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Holiday Edition Snowtrooper

Star Wars
by yo go re

Just want to check, real quick: people do understand how time works, right?

Celebrate the season with specially designed Star Wars figures from The Black Series.

Another Black Series "Holiday Edition" figure, another use of that same plain copy. Like the other Holiday Edition figures, this is a store exclusive: in this case, Walmart, and while a few samples were (allegedly) seen in stores, the easiest way to get it was via their website. Unfortunately, it didn't ship until early January. But the important thing is it did ship - not always a sure thing when it comes to WM. When shipments began to arrive, there were fans complaining that Walmart had waited until after Christmas to send the toy, which, okay, fair enough; but also, like, they do realize this wasn't the last Christmas ever, right? There'll be another one next year? And the holiday figures will still be appropriately decorative then. You weren't planning to throw them out with your dead Christmas tree, were you?

This one is a Snowtrooper, which was originally released in 2016 and said Snowtroopers are Stormtroopers trained for operations in arctic conditions and equipped with specialized gear to protect them against cold. Yes they are! For instance, the big cloth cowl/gaiter that covers their face below the eyes - that's definitely not issued to standard troopers. For this edition, it's cleverly been redeco'ed as a big, stripey scarf wrapped around his neck. It's just red and white - some black outlines to help fake a sense of depth definitely would have been nice, though.

The figure's mold is unchanged. The real Snowtrooper costume is a baggy trenchcoat worn beneath the various armor pieces - pauldrons, bracers, breastplate, belt, pouches, and codpiece - but the Holiday Edition interprets the top and bottom of the coat as being two separate pieces: the torso and arms are red, but the "skirt" part is green, so either they're saying the garment immediately switches color halfway down, or they're telling us it's two different things. The gloves and boots are black, while the upper parts of the boots (and the lower parts of the pants) have been reimagined as striped socks, which makes him look like he belongs in the same group as the Sith Trooper.

Since the helmet and (upper part of the) jacket are both red, that could have made for a very boring figure if you ever viewed him from the back. Luckily, the Snowtrooper costume includes a backpack, one which presumably holds a bunch of life-support equipment, like for warming the air he breathes or whatever. I'm sure Hasbro's designers went over every possible iteration before deciding on this one, but imagine if the entire coat were green, and all the armor were red. You'd still get the contrast between the areas, and having a green coat would keep him from getting confused with Santa.

The articulation is fine. You'd expect the legs to be somewhat blocked by the bottom of the coat and the big belt and everything else, and they are too a degree, but all those bits are molded from a soft PVC that flexes out of the way pretty well. They won't go to the sides, and he's not going to be sitting down, but he's not immobile, either. And the scarf doesn't block the head much, either.

While the original Snowtrooper came with a couple guns, the Holiday Edition does not: instead, he has the bladed pike that came with the Elite Praetorian Guard. It's molded from translucent blue plastic, then the madle is painted red with a few white bars. What is it supposed to be? Is there any intended meaning behind it other than "festive colors"?

All the Black Series Holiday Edition figures come with a pack-in, to help up the value. The Snowtrooper's pack-in is a porg, which is the most common choice: three of the five figures include one porg or another. This is still the rarest, though, because the other two are the "seated" mold, not the "standing" mold.

This isn't exactly the same as the previous release, though, so don't worry if you've already got that. For one thing, the color of its... do porgs have fur or feathers? Maybe a combination. Either way, the pattern of light and dark is different here, with the dark brown switching to actual black and going all the way down to the legs instead of fading out above them. There's no orange on the head, but the black does fully encircle the eyes. Is this supposed to be a penguin? In addition to all that, the toy has been painted with a small green scarf with red on the end - again, a thin line of black to be a shadow would help sell the illusion.

The Holiday Edition Black Series figures are fun, but getting them was a pain - I've pretty much given up hope of completing the set, because GameStop and Amazon's are just too hard to get. But at least if I did get the opportunity to get them, I wouldn't be mad that I couldn't do it before Christmas, because I have more than a toddler's understanding of time and I know I'd be able to enjoy them next year at Giftsmas, as well.

-- 01/24/21

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