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The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear)

Welcome to another entry in our The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six column. Hasbro recently committed to collectors that they will be “focusing” on characters in The Vintage Collection that fall under “The Ninety Six” banner. If you’re new to this, it means that there needs a modern counterpart for every classic Kenner figure. Between 2020 and 2021, Hasbro’s made an admirable effort by focusing on these characters. But there is more work to be done, and we’ll figure out where we are step by step. Today we assess Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear).

Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear)

Just a few notes: We’re right in alignment with Hasbro in our vintage Kenner database with the count. There are 21 figures under the STAR WARS banner, 29 figures under THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK banner, 31 figures under the RETURN OF THE JEDI banner, and 15 figures under THE POWER OF THE FORCE banner. (Sy Snootles, Max Rebo, Droopy McCool, and Blue Snaggletooth bring the number to an even 100 figures.)

Read our assessment, and then please add your thoughts to the comments. Let us know if you agree or disagree. If you’re a customizer, show us your custom definitive figure in the comments as well! Who knows? It might give Hasbro some ideas.

 

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear)

Is there a definitive modern counterpart to 1980’s ESB Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear)?

2007’s “VINTAGE” THE SAGA COLLECTION Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) is generally regarded as the closest placeholder.

 

Has Hasbro added this character’s card art and action figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION? And is it definitive?

No. To date, an Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) figure that meets this definition is only part of the “VINTAGE” THE SAGA COLLECTION line, a precursor to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION. Hasbro released 2007’s VTSC Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear), and it’s a relatively excellent action figure. Unfortunately, it was created during the Prequel Trilogy era and featured a removable helmet with a clone portrait underneath it. Hasbro re-released this figure with varying paint jobs countlessly from 2007 through THE VINTAGE COLLECTION’s original run. The figure should be updated for better screen accuracy and the discontinuation of the removable helmet feature.

 

Does THE VINTAGE COLLECTION release completely satisfy the modern counterpart to 1980’s THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) figure?

We’re still waiting for Hasbro to add this figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION. It’s not a high-priority addition for the line since we have the VTSC version, but we still need one.

 

If Hasbro didn’t release the figure yet, do we have a near-definitive or definitive release of this character that can be added to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION as a straight repack, repaint, or with little retooling to update it?

Yes and no. Hasbro could be lazy and reissue the VTSC figure in THE VINTAGE COLLECTION packaging. But collectors would appreciate them taking another stab at this character for accuracy.

 

What does Hasbro have to do so we can check off “Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear)” from our Vintage Vs. Modern checklists?

Hasbro needs to revise the 2007 VTSC figure or tool an all-new figure that more faithfully captures the on-screen likeness of these characters from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK for THE VINTAGE COLLECTION. We’d also like to see Hasbro released 2014’s TBS [P1] Snowtrooper Commander (#24) figure in the line too. Perhaps they could design an infantry Snowtrooper from the commander tooling.

 

The year and years elapsed (through 2021) since we last had this character in classic Kenner-styled packaging (vintage or modern)?

2007’s VTSC Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear). 14 years ago.

1980’s ESB Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear). 41 years ago.

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