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The Vintage Collection

Stormtrooper - TVC - Basic (VC231)

Name: Stormtrooper
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC231 (Walmart Exclusive)
Source: A New Hope
Availability: October 2022
License: Hasbro

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FINALLY! It only took Hasbro 18 years from the time they started putting modern Star Wars action figures in Vintage-inspired Kenner packaging to bring us a STAR WARS Stormtrooper, and the wait, may we assess, has been worth it. From the beginning, Hasbro never got it right. They either goofed by choosing the incorrect Star Wars Entertainment logo or a Stormtrooper sculpt that didn’t meet the standards of 3.75-inch super-articulated collectors. When Hasbro released the “Vintage” Original Trilogy Collection (VOTC) line, they intended it to run for much longer than it did, but it gave collectors hope that some of their best-looking and greatest-functioning action figures were around the corner. The 2004 VOTC Stormtrooper figure was an exciting release for its time, but Hasbro chose to package it on a Return Of The Jedi card (with an incorrectly styled font, we might add), frustrating collectors as much as exhilarating them with this premium collector line. Then, in 2010, when The Vintage Collection became the collector-focused 3.75-inch action figure line, Hasbro revisited some past releases with some new tweaking and new entertainment logo choices, but every single one fell short, and collectors wondered if Hasbro would ever provide to them a proper Imperial Stormtrooper based on its appearance from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Despite VTSC and TVC releases, we came close but with no cigar. The closest we did come was with the mail-away George Lucas (In Stormtrooper Disguise) figure, but Hasbro used tooling from The Power Of The Force “2” CommTech line. Yes, it was an insult to injury. Thanks to mostly terrible Disney Star Wars content, Hasbro worked up new tooling for a Solo Stormtrooper (Mimban) (VC123) figure, complete with upgraded articulation and excellent design, and eagle-eyed collectors knew a Stormtrooper from Episode IV was inevitable. Here we are four years out from the Stormtrooper (Mimban) (VC123), and we have our first-ever Stormtrooper figure, sharing the same VC numbers (in a different arrangement, of course), connected not only by tooling but also in spirit.

The Stormtrooper is an excellent action figure. We couldn’t be happier with it. It has a few issues, and we have some complaints about it, but we want you to know what a joy it is to have this long-awaited character forever immortalized in The Vintage Collection. The packaging is gorgeous. The fonts are perfect. And the figure brings the best of everything has to offer with existing Stormtrooper tooling, plus a few new parts to make it screen-accurate to the characters we see from the first Star Wars film. Hasbro took the Rogue One Imperial Stormtrooper (VC140) figure and added new lower legs and a new belt. The new belt now incorporates a holster hanging down the figure’s back left. At first, we didn’t think the included E-11 blaster had a chance to fit into the new holster, but we were quickly proven incorrect, and it slides in like a glove, a perfect fit, and the drape is stunning. The holster hangs flush against the figure’s body, which is as natural as it is in the films. Remember past Stormtrooper action figures from Hasbro and how awful the “faux” holsters were for the figures? That is no longer an issue, and we’re incredibly thankful. The new lower legs tooling also included “rocker” ankles, so Hasbro gave us a tremendous upgrade here, and we should not take it for granted. Unfortunately, the figure still comes with ball-jointed hips instead of ball-socket hips, but it’s a small sacrifice for the incredibleness this figure brings to the table. We want to note that we’d love to see Hasbro upgrade the hips and re-release this action figure as a general release item. We wouldn’t complain about that for a minute. And that brings us to another point. We can’t think of anything more egregious than Hasbro relegating the Stormtrooper as an exclusive for Walmart. Collectors wanted to purchase this figure by the cases, which was impossible thanks to Walmart’s unacceptable limit of two of these figures. We can only hope that the Fan Channel picks up this release soon, so buying cases becomes an option for army builders. We don’t want to see this figure added to the army-builder four-pack line. They need to re-release it immediately. The supply will not meed the demand.

How Hasbro ever decided to make this action figure a Walmart exclusive is beyond all collectors’ understanding. It should be a two or three-per-case figure in the standard case assortments, and we should be able to buy them by the cases at more prominent distributors like Entertainment Earth as needed. But no, many collectors couldn’t get the Walmart-exclusive Stormtrooper added to their carts. While we expect it to return to an orderable status in the future, acquiring the most popular action figures shouldn’t be so challenging. Hasbro also needs to learn which figures should be exclusive and what others need to be general marketplace items. Let’s move on because we said our piece on this. We’ve received a bunch of Stormtrooper action figures on “vintage” Kenner cards throughout the years. But none will come close to the magic this figure brings into The Vintage Collection. Hasbro ensured that they mastered this character’s fine details into action figure form. The armor is shiny. The “cheeks” of the helmet have blue hash marks. The dots on the “belly” of the army are dark gray. The body glove and rim on the helmet are black. The only essential detail that Hasbro missed is the dark green lenses on the helmet. But the latter is a detail that Hasbro always seemed to miss in this scale. With the Stormtrooper under our collective belts now, Hasbro needs to do some deep soul-searching and get the four main characters completed next in The Vintage Collection. It took Hasbro 18 years to get out a definitive Stormtrooper action figure. And we’ve waited just as long for Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Han Solo, Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi, and See-Threepio (C-3PO) from A New Hope, to grace our collections as well. For better or worse, we have the seven other characters that make up the” 12 Backs,” But if you look at what we have versus what we DO NOT have, it’s alarming that all of the biggest names are still not tackled yet. That said, it shouldn’t steal the joy that the Stormtrooper should bring you. Thank you, Hasbro, for FINALLY getting out the definitive STAR WARS Stormtrooper action figure. It sucks how you did it, but please keep the momentum going!

Collector Notes

Stormtrooper

Status: Stormtrooper is a retool and rework of 2019's TVC Imperial Stormtrooper (VC140) figure. This time Hasbro added an all-new belt with holster and all-new lower legs with upgraded "rocker" ankle articulation.

Articulation Count: 30 points (17 areas of articulation)

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

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: E-11 blaster

Date Stamp: N/A

Assortment Number: F5559

UPC: 5010993967858

Retail: $13.99 USD

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

The Vintage Collection Walmart Exclusives

Stormtrooper (VC231)

Imperial Gunner (VC232)

Bespin Security Guard (Helder Spinoza) (VC233)

ARTOO-DETOO (R2-D2) (VC234)

Bespin Security Guard (Isdam Edian) (VC239)

Added: October 1, 2022
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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