Back in 2010 when we found out what we’d be getting for the Sandtrooper (VC14) figure collectors became instantly deflated. This is The Vintage Collection! How can Hasbro give us a shiny white sandtrooper (with a white pauldron no less) on a “vintage styled” card back? Like it or not, the orange-pauldron Sandtrooper squad leader is synonymous with Episode IV. And it’s the Sandtrooper squad leader we think of when we think generally about Sandtroopers. There is something about the bright orange color that makes us feel the way we do. So after a pretty rough detour, Hasbro reinvents their approach to the Sandtrooper action figure and creates something very spectacular and something that should appease the entire Star Wars collecting community in one fell swoop. Perhaps you’re just too exhausted over Sandtrooper action figures to even consider this figure. We would tell you that you’re making a grave mistake. Yes, the Sandtrooper has been a staple for years in the basic figure line. And we have all seen more than our fair share of them throughout the years. Some have been almost “perfect” while others have a left quite a bit to be desired. So would you believe us if we told you that 2012’s TVC Sandtrooper (VC112) is the best yet? It’s true for multiple reasons. Not only do we get our first Sandtrooper squad leader (you know – the one with the orange pauldron) on a glorious The Vintage Collection card back, Hasbro has reinvented the best sculpt available and applied a revolutionary new paint job that makes it literally out of this world for collectors.
Sandtrooper is simply a repaint of the Imperial Sandtrooper figure from 2009’s LC Dewback With Imperial Sandtrooper Walmart exclusive. The figure was most recently released as 2010’s TVC Sandtrooper (VC14) with a few insignificant changes in deco (they’re barely noticeable so don’t get too worked up). This time however, Hasbro has given him the appropriate orange squad leader's pauldron to perfectly capture the unique characteristics that separate Sandtroopers from standard Stormtroopers and it looks amazing. Keep in mind that this figure comes with ball-jointed hips. So making the figure straddle a Dewback, while not necessarily easy, is indeed something possible to perform with this figure. Ball-jointed hips make almost everything possible for action figures, don’t they? And ball-jointed hips are especially important for any military member in the Star Wars universe! Let’s take about the figure’s paint job some more. It’s stunning. Hasbro has truly mastered how a Sandtrooper should look. Obviously we don’t want our Sandtroopers to be pristine and clean like the 2010 figure, but sometimes Hasbro got a little too carried away with the dirty final paint washes, especially the Sandtroopers from the 2005 ROTS Clone Trooper To Stormtrooper Evolutions sets. No wonder why Hasbro had to pull the deco budget for future Sandtrooper figures for so many years afterwards. This time there is a perfect marriage of dirt to white armor. And the method of the paint application is done very well too as it has a very realistic look to it. There are no hard brush strokes or powdery splattered spray dirt on this armor. No, it was perfectly executed here. You’re going to be thrilled with it. Please trust us. If you feel it's too dirty, OK, we'll accept that, but it's not as filthy as previous versions where Hasbro went ape-crazy with the dirty paint operations.
Hasbro also includes a sentry droid with the Sandtrooper, something that won’t necessarily appeal to hardcore fans of the unaltered Original Trilogy. Admittedly, we’re not fans of this extra accessory, but it was incorporated tastefully well here. You can attach the sentry droid via an “invisible” post that attaches to the Sandtrooper. It’s a great effect and it’s certainly accurate to the Special Edition of A New Hope. The standard survival backpack and heavy blaster cannon have been carried forward from the 2005 ROTS Clone Trooper To Stormtrooper Evolutions figures as well. There is certainly a lot to play with here. Perhaps the greatest enhancement to the Sandtrooper lies in its all-new accessory. Hasbro has created an all-new E-11 blaster rifle and it’s a remarkable sculpt. Even at this extremely small scale, Hasbro has added articulation to it to being it to a new level of accuracy and authenticity. The stock folds out to give collectors a little more wiggle room when displaying the Sandtrooper in their collections. The detail worked into the blaster file is also unprecedented. Take a few moments and inspect the new accessory because we’re certain you’re going to be very impressed with it. The 2012 flavor of the Sandtrooper may not be your first choice for an action figure. But it’s a long-awaited “apology” from Hasbro for the mistake they made with the VC14 version. Take it as you’d like, but we can’t take incredible upgrades like this for granted. Hasbro has gone above and beyond here and for truly the first time we can rave that we now have our definitive The Vintage Collection Sandtrooper figure. (And it comes with an orange pauldron!) He has also been released in the “Lost” line look packaging as EP404, but you probably already know that by now.
Status: Sandtrooper is a repaint of the Sandtrooper from 2009's LC Dewback With Imperial Sandtrooper exclusive set. The figure has been given a gorgeous new paint job and a squad leader's (orange) pauldron in addition to all-new accessories including an articulated E-11 blaster rifle.
Articulation Count: 14
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, ball-jointed torso, 2 ball-jointed hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 5
Accessory Details: blaster pistol (articulated), light repeating blaster rifle, removable squad leader pauldron, sentry droid, "invisible" sentry droid hovering effect
Date Stamp: 2009
Assortment Number: 39652/37499
Retail: $9.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.