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Scout Trooper

SWVI: Return of the Jedi
by yo go re

Well well well, looks like somebody's star is on the rise!

Scout troopers are lightly armored compared with other stormtroopers, which allows them to move more quickly and easily in a range of environments.

Wait, is that why the Scout Troopers in Jedi Fallen Order were tougher to fight than the regular Stormtroopers? I always thought the weaker armor made them more squishy, but I guess the increased mobility makes up for it? It's still weird they can stand up to a lightsaber better than normal. Anyway, between being impressive enemies in that game and the scenes with Special Agent Bob and Secret Agent Steve in The Mandalorian, it seems Hasbro picked the perfect time to take the Scout Trooper out of the Speeder Bike box set and put him in the second series of "Archive" figures.

The Scout Trooper armor had a tough line to walk: it had to look like it came from the same lineage as the normal Stormtrooper armor, without using any of the same parts; the only thing they actually have in common is the black and white colorscheme which, if we're going to limit it to that, might as well mean that a dalmatian looks like a Stormtrooper! And yet this manages to look like it came from the same Imperial armories. A baggy black bodysuit underlies the whole thing, and a lot of it is visible due to the fact that (unlike the Stormtroopers) the only part of his armor that wraps all the way around the body is the chestplate - he's got knee and elbow pads, and armor over his triceps, but no bracers, no thigh armor... even his abdomen is only protected by cloth, not whatever space-plastic the Empire gives its soldiers.

Looking at the back of the figure, you'll be able to see details you've probably never been able to make out in the movies. Like, sure, there's his little backpack, everybody knows about his little backpack, but did you know he carries a thermal detonator on his belt? Or that he has extra padding on his butt? The things you can learn from a toy!

The helmet is great. It's got the flattened top, the visor around the eyes (to help them focus when they're driving, like a horse) and the distinctive "snout" that earned them the nickname "Puppy Troopers." We do wish Hasbro had given us a hinged faceplate, so we could lift it up to see Jango Fett's face inside. That would have helped set this release apart from the existing one, and given people an excuse to double-dip.

One thing that has been changed is the paint - specifically, the "muddy" apps on his shoes. On the box set release the shoes are dirty, and then there's a firm line where the paint just stops, rather than transitioning to white. On this one, the brown goes all the way up the boots and even onto the kneepads a little. It does get a little too heavy right around the ankles, but it beats the alternative. All the tiny vents and greeblies are given their own paint apps, too, so this is one good-looking figure that is in no way equipped for being camouflaged in a dense forest.

This figure was originally designed to ride a speeder bike, so they weren't going to skimp on any of the Black Series articulation: balljointed head, hinged neck, swivel/hinge shoulders (though they're realistically limited by the armor), swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed torso, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. Both his wrists hinge up and down rather than side-to-side, because that would have made it easier to grip the handlebars, and he gets swivels at the tops of his boots that none of the other figures have (so you can get his feet on the pedals). Because of the two large pouches attached to the costume's ribs, the chest joint really won't move very far forward, but it still twists nicely.

No speeder this time means the Scout Trooper only has one accessory: the EC-17 hold-out blaster that fits in his boot holster. If you've seen The Mandalorian, you know how woeful the gun is at anything other than extremely close range - like, you'd better have it pressed against your target if you want to have a hope of hitting them.

My natural instinct was to collect all the various Black Series Stormtrooper armors, but I gave up on that idea when I couldn't find the Speeder Bike set for a price I liked. I'd accepted never having him, but thanks to the Archive series, I now have to decide whether I want him to get bodied by Cal Kestis or Mando.

-- 01/12/20

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