’s not a lot of opportunities for paint issues. When you factor in this is armor a lack of paint washes is understandable. Perhaps the only minor issue to note is the white of the belt doesn’t match up perfectly with the white plastic used for the rest of the figure.
Articulation: The trooper has a ball-jointed neck, hinge shoulders, elbow twists, wrist, mid-torso, ball-jointed hip, thigh, double-jointed knee and full range ankle articulation. With just one minor exception, this figure has some great articulation execution. The mid-torso piece might be my favorite part as it allows for deep crouch type poses — or it would if it weren’t for the ammo belt, but it’s close enough for my purposes.
I wish the shoulder/elbow articulation was just a little deeper so I could do the using the arm to steady the aim pose or bring the arm up closer to do a speaking to the comm pose more convincingly.
Accessories: The Black Series has never really been that generous in terms of an abundance of accessories. Not that we need them with an army builder. The trooper comes with the standard blaster. The paint job on mine was sharp even with the two-tone black and white. The pistol also was smooth and fits in snugly to the hole on the right side of the thigh armor. I love when all the accessories have a place.
Worth it? The Black Series never fares well compared to other 6″ figures on the market in terms of value. It’s partly due to the presumably expensive license, which limits the now standard add-ons like alternate heads and hands as well as the Build-A-Figure piece. On that end, the $20 price tag doesn’t seem like that great a bargain.
Rating: 9 out of 10
This is a terrific army builder and I’ll definitely need at least three more. S.H. Figuarts charges about double for one figure and the gap in quality isn’t nearly that significant. If you’re in the mindset for a First Order army, feel confident in stockpiling this figure.
Where to get it? Force Awakens figures aren’t vanishing anytime soon from the pegs, but army builders are always a hot commodity for collectors who want an impressive assortment of FO soldiers. You can find them at Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens and more. Don’t want to both hunting the stores?
Amazon.com has the single figure available: Star Wars The Black Series 6-Inch First Order Stormtrooper
As well as a pretty good deal on the 6″ scale Tie Fighter at $120.
Star Wars The Black Series First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter