Tuesday, July 26, 2011

So Far, So Good, The Power Of The Force Stormtrooper Is Arguably The Best!

The Good: Great flexibility/posability, Wonderful sculpt, Cool accessories
The Bad: Minutiae with the posing.
The Basics: The perfect Stormtrooper? It certainly appears that the Power Of The Force Stormtrooper is THE Stormtrooper figure to bother with for all collectors!

Stormtroopers are the lifeblood the Galactic Empire. They appear throughout the Star Wars Trilogy as militant warriors who shoot at anything that moves, yet strangely manage to hit very little. Still, they appear to be the only army the Empire has, so those who play with or collect Star Wars toys will find they need to raise an army of these indiscriminate white-armored troopers. The thing is, when it comes to the Star Wars toys, Stormtroopers suffer massively. With the 1999 "Power Of The Force" line of figures which began to recreate the heroes and villains from the original Trilogy (in advance of the prequels), Hasbro seems to have made the perfect Stormtrooper figure, though only time will tell. After all, at this point, there is no hint that the Power Of The Force Stormtrooper suffers from the discoloring problem I described in the Death Star Escape three-pack of stormtroopers. Oddly, the packaging (clear plastic bubble) on mine has discolored, but the figure itself remains white. That makes this - in my experiences - the best Stormtrooper action figure on the market!

For those unfamiliar with Stormtrooper, the Stormtroopers appear early in A New Hope (reviewed here!), boarding the rebel blockade runner, which is where they capture Princess Leia. This Stormtrooper is intended to be one of the many Stormtroopers seen on the Death Star, as its accessory is a Blaster Rifle Rack and the Death Star was the only place Stormtroopers were seen arming up.

The 4" Stormtrooper figure is rather cool and the blaster rifle and rack that it comes with makes for a nice touch for something different from the same old Stormtrooper. But what truly sells this - more than the "battle damage" is the fact that this Stormtrooper does not appear to be discoloring as time goes on!


The Stormtroopers are the warriors of the Empire, who are clad in white plastic armor and appear on Tatooine and the Death Star in A New Hope and elsewhere in the other episodes of the Star Wars Trilogy (like Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back and Endor in The Return Of The Jedi). This sculpt of the Stormtrooper stands 3 7/8" tall to the top of his helmeted head. The Stormtrooper is dressed in white and black armor. The outfit is cast in a solid white plastic without any shading for wear or dirt, though the Stormtrooper has a minor discoloration - glossy spot - on the right pectoral where the special function for this figure is activated. The figure is made of hard plastic for the body, head and appendages, but soft plastic for the belt and the blaster pouch that is hanging from the belt. This is a very stable Stormtrooper.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like the Empire's generic warriors. The Stormtrooper is fairly bland in his coloring detail, but there are enough important details to make it worthwhile. On the helmet, there are details like the "gills" that are prominent on the sides and the tiny gray squares on the black band at the top of the Stormtrooper's head.


The Stormtrooper, despite being part of a well-funded Imperial military, comes with only the essential accessories. This figure comes with a blaster rifle, the blaster rifle rack, and a Commtech chip. This is the Stormtrooper who is stationed near the armory, apparently, and the blaster rifle rack makes for a neat concept. This 2 1/4" tall black plastic accessory is a stand that is well-balanced enough to be self standing. At the top are places for up to three blaster rifles and arguably the only complaint one might have with this figure is that it only comes with one blaster rifle.

The Stormtrooper blaster rifle is a new sculpt of the blaster rifle. Made of softer plastic, it is less bulky than earlier Stormtrooper blaster rifles and as a result, looks more like the blaster rifles seen in the Trilogy. This 2 1/4" rifle fits in either hand and looks like exactly what it is, a rifle. It has such details as a trigger guard and a support near the tip. This is a monolithically molded black plastic blaster rifle that has just enough surface molding details to make it look good.

In addition, this figure comes with the standard CommTech chip for this series of figure. Starting with the "Episode I" figure line, Hasbro toyed with action figures that spoke to those who took them out of the package. Thus, each figure came with a chip that featured an image of the character and a voice chip. When placed on the CommTech reader and read, the CommTech player would play dialogue from both the Stormtrooper on it. This chip has phrases like "She'll be all right. Inform Lord Vader we have a prisoner," "It's them . . . Blast them!," "There's one, set for stun," and "The Death Star plans are not in the main computer." The chip utilizes the actual dialogue from the movie, so it sounds perfectly like the Stormtroopers who actually had dialogue.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Stormtrooper is excellent in that regard. The Stormtrooper figure is incredibly articulated and its balance is wonderful. This Stormtrooper, for example, has the ability to bend at the knees and has increased shoulder articulation! As a result, this Stormtrooper can be posed in running positions and is still untippable! That makes is a wonderful sculpt for play and display!

The Stormtrooper comes with a wild ten points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints, save the knees and shoulders which have hinge joints. The Stormtrooper has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, neck and waist. The elbows do not extend, but they do pivot so with the enhanced shoulder joints which both rotate and hinge up and down (in a flapping motion, one supposes), the posing options are dramatically increased! The arms move up and down and the knees can bend. As well, this Stormtrooper is graced with a ball-and-socket joint at the neck, which allows it to turn its head as well as nod up and down!

This Stormtrooper also comes with a gimmicky function, which is battle damage. When one puts cold water on the Stormtrooper's right pectoral, a black spot appears, as if the Stormtrooper has been shot! This is a cute touch and it - arguably - does open up more play options, which is always nice.


The Stormtrooper is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. This later series, with the Commtech chips, though was hardly overproduced, and this Stormtrooper was one of the harder ones in the first new wave of "retro" figures to be harder to find. As well, because of the overall popularity of Stormtroopers for those who play with Star Wars figures, these were gobbled up pretty quickly and remain generally harder to find. Still, the Stormtrooper is a poor investment and it may often be found inexpensively enough. Moreover, because there have been other Stormtroopers before and since it is not the most collectible action figure Hasbro ever produced.


The Stormtrooper from the Power Of The Force line might not be the best investment, but time might tell on that front, even. After all, after almost a decade, this is the only Stormtrooper figure I have reviewed that has not yet discolored to an unsightly yellow. That alone might make it more valuable in the long term than many of the others! With its wonderful balance and great poseability options, I'm declaring this the essential Stormtrooper action figure!

For other Star Wars: A New Hope figures in the "Power Of The Force" line, please check out my reviews of:
Death Star Gunner
Cantina Aliens 3-pack
Death Star Escape 3-pack
Luke Skywalker In Stormtrooper Disguise


For other toy reviews, please be sure to visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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