Friday, May 18, 2012

Outside The Clean Look, The Star Wars Vintage Collection Sandtrooper Figure Is Worth Picking Up!

The Good: Good coloring detail, Good accessories, Wonderful articulation, Excellent balance!
The Bad: Lacks sand detailing.
The Basics: The Vintage Collection Sandtrooper action figure is worth picking up for anyone building a diverse, impressive Empire!

Recently, my wife asked me what I intend to do with all my Star Wars toys, largely because for the last year I have been mostly just packing them away in anticipation of our move. Nevertheless, I keep finding figures that I simply do not try to resist picking up when I find them dirt cheap. Recently, Five Below (a discount overstock store that sells each item in the store for five dollars or less) got in a whole wave of Star Wars Vintage Collection figures. There appear to be a few wild card figures in the assortment, which is otherwise the Attack Of The Clones wave of Vintage Collection figures. At some stores, I have found General Grievous in the mix, at one of the last ones I checked out, they had the Sandtrooper figure! So, naturally, I picked it up.

If you are unfamiliar with Sandtrooper, where the hell have you been?! The Sandtroopers are the standard Stormtroopers with mild modifications for desert conditions seen on Tatooine in A New Hope (reviewed here!). Loaded with backpacks, shoulder guards and heavier guns, the Sandtroopers scour Tatooine searching for the droids that escaped the Tantive IV!

The 4" Vintage Collection Sandtrooper is the latest rendition of the generic Imperial trooper.


The Vintage Collection Sandtrooper figure stands 3 3/4" tall to the top of his head and this is a barely-modified sculpt of a Stormtrooper. However, Hasbro did an excellent job on the Sandtrooper in that the white plastic that defines the Sandtrooper’s armor has not yellowed at all, which was a severe problem that plagued Clone Troopers released at the same time as this figure.

On the sculpting front, the Sandtrooper made entirely of hard plastic and is the armored shock trooper of the Empire made inscrutable in its heavy white armor. The detailing on this iteration of the Sandtrooper is pretty incredible, though. The left knee has a molded on knee guard and the thin fingers are molded to perfectly hold the blaster rifle this character comes with. The shoulder guard perfectly fits the figure and on the back, there is a slit for the backpack to fit into.

As for the coloring detail, the Sandtrooper is so basic that it was impossible to screw up. The white of the armor is pristine and clean and the blacks at the joints contrast that in a lovely way. The only other coloring details are highlights; little vents on the helmet and a gray for the shoulder pad and this Sandtrooper looks fine.

The only real detraction for this figure is in its coloring. This Sandtrooper is way too clean to have been deployed to Tatooine for more than thirty seconds. Without any dust markings or wear marks, this Sandtrooper is more appropriately colored for a position on an Imperial ship, as opposed to a desert world!


The Sandtrooper is a powerful military presence for the Empire and as such, he requires three accessories: his backpack, his blaster rifle and his blaster cannon. The backpack is a 1 1/4" tall by 1” wide pack that plugs right into the back of the figure. Featuring cylinders representing beverage canisters and armaments, the detailing on the backpack match the quality of the rest of the figure and the coloring highlights – it is black with a little white and gray – are appropriate to a “clean” version of this trooper as well.

The blaster rifle the Sandtrooper comes with is arguably the most detailed one that Hasbro has yet produced. Molded with exceptional details for the scopes, battery and trigger area, this 2 1/2" long weapon is cast in solid black plastic and looks badass in the Sandtrooper’s left hand (the left trigger finger is molded to perfectly fit into the trigger guard. You can fake a two handed grip with the Sandtrooper, though the right hand is not molded to quite cradle the barrel.

The blaster cannon is instantly reminiscent of the cannon that came with one of the Legacy Collection concept Troopers. Just under 3” long, the 1/4" in diameter cylinder is cast in gunmetal colored plastic and features a strap molded to look like heavy nylon and colored tan to fit the desert theme of the Sandtroopers. This weapon fits in either hand, but looks most natural slung over the Sandtrooper’s shoulder or held in a two-handed grip.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Sandtrooper is exceptional in that regard, regardless of how he may not be able to hold his guns in a real two-handed grip. The Sandtrooper figure has great balance, not tipping over even when posed in some fairly outlandish positions. The figure does have holes in the bottom of his feet to allow him to stand tall on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or attach to pegs on vehicles.

This Sandtrooper also has amazing articulation. He has hinged ball and socket joints at the ankles, knees, groin socket (making it possible to mount this figure on the new Dewback toy!) elbows and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows for some range of motion for the head and torso. The wrists are the only point on the figure that have simple swivel joints! This is easily one of the best Imperial Stormtrooper figures ever made!


The Sandtrooper figure is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2010 and despite the deal I was able to get, he has already been appreciating in value, probably because he is the ideal accessory to the Dewback exclusive vehicle toy. The Sandtrooper is Vintage Collection figure VC14 and is a fairly good investment figure, largely because fans are likely to want to stock up on this figure.


The Sandtrooper is an impressive rendition of the Imperial Stormtroopers as they appeared on Tatooine, despite not being colored to look like that is where they were serving!

For other Vintage Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
VCP03 Boba Fett
VC01 Dengar
VC05 AT-AT Commander
VC10 4-LOM
VC11 (Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot
VC17 General Grievous
VC22 Admiral Ackbar
VC30 Zam Wesell
VC33 Padme Amidala (Peasant Disguise)
VC37 Super Battle Droid
VC41 Commander Gree
VC46 AT-RT Driver
VC48 Weequay Skiff Master
VC49 Fi-Ek Sirch
VC53 Bom Vimdin
VC61 Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) Mail-In
VC65 TIE Fighter Pilot
VC82 Daultay Dofine
VC85 Quinlan Vos
VC86 Darth Maul
VC87 Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction)
VC88 Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit)
VC89 Lando Calrissian (Sandstorm Outfit)
VC90 Colonel Cracken (Millennium Falcon Crew)
VC91 Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari)


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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