I was already well behind on my Hot Toys reviews before the site went on hiatus, so now I’m buried even deeper. But since the new Stormtrooper arrived this week, I thought I might as well bump him to the head of the line and check him out. A while back I maintained that I wasn’t buying any Original Trilogy Hot Toys, because that rabbit hole runs too deep, and to make that work, I’ll just point out that this guy will go with my Rogue One Hot Toys. Hey, I used that same argument to justify getting Vader and Tarkin, so why not? Today I will be looking at the standard release, although there is also a Deluxe version available.
The packaging for Hot Toys’ Star Wars offerings are really nothing special. They use the same black format with a picture of the figure to do most of the talking. Although here they added a little wrap around for the front lid that offers a splash of color. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t prefer something a little more special with my expensive figures, but that’s OK. These boxes mainly just go into storage anyway. And if there’s one theme of today’s review, it would be simplicity. Under the lid you get a standard plastic tray that holds the figure, stand, extra hands, and a couple of accessories. Apart from removing some protective plastic, the Stormtrooper comes ready for display.
And boy is this figure simple! And that is in no way meant as a slight, because it is indeed almost refreshingly simple. Reviewing Hot Toys figures is often intimidating for me. They are complicated to set up, sometimes difficult to handle, and giving them their proper due is seriously time consuming. Costumes need constant adjusting, little bits and bobs fall off during shoots, and I’m often afraid that I’m going to break things. But none of that is true with my new Stormy! And here’s where I should also point out that even with as many goddamn Stormtrooper figures I’ve owned over the years, I’m still no expert on the particulars of their armor. This looks great to me, but there could be some inaccuracies that I’m not seeing. I also do not own the previous Hot Toys Stormy, so I can’t do any in depth comparisons on the improvements here. So why should you even keep reading? Hell, I dunno. Just let me enjoy my new figure.
As simple as the figure is, it’s still an underlying articulated buck that’s actually wearing the armor, and that obviously sets it apart from most of the other Stormtrooper figures out there. The figure is first dressed in a very soft fabric bodysuit, which can be seen in the joints and between the armor plates. This is a big departure from the leather-like bodysuit that Hot Toys First Order Stormtroopers wear. The result is that the underlying suit doesn’t really hinder the articulation at all, even though the armor plates themselves in some cases do. The armor pieces themselves consist of upper and lower legs, sleeves for the forearms and biceps, shoulder pieces, a codpiece and a butt plate, a wrap-around for the abdomen, a chest and back plate, and of course the helmet. The boots are sculpted plastic and the armor pieces on the backs of the hands are sculpted as part of the hands. And you do indeed get a nice assortment of hands, including a set of weapon hands, fists, relaxed hands, a “stop” hand, and a hand designed to cradle the blaster. The armor pieces have a nice glossy finish to them, and are some very subtle weathering marks here and there.
The belt is plastic on the front and fastens in the back with elastic and velcro, which holds it on surprisingly well. There’s a leather-like holster that hangs off just behind his right hip, and this houses his E-11 Blaster and features a retaining strap that is secured by a magnet. The holster is very easy to work with and I don’t have any concerns about the strap tearing. Besides the blaster, which we’ll check out in a second, the only other actual accessory included is the cylinder that goes on the back of his belt. I think this is referred to as a thermal regulator, and it attaches onto the belt with two metal hooks, which also helps conceal the velcro patch that secures the belt. I’ve found that the belt itself can ride up a bit on the figure when I’m posing him, but otherwise it fits fine and looks great.
The helmet sculpt also looks excellent, but here’s where I will once again defer to experts, who may be able to point out all kinds of things wrong with it. For me, the detail is all there from the blue vents on the sides to the breathers on the front. I especially like the green tint on the goggles. It’s subtle enough, but in the right light it looks brilliant. The neck area under the helmet also has a ribbed rubber gorget over the cloth bodysuit.
The E-11 Blaster is a beautiful little weapon. I can’t even imagine how many times I’ve owned this blaster in the 3 3/4-inch and 6-inch versions, but this feels like the first time I’m actually seeing it for all it can be. The detail is every bit as amazing as I expect from Hot Toys accessories. The sculpted hands that are designed to hold it work quite well, although I find it easier to get the weapon into the hand, wrap the trigger finger, and then attach the hand to the wrist post.
The blaster also has an articulated stock, which folds out from under the barrel. It’s a nice touch, even if I’ve never really cared for the way this thing looks extended. It’s also frightfully fragile, which gives me even less incentive to fold it out. That’s it for the accessories, and yes I’m fine with that, as I wasn’t expecting much going in. There are a few more things that I think Hot Toys could have thrown in, like maybe a rifle and a pauldron, but none of those things were included in the Deluxe version either.
And finally, Stormy comes with a pretty standard figure stand. The base is rectangular and designed to look like the deck plating of an Imperial ship. The name plate simply reads, “Star Wars Stormtrooper,” and the post is the usual crotch-cradle design, which works fine with the figure. And herein lies the big difference between the regular and Deluxe releases. The Deluxe version includes an LED Death Star backdrop panel to put behind the stand. It’s a very nice addition, but at $243, that makes it $55 more than this regular release? Nah, I’m good, thanks!
It’s hard to find a Hot Toys figure for under $180 these days. Hell, even the First Order troopers were each over $200. Granted, there aren’t a lot of extras in this box and there’s no actor likeness to sculpt, but it still feels like a pretty good value. Enough for me to pick up another? Well, probably not, but I wouldn’t rule it out entirely. I’ll also point out that It’s kind of amazing that even after all of these years I can still get excited about a Stormtrooper figure. I’ve had entire of legions of these guys in the 3 3/4-inch scale, many of which have long since turned yellow and useless. I was quite pleased with Hasbro’s 6-inch Black Series version and grabbed up as many as I could find. It seems only fitting to add the Hot Toys version to my collection. The real reason I picked this one up was to put him in the back of a Rogue One display, which I will inevitably assemble once I get Director Krennic. For now, he’s hanging out between Tarkin and Vader, two figures that I desperately need to get around to reviewing.