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The Saga Collection

Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) - TSC - Vintage

Name: Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear)
Collection: The Saga Collection
Number: N/A
Source: The Empire Strikes Back
Availability: May 2007
License: Hasbro

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Celebrate the legendary Star Wars films that changed the universe forever, with The Saga Collection. This collection brings to life the incredible story of good versus evil that captured our imagination and took us to a galaxy far, far away. The finest re-creations of the iconic Star Wars heroes and villains are back with incredible detail and premium features to commemorate each epic tale in the Star Wars saga. And, as a tribute to the dedication of Star Wars fans everywhere, we are re-releasing elements of the original packaging that harken back to the creation of Star Wars action figures, which began over 25 years ago with the Original Trilogy. May the Force be with you!

If there was one Hasbro Star Wars action figure that became the repeated victim of kit-bashing, repainting, and re-releasing, any Star Wars collector could quickly point to the Snowtrooper as a case in point example. The Snowtrooper is a fan-favorite action figure. We love them. So we have to question Hasbro why it took so long to give us a near-definitive update to the beloved character. The first modern release was 1997’s POTF2 [R/G] Snowtrooper figure. It was an admirable effort but quickly became obsolete because it was oversized and lacked articulated. The next all-new sculpt arrived as 2003’s SW [S - P3] Snowtrooper (The Battle Of Hoth) (’03 #19) figure. It was a far cry from the 1997 version, but Hasbro designed the figure for proper interaction with the included E-Web cannon. So, the figure came with an unavoidable pre-posed stature. A few years later as The Saga Collection line came to fruition, Hasbro decided to take the best parts of the 1997 figure and the 2003 figure, combine them, and give us a kit-bashed “update” and Hasbro released that figure as 2006’s TSC Snowtrooper (SAGA 011) figure. Thankfully, collectors only had to wait a year before Hasbro revealed what they were working on behind the scenes. Part of the 2007 second wave of the “Vintage” The Saga Collection line, Hasbro produced an all-new Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) vintage-styled figure and reserved the classic Kenner packaging for it. Its only issue was that they designed a removable helmet to expose a “clone” portrait beneath it. Still, collectors were so desperate for a super-articulated Snowtrooper action figure that they welcomed the removable helmet feature without too much criticism. The VTSC Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) is a tremendous upgrade of all past efforts, so you can start selling those old versions on eBay.

It’s difficult to imagine that a full decade passed by us from the Snowtrooper’s first modern release as a 3.75” action figure to this supreme 2007 VTSC Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) updated figure, but it’s the truth. Aside from upgrading the figure not to offer a removable helmet, the Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) may be the best Hasbro can do for us when it comes to this character. Very few figures are perfect, but this one comes very carefully to that mark. It will pain Original Trilogy purists to move past the removable helmet, but it’s not the end of the world to leave the helmet on the figure. We’re not sure why they approached the figure in the manner that they did. But we have to concede we’re a little disappointed by the removable helmet as well. It may interest you to know that the “Vintage” The Saga Collection Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) figure has the sole distinction of shipping in solid case assortments to meet the army-building demands of collectors. They felt compelled to do this after the disastrous results of the Biker Scout figure, which was one per case, and how it didn’t come close to meeting demands. The 2004 VOTC Stormtrooper had meeting demand issues as well. Although Hasbro vowed that they would never release solid cases of figures, they did in this case. And it was a wise decision. Despite solid cases reaching retail, the Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) still sold out in record numbers. Another bit of trivia on this figure surrounds the production samples shown at 2007’s NY Toy Fair. Hasbro presented a version where the look of the figure’s soft-goods kama wasn’t cut correctly. You can see a good picture of this HERE. Thankfully, Hasbro quickly alleviated fans’ fears and explained that they’d correct it in time for the figure’s general release.

At first glance, you may think that this figure is a little short for a Snowtrooper, but the Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) figure is almost the same height as the 1980 ESB Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) vintage Kenner figure. Besides having a slightly too-wide stance in the legs, this figure will undoubtedly remain a standard in the action figure line for years to come. Not too dirty, the Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) comes with some markings of dirt where it’s needed most. The boots and shin armor are smeared with brown earth, while Hasbro speckled the chest armor with realistic carbon-scoring (which may also represent the armor’s wear). The lived-in look of this figure is beautiful, and it authentically replicates any possible encounter with the Rebel Alliance. These battle-damage and dirt markings are subtle, so the figure’s overall aesthetic remains white as it should without looking like it’s bleached. In short, we feel that the deco is flawless. The Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) figure comes with a removable backpack, blaster pistol, and removable helmet with a ghastly “clone” head underneath. Original Trilogy characters should remain faithful to the Original Trilogy aesthetic instead of trying to make everything full circle. Again, this doesn’t mean that we like this figure because we do. It is just a request for Hasbro to use better judgment next time. The Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) will probably remain one of the most famous military figures in the Star Wars line. Collectors love The Empire Strikes Back, and we all remember loving to play in the snow. This figure gives us both memories mashed up into one, and for that, it has a fond place in our hearts. Although we feel it’s unlikely that Hasbro will update this figure, we think that ball-jointed hips would further enhance it. Either way, this is an excellent release.

Collector Notes

Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear)

Status: Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear) is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 23 points (14 areas of articulation)

Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), ball-jointed waist (2), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)

Accessory Count: 3

Accessory Details: removable helmet, E-11 blaster, backpack

Date Stamp: 2007

Assortment Number: 87305/87295

UPC: 653569213895

Retail: $9.99 USD

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

Imperial Stormtrooper (Hoth Battle Gear)

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Added: May 20, 2010
Category: Saga Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
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