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The Black Series [Phase III]

Imperial Shock Trooper - TBS [P3] - Six Inch Figures (Exclusive)

Name: Imperial Shock Trooper
Collection: The Black Series [Phase III]
Number: N/A (Walmart Exclusive)
Scale: 6"
Source: Expanded Universe (Star Wars: Battlefront)
Availability: November 2015
License: Hasbro

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Adept with heavy weaponry, Shock Troopers serve as elite frontline forces and even as bodyguards for the Emporer himself.

As part of Hasbro’s obsession with exclusives this year, The Black Series [Phase III] Imperial Shock Trooper is exclusive to Walmart stores and timed to coincide with the release of the new Star Wars: Battlefront video game (on November 17, 2015). Although we haven’t played the game yet, images of this character has made its way onto the web and simple Google searches will reveal just what this character looks like in the game. There are even variations on this costume with some wearing backpacks that look a great deal like the ones worn by standard sandtroopers. We're very well aware that there were Phase II Shock Troopers in Revenge of the Sith but, to our knowledge, right now this version of the Stromtrooper is confined to the game. The packaging for this figure is generally what we’ve come to expect for The Black Series [Phase III] line. However, the red background really accentuates the colors on the figure nicely. It seems that figures with red and black coloring benefit the most from this new The Force Awakens focused line look. Also, the character portrait in the bottom right-hand corner of the package has shiny red highlights for the red on the helmet and shoulders. This extra touch looks great; even collectors who open their figures will want to be sure to keep the packaging. In a rare move, Hasbro also denotes "Star Wars: Battlefront" on the packaging to make it clear that this is a special video game release to commemorate its release.

The figure itself is essentially just a repaint of The Black Series [Phase I] 6’’ Stormtrooper (#09) figure. Your mileage will vary on how you see the relative importance of this figure. You'll either like the color scheme or you will not. Personally, we think it’s a neat variation on the basic armor. Even though it’s a colorful design, it still seems very threatening (perhaps because it resembles the flag of Imperial Japan or perhaps because of what we know what Shock Troopers in Episode III are know for). The paint applications are generally clean, probably better than average for the line, but as usual some samples are better than others so it’s worth looking closely. For example, Hasbro seems to have trouble painting straight lines on helmets as the middle line looks slightly misaligned near the forehead (we noticed this problem on The Black Series [Phase II] 6’’ Clone Trooper Captain (#13) figure as well). Apparently something isn't completely calibrated wiht the machines at the factory because it's been a longstanding problem. In all honesty, it’s probably not something most people would notice unless they know to look for it, but we wanted to mention it and urge Hasbro to find a way to fix this issue.Thankfully, the feet, lower legs, and shoulder pads are all cast in red plastic, which is a smart move on Hasbro’s part and it avoids any risk of sloppy paint operations. Lately, new versions of this Stormtrooper mold have been having "bowed leg" issues, and it appears that the Imperial Shock Trooper is having a little bit of this issue too. Hopefully time outside of the packaging will alleviate this symptom.

We do have two complaints. First, as with all the Stormtrooper figures, the Shock Trooper has a pencil neck. This is a holdover from The Black Series [Phase I] 6’’ Sandtrooper (#03), which needed extra space for the pauldron, but should have been corrected for the release of the Stormtrooper. Hasbro came up with a practical solution for The Black Series [Phase II] 6’’ Han Solo (Stormtrooper Disguise) (#09) figure by including a small plastic ring around the neck. At the least, we hope Hasbro includes these for all future Stormtrooper re-releases. Second, we can’t help but feel that the Shock Trooper deserved more accessories. The packaging says he uses heavy weaponry, so why not include an RT-97C (a heavy blaster from the game). Also, a red pauldron might have looked great on this figure (although we have no idea if that’s accurate to the game). Finally, we want to take a moment to address the frenzy surrounding the Imperial Shock Trooper. Perhaps there’s more demand for this figure because people are excited about the new game. However, we have seen multiple posts on Facebook from people who are apparently buying multiples of these figures and then using them as bargaining chips asking for more valuable figures, such as The Black Series [Phase I] 6’’ Darth Maul (#02) or R2-D2 (#04), both of which sell for over $50 on eBay. The problem has been exacerbated by the fact that Walmart.com hasn’t even stocked the Shock Trooper yet to order (although it is not in stock at the moment – there is a product page for it). It’s a shame that Hasbro’s distribution practices and scalpers have made this hobby increasingly stressful. It’s a good figure, but don’t go crazy trying to get one.

About Arnold Corso: While alive during the reign of the original Kenner figures, Arnold’s collecting habit really only began with the POTF2 line. Given that Hasbro doesn’t always make the figures he wants the way he wants them, he has increasingly taken to customizing his figures. Photos of his customs are available on Facebook under the name Darth Crassus Customs.

Collector Notes

Imperial Shock Trooper

Status: Imperial Shock Trooper is a rework of 2014's TBS [P1] Stormtrooper (#09) figure. This time the figure has been given red color flashes that mimic the Shock Troopers from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith.

Articulation Count: 28 points (17 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), hinge-jointed neck (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), swivel left bicep (1), swivel right bicep (1), double hinge-jointed left elbow (2), double hinge-jointed right elbow (2), ball-jointed left wrist (2), ball-jointed right wrist (2), ball-jointed torso (2), ball-socket left hip (1), ball-socket right hip (1), swivel left thigh (1), swivel right thigh (1), double hinge-jointed left knee (2), double hinge-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" left ankle (2), ball-jointed/"rocker" right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: E-11 blaster rifle, long-barreled blaster rifle

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: B4996

UPC: 630509391790

Retail: $18.99 USD

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

The Black Series [Phase III]

All Products

Added: November 21, 2015
Category: Black Series [Phase III], The
Reviewer: Arnold Corso
Score:
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