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Reader Review: 30th Anniversary Stormtrooper by Whitewolf
Bespin refugee - June 21, 2007

Efficient...pledging unswerving alligiance to the Emperor...encased in terrifying white shock armor...and generally can't hit the broad side of a barn with their blaster rifles. Stormtroopers are one of the most recognized of all Star Wars icons, so much so that they have even spawned the world's foremost cosplay club: the 501st. For years, debates raged among Star Wars fans about whether Stormtroopers were armor-clad soldiers or droids. Then, the prequels answered that question for us all by introducing the entirety of the Clone Wars. But once we were shown that they are cloned men instead of machines, a new question arose: are Stormtroopers the same clones as the Old Republic-era Clone Troopers? The answer is revealed below...

This latest incarnation of the Stormie is a kitbashed VOTC version. Nearly everyone who has the VOTC Stormtrooper in their collection will agree that it is the definitive version of this figure. Hasbro has taken an already perfect figure and improved upon the design by giving it a removable helmet. The helmet is a completely different mold from the lackluster Collector Tin Sandtrooper version. It almost looks as though the VOTC helmet/head was used as the basis for this new one. Articulation has not been changed at all. It still has 10 ball-socket joints (neck, shoulders, elbows, torso, knees and ankles), with 2 straight-cut joints in the hips and swivel joints in both wrists. The paint app is standard Stormtrooper black and white...with small silver accents around the rebreather nozzles on the helmet. Very clean and crisp detailing...

The biggest "oooh" factor about this figure is the removable helmet. Underneath the skull-like visage is a rather unique clone face. I was half-expecting yet another recycled Jango or Alpha head staring back at me once I took the helmet off. But what was underneath was a face that surprised me quite a bit. Something that may show that the gene pool isn't as limitless during the days of the Empire as it once was. The face is that of an Alpha-type clone, but with many scars criss-crossing his face. I love how this nondescript one-out-of-a-million Stormtrooper shows so much character underneath the helmet.

Because of this Stormie's facial uniqueness, I don't know if I'd relegate him to "army builder" status...unless ALL of your Stormtroopers are "combat veterans" with accompanying wounds. Of course, I think its against Imperial doctrine for a Stormtrooper to ever remove his helmet, no matter what the reason...so no one would ever know the difference anyways. The clone's head has a black head covering that only shows the face itself, very similar to the Death Star Gunner (see above). A few collectors have complained that this Stormie is too short or that the helmet sits a bit too low on the neck. While watching ANH the other day for the umpteenth time, I noticed that some Stormies did indeed have helmets that sat low like that, while others had more "neck" showing. One of the first things I thought about this figure is how easy it would be to convert a couple of these into Han/Luke Stormie figures. I had tried this with the Collector Tin Sandtroopers, but the heads sat too high up on the necks. Maybe I'll snag a few more from work and see how this may look...

As with any Stormtrooper, this figure doesn't exactly require a forklift for his accessories...

The Stormtrooper includes:

*Removable Helmet
*E-11 Blaster Rifle
*Collector's Coin #20

This Stormie impressed the begeezus out of me. Hasbro definitely proved that really big surprises can sometimes come in the most plain-looking packages. Super-articulated and an awesome army builder to boot! I can't recommend this figure to the collector community enough. This is one of those kick-yourself-if-you-pass-it-up figures that will probably fetch ridiculous prices on the secondary market...so keep your eyes open for it.

I give the Stormtrooper 5 Death Stars.



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