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Review of First Order Stormtrooper Star Wars action figures
A Tale of Two Troopers

  Disney/Hasbro
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Introduction

It is the best of times...it is the worst of times. It is...a tale of two troopers.

The only small scale, reasonably priced Star Wars action figures that I collect these days are the 6" Black series by Hasbro. With the release of the new movie later this year, we've been treated to a number of new characters in the line.  One of those was an terrific version of the First Order Stormtrooper, the new take on the old favorite.

But Hasbro wasn't the only company doing a 6" (sort of) series of action figures for the new film. Disney was going their own thing, calling it the 'elite series'.  These figures are slightly larger than the Star Wars Black line, and more importantly, incorporate a lot of die cast metal.

As word of this new line spread, I was intrigued.  Will they fit in with the Hasbro series on the shelf? What are the pros and cons? And would they be something I'd prefer?  I ordered mine through the online Disney store, and thought that a comparison review of the two options, rather than a review of each individually, was the more useful way to go.

The Hasbro version will cost you around $18 - $20, while the Disney version runs $25.  Both are already available, but have been selling out on a regular basis with most stores so far.

As you move through the review, I'll point out which version is in which photo in the text just before said photo. Obviously, the top photo is both figures, and the Disney version is on your left (slightly taller, more shiny), and the Hasbro version is on the right.  Just below this paragraph is the LifeSizer photo of the Disney version.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Packaging - Disney ***; Hasbro ****
Both figures come in attractive boxes. Star Wars has been going with a basic black theme for several years, and these extend that concept. The Hasbro box has a bit more character personalization, including the nifty head shot on the front, but the Disney version provides a larger window to see the actual figure.

In the end, the level of 'collector friendliness' was the deciding factor between the two.  The larger, heavier stock box from Disney is designed to handle a heavy, metal figure. That means lots of twisty ties - 9! - and tape. You can replace the figure and accessories without replacing the twisties (I always use wire snips to remove them because I'm not a patient person), and the tray does hold the figure tightly enough under normal handling. But I prefer the lack of encumbrance with the Hasbro design.

Obviously, the package shot below is the Disney release. To see the box style for the Hasbro release, check out the recent Poe Dameron review.

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Sculpting - Disney ***; Hasbro ***1/2
While both figures are based on the same character and both do a nice job of translating this new trooper design into a small scale, there are some very key differences.

Most obvious is that one is plastic and one is *mostly* die cast metal. It's not the entire figure, but major elements are all accounted for. Turn him around, and you'll see all the screws holding these metal parts together, one of the downsides to this sort of material.

The weight and heft of the Disney version is an allure all its own. I can't say I completely understand the psychology but I know it's real - people find something with this sort of weight to be worth more, and intrinsically better than something light weight. It's almost primal, and I think a lot of people will find the effect inescapable.

But the metal also means a softer sculpt. The edges on the chest armor, the ribs on the mid-torso, all the high spots, have a softer, rounder appearance.

Scale is a bit wonky too.  The hands and feet on the Disney version are tiny, smaller than even the hands and feet on the Hasbro figure...and that figure is actually 1/2" shorter. Yep, the Disney figure is about 6 1/2", while the Hasbro release comes in just a hair over 6".

The Hasbro figure is skinnier, the Disney a bit more chunky.  In some ways, I find that more realistic, as a guy in the armor is going to be wider and thicker. But in other ways (particularly because of the restricted articulation), it comes off as more robot-like.

Both figures stand fine on their own and can hold the weapons.  The Disney version has a little trouble with the smaller blaster, but the Hasbro version can manage both guns easily.

The next photo down is of the Hasbro figure.

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Paint - Hasbro ***; Disney ***1/2
Here we have the old flip-flop, with Disney taking the better score over Hasbro.  Both figures actually have their share of paint issues, especially slop around the edges between the black and white colors.

Both have their fair share of small details, and the color of any joint pin matches the plastic or metal around it. The large screws on the Disney version needed some white paint, but that's about it.

The Disney figure gets that extra half star in this category because of the tone of the white used in  the body. The Disney figure has a brighter, cleaner, true white, while the Hasbro has a bit of a bluish tinge. It's not a deal breaker, but some folks may prefer one look over the other. For me, it's the consistent, bright white of the Disney dude.

The next photo down is of the Disney store figure. You should start seeing a pattern with each photo switching between characters.

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Articulation - Disney ***; Hasbro ***1/2
Here's another category where the Hasbro figure comes out on top, and that's not too surprising. You know a trade off with the metal parts was going to be articulation and posability.

The Hasbro Trooper has a ball neck, rotating hinge shoulders, hinge elbows, rotating hinge wrists, a rocker or ball torso, rotating hinge hips and ankles (with some rocker movement), and double pin knees. For the Disney version, there's similar joints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, wrists, and ankles (the knees are only single pin), but these joints are much more restricted. The thicker, heavier metal is part of the reason, but the overall design of the joints and their integration with the armor is a big part as well.

The Disney version also lacks the crucial chest joint. Without this, the entire ehest is a solid piece, with no tilt or bend, making it much tougher to get natural, flowing poses. It's possible, but your options are going to be limited. They did include a cut waist with the Disney version, which Hasbro does not have.

Another area of difference is the hips, knees and elbows, where there is no rotation on the hinge joints.  This is big problem for the Disney figure, and again, this limits your options when it comes to stances.

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Accessories - ***1/2
It's pretty much a wash in this category, with both figures coming with a large and small blaster.

The blasters fit better in the hands of the Hasbro figure, although the Disney trooper does a good job with the larger gun.  Both of these guns also attach to the side of the leg on the Hasbro figure, which is a really nice touch.

Only the smaller blaster attaches to the leg of the Disney version, and it's a very tough fit. It works, but not well. Both blasters can easily be attached to the hip on the Hasbro version, and they also look great in either hand.

While that sounds like this category should swing to Hasbro, the Disney figure pulls even by offering a third extra, a  black display stand with a foot post. While it's nothing really fancy, the embossed base does have the logo, and its inclusion helps even out the scores.

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
Here's another wash, simply because both figures are up for a great time.  If you only include posability here, the Hasbro version would win, but I was able to get enough lifelike poses and stances out of the Disney figure, and both figures will be able to maintain these long term.

The photo below is of the Hasbro release.

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Value - **1/2
The Hasbro figure will run you $20 (although a lot of stores have good sales), and the Disney figure will run you $25. For that extra five bucks, you're getting the die cast parts. To me, it ends up a wash with value, and you won't feel ripped off by either one.

The photo below is of the Disney Trooper.

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.  Both figures are very sturdy, solid, well made action figures.  They can withstand play or look great on the display shelf, depending on the owner.

The photo just below is the Hasbro dude.

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Overall - Disney ***; Hasbro ***1/2
When I ordered my Disney Trooper, I thought the outcome was going to be obvious.  Lots of people were raving about the new die cast series, and they were only $5 more than the Hasbro figures. How could there be any other outcome?

In hand, it turns out things are different for me. The Disney release isn't a bad figure, and the large metal content is quite cool. Its other biggest plus is the brighter white color, something the Hasbro figure lacks. But it is less articulated, the sculpt and paint are not superior, and some issues (like with the blasters attaching to the leg) were disappointing.  In the end, I prefer the Hasbro Black series figure, but I'm not completely done with the Disney series.  Unlike the Black, I'll be picking and choosing more carefully with the Disney figures, only grabbing up the ones that really speak to me.

The next photo shows the Disney figure again, and the final large photo is of the Hasbro release.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - Disney ***; Hasbro ****
Sculpting - Disney ***; Hasbro ***1/2
Paint - Hasbro ***; Disney ***1/2
Articulation - Hasbro ***; Disney ***1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - Disney ***; Hasbro ***1/2

Star Wars First Order Stormtrooper action figures by Hasbro and Disney

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Where to Buy 
You can pick up the Hasbro version at most retailers (like Target or Toys R Us) for around $18 - $20, depending on sales. Online options include these site sponsors:

- If you're looking to pick up the die cast version from Disney, then they are your best bet, either online or in stores. He'll run you $25.

- Entertainment Earth has the Hasbro version for $22.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
These are the first of the new troopers I've covered, but I have looked at both Poe Dameron and Constable Zuvio in the 6" Star Wars Black series. I've also covered dozens of other Star Wars figures in all sorts of scales - you should hit the Search Reviews page to find them and any other applicable reviews done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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

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