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First Order Stormtrooper

Star Wars
by yo go re

On the seventh day of Giftsmas, Amazon gave me to me... wait, I can't figure out how to correlate this figure with "swans a-swimming." Make up your own clever joke, and pretend we said it.

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

Yes, in case you ever wondered, "the 12 days of Christmas" come after the holiday, because they refer to period of time between when Oily Josh was born in Joseph's family's kitchen, and when the Three Wise Men arrived to meet him (an account, incidentally, that only appears in the more action-oriented Gospel of Matthew, not the more mundane Gospel of Luke; the two tell irreconcilably different versions of events, though vulgate tradition tends to sand off the edges and blend them: like, only Luke mentions shepherds, only Matthew mentions wise men, but your grandma's nativity scene has shepherds and wise men). Anyway, for non-religious folks, the confusion about when the 12 days are is because, with all the conspicuous gift-buying ($197,071.09 for 364 gifts in 2022 money), it feels more like the shopping frenzy that takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas. [Wasn't this review supposed to be about Star Wars? --ed.]

It's frankly a bit surprising Hasbro hasn't already used the First Order Stormtrooper for the "Holiday Edition" line; the closest we've had so far would be the Sith Trooper, but they're technically "not" the same thing. The differences are easier to spot when one of them is white and the other one is red, but that distinction falls apart with the Holiday Editions' festive colorscheme.

This is not just a plain First Order trooper - those just looked like normal Stormtroopers with a minorly different helmet. While this mold is shared with the Force Awakens figures, it gets the addition of the chest harness that was previously only available with a 2017 deluxe Stormtrooper exclusive. Back then it was a black vest with white ammo clips or whatever slotted into the front; today, it's reddish brown, and the magazines have been repainted as presents: a red one, with a white helmet inside a wreath and To and From written on it in aurebesh; a blue one with a white helmet snowflake; and a white one with a big red bow. Fun! There's also a removable pouch that can be clipped onto either vertical strap, though it's on the left side right out of the package.

Other than the vest, the figure looks very similar to the Sith Trooper: it's mainly green, with red on the arms and legs, though the undersuit is dark green instead of white, and the shoes are also red, rather than switching back to green below the stripey socks. The helmet's really nice, too, topping the green face with a white band and then a large red panel, giving the feeling of wearing a floppy Christmas hat. Having red shoulder-bells is a fun touch as well.

This mold has swivel/hinge rocker ankles, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a balljointed torso, swivel/hinge wrists, elbows and shoulders, a hinged neck and a balljointed head. No surprises there. Since the harness isn't removable (even if the one set of pouches is), his only accessory is a First Order blaster, done in Nerf colors. The vest has a peg on the back a backpack is supposed to plug onto, but that piece isn't included here. You can plug the rifle into the leg though.

We do get one other thing. All these Black Series Holiday Edition figures come with a pack-in of one sort or another. Mostly porgs. This one is definitely fitting with the seasonal theme, because 'tis the week after Giftsmas and all through the house, Lloyd, not a creature is stirring, except for this Mouse Droid!

MSE (mouse) droids perform simple tasks aboard starships and in military and corporate facilities. They beep to themselves as they perform small repairs, deliver messages, and guide visitors, occasionally exploding into panicked squeals when confused or frightened.

Originally released in a 2019 set that could only be bought at Disney parks, the Mouse Droid is a solid body with rolling wheels. They honestly could have given it some opening panels or something. The mold was next used for some 2021 Walmart exclusive that I never heard of, another park exclusive at the start of this year, and now finally in this set. This Holiday Edition version is red on top, green on the bottom, and has a white stripe around the middle. Its wheels are black, and there's a green bow painted on the back.

The first year of Holiday Edition Black Series toys brought us Santa, but it's taken until Year 2 to get any presents for him to deliver. Guess the First Order Stormtrooper is gonna have to go on the sleigh with him!

-- 12/31/22

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