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The Power Of The Force “2” [Freeze Frame/The Kenner Collection]

Sandtrooper - POTF2 [FF/TKC] - Basic

Name: Sandtrooper
Collection: The Power Of The Force "2" [Freeze Frame/The Kenner Collection]
Number: N/A
Source: A New Hope
Availability: March 1998
License: Hasbro

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On the run from the EMpire, Ben Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and his two droids enter Mos Eisley spaceport in search of quick passage to Alderaan. Stopped by Imperial sandtroopers, Obi-Wan easily bypasses a potentially serious threat by using the power of the Force.

Some of the repack choices made for the Freeze Frame line feel questionable. But more often than not, Kenner/Hasbro seems to know how to make their oddest choices feel intentional. One of the most-requested characters collectors wanted to see Hasbro produce as soon as humanly possible in the earliest faction of the modern Star Wars line was the Sandtrooper. That prayer was answered in late 1996 as they released the “Tatooine Stormtrooper” for the first time in action figure format. The figure sold insanely well, but soon collectors realized how limited the action figure was. With a pre-positioned stance with awkward body poses (so it could believably hold the included heavy blaster cannon), the Tatooine Stormtrooper soon began to lose its charm and luster with the Star Wars collecting community. As fate would have it, Kenner/Hasbro chose it as one of the repacked figures for the “Freeze Frame” lineup. Interestingly, it’s also one of the rarest. Hasbro produced the Sandtrooper for only one remix Collection 3 case assortment. And this action figure ws partly responsible for making it nearly impossible for many collectors to acquire a full set of Freeze Frame Action Slides. Receiving revised paint operations too, the 1998 POTF2 [Freeze Frame/The Kenner Collection] Sandtrooper differs from its original 1996 counterpart in more ways than one. But the changes don’t make it any more desirable. The Sandtrooper character, as an action figure, needs all-new tooling. The current mold has aged out and become obsolete. It’s time for a fresh new approach of this popular character.

Perhaps the reason Kenner/Hasbro believed that the Sandtrooper was a viable re-release in 1998 was because it was one of the never-before-offered characters from Star Wars. And maybe they weren’t off with that assessment. One of the biggest glaring omissions in the vintage Kenner era was indeed the Sandtrooper. And with a piece of the film as the pack-in premium here, perhaps Kenner/Hasbro believed its inclusion in this line was a guaranteed hit. They were right from a certain perspective. By releasing the figure in fewer numbers than the other characters in the lineup, they created a demand which allowed the Sandtrooper to sell through completely and not collect on pegs. Still, we can’t help but wonder if they changed the color of the pauldron that the action figure would have been more widely available. Regardless, the Sandtrooper is still too bulky and has a helmet that doesn’t favor the props seen in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. And just like its modern ancestor the Stormtrooper, the Sandtrooper brings more of an exaggerated and caricatured look to the basic figure line when they were doing so well trimming down the proportions of these Imperials with the new 1998 figures. The Sandtrooper is ultimately a disappointment, but Kenner/Hasbro was perhaps farther from missing the mark with regards to the Sandtrooper’s re-release than collectors believe. After all, it was the first figure to disappear from store shelves, and quickly commanded more than the standard $5.99 MSRP than all the other figures in the line.

In retrospect, it’s hard to believe that this likeness of the “base” Stormtrooper figure was approved by Lucasfilm Ltd. In our opinion, it’s the worst interpretation of the character we can think of across the various licensees that produce Star Wars products. The lenses on the helmet are inaccurate to the point of being laughable. The vocoder is a round black circle instead of an oblong shape, and the proportions of the helmet are honestly dreadful. And we haven’t even described anything below the neck yet! The chest is too barreled in shape and drastically too thin in the waist. Sandtroopers should have an hourglass shape. The armor is too chunky in general, and the tooling allows for ONE meaningful pose, so the figure can hold the heavy blaster cannon. As the card art transitioned from red to green, so did the character’s name. The Tatooine Stormtrooper soon became Sandtrooper, which is a standard term across all of the licenses. Sandtrooper was also carried forward for the Freeze Frame line as well. For accessories, the Sandtrooper comes with the aforementioned heavy blaster cannon, and a removable survival backpack. Both are fair recreations of the props in Episode IV, but Kenner could have done better to make them more screen-accurate, especially the gun. Thankfully the survival backpack doesn’t interfere with the figure’s center of gravity. In other words, you can position the Sandtrooper with or without his survival backpack, and the figure will be able to stand up unassisted. The Sandtrooper has decent paint operations. But it is tough to get past the sculpting.

Collector Notes

Sandtrooper

Status: Sandtrooper is a slight repaint of 1996's POTF2 [R/G] Sandtrooper [Tatooine Stormtrooper] 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: removable survival backpack, concussion grenade cannon

Date Stamp: 1996

Collection: 3

Freeze Frame Details: Luke and Obi-Wan are stopped at a sandtrooper checkpoint.

Assortment Number: 69705/69808

UPC: 076281698083

Retail: $5.99 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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