And here’s the first post by my good friend BanzaiBob. Here’s a brief bio:
BanzaiBoB is a military geek, crazed figure collector, model builder, obsessed zombie nut and fanatical watcher of terrible monster movies. He has been collecting action figures and statues for about ten years now, and shows no signs of stopping.
And now, on with the review!
Despite being a huge Star Wars fan, I’ve never actually bought any of the action figures. The small 3 3/4 ” figures just never grabbed me to that extent; too small for my tastes and the huge numbers across multiple series always seemed too daunting to start on. However, with Hasbro’s release of their 6″ Black series in 2013, I was really stoked to start adding them to my collection. The sandtrooper is the first figure from this range that I’ve purchased.
Each figure is packed in a sturdy black box with a strip of orange down the one side, similar to the lighting strips seen in corridors in various Imperial installations. The box is completely collector friendly, with a re-sealable lid and a plastic insert that holds the figure and the various accessories securely in place. The large window on the front allows you to easily check out the figure before purchasing.
The sandtrooper has a solid sculpt, exactly capturing the look of the troops as seen in “A New Hope”. This particular figure is a squad leader as denoted by the orange pauldron on the right shoulder. An added bonus is that if you’re into army building, you can repaint it black for enlisted men, or white for a sergeant.
One thing I’m not too crazy about is the rubbery material the figure is made from. It’s a little on the soft side and has resulted in a slight warp on the figure’s arms. On the other hand, this allows enough give in the hands to hold the supplied weapons without breaking off the fingers.
Three weapons and a backpack are included. The weapons are the standard issue BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifle (base on the Sterling sub machine-gun), a BlasTech DLT-19 Heavy Blaster Rifle (German WW2 MG-34), and a T-21 Light Repeating Blaster (inspired by the WW1 Lewis gun). Each gun is well sculpted, but the E-11 is a little soft for my taste. The E-11 and T-21 are both made from the same rubbery material as the figure instead of the harder plastic of the DLT-19. I assume the DLT was made from a more solid material as its thinner shape probably wouldn’t stand up too well in the softer material without serious bending. It’s just a pity they didn’t do the same for the other guns as they suffer slight warping much like the arms.
The SD-48 Survival Pack is a large piece which plugs into the figures back. It ostensibly contains a portable air conditioning unit, water vaporator, rations and supplies. An additional ammunition pouch is also attached to it which drapes over the trooper’s left shoulder. It does make the trooper a tad unwieldy, but if you pose the figure to compensate, you shouldn’t have any major problems with it toppling over. Even with this minor flaw, I was able to get some decent poses without him falling on his face.
The overall figure is cast in white, which makes sense, but the added paint apps are a bit hit and miss. The helmet lenses and details are neatly painted in. However, a lot of the black of the undersuit – especially around the elbows, knee joints and the fingers – lacks complete coverage.
The grime on the armour is well done and suitably matches what’s on screen, although the helmet has received a bit more than the body. Also the ankles are clean white, so they stand out somewhat. Again, a slight touch up and to the undersuit here will greatly improve things.
Articulation is one of the areas where this figure really shines. The helmet is on a ball joint and provides a great range of movement that really adds to the character of the piece. The arms move at the shoulders, biceps, elbows and wrists. The elbows are simple hinges instead of balls, but the cut biceps allow the figure to manage most poses, including holding his weapons two-handed. Legs include swivel/cut hips, double-jointed knees and hinged ankles.
If there was one figure I was definitely going to get from Series 1, this was it. The look of the figure is near perfect, and the articulation along with the accessories allow for a fair bit of variation in poseability, even with the top-heavy pack. The paint is a minor let down but from what I’ve heard this seems to be a specific issue with the figure I bought. Thankfully it’s nothing I can’t fix. I do like Hasbro’s 6″ sandtrooper so I’ll definitely be grabbing one or two more (if I can find/afford them) so that I can build up a small squad.