The First Order. They don’t f’ck around. We learned that pretty early on in The Force Awakens when they murdered and torched an entire village of civilians for harboring a couple of The Resistance. It was an effective scene and a side of Star Wars that we seldom saw in the films. Oh, sorry Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. I guess y’all got torched by Stormtroopers too. I wonder if they were Imperial Flametroopers or if those Sandtroopers just brought along a book of matches. What? Oh yeah, let’s look at the figure…
If you don’t count pauldrons, this is the third flavor of First Order Stormtrooper in the Black Series. Maybe the fourth if you include Mr. Badass Riot Trooper. I’ve already looked at the regular version Stormtrooper and the Snowtrooper Officer, and I’m still waiting on my regular Snowtroopers to arrive. Anyway, the box is the same and the figure comes with his gear all spread out so you can get a good look before you open him up. Well, at least I got a good look at him in the store before I got the package home and it became a cat hair magnet.
The base figure includes an entirely new set of armor, which is more featureless than the ones worn by his non-flame-toting brothers. His armor is slightly bulkier too, probably because it’s padded out by his asbestos underwear. I dig the simpler design, in a way it makes him look even more sinister, although I’m not sure if there’s any logic behind it. He has a different style belt with a hip pouch on one side and a grab bar just above his ass. You’ll also note the lack of hip clip for a pistol or other sidearm. When this guy runs out of flame juice, he’s pretty much done.
The back features a couple of pegs so that the backpack can be fitted or removed quickly and securely. This is as good a time as any to point out that my figure has an unusual amount of mold flashing and ugly seams. I’ve never seen anything quite like it on a 6-inch Black figure before. If I bought this loose on Ebay I might be inclined to start leveling some bootleg accusations against the seller. But nope, it’s official Hasbro alright.
As far as the helmet goes, I’m really torn. The design is somewhat similar to the Snowtrooper, but even more minimalist. Unfortunately, when you have a helmet that is this devoid of detail and relies on just a few features to make a statement, it really needs to be sharp and flawless and that’s far from the case here. The silver paintwork isn’t too bad, but the two black lines that make up the visor and the line running above it, is too sloppy to make the helmet work. I imagine that the effectiveness will vary from figure to figure, but I’d guess that perfect ones are few and far between. It’s a shame because I think Hasbro did a fairly decent job on the other trooper helmets. Also, why does he have such a bad case of giraffe neck? I know in some cases it was to allow room for a pauldron, but I don’t think I’ve seen any mention of a Flametrooper Officer.
The articulation holds no surprises. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with swivels in the thighs, double hinges in the knees, and the ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck. It’s overall solid articulation and you can easily get him to hold his weapon across his chest with both hands.
If the helmet feels lacking, the flamethrower backpack certainly makes up for it. It’s a very credible looking piece of kit with two tanks and all the appropriate pipes and tubing. I particularly like the “OII” emblem carrying forward on the little block on the upper right tank. The flexible hose comes off the bottom pipe and plugs right into the grip of the thrower. Remember, Resistance, when you see this guy enter the fray, that tank is what you aim for.
All geared up, this guy looks pretty damn imposing. The sculpting on the thrower is exceptionally good and the white paint apps make it really stand out. It’s obviously made of soft plastic, but it isn’t easily deformed or warped. There’s an obvious grip for his left hand, but it fits him more naturally if he’s cradling it a little further up towards the trigger.
While I was particularly hard on the quality of the helmet paint, I still think this is overall a decent figure. Obviously, he’s all about his specialty weapon and that part of the figure is executed with great success. That having been said, while I’ll still happily buy all the First Order Stormies and Snowies that I come across, I think one Flametrooper will be enough for me. That is unless I can find one with much sharper paint on the helmet. I think this is one that would be drastically improved upon by one of the higher end 6-inch scale lines.