I feel sorry for Christmas this year, because it’s competing with Rogue One and I know which I’m looking forward to more than the other! In fact, going to see that will be the only thing that gets me anywhere near a shopping mall this December. While Hasbro hasn’t exactly flooded the shelves with new merchandise, we have had a couple of 3 3/4-inch and 6-inch waves of figures. One of the more sought after figures in the 6-inch Black Series so far has been this Toys R Us Exclusive Imperial Hovercraft Pilot. It was in short supply on Force Friday, but now it seems to be hitting with a lot more regularity. Hey, if I can get a TRU Exclusive, you know it ain’t that hard to get!
The figure comes in the typical Black Series window box with no specific branding to the Rogue One film. There’s only a couple things worth pointing out on the package. One is the TRU Exclusive sticker on the lower part of the window. The other is the fact that the figure isn’t numbered on the side panel. So far, Hasbro has been skipping the exclusives when it comes to the numbered series. I really enjoy the way this packaging has evolved with the snappy red background and the larger piece of character art. I don’t generally tend to keep my Black Series packaging, but I will probably make an exception here, just because he’s an exclusive.
Out of the package, this is one damn cool looking figure. The blurb on the box points out that he has lighter armor than your average Stormtrooper because he drives an armored Repulsor Tank. While technically his armor is lighter, what’s really only missing is the area from his knees to his waist. Maybe that makes it more comfortable for him to sit. I can understand the armor on his top half, if he spends time popping out of the hatch, and I suppose the lower leg armor is akin to just fortified boots. Still, if I’m going into battle, I’d rather my crotch not be the only thing that’s not armored. It’s probably best not to over think these things. Especially with this guy, because I really love this design.
The armor on his arms, mid-section, and belt are very evocative of your more traditional Imperial troop armor. The chest and back plates are different, with a more deliberate look to the sculpt on the front and a vented integral backpack on the back. I like the sculpted straps that connect his chest piece and back plate. All of the armor plates on this guy are colored off-white with an effective paint wash that makes him look nice and grungy. The exposed under garment between the armor is pretty typical of regular Stomtroopers, but his exposed trousers are brown. He retains that familiar “bed-roll” tube on the back of his belt.
I really dig the helmet design on this guy. While the Death Trooper helmet looks a little kit-bashy to me, this one stands out as pretty unique and distinctive. The only thing I really find familiar is the slit visor, which reminds me a little bit of the First Order Snowtroopers and Flametroopers. The pronounced plate above his visor looks like it might be designed to articulate downward and shield his face on the costume, but it is sculpted in place on this figure.
The points of articulation here are very similar to what we got with most of the 6-inch Black Series troopers, although with a little less armor, some of those points feel like they have a greater range of motion. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, with swivels in the thighs and double hinges in the knees. The ankles are hinged and have lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist and a ball joint just under the chest. His neck has both a ball joint and a hinge. The joints on this guy feel great and he’s a lot of fun to play around with.
The Hovertank driver comes with a pretty typical E-11 Blaster. It’s a little soft, but still a nice sculpt. He doesn’t have a holster or clip for it, but I guess he probably just stows it in the driver’s compartment of the vehicle when he’s not using it to shoot rebel scum.
While I was able to get this guy at regular retail price, I have to say that I would have been perfectly fine with having to pay more if I had to. He really is that good. In fact, If there’s any downside to this figure for me, it’s that he’s a driver for a vehicle we will most certainly never get. He’s such a cool design and so wonderfully executed, I’d love to have him as some kind of specialist infantry so he can hang out with the rest of my Imperial troops and see more action on foot. With that having been said, this figure represents one of my favorite new Imperial designs to come out of Rogue One so far, and likewise, he’s definitely my favorite Rogue One figure in the 6-inch Black Series.