Pilot Height: 1.8 Meters Average
Affiliation: Galactic Empire
Status: Imperial Bounty Hunter
Weapon of Choice: Various
Vehicle Length: 3 Meters
Speed: 60+ km per hour
The Empire's broad reach has included thousands of planets in the galaxy. With such a vast territory to police, the Empire often pays bounty hunters huge sums for the capture or elimination of certain "wanted" individuals. The mercenaries favored by the Empire are expert trackers and assassins, dangerous individuals who are highly intelligent and extremely skilled in both weapons use and air combat. A preferred vehicle of many of these elite bounty hunters is the swoop, a brawny speeder craft most often associated with gangs and outlaws such as the Nova Demons and the Dark Star Hellions; its toughness and incredible speed make it a perfect mount for bounty hunters.
These "swoop riders" are well-equipped for their profession. Their weaponry ranges in variety from heavy blasters and concussion grenades to battle axes and daggers. Lightweight armor offers limited protection while headgear supplies protection, full sensor array, macrobinocular viewing and a minicomputer for language translation and navigational assistance.
The swoops are long, raked repulsor craft with a plow-like scoop on the front. Basically two large engines with a seat and controls, swoops are fast, tough and hard to control. Big repulsors and hot turbo thrusters contribute to make a mean, noisy flier capable of executing incredible maneuvers at over 600 km per hour under the control of a skilled pilot. Movable handlebars function as directional controls, while acceleration is manipulated by rocker-pivoted footpads. Because of their outrageous acceleration and kick, there are few that will fly these speeders anywhere other than in wide open areas such as the deserts of Tatooine.
Crime Underlord Xizor hired several of these bounty hunters to eliminate Luke Skywalker in an attempt to frame Darth Vader and undermine his position with the Emperor. With Vader out of the way, Xizor could then take his place at the Emperor's side. During the ensuing battle, Skywalker was able to capture a swoop and eliminate many of the swoop troopers. However, the bounty hunters' numbers proved too much for the young Jedi. It was only due to the last-second arrival of Dash Rendar that Luke was able to escape and continue his fight for the Rebel Alliance.
The Star Wars event for 1996 is the exciting Shadows Of The Empire multimedia property. Introducing us to never before seen Star Wars characters as well as new takes on our most favorite Star Wars characters, Kenner has now developed the Shadows Of The Empire toy line. It’s a small toy line, but it nicely complements the multimedia event by giving collectors action figures, vehicles and the new two figure multipacks that each include a replica of the comics released during the Shadows Of The Empire event. One of the vehicles produced for the line was the Swoop. In typical fashion, Kenner included an exclusive Swoop Trooper action figure which nicely interact with the Swoop vehicle. Although we’re having some difficulty finding the Swoop Trooper reference materials, we imagine Hasbro must have had something before them on which to design this character. But we’ll get to him more in a moment or two. The Star Wars toy line is forever involving and it’s cool to see the a new line look grow out from the standard The Power Of The Force “2” line with its own style and character base.
The Swoop vehicle is a nice design. It has a few play features as described on the box. And the back of the packaging goes into great detail about the Swoop and its rider in pretty concentrated detail. Mostly cast in red plastic, the Swoop has lots of extra detail including an articulation cannon “arm” which also hosts a projectile action feature (that the box describes it as a high-impact proton torpedo). The landing gear of the Swoop also have articulation and flip almost 45 degrees and seemingly transforms into rocket projectiles (as in a power supply) for the Swoop. (That can be interpreted as a silly feature, but interestingly it works surprisingly well.) There isn’t a great deal of deco applied to the Swoop, but Kenner has included decals to help dress it up a little bit more. A bit bulky, the Swoop is still proportionate to the included Swoop Trooper and the pack-in figure interacts beautifully with the vehicle. There are reason why this is the case.
The Swoop Trooper comes with seven points of articulation. The addition of two hinge-jointed knees allows the Swoop Trooper to perfect sit on the bike in a natural riding position. These little enhancements do wonders to an action figure line that traditionally only includes five points of articulation on the figures generally speaking. Swoop Trooper not only has enhanced articulation, the figure also sports a really nicely developed paint job. The unique style of the character is augmented by the strikingly bright paint colors. The Swoop Trooper looks threatening and anonymous and these are two characteristics that makes new Star Wars figures all the more awesome. He sadly comes with no weapons, but he is packaged alongside a Swoop so we imagine that speaks for itself. The Shadows Of The Empire line is small when compared to what is being offered in The Power Of The Force “2” line, but Kenner is nonetheless producing some quality toys for both kids and collectors.
Assortment Number: 69760/69591
Retail: $9.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Swoop is an all-new vehicle.
Features Count: 3
Feature Details: pivot launcher into firing position, position Swoop Trooper at the controls, fire high-impact proton torpedo
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: high-impact proton torpedo projectile
Date Stamp: 1996
Status: Swoop Trooper is an all-new figure.
Articulation Count: 7 points (7 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: hinge-jointed head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), hinge-jointed left knee (1), hinge-jointed right knee (1)
Accessory Count: None
Accessory Details: None
Date Stamp: 1996