Ah, The Vintage Collection Stormtrooper on a The Empire Strikes Back card back. And then reissued on both Return Of The Jedi and Revenge Of The Jedi card back. All we need now is the original Star Wars card back. But why would Hasbro give us the original release? That would make too much sense! Curious it is when Hasbro chooses to use different card backs than the original when placing figures in The Vintage Collection. It clearly isn’t an incorrect move on their part as there were stormtroopers throughout the Original Trilogy (and Imperial Stormtrooper action figures throughout the 1978-1985 timeframe). But since The Vintage Collection is about paying homage to a very special toy collection a long time ago, we have to wonder why they aren’t taking every measure possible to put the original 12 action figures on a Star Wars card. Obviously this opinion is just about the packaging, and most of you out there want to know more about the figure. But a great deal of what The Vintage Collection is about is the packaging and the experience it brings. (The same goes for the 2004 VOTC Stormtrooper. That was packaged on a Return Of The Jedi card back.) The Stormtrooper figure itself is absolutely an upgrade from all past versions. (We use the term upgrade very loosely because it still has just a little bit to go before we want to call it definitive.) We just wonder why Hasbro kit-bashed such unique pieces specific to one style of a sculpt with another. It makes things confusing for anal-retentive collectors like us. (And we will try to stay calm for their history reference of the first carded Stormtrooper.) While this Stormtrooper (for the most part) looks like one of the best we have received to date, the wobbliness of the upper body joint from the 2004 VOTC figure (which does seems to be tighter for this release) with premium legs from the 2010 VC Sandtrooper (VC14) just seems like an odd mix of parts.
The nuts and bolts of this figure are that it is a kit-bash figure made up of the head, torso, helmet and arms of the 2007 TAC Imperial Stormtrooper (No. 20) figure and the legs, ball-jointed hips and waist of the 2010 TVC Sandtrooper (VC14) figure. As a result, we have a super-articulated figure that functions quite well as an action figure. However, there are some aesthetics we are not crazy about that may not be necessarily incorrect, but don’t look right all the same. Thankfully Hasbro has corrected these in mid-production. For example, they gave the Stormtrooper a much better helmet with a clearly delineated line on the brim. They also painted the armor details that were previously missing on the first batches. While we see onscreen many Stormtroopers with helmets where the visor bleeds into the rim that goes around the helmet, we don’t think it translates well into an action figure, as it throws off the shape and perspective of the helmet. So we are very thankful Hasbro took the initiative to update this. We much prefer the look of the helmet on figures like 2009’s TLC Spacetrooper (BD 32) figure as opposed the the first version this figure received. That “white space” between the visor and the rim makes all the difference in the world to us. The ball-jointed hips make the Stormtrooper look so much more authentic, but just like the TVC Clone Trooper (VC15), we wonder just how functional the inclusion of this joint is on these figures. The armor still tends to get in the way and we haven’t seen remarkable differences in how much easier it is to pose them kneeling or in action. (Your experiences may vary.)
The removable helmet is another issue that drives us slightly insane. To be fair, Hasbro repainted the head, and it looks so much better. That “looking up” style of the 2007 TAC Imperial Stormtrooper (No. 20) is thankfully gone, but purists of the Original Trilogy do not want to see clone heads on their Stormtrooper action figures. We are empathetic to that. Where the 2007 figures (and some of its predecessors) were “a little short for Stormtroopers,” the inclusion of the 2010 TVC Sandtrooper (VC14) legs has given this new figure a heightened appearance and looks completely compatible in the line now. Some collectors have complained about the looseness of the helmet on the head. We didn’t necessarily experience this problem. The helmet is indeed very easy to remove, so if that is what they mean by loose, then we suppose they’re correct. But the helmet doesn’t spin 360 degrees like the 2007 figure does. The feature that makes this version of the Stormtrooper king right now is the ball-jointed legs. Not because they’re ball-jointed, but because it keeps the legs from being so close to each other. We have said time and again in these reviews that the natural stance will make or break a figure. Just look at the 2007 figure. It looks almost as if he is clenching his legs together and is desperately trying to get his arms to lay at his side. The new figure doesn’t have these issues at all. It looks really good (despite the helmet for us) and looks relaxed. He is much more pleasing to the eye. Expect this figure to fly off shelves. He is an army builder and you know what that means to availability. But be sure to grab the running change, as the improvements are noteworthy.
Status: Stormtrooper is a kit-bashed figure including the head, torso, arms, belt and either the helmet of 2007's Imperial Stormtrooper (No. 20) (the first version) or the helmet from 2009's TLC Han Solo (BD 31) figure (the running change version) and the legs and hips of 2010's TVC Sandtrooper (VC14).
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed elbows, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles, 2 swivel wrists, ball-jointed waist, 2 ball-jointed hips
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: removable helmet, BlasTech E-11 blaster rifle, DLT-19 heavy blaster rifle
Date Stamp: 2009
Assortment Number: 30241/97568
Retail: $7.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.