Saturday, August 10, 2013

Star Wars the Black Series 6" Sandtrooper #03 action figure review

Star Wars as I'm sure you're aware is a movie-turned-worldwide phenomenon that has ingrained itself within our culture. Virtually anyone living in an industrialized nation knows what a Lightsaber is or recognizes Darth Vader's glossy helmet. The merchandising, more specificity Star Wars toys has dwarfed the movie's revenue and we have had decades of 3 3/4" and 12" tall plastic figurines of our favorite characters. Well get ready because now we have The Black Series! These are six-inch scale figures that fit along side your Marvel Legends and DC Universe figures. I picked up the Sandtrooper because of the Stormtrooper's iconic look. How does he fare in this scale? One word: Amazingly.

Packaging isn't something I talk about often in my review but here it needs special mention because it is 100% collector friendly. The outer cardboard slips off to reveal the plastic tray in which everything can be removed and put back in to store. The rectangular box is the perfect size, easily stored, and looks great with its matte black sheen and orange graphics. It's a little taller than a Figuarts/Figma box and I would love to see this style of collector friendly continue.

One thing that struck me about the packaging is that there's just a quick bio of the figure on the back and NO ADDITIONAL FIGURE ASSORTMENT PICTURES. This has to be a first! Every other Star Wars package has the back filled with 'ads' for their other figures, vehicles, or roleplay toys. Not this one. Overall it's very classy and does a great job of displaying the figure and its accessories.

Sculpting for the Star Wars Black Series Sandtrooper appears to be spot on perfect. The proportions look correct, the eyes set correctly. The hands, armor, everything looks just as how you remember a Sandtrooper appearing on the screen. Everything from the helmet down to his pointed toes looks authentic and full of detail. There's wrinkles in his black under suit and nicely sculpted pouches on either side of the belt. Tiny vent details on the helmet stand out as well.

Articulation for the Sandtrooper is a perfect super-articulated mix between GI Joe, Marvel Legends, and Star Wars. And I mean perfect. He has a double ball jointed neck, ball shoulders, bicep swivels, double elbows, hinged wrists (up down for right, side to side for left ala GI Joe hands) an amazing ball jointed ab crunch, new ML style ball hips with the upper thigh cut, double knees, and ball/side-step ankles! This means you can put the Sandtrooper into any conceivable position. Sitting with legs crossed, hands on hips, even prone aiming his gun. The range with tilt you can get out of the neck is amazing too.

Paint apps for the Sandtrooper are consistent with zero slop, well unless you count the weathering. All the black, mask details, and other detailing is cleanly applied. He even has glossy black eyes that look like lenses! The weathering however is reversed. Instead of a wash being applied as tho sand has been blown and stuck in the pits of his armor China gave him a wipe of tan as if he's rubbed up against something dirty. This works tho because you still have definition and the sand weathering is two tone, part red clay and part tan.

Ditch the Sandtrooper's shoulder pad accessory and you have a dirty Stormtrooper! But the accessories he comes with are plentiful and perfectly done. A backpack plugs on with a clip for the shoulder covered by some pouches, a nice touch. You get a regular blaster pistol, rifle, and heavy blaster, all of which can be fitted into various gaps of his backpack to store for those long desert patrols. There's various pant apps on the two larger weapons like silver weathering and brass/grey details too. Now this is what I want to see for a figure's accessories!

So what's the verdict here on the first six-inch offering of Star Wars figures? I love the Sandtrooper and can see people army building this guy and his eventual Stormtrooper buddies. You may see a lot of negativity on the web about the Black Series but it's mainly from elitists that wanted to see 3A get the license. We all knew Hasbro would never give up a 6" scale for Star Wars and people will just have to get over it. The Sandtrooper is a solid, well made, and incredibly detailed figure that comes with a ton of accessories in a collector friendly package! Why pay $40+ for a Figma or Figuarts when you can have this guy at half the price? Sandtrooper and the rest of the Black Series can be snagged at our sponsor Big Bad Toy Store or on Amazon with free shipping. The 6" Black Series will also be available at Toys R Us, Walmart, and Target, but have instantly sold out he moment they hit the shelf. Hasbro appears to have another hit on their hands and hopefully this will help bring the 6" scale back onto the pegs.

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