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The Force Awakens

First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader - TFA - Build A Weapon (Snow)

Name: First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader
Collection: The Force Awakens
Number: N/A
Source: The Force Awakens
Availability: March 2016
License: Hasbro

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Equipped with sleek armor and powerful weapons, the stormtroopers enforce the will of the First Order.

Love them or hate them, the reality of action figures with only five points of articulation really hits home when you consider a figure like the First Order Stormtrooper or any derivation of it, like the First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader for example. Hasbro introduced the First Order Stormtrooper Build A Weapon figure on Force Friday, and we have received multiple versions since. A similar figure was introduced in the fun Amazon exclusive First Order Legion boxed set. A character like the First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader is in need of super-articulation. There. We said it. And although Hasbro is sort of answering prayers by releasing a 3.75” super-articulated version of the generic First Order Stormtrooper in the Walmart exclusive The Black Series [Phase III] line, it just won’t meet the demand of those who are desperate to see all of the variants like this one. And why should we have to buy a 5POA figure to get the cool accessories like the ammo vest? That being said, we must fairly critique a figure for what it is. And to do that we must put super-articulation on the side and look at the figure and base it on its own merits. When we do that, we’re able to state to a certainty the Build A Weapon First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader once again has an excellent sculpt. And once again the blaster can be affixed to the figure’s right thigh armor. It’s a great addition here even for a budget action figure.

If there is one thing the Build A Weapon line is doing to out psyche that we didn’t expect, it’s that it's making us favor The Black Series 6” scale much more than we ever anticipated. And for us that's extremely bittersweet; and sadly residing on the bitter side of the scale/spectrum. We get the need for a budget line, but it was never meant to take over on a grand scale like this. For the entire The Force Awakens line to be all simply articulated budget figures is extremely difficult to digest. And this is especially true for those who have seen the line grow and blossom for over 30 years to regress back to the days of Kenner’s approach. Of course, it is what it is and there is no use beating a dead horse because it’s unlikely things are going to ever return to the way they were. But for those collectors who defended every last move of Hasbro’s, we offer them an opportunity to admit they were deceived and led astray like all of us were. According to “enlightened” and “alternative” new thinking about 5POA, a movie year was supposed to allow Hasbro the opportunity to do it all. This included a strong return to super-articulation. Instead, the 3.75” super-articulated line has been relegated to a store exclusive. This is a bitter pill to swallow, especially since we were led to believe that the future was bright. But the more figures they make, the more variations they can add into the line to give us a nice diverse selection of troopers. We think this is a great steady way of doing this.

If you can get past the minimal articulation of the Build A Weapon figures, especially for an army builder, then you’ll likely find favor with the First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader. Again, to reiterate, the figure has an excellent sculpt. There is no doubt Hasbro knows how to tool action figures still and very well. Even the few paint operations on the First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader have been applied tastefully and as needed. The ball-socket head gives that extra movement needed to give the figure some attitude. The gun fits into both hands well and even the gun has been painted remarkably well here, too. Plus, the ammo vest is the icing on the cake. It even has an attached white pauldron. Overall, if you’re just looking to display this figure on a shelf, it isn’t going to look half bad because it is a great sculpt. Heck, even some of Hasbro’s earliest super-articulated army-builders didn’t even look this good, but it’s hard to accept that a figure in The Force Awakens era can move so little. Included with the First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader is a Build A Weapon part.This one comes with a huge blaster rifle that connects with two other parts to make a bigger, albeit silly, weapon to give the figures more play value. A nice change of pace to the First Order army, the First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader is definitely a decent figure. You’re likely just going to want more out of it. And you will certainly want more articulation.

Collector Notes

First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader

Status: First Order Stormtrooper Squad Leader is a straight repack of 2015's TFA First Order Stormtrooper (Snow) Build A Weapon figure with a retooled ammo vest from the First Order Heavy Artillery Stormtrooper from 2015's TFA First Order Legion Amazon exclusive boxed set.

Articulation Count: 5 points (5 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1)

Accessory Count: 2

Accessory Details: removable ammo vest, First Order blaster

Date Stamp: N/A

Collection: Snow

Assortment Number: B6950/B3963

UPC: 630509414109

Retail: $7.99 USD

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

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Added: March 15, 2016
Category: Force Awakens, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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