Released October 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on November 5, 2004
It took over 25 years, but the Hasbro/Kenner line has finally made the perfect soldier with the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection Stormtrooper. The articulation is on par with the 2003 Clone Wars Clone Trooper that everybody loved so much, and this figure alone justifies the fact that Hasbro made a line of overpriced over packaged figures. Yes friends, it's just that good.
This figure is packaged with a small-size black Imperial rifle, and this is the same mold that was introduced during Power of the Jedi in early 2001.
He's not buff. He has a huge range of motion. The only real problem we can say we have with this figure is the fact that he's going to be hard to get and odds are it'll be a while before Hasbro wises up and sells it in packs of four on the web.
Wow. It's a Stormtrooper that can stand at attention-- the last time Hasbro/Kenner sculpted a Stormtrooper that could do that was in 1978.
And look at that helmet! Early images looked a little bit wonky, but in person this is easily the best ever figure. It's one of those things that exists to make you look at the POTF2 CommTech Stormtrooper and go "to think, I wasted time and money on you!" This is a great sculpt, the colors are right on the mark, and yes friends, it's a ball joint. Three cheers for Hasbro!
When you remove the evolutionary misstep of the 1995 Stormtrooper, you can see that these developed pretty nicely. The now-primitive vintage figure has been eclipsed by the infinitely superior Vintage figure-- not the big V there-- thus becoming the definitive release of the shock trooper. The new figure is also extremely well jointed, with joints at the shoulders, elbows, wrists, knees, ankles, hips, waist, neck, and a second joint on the torso. While the aforementioned super-posable Clone was a bit bulky in places, the Stormtrooper has no such problems. The armor is sculpted extremely well for the scale and really shines when compared to some of the finer examples of plastic toy Stormtroopers, it even looks good next to the likes of the Marmit trooper. Not as good, but still plenty good.
This figure can go where no Stormtrooper has gone before-- and that's into poses that actually don't look incredibly awkward. It's hard to get him moved just so in some cases, but the fact is he can do a better job than any other North American toy figure at this scale. Short of using Takara's super-posable Microman body, there's really no way this could have been done any better and as such, big thumbs-up to Hasbro on a job well done. It looks right, it's posable, what more could you ask for?
Why, a working holster, of course! This is the one shortcoming-- it looks great, but it's hard to get the gun in there without making it feel like you're ruining the holster. It's a minor issue, but it is an issue worth raising. Also notable-- horrid foot holes. Like many other Vintage figures, Hasbro inexplicably made them too shallow to be used on any licensed or known unlicensed stand-- since Hasbro hasn't introduced new stands of their own to use with these figures, I just have to ask why they bothered to include the holes in the first place.
This set includes a gun.
It's a gun. No more, no less-- it's exactly what this figure needed to be, as the kids (or Hammer circa 1990) might say, "proper."
For their own reasons, Hasbro went back to the Kenner days and recreated one of the Return of the Jedi card fronts-- the same photo was originally used in the old days for ANH and ESB, but Hasbro opted to release the modern figure only with the Jedi logo. Go figure, it'd be a great variation to produce... of course, it's not like Hasbro needs help selling Stormtroopers.
The front of the cardback is, basically, just the same as the 1983 cardback. I don't much feel like combing over the part numbers and such to check for differences, but it's certainly close enough to be acceptable. This was the only photo used for the USA cardbacks, so it's really the best image for the job.
The back of the card is somewhat lame, using similar graphics to those used on other OTC products. It would be nice to have a vintage-esque lineup of the new VOTC figures instead of just the four from that movie. It's OK, but nothing too special.
The clamshell is nice, and it's taped shut to protect the goo inside. There's an embossed Star Wars logo on the back, and you could probably cram any old vintage figure in here if you open your VOTC figures and happen to have other real vintage figures in need of star case type storage. The case is too shallow for anything but vintage figures, or perhaps thinner, early POTF2 and POTJ figures.
I especially like the embossed Imperial and Rebel logos on the top of the clamshell. All in all, it's good packaging, but the regular OTC style impressed me a little bit more.
He's new, he's hot, and he comes and goes quickly. I've seen them in stores a few times... and those who go to the same store after me usually don't see them. It isn't known how long these will ship for or if Hasbro will realize there's a big demand and crank out more of them, so if you see it, who knows if you'll see it again?
Best Stormtrooper ever. Without question, this is the figure fans have been clamoring for, and it's unfortunately ten bucks and really hard to come by as of this review. There really isn't a better one, nor do we expect one to be made, so scrape up two Lincolns, ten Washingtons, or a Hamilton and grab one if you get the chance-- you won't be sorry. Even if you have dozens of troopers out on display, one new mold can give it some nice variety. Buy it if you see it, it's one of the highlights of 2004-- even with the price.
Here's hoping Hasbro reuses this mold in the future for new versions of Luke and/or Han Solo as Stormtroopers.
Our sample was obtained from Toys "R" Us in October 2004.