The Imperial installation on Endor's moon houses a critical piece of technology: the generator that creates a powerful deflector shield around the second Death Star. Imperial stormtroopers stationed on this lushly forested rock protect the generator at all costs. They are commonly known as biker scouts for their customary use of speeder bikes, which enable them to swiftly weave through the thick woods, looking for any sign of intrusion by Rebel Alliance forces.
We ask "How many more times is Hasbro going to release this same speeder bike?" Well, apparently the answer is for at least one more time and perhaps a few others in the future as well. A vehicle that never gets old, Hasbro has managed to make each release unique time and again and it is something that both elates and frustrates collectors. How many more speeder bikes do we need? Well, if you count every variation as a unique toy, then you need them all. Hasbro has yet to replicate them exactly the same. But in all honesty, the Toys R Us exclusive looks pretty cool as a Deluxe set and Hasbro made enough changes to both the figure and vehicle to make them "new enough" to warrant another purchase. Hasbro always seems to do just enough to make toys appear brand new. This can get very old or you can see it as something that is new and exciting. Our opinions lie somewhere in the middle. We suppose we are just wishing for a respite of rereleased items for just a little bit. Burn-out is approaching quickly and we really need all-new product at this point to keep the line invigorating to the long-term fans. So far, this is the only release in the Deluxe line so far that isn't sourced to The Clone Wars, so it's an odd release for that reason alone. The Speeder Biker With Scout Trooper may just be the precursor to more smaller movie-based vehicle and perhaps the catalyst to bring "mini-rig" vehicles into the line too. (We of course have no proof of mini rigs being made and released, but this set certainly makes us hope for them.)
The speeder bike is clearly a nod to the vintage vehicle. While it is gray, it looks closer to the vintage version that the dark brown modern versions. Most of the action features are still deactivated like the previous versions of it and the only articulation the vehicle has is in the landing gear (which in turn attaches to the back vents of the bike and move up and down with the legs). Once you get the legs to snap into place, the speeder bike does look great when posed. Of course it is in sore need of a modern update (sculpt-wise) so we wait eagerly for Hasbro to make the definitive speeder bike for our collections. To be fair, Hasbro has done some significant tweaking over the years and the bike is as good as it is going to get until a new sculpt is attacked. But is does look sharp in gray. Some fans will consider this an Expanded Universe speeder bike, but we are simply not going to go down that path. For all intents and purposes, we will source this toy from Return Of The Jedi. The Scout Trooper (why in the world does his name vary from Scout Trooper to Biker Scout in the same line look?) is the same old figure we've seen dozens of times. But of course he is different enough for this release which may annoy the casual collector. With a much cleaner paint operation than the 2009 LC Biker Scout (BD12) figure (especially in the lower legs - the brown dirt is almost non-existent), the Scout Trooper is a great troop-builder since he differs from the basic carded release (and the 2006 VTSC Biker Scout figure as well). We came across many samples at TRU where his visor had scratches, so we urge you to take caution when purchasing one for your collection. We saw four at one Toys R Us store and three Scout Troopers had scratched visors.
The biggest issue we have with this set is the MSRP of $17.99 (and we have even heard reports of this retailing for as high as $19.99). Clearly overpriced, we think the highest fair price for this set should have been capped at around $15.99. A speeder bike and pack-in figure in 1996 retailed for $9.99. Of course the quality of the speeder bike and a pack-ini figure are inordinately better today than over ten years ago, but we don't think the value is equal to double the price. We are also not so sure why there was a need to make this set an exclusive. We think the Deluxe line has a lot of potential and in order for the line to grow it needs more face time at the various retail locations that carry Star Wars products. Hasbro must have a goal in mind, but we have to admit that it will frustrate us later if Hasbro claims that the line did not meet expectations and future sets likely won't happen. The "figure with vehicle" assortment is something we think needs to be a mainstay sub-line. Every effort should be made to get these out to the masses and not limited to a smaller core group of shoppers. But whatever plan-o-gram Hasbro has in mind for the Deluxe figures, we love them and hope that they see a long and healthy life on store shelves. The Speeder Bike With Scout Trooper is one that will be destined to be popular with Original Trilogy fans and it deserves all the accolades it will likely receive.
Bike With Scout Trooper
Assortment Number: 18607/18609
Retail: $17.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Articulation Count: TBD
Articulation Details: TBD
Accessory Count: TBD
Accessory Details: TBD
Date Stamp: TBD
Status: Scout Trooper is a repaint of 2006's VTSC Biker Scout figure.
Articulation Count: 14
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-socket shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 swivel forearms, ball-jointed torso, 2 swivel hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: blaster pistol
Date Stamp: 2006