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SWIV: A New Hope
by yo go re

Just in case Star Wars was not yet kid-friendly enough, Hasbro has come up with Force Battlers, a line of action-featuriffic figures that fall about halfway between Spider-Man & Friends and the regular figures on the cutsey scale. The line started with some of Episode III's big guns - General Grievous, Obi-Wan, a few others - and is now moving on to the other films, as evidenced by this Stormtrooper.

Stormtrooper Stormtroopers are the army of the grand Empire. These highly skilled soldiers are sent into battle against anyone who tries to stop the Emperor and his plans to bring peace to the galaxy. Stormtroopers are completely loyal to the Emperor. They all look alike and wear white armor that hides their faces. Even though they are tough and dangerous soldiers, the disruptive Rebels continue to foolheartedly face them in battle.

The Force Battler Stormtrooper is about 7" tall, which makes him DC Direct-sized. Articulation is minimal, but since the only other Star Wars figures we've seen in this scale are from the statuesqe Unleashed line, it still puts us ahead of the game. He moves at the neck, shoulders, wrists, waist and left hip. Why just the left? Action feature.

anybody else feel a breeze? The Stormtroopers' armor is already stylized, so even in a cartoony line like this, it still looks normal. A few of the details are wrong, like the fact that he's got no gloves on or that his boots should be white, but those can be overlooked. The most glaring error is the fact that this guy's armor doesn't even wrap all the way around his back. It's almost like he's just a guy in a dis... guise... hey, waaaaaait a minute!

The one downside to completely generic uniforms like this is that, from a security standpoint, they're a nightmare: it could be anybody inside that gear. In this case, the person inside is definitely not a fully licensed and accredited Stormtrooper, but some money-hungry space pirate. Intruder alert! Intruder alert!

Han Solo Han Solo disguises himself as a Stormtrooper to get inside the Empire's base. He fires his blaster to stop the enemy, so he can continue his mission to defeat the Empire!

Under the helmet and behind the five pieces of removable armor (chestplate, thighs and shins) lurks a wanted man - possibly the pilot of a ship that blasted its way out of port on some backwater dirtball planet. Whoever he is, he's wearing a white shirt, black vest and black pants with a stripe running down the side.

some guy who's not scruffy-looking It's without the armor that the line's cartoony elements become apparent. Han's face looks nothing at all like Harrison Ford, and the only thing sharper and more angled than his bone structure is his hair. Details on the clothes are light, which actually serves to make them look more realistic than what you'd see on a McFarlane toy or a Marvel Legend. Look at what you're wearing now: are you covered with dozens of tiny, detailed wrinkles while you're just sitting peacefully, or just a few big ones?

Han shot first Squeeze the figure's legs together or turn him at the waist, and he raises his right arm to aim his blaster. The black gun is the same design as the one from the films, but larger and more simplistic. It launches the included red missile, and does so with surprising force - not enough to put an eye out, but it will travel a good distance. The gun, sadly, won't fit in the holster on Han's hip.

The Force Battlers cost about $10, which is pretty pricey for something that's barely even poseable. In general, if you want to drop money on a cartoony, large-scale version of a character from a smaller line, you'd be better off looking into Sigma 6. However, when it comes to this line, Han Solo is a decent purchase: with the armor, you're really getting two figures for the price of one.


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