The vivid imagination of conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie brought to life the characters and worlds envisioned by George Lucas. McQuarrie's paintings and drawings were instrumental in the push to bring Lucas's Saga to the big screen, giving shape and form to a multitude of fantastic individuals, creatures, planets and technology encompassed in this epic tale. developed in collaboration with McQuarrie himself, this remarkable action figure series pays tribute to the man whose art defined some of the most memorable characters in film history.
This stormtrooper is based on conceptual art from the film A New Hope, depicting the Empire’s shock troopers in a corridor of the Death Star as they hunt down the escaping Luke, Han, Chewbacca and Princess Leia. While armed with blaster pistols or blaster rifles in the movie, this Imperial soldier is unusual because he holds a lightsaber, the weapon of a Jedi.
Ralph McQuarrie’s concept art breathed life into the Hasbro toy line way before the McQuarrie Stormtrooper (Fans’ Choice #4) was released in the 2003 Star Wars line. Many collectors tend to forget about the three vehicle sets that were part of the Expanded Universe line first which was a branch of The Power Of The Force line. One was a design by Joe Johnston (the Speeder Bike), but the other two were based on the prolific artwork of Ralph McQuarrie. The vehicles in those sets have aged quite well, but unfortunately the figures have not. And none of the figures have yet to be updated, which is a shame because they were very unique characters and we would one day like to get updated versions of them. But we digress. A half a decade whipped by us from the vehicle sets and Hasbro thought it would be a clever idea to incorporate the first McQuarrie concept action figure in the basic figure line. It didn’t hurt that he was the winner of a Fans’ Choice poll either. But once the figure got released, it was a terrible chore to locate him at retail. In fact, he is one of about six figures we have never found sitting on the shelf somewhere at retail. This should speak volumes for the popularity this figure had. Hasbro did a good job bringing the two-dimensional artwork into three dimensions, even if the paint job wasn't perfect. But as cool of a figure as he was, something was just missing. And we all just wouldn’t realize the magnitude of how far he was from the mark until the 30 (77-07) line came to fruition.
As the first Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series figure in the 30 (77-07), Hasbro dug out the old 2003 sculpt but completely reinvented it with a spectacular paint job. And boy do we mean spectacular. Virtually all of the black that was on the 2003 figure has been replaced with gray and then Hasbro clearly spent time on the reference material to ensure that they captured every last detail possible from the insignias on the armor to the fine lines of gray that decorate his armor. We have said this 100 times before, but a phenomenal paint will dictate just how truly good a sculpt is. The Concept Stormtrooper may not be the most articulated figure any of us will come across, but he doesn’t need all of that. He is well proportioned so he fits well with the rest of the concept art figures that have been made years after him. Having a ton of articulation is definitely a great thing, but we think the limitations in the Concept Stormtrooper definitely do not inhibit what he offers for the line. He comes with a newly painted version of his classic gun that fits into a very large holster. And his shield is absolutely one of the greatest painted accessories we have ever seen. It is full of battle damage, scrapes, scratches and overall wear and tear that has never looked more realistic. We dare say that his shield is reason enough to pick up this figure it is that good. And it still amazes us that a figure almost a half a decade older than his peers in the 30 (77-07) line looks just as good, if not better.
The Concept Stormtrooper was also a candidate in Hasbro’s 2007 Ultimate Galactic Hunt promotion and came specially packaged in a gold-embossed card back with a gold coin. He along with 11 others made up a neat little sub collection of chase figures (that really weren’t chase figures because they shipped pretty heavily) to help further celebrate 30 years of Star Wars. The Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series was indeed one of the best things given to us to celebrate the 30 rich years of Star Wars so far. And Hasbro couldn’t have fit better in another line than 30 (77-07). Depending upon your collector focus, you may want to see more and more concept figures get released throughout the Hasbro line. We hope that’s the case and it seems that the concept art figures will also branch out beyond the Original Trilogy. (Editor’s Note: The Legacy Collection and Legacy Collection has also included many concept art figures from both the Prequel and Original Trilogies.) But regardless of how many we get in the future, we got a great start in the 30 (77-07) line. Ralph McQuarrie has left an indelible mark on the Star Wars universe and it is a pleasure to see his work get the respect it deserves. Sure, he isn’t the only one who came up with concepts to visualize George Lucas’ mind, but he did have a large and major role to see it come to fruition. It’s nice to see McQuarrie’s work forever immortalized in plastic for collectors. They may be responsible for creating a whole new appreciation in a younger and new audience. And we thank Hasbro for keeping these dreams and visions alive in the basic figure line.
Concept Stormtrooper (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series)
Status: Concept Stormtrooper (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series) is a drastic repaint of 2003's SW [S - P3] McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper ('03 #34) [Fans' Choice #4] figure. This time the display stand has not been included.
Articulation Count: 11 points (9 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left elbow (1), swivel right elbow (1), swivel left wrist (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: lighstaber, shield, blaster
Date Stamp: 2003
Assortment Number: 87319/87500
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.