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Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]

McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper [Fans’ Choice #4] - SW [S - P3] - Basic (’03 #34)

Name: McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper [Fans’ Choice #4]
Collection: Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]
Number: ’03 #34
Source: Expanded Universe (A New Hope Concept Art)
Availability: November 2003
License: Hasbro

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This Stormtrooper is based on conceptual art from 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 Stormtropers were armed with blaster pistols or blaster rifles in the movie, this Imperial soldier is unusual because he holds a lightsaber, the weapon of the Jedi Knights.

In late 2003, right in the middle of the Star Wars “Saga” line, the collecting community came to a halt. There was good reason for the sudden impasse. Attack Of The Clones merchandise showed no signs of slowing down, although many collectors grew a bit weary of how Hasbro was drifting away from characters from the Original Trilogy. What is so sad about this is that Hasbro was making some of the best action figures by this period and a lot of it was going unnoticed by the collecting community. But interest was sparked very strongly once again and Hasbro seemed to have ignited a new spark in the line. This rejuvenation was all because Hasbro had released what the collecting community had pined to receive for years in the basic figure line: a Ralph McQuarrie concept action figure. The Power Of The Force Expanded Universe line from 1998 teased us with some wonderful takes on what concept art looks like in three dimensions, but it really wasn’t until the release of Hasbro’s McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper figure that new appreciation for the man who made Star Wars what it looked like grew to unprecedented numbers. What made the figure even more special was that it was the proud winner of Hasbro’s 4th Fans’ Choice poll. Always a runner-up in these competitions, this character took center stage and was finally added to the Hasbro basic action figure line. The floodgates have now been opened. Hasbro has plenty of reason to keep them coming. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s discuss why this action figure is as important as it is.

While aesthetically not an exact match to the character we have seem multiple times in McQuarrie’s sketches, Hasbro did “decent” work on the figure’s paint operations. What a little tragic about this is that there is a darn fine sculpt underneath the simple paint job. Had Hasbro really gone “all out” with the paint job, most of the tooling that blends into the primarily white palette would jump out and make a bold statement. Sadly, these details are left to be unnoticed thanks to a rather bleak and boring color scheme. Other than a few black details, this figure is cast in off-white plastic that at times looks a little discolored. We’re obviously whining here and we don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade.... including ours. McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper is without a doubt a very exciting release and we couldn’t be more thankful for its release. It’s just that we wished Hasbro was a little more generous with its paint job because they spent the time tooling the detail, now let us see it. (Editor’s Note: Hasbro made up for this by re-releasing it as 2007’s TAC Concept Stormtrooper (Ralph McQuarrie Signature Series) (30 09) and gave this figure a breathtaking paint job.) Again, let us emphasize that this is an impressively tooled action figure. And it has its share of healthy articulation which fits is very nicely as well. While still not super-articulated, Hasbro seemed to have really focused on the accuracy of the sculpt of the McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper. It really stood above so many of the other figures in the Star Wars “Saga” line.

McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper only comes with eight points of articulation, but because it’s primarily a display piece, you may be able to forgive this shortcoming rather quickly. A swivel head is jointed by ball-jointed shoulders, and multiple points of swivel articulation throughout the rest of the action figure. He looks great, and he does imitate the concept art that we have grown to adore over the years. McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper does come with a nice amount of accessories too. The glow-in-the-dark lightsaber is a nice touch, albeit with a silly gimmick. But Hasbro approached the lightsaber like they have never done in the past. It looks filled, so to speak, and has a thickness unlike any other lightsaber they have produced to date. He also comes with a blaster. It fits into a large holster on his left side. It fits very nicely inside of it too. He can also hold it very well in his hand which is always a nice feature for an action figure to possess. Complementing the lightsaber and blaster is a shield which has a very nice sculpt. It has a lot of detail, but just like the McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper, it has also been given a weak paint job which doesn’t showcase its true magnificence. The final touch added is a somewhat contrived McQuarrie-esque environmental display stand. We suppose its meant to represent a portion of floor on the Death Star, but it possesses a quality that only Ralph McQuarrie could dream up in his mind. Simply put, we love it. The McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper [Fans’ Choice #4] action figure is a long-awaited release and we’re thrilled it has finally seen release. It goes without saying you need one.

Collector Notes

McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper [Fans’ Choice #4]

Status: McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper [Fans’ Choice #4] is an all-new figure.

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: 4

Accessory Details: lighstaber, shield, blaster, environmental display stand (concept Death Star)

Date Stamp: 2003

Assortment Number: 84829/84861

UPC: 076930848296

Retail: $4.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.

Star Wars [Saga - Phase III] Wave 24

Bail Organa (Alderaan Senator) (’03 #33)

McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper [Fans’ Choice #4] (’03 #34)

Imperial Dignitary Janus Greejatus (Death Star Procession) (’03 #35)

Padmé Amidala (Lars’ Homestead) (’03 #36)

Ayy Vida (Outlander Nightclub Patron) (’03 #38)

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Outlander Nightclub Encounter) (’03 #39)

Elan Sleazebaggano (Outlander Nightclub Encounter) (’03 #40)

Added: October 8, 2013
Category: Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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