Thursday, August 4, 2011

For Sure, There Are More Articulated Sculpts, But The Power Of The Force Sandtrooper Still Stands Tall!

The Good: Generally decent sculpt, Great accessories, Decent balance
The Bad: More articulated resculpts, Low collectibility.
The Basics: The Power Of The Force Sandtrooper may have been recast several times, but this original figure still looks good and fits into the Imperial army for play or display enthusiasts.

As a fan of the Star Wars universe, there are some figures that one can never have too many of, at least when looking to create a realistically hopeless (for the Rebellion) play environment. Chief among them for the older figures has to be the Power Of The Force Sandtrooper figure. This desert-bound Stormtrooper looks better than most of the Stormtroopers made before or since, despite having less articulation than most.

The Sandtroopers were standard Stormtroopers seen in A New Hope (reviewed here!) on Tatooine. These Stormtroopers were distinguished by additional shoulder armor and the fact that they actually had lines! It is a Sandtrooper that Obi-Wan Kenobi manipulates outside Mos Eisley using the Force.

The 4" Sandtrooper figure is rather cool, but it has been improved upon by the subsequent Hasbro Sandtrooper in the Saga line, but only in the articulation department. The reason this figure scores so high even now is that despite being limited in terms of articulation, the sculpt and coloring remain excellent and the accessories work for it.


The Sandtrooper is a Stormtrooper assigned to the desert and, as a result of the heat perhaps, seems to require an additional shoulder armor plate in order to defend himself or remember what unit he is deployed with. The figure stands 3 7/8" tall to the top of his helmeted head. The Sandtrooper is dressed in a generic white Stormtrooper armor with an additional black and orange plate over his right shoulder. The figure is made entirely of hard plastic.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like the Sandtrooper. Kenner was able to cheat this one just fine; it is a standard Stormtrooper mold with a different right arm (it has to be able to hold the far point on the Heavy Blaster Rifle, so the hand is turned down and the elbow is extended). The only other, apparent, change to the mold is that the shoulder plate was inserted between the head and body pieces in post production. The only way to detach the shoulder plate would be to remove the figure's head.

But what sets the Sandtrooper apart from the problematic Power Of The Force Stormtroopers is the coloring. The Sandtrooper is molded in a dirty gray plastic that has flecks of color in it. As a result, this Sandtrooper looks weathered, like being on a desert planet has made it appropriately dirty. This also has had the practical effect of preventing the horrible discoloration that the Stormtroopers from this era were known to have. These have not yellowed, which makes them still a commodity today!


The Sandtrooper, generic soldier of the Empire, comes with only two accessories: a backpack and a Heavy Blaster Rifle. The heavy blaster rifle was made especially for this figure. The 3 1/4" black firearm has a giant barrel and strap that allows it to be slung over the figure's shoulder, which is good because it increases the figure's playability. This gun was designed to be held with the handle in the left hand and the right hand on a supporting spoke that comes out of the cannon-like barrel. That spoke may also allow the heavy blaster rifle to be supported when the gun is slung over the figure's shoulder, making it more stable lodged between the shoulder and the backpack. The Heavy Blaster Rifle is molded entirely in black plastic without any additional coloring detailing to increase the realism of the accessory.

The backpack is the standard, bulky looking backpack used by the Sandtroopers. It is a 1 5/8" tall by 1 1/8" wide by 1/2" thick black box with tubes and cylinders embedded into it. Unlike the figure's firearm, this is enhanced with painted detailing; white and gray accents on rounded parts that add to the realism of the accessory and make it more closely match the figure, despite the fact that this accessory is more clean in appearance.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Sandtrooper is very good in that regard. The figure is poorly articulated, but has excellent balance. Flatfooted, the Sandtrooper is able to stand erect and has a wide stance which gives him a more solid center of gravity. He remains balanced both with the Heavy Blaster Rifle slung over his shoulder or in a two-handed grip.

The Sandtrooper lacks significant articulation to make him interesting. The Sandtrooper is barely poseable and it basically designed for one look with the gun in a two-handed grip. The advantage is, it looks real cool in that stance! The Sandtrooper comes with only six points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints. He has joints at the groin socket, shoulders, neck, and waist. The elbows do not extend, so all arm posing is straight-armed. The head's articulation is inhibited by the shoulder armor.

The Sandtrooper is ideal for use on playsets where one might be able to plug him into the pegs on said playsets. The Sandtrooper has holes in both of his feet to allow him to be plugged into stabilizing holes.


The Sandtrooper is part of the Power Of The Force four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was incredibly common. The Sandtrooper was overproduced, appearing on at least two different cards as an identical sculpt. This is the original, red-carded Power Of The Force figure without the Freeze Frame or hologram sticker. Released as part of the initial 1996 line-up, the Sandtrooper is a poor investment and it may often be found inexpensively and might well be better for fans looking to play than make money eventually off it.


The Sandtrooper is an essential Imperial warrior and this is one of the best incarnations of the figure. Great for fans looking for play or display purposes.

For other Star Wars: A New Hope figures in the "Power Of The Force" line, please check out my reviews of:
Momaw Nadon
Ponda Baba
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 check out my index page on the subject by clicking here!

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

| | |

No comments:

Post a Comment