Happy Star Wars Day TK-421!!!
“TK-421, why aren’t you at your post? TK-421, do you copy?”
What was TK-421’s life like before that fateful day? What was it like after? Did they kill him? Did he remain a prisoner on the Falcon and by extension have his life saved? Who knows, but we’re not here today to theorize about the fate of TK-421 (421 to his friends), we’re here to talk toys! Today’s talk is about Hasbro’s Black series Stormtrooper. Let’s go!
All the (six-inch) Black series figures have come in this rather striking, minimalist packaging. The figure is clearly visible as are the included accessories. I personally really like the minimal design, the cool shadow character logo and film scene on the back. A little blurb about the scene is written on the back too. I like to think this packaging was designed like this because they don’t need to go overboard; people know who these characters are. By going that route, they have created something unique and captivating. All right, let’s bust it open.
Stormtroopers have always been one of favorite things from the Star Wars Universe. I adore the asymmetrical armour design, the contrasting colour scheme, and their versatility no matter the environment. I was surprised the Sandtrooper was the first trooper released (a great figure in its own right) but I’m a purist. I love my vanilla trooper. As with the other figures in this series the sculpt is near perfect. Scratch that, it is perfect! This is the best small-scale Stormtrooper ever produced. Over the years I have had many a trooper and this by far is the most accurate. All the little touches make this figure stand out. From the armour pieces, the pouches on the belt, to helmet details, everything is spot on. I can’t say enough about how great the sculpt is, the head especially. The size is perfect! It re-creates the appearance that the helmet is actually OVER a person’s head. A fact many companies forget to take into account when it comes to their figures (*cough*Iron Man figures*cough*). The Stormtrooper comes with two weapons to horribly miss his targets with (couldn’t resist). The E-11 blaster rifle is the same one that came with Han and the Sandtrooper. While the DLT-20A blaster rifle is a debut weapon in the series. Of note, this rifle is used by IG-88… future release perhaps?
The Black series is leaps and bounds ahead of any other Star Wars line in terms of articulation (and most other aspects too). This figure features all the points of articulation one could hope for in a 6” scale figure. Swivel/rocker ankles, ball/socket mid-section, cut bicep, and ball joint shoulders easily allow for some cool possibilities for posing the troopers in battle ready positions. The only point some may consider as missing would be a cut joint at the thigh. This was more than likely omitted to maintain armour sculpt integrity. The over-sized ball joint (due to his large melon) and rocker peg on the neck lets the head look up, down, side-to-side, and tilted without obstruction. The downside being that neither Luke nor Han’s head will fit (without some dremeling) on the joint. More than likely we’ll see a con-exclusive set of Luke and Han in armour to recreate the prison escape from episode IV somewhere down the road.
If there is a fault with this figure, it lies in the paint. While not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, some issues do exist. Overall the paint is great, due to there being so little of it. The armour is all white with black body segments in-between, easy-peasy. The problems arise in the small details. The helmet paint apps are solid. The blue highlights are spot on while the grey segments are clean and have no bleeding into the white. The mouth slits however are a problem. The paint lines don’t match with the sculpt and in a couple of spots continue onto the white of the helmet. The paint at the knee joints is also a bit of a mess. There are white paint applications that go from the armour up onto the black body segments in a sloppy manner and the peg holding the knee together is the wrong colour. The peg is white and stands out like a sore thumb against the black of the body segment. My trooper also has an odd white paint app on his holster. I have no idea why and I haven’t seen this on any other figures while looking online. These minor issues don’t detract from the figure as whole and when the figure is displayed on a shelf, these problems are almost invisible. It was just a bit shocking to see paint issues like this on a figure in the Black series. I also have the R2-D2 figure, another character with a minimal paint scheme, and he is perfect. No bleeding, no lines out-of-place, nothing. I just find it a bit off-putting that a figure that cost a penny short of $30 had issues like this. Maybe mine is an exception, I’d love to hear from anyone else about paint issues with their troopers.
I really hope this didn’t come off sounding like I don’t like this figure, I really do. It’s one of my favourite pieces in my collection right now. It’s all the more special because it is the only Stormtrooper I’ve ever seen in the wild and am so thankful I was in the right place at the right time to get it. I have no idea how people have assembled armies of these guys… oh wait yes I do… the internet!
I highly recommend this figure. If you’re a Star Wars fan, you owe it to yourself to add this to your collection. One word of note, take a second and check the paint on the one you grab, just to be safe.
May the Force be with you, always.