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SWIV: A New Hope
by yo go re

Back in 2004, Hasbro released the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection, a series of high-end figures in retro-styled packaging. The figures were highly articulated, and wonderfully sculpted, but also realy pricey Stormtrooper - $10-$12, depending on where you shopped. Paying that much for nothing more than some unusual packaging is a joke, especially since they've begun re-releasing those figures in normal series.

The Empire's elite shock troops, stormtroopers are unswervingly loyal to the Empire and serve without fear or hesitation. Their indoctrination and training are key to upholding the Emperor's bidding and maintaining his control of the galaxy.

When it comes to iconic looks, there aren't many generic cannon-fodder characters that can compete with Stormtroopers. That spooky white space armor is a part of pop culture, now, recognizable at a glance even to people who aren't complete geeks. They were the first enemies seen onscreen in Star Wars, and were also among the last. They were a vast and faceless army, and we loved them for it. But we were never really satisfied with their action figures, no matter how big our army got.

crotch shot The Stormtrooper's sculpt is above reproach. You'd think there'd only be so much you could do with a Stormtrooper, but every time a new version comes out, Hasbro seems to have squeezed a bit more detail out of it. This time, they've made the belt look like it's made from a different material than the rest of the suit, and captured all the details on the abdomen. The Stormtrooper has balljointed ankles, knees, elbows, shoulders, torso and neck, plus swivel hips and wrists. That's plenty to get your Stormtrooper in all sorts of poses.

Considering that the VOTC figures were supposed to be Boba cut himself shaving the "ultimate" representations of the characters, it's odd that this cheaper re-release is actually a better figure. That really has to piss off everybody who paid nearly twice as much for their clamshelled version. What's the difference between this figure and the older one? This one has a removable helmet, while the other's was solid. Slip the helmet off and you'll see the heavily scarred face of a Jango clone. Isn't the helmet supposed to protect him? It's nice that they thought to give him a protective headsock under there, though.

The Stormtrooper just has one accessory, his standard-issue blaster. It can be held in either hand (or both), good from some angles, bad from others. and the pouch on his left hip is designed to hold it, but that doesn't really work very well. The holster hangs straight down, and doesn't really flex when you put the gun in. Plus, the blaster itself is soft pvc, so it tends to bend if you leave it in there for any length of time. There's a tab on one side that fits through the back of the holster, which is nice, but there's a second tab on the same side that isn't accommodated. Basically, the gun ends up poking through the holster at a permanent angle.

Long ago, when reviewing the Super Poseable Clone Trooper, we said that Hasbro could include one SP Trooper in every case from now until they lost the license, and the things would continue to sell out. Well, they haven't quite gotten to that level of saturation, yet, but they have finally delivered a super-poseable Stormtrooper to make all the Original Trilogy fans happy. Even with one small flaw - the holster - this is easily the best Stormtrooper ever released, and deserves a spot in your collection.


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