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Scout Trooper

Star Wars
by yo go re

All I want for Christmas is (Grog)u.

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

This, somehow, is a repaint both of a figure I already own, and one I never knew existed. You remember the Black Series Scout Trooper, right? Originally came with a Speeder Bike, then got re-released by himself as part of the "Archive" series? Yeah. Here, read a Scout Trooper bio and ask yourself why they keep not capitalizing "Scout Trooper": Scout troopers were lightly armored compared with other Stormtroopers, which allowed them to move more quickly and easily in a range of environments. They were also trained for more independence and adaptability than most Imperial troops. The Empire used scout troopers for a range of missions, including reconnaissance and infiltration. Now you know!

These "Holiday Edition" figures don't get any new pieces, so this Scout Trooper is still wearing the same helmet as before. Okay, having a flip-up face plate would have worked better on that lold release than here (where all the characters are meant to be generic), but we still wish it was a thing. Imagine a Giftsmassy Jango Fett scowling at you! Alas, it is not to be.

One feature of the first Holiday Edition series that we didn't cover (because it wasn't on any of the figures we did) was putting the Troopers in ugly sweaters: the Clone Trooper had the Death Star and some TIE Fighters, while the Stormtrooper had an X-Wing ad AT-AT. Anyway, this Scout Trooper brings the sweater back, and his design is... Baby Yoda in his hover-basket! He's viewed head-on, so we can see his cute little ears. The pattern is constructed of little V shapes, suggesting a basic stockinette stitch, and is painted in white, black, orange, green, pink, and even a darker shade of red than the armor it's on. So many colors! And that's not even getting into the actual look of the toy, with its red armor, maroon under-suit, green gloves, and stipey elf-socks.

The sculpt is as good now as it was a few years ago when it was first released. In fact, because of the toy's new colors, you can make out more of the details in the design - like, his gloves and the pad on his butt no longer blend in, for instance, though we don't get the outlines or grey panels we had before.

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 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.

As usual, the Scout Trooper comes with a Scout Trooper blaster, though here it's not solid black, but white and orange, to mimick the Nerf gun. It fits in the holster on his right boot, a choice that makes a lot more sense when he's sitting on a speeder bike than when he's standing up.

All the Black Series Holiday Edition figures come with a little pack-in buddy, which is where the "I didn't know this existed" part of the review comes in. Did you wonder why a Scout Trooper would have Baby Yoda on his sweater and not, for instance, an Ewok? Because apparently at some point Amazon had an exclusive Black Series set based on The Mandalorian, featuring a Scout Trooper on a white speeder bike, with a bag slung over his shoulder and Baby Yoda inside. I literally never heard of it until writing this review; I was all prepared to write a paragraph about how the Holiday Edition figures were finally introducing some new molds. Of course, if I had known, I might have gotten it, and then I wouldn't have the excuse to get this version.

The bag is soft PVC, with a closable flap that plugs shut with two straps, just like a real-world carrier bag. This one is red, with white trim and a black shoulder strap, making it look more festive. The Grogu inside is not a full, removable figure, but rather just an articulated head set down into a molded socket. That would have worked better when the bag was molded from the same brown as his usual little robe; as it is, the red looks too toyish and uniform to read as something he's wearing.

This set is the second time this line has given us a named character instead of a type of character (although there's probably an entire race of Babu Friks ["Anzellans" --ed.], while there's only one Baby Yoda... that we know of), even if he's not much of a character in this case. Still, this is a Grogu most people haven't had a shot at yet, so if this Walmart exclusive makes him more available, all the better!

-- 12/17/22

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