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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper
Star Wars Force Awakens sixth scale figures

Hot Toys
Date Published: 2016-08-29
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Introduction

Hot Toys continues to crank out the Star Wars figures, focusing on the new film with their last couple releases.  Tonight I'm checking out a two pack based on a particular scene in the film, in which our hero Finn takes on a jaunty Stormtrooper, let's call him Jake, who brandishes a very cool baton.  Their battle is a highlight in the Force Awakens, at least in terms of battles, and gives the Troopers a bit of a cooler edge than they had in the Original Trilogy.

This two pack isn't the only way to get Finn, who is also available as a single figure for around $205.  These two together are a rarity in the Hot Toys universe - an actual deal, coming in at just $360 (or less, if you check out my Where to Buy section), and $180 is very cheap for any Hot Toys figure these days.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Finn 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
Noting too exciting here, just the usual shoe box design, with an interior card covering the plastic trays that hold the figures and accessories. It's all collector friendly, and the plastic wrappings - of which there are plenty - doesn't require cutting to remove.  At least that was the case with mine, although the person packing yours might have gotten a little more nuts.

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - Finn **1/2; Trooper ***1/2
If you've been enjoying the TFA Trooper releases so far, this one will be no different. Yea, he has a duck bill, but they all do, and for those of us that like the new iTrooper design, this is another extremely well executed release. Sharp, crisp lines on all the armor pieces, nicely defined small details, and an eye for realism combine to create a miniature version that can easily be mistaken for a dude in an actual suit. The proportions are excellent, and he comes in at about 12 inches tall. It's a bit of the 'been there, done that' feeling with this particular category, but he makes up for it as we go along.

Star Wars Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

Finn is underwhelming in this particular area. It's not that he doesn't look realistic - he does.  Hot Toys has the skin texture and fine detailing down to a science, making every one of their portraits look like an actual human being.  He also has enough of a determined, gritty expression to avoid any mannequin effect, giving him that life-like quality as well. But you know there's a third critical component - accuracy.  And in that area, this is more cosplay Finn that screen Finn.

Here's a great PR shot of Finn in this outfit, and another with the light saber. You can see that it is close, and it's hard to put your finger on exactly where it goes wrong.  The shape of the head and hair seems to be the biggest issue to me, creating a wider jawline and a narrower top of his head, but I suspect others will blame the eyes and mouth. And while we all love that skin texture for the added realism, I think they went overboard this time, creating an older looking Finn than what we saw in Episode VII. In any event, I doubt too many people will claim this is a fantastic likeness, with a more common response being close, but no cigar. This is one of those situations where the prototype also seemed much better than the final result. He stands 12 inches tall.

Star Wars Finn 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Paint - Finn ***1/2; Trooper ****
While the sculpt might disappoint (at least with Finn), the paint work certainly does not.  Production paint is the key to Hot Toys success, and they continue to mine that advantage for all it's worth.  While other companies are getting close, none have quite the consistency of quality...yet.

Of course, Jake, er, the Riot Control Trooper has the advantage of a basic paint job.  Black and white is pretty easy to pull off, but they still do it with a control and a realism that's hard to beat. Mixing up the finish on the black is another way they create the impression of different materials, and everything is just about perfect right down to the translucent V on the shield that allows the Trooper to see from behind its safety.

Finn is also extremely clean and realistic, with a nice transition between the hair line and skin, as well as a subtle variation from lips to face. The eyes look great, and the skin color matches fairly well from face to neck to hands.  My one gripe is that he seems slightly darker than the actual character, but part of this might be an additional effect from the heavier texture on the face and neck, creating more shadows.

Star Wars Finn 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Articulation - Trooper **1/2; Finn ****
Finn comes on a highly articulated TrueType body, with plenty of movement in the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, chest, waist, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles.  He can take deep stances, keep both feet flat on the floor, and hold weapons chest high with no trouble.  The joints are tight, and the range of movement is very good. Even the jacket, thanks to the thin material, is far less of an impediment than usual.

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

His counterpart doesn't fair as well, but that's no surprise.  None of the TFA Troopers have had decent mobility, thanks to the underlying black body suit.  It does seem like the arms and shoulders are less restricted this time, and they may have worked extra hard on those areas knowing that collectors would want to pose him in various fighting stances with the baton and shield.  But the chest and waist are pretty much worthless, and the hips, knees, and ankles are quite restricted.  I was able to get some reasonable stances out of him, but it's not anywhere near the level of other armored figures from Hot Toys and other makers.

Star Wars Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ***1/2
I hate it when I don't get much in the way of accessories and extras.  I really hate it. I realize that sometimes it's difficult to come up with great extras, but I think with a little creativity and thought, you can always think of something good.

No problem this time around for either of these guys.  Both have a very good assortment of hands: the Trooper comes wearing a relaxed pose pair, and has a set of fists, gun grip, and baton grips, along with one extra splayed left; Finn also comes with a relaxed pose set, along with a pair of fists, a pair of saber grips, and one extra right for holding the gun.  Both have a couple extra wrists pegs too, just in case, but swapping hands was simple and easy, and they stayed in place tightly.

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

Finn also has a duffle bag, and eight bombs to go inside (one in 'activated' mode). He comes with a very cool blaster with a strap (I'm not a huge fan of the hard plastic used with the strap) and it's a great design. One of the nice things about new movies is you get a chance for new designs, and this blaster is an excellent example.

Of course, Finn wielding the light saber was a key part of the scene with these two characters, and he comes with a standard hilt with removable blue blade, as well as the secondary lower arm/hand and light up hilt.  You've seen this with other recent light saber fighting folk from Hot Toys, so it's no real surprise. I'll discuss how well this particular execution works in the Light Feature section.

The Riot Control Trooper comes with his own blaster, which attaches to his right hip by way of a magnet. More importantly, he comes with his funky baton, which can be displayed 'open' or 'closed'.  To swap between these two modes, they supply two metal pins, one long (open) and one short (closed). By putting the correct pin through the end of the baton and attaching the outer shell appropriately, you get either configuration. To complete the look, there are two blue plastic 'energy' effects, which can be wrapped around the casing.  Like the blaster, the baton can be holstered on his right hip via a magnet.

To protect himself further from blasts, blades, and rocks, the Trooper has a small shield. It wraps around his arm thanks to two Velcro straps in back, and works great in plenty of poses.

Finally, both figures come with a hexagonal base with the appropriate good guy/bad guy logo and a crotch support post. Both of these figures stand great on their own, but the stands are much appreciated by some collectors for consistency sake.

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Light Feature - Trooper N/A; Finn **1/2
The Stormtrooper doesn't have any light feature - no negative there.

As I mentioned earlier, Finn has a light up saber, thanks to a second lower arm.  There are three batteries - included - that you place inside a compartment in his forearm, then pop off the standard forearm at the top of the elbow, pop this new arm in place, flip the switch, and viola!  Let there be light saber!  This sounds very easy. Sadly, it is not.

The saber, when in place and turned on, does look terrific.  The blue color always works the best, and in the photo below you can see the result in slightly dim room light.  I didn't tweak the color or brightness of that saber at all - that's unaltered stuff right there. Getting it in place and turned on is where all the trouble comes in.

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

Popping the arms loose isn't too difficult this time, an improvement over some of the other recent releases.  Simply bend the arm at the elbow and then pull down - both popped free cleanly. Simply pull the standard arm out, easy peasy.

But how do you get the other arm on?  You can't remove the jacket and put it in place because the hand and saber can't fit back through the sleeve. Trust me on that one. That means you have to put it in through the sleeve of the coat and the sleeve of the stretchy shirt, tricky at best.  I found that it tended to stretch out the shirt, since you have to hold the end and force the arm up, all the while keeping the jacket sleeve rolled up. It was not an easy task, and once done and the photo taken, I removed it never to put it back again.

Once the arm is in place, you have to flip the switch, which is hard to find under the two layers of clothing. It's not impossible, but it's easier to push up the shirt and jacket until you find the switch, although that further stretches out the material. No, I was not thrilled by the execution on this light up feature at all.

One last negative - one of the three batteries they supplied was damaged, exploded outward.  I had to buy a new battery to get the proper effect.

On the plus side, the wrist on this extra arm did seem to turn further than some of the past versions, another improvement on their part. If this was a character wearing looser clothing, the outcome would have been much better.

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Outfit - Trooper ***; Finn ***1/2
The only part of the Trooper's outfit I'm considering here is the underlying black body suit. While it looks good, it is very restrictive.  The material does seem a little more stretchy than the first time or two it was used, but it still makes the troopers less posable overall.

Finn's outfit consists of his short sculpted boots, pants, nylon shirt, and very cool pilot jacket. The quality of the materials is excellent, and the tailoring very good all around.  I think the shirt could be a little longer - it tends to rid up on his waist - and the sculpted hard boots look a little two plasticy, but those are my only nits with an otherwise great looking costume.

The jacket is what really sets it apart, and the quality is amazing.  The soft, thin, leather-like material is less restrictive than I expected, and it flows and conforms nicely to most poses, even the more dynamic ones.

Star Wars Finn 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - Trooper ***; Finn ***1/2
You can only get so many poses out of the Trooper, but he does make Finn a better figure by being on the shelf with him.  You can create some great fight scenes, and will have plenty of fun coming up with new ideas over time. Remember though, your fight scenes are going to look like the photo at the top and bottom of the review, with the saber off, not the photo in the middle with the saber on, thanks to the difficulty working with the feature.

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Value - ***1/2
Here's a shock - a Hot Toys release that's also a great value!  While $360 is nothing to sneeze at, you're getting two very complete figures with a ton of accessories.  When was the last time you got any Hot Toys figure, even a bare bones release, for $180?  Add to that a light up feature and a very unique weapon - the baton - and this is a much better price point than normal, even when compared to companies like Asmus or Star Ace.

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Working with the light up arm is very tricky, and getting it in place a major pain in the ass. Take your time, don't force anything, and exercise lots and lots of patience.

Overall - ***
This trooper, all by himself, doesn't do much for the display. But paired with Finn, as he was on screen, and he adds quite a bit to the shelf and to the hero.  That baton is damn cool, and they did a nice job figuring out a way to create an open and closed look.

Finn looks good on his own of course, but I think pairing him off against this Riot Control Stormtrooper makes for a much more interesting look. I'm not loving the likeness, and it's easily the weakest feature of the figure, and I'm getting tired of frustrating light features, but the great assortment of extras, along with the terrific outfit, keep him from dropping too far in his Overall score. 

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - Finn **1/2; Trooper ***1/2
Paint - Finn ***1/2; Trooper ****
Articulation - Trooper **1/2; Finn ****
Accessories - ***1/2
Light Feature - Trooper N/A; Finn **1/2
Outfit - Trooper ***; Finn ***1/2
Fun Factor - Trooper ***; Finn ***1/2
Value - ***1/2
Overall - ***

Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has the set for just $332, or Finn by himself for $195.

- doesn't have the two pack, but Finn is just $198.

- has this set for $360, or just Finn for $204.

- Sideshow has the two pack for $360, or the single Finn for $205.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other recent Hot Toys Star Wars releases include Captain Phasma, the FO Flametrooper, the FO Snowtroopers, and the First Order Stormtrooper. Other Hot Toys Star Wars figures include Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, C-3PO, Tatooine Luke Skywalker, Luke in his Stormtrooper Disguise, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han and Chewbacca from ANH. If you'd like a bit more of a regular Stormtrooper, they've done him as well, along with a Blackhole version. Sidseshow has helped out with the Original Trilogy, with their Jawa set, Hoth Han, Hoth Luke, Tauntaun, Speederbike, and Scout Trooper.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Star Wars Finn, Riot Control Stormtrooper 1/6th action figures by Hot Toys

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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