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Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]

Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) - SW [S - P3] - Basic (’04 #01)

Name: Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation)
Collection: Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]
Number: ’04 #01
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: December 2003
License: Hasbro

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On the ice planet Hoth, the energy shield erected by the Rebels forced the Imperial Army to engage in a ground battle. The Rebel Soldiers dug into snowy trenches, blasting at the incoming Imperial Stormtroopers and the unstoppable Imperial walkers. When it became evident the base would fall to the enemy, the Hoth Troopers provided covering fire to give the Rebels time to evacuate personnel and equipment from the base. They fought fiercely, dedicated to the principal of freedom and willing to lay down their lives to win their objectives.

The opening wave of 2004, even though it arrived at the tail end of 2003, didn’t start off perfectly. The very first figure for 2004 was Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation), but if you ask us, it’s Buzz Lightyear in cold weather gear. That may seem harsh, but one look at the face and we’re sure that you’ll be convinced that the resemblance is uncanny. Looking like a popular Disney character isn’t the only problem facing the Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) action figure. Star Wars collectors everywhere were hopeful to receive a decent update to the horrid 1997 POTF2 [FF/TKC] Hoth Rebel Soldier, when in all honesty we only received a lightly better sculpt but a nearly identical figure. We’ll explain further. Seven years still only gave the updated figure the same six points of articulation. To add insult to injury, Hasbro positioned the 2004 figure in an almost exact pose as the 1997 figure. So we really didn’t come far at all. What’s worse is that collectors noticed this immediately and the figure didn’t even have a chance before it was released as everyone was disappointed from the prototype images Hasbro showed earlier. The production figure hasn’t fared any better. Without sounding dramatic, the figure is a disaster, and it may have been better not produced.

Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) is certainly a small improvement over the 1997 Hasbro figure, but it’s as far from perfect as you could possibly imagine. We’ve mentioned that he’s a doppleganger for Buzz Lightyear, but his next biggest issue is his height. This guy’s a terribly small dude and is out of scale with most of the other figures in the Star Wars “Saga” line. He also appears to be paying homage to the 1997 figure because his upper chest is too rounded, almost barrel like, and the stiffness in his extremities leaves him in the cold literally because you cannot get any meaningful movement out of his joints. So, is there any saving grace then with this action figure? To be completely honest, the answer to that question is yes. The ability to replicate important details in a much better way is clearly evident here. The waffle pattern of his uniform and the clarity of the equipment on his coat are much better and the paint job overall is significantly improved. Hasbro bothered to sculpt a holster, and it has a blaster in it, but it’s a permanent fixture and cannot be removed. This approach has “late 90s” written all over it and it’s disappointing to see Hasbro employ this technique on a much more modern action figure. This is an obsolete way to design an action figure.

Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) also comes with a removable survival backpack and a strapped blaster rifle. The rifle can precariously be placed on his shoulders, but the fit isn’t perfect and you may find it’s more of an obligatory accessory than a necessary one. The handle of the gun does fit in his hands, but due to the nature of the sculpt, Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) looks silly holding it. As you can see, there isn’t too much praise we can give this action figure. As most Star Wars fans hold a special place in their hearts for characters based on The Empire Strikes Back, people may find excuses to purchase this action figure. But we have to be upfront with everyone and say that this is one action figure that you can totally skip and you wouldn’t miss a beat at all. Some may want a clean-shaven Rebel trooper, and if that’s the case, this is a new and desirable action figure for you. But Hasbro can and will do better so patience and waiting a bit longer may be the best option for you. Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) may not be the right fit for the Star Wars “Saga” line, but after a long marathon of characters based on Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones, it’s certainly nice to see them turn their attention to the Original Trilogy. They just need to make them better.

Collector Notes

Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation)

Status: Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 6 points (6 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: swivel head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: backpack, blaster rifle

Date Stamp: 2003

Assortment Number: 84725/84715

UPC: 076930847251

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 25

Achk Med-Beq (Coruscant Outlander Club) (’03 #37)

Imperial Dignitary Kren Blista-Vanee (Death Star Procession) (’03 #41)

Hoth Trooper (Hoth Evacuation) (’04 #01)

R-3PO (Hoth Evacuation) (’04 #02)

Luke Skywalker (Hoth Attack) (’04 #03)

Star Wars [Saga - Phase III] Wave 25.5

Aayla Secura (Battle Of Geonosis) (’03 #11)

Barriss Offee (Battle Of Geonosis) (’03 #12)

Yoda & Chian (Jedi Temple Training) (’03 #15)

Ashla & Jempa (Jedi Temple Training) (’03 #16)

Added: January 13, 2014
Category: Star Wars [Saga - Phase III]
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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