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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper
Sixth Scale Action Figure

Hot Toys
Date Published: 2016-09-21
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 2.5 out of 4

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Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

The Star Wars license has always been a juggernaut, but with the release of one new film and another right around the corner, anything and everything is getting slapped with the logo. Hot Toys knows they have a golden egg here, and I'm sure they plan on finding every way possible to market that baby.  One of the ways is creating as many trooper variations as possible. Sideshow certainly did it, and once you have the basic armor pieces created, it's a great way to cash in.

With the release of the very popular Battlefront game last year, more variant potential was unleashed on the fans.  Hot Toys has just released their Shock Trooper based on the look in the game, and have a Jump Trooper shipping any day.  This Trooper will cost you $220, and there are no exclusives or special releases that I know of.

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

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Packaging - ***
No big surprises here.  The exterior artwork on the shoe box design is quite simple, but the interior card that covers the plastic trays is a step up from some of the past releases.  The single plastic tray holds the figure and accessories, and it is all completely collector friendly.

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ****
I loved the Trooper sculpt before, I certainly love it once again here. I can't find any changes to the helmet or armor from the first version they released based on the early films, and it's pretty rare that a company would pay big money to make very minor alterations anyway.  The key to his different look comes in the paint job and accessories, and I'll discuss those more in later categories.

I'm sure that some fans can find issues, particularly with the helmet.  The various helmets in the Star Wars Universe have been poured over and minutely examined for years by some very, shall we say, particular fans, and even slight variations can be obvious to them.  For me, this guy rocks.

There is a light weight, almost brittle feel to the hard plastic that Hot Toys uses, but this isn't new or unique.  You either like the approach or you don't - I happen to be in the former camp.

As you'd expect, he stands just a little over 12" tall, the same as the previous 'tall' Stormtrooper. Considering this is pretty much the same figure with a new paint job, that's not a surprise.

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - **
That was the good news - now comes the bad.  I'm really hating this paint job. It's not that it's not clean and neat - it shouldn't be. These guys show some serious damage in the game. Here's a great shot of a Shock Trooper from the game, complete with battle damaged red paint. As you can see, there's plenty of dirt, and even more scrapes and scratches.

They tried to replicate that here...and failed. Hot Toys usually does wear and damage so well that it's a competitive advantage for them. But this time something went very wrong.

I think that something is all about the edges. Most of the wear and scratching on the troopers in the game is around the edges of the red paint, as you'd expect.  When they tried to replicate that, they didn't paint the entire area and then scratch off the edges - they tried to simply paint bad edges. What the ended up creating is a wavy look to the edge, not a scratched look. The perfect example are the two long stripes on either side of the 'mouth' of the helmet in the photo above.  These stripes don't have straight edges that have been damaged - they have wavy edges that look like I painted them by hand. It's not just there, however: the stripes on the legs, arms, and top of the head all look bad, and don't even get me started about the chest.  Did they just wipe the edge when it was wet?

There are other edges where they got it right, and actually wore the paint off properly. This is most often the case on sharp armor edges where it was easy to get the right look. But the smooth edges between the red and white colors are weak all the way around.

They also tried to add some dirt color to the red, and in close ups (like the one below of the leg) it looks pretty good. Unfortunately, in hand it looks more like poor coverage over the white underneath. Once upon a time, Sideshow did their own Shocktrooper (obviously not game based, since it was produced 7 years ago), and I have to say the way they did the wear was superior.

EDIT - some game players have said that the paint should look hand done, like war paint. If you like what you are seeing in the photos, than your score in this category will be higher - that's the beauty of breaking up the review into the specific areas, as it better allows you to apply your own personal filters.  For me, the paint work remains superior on the Sideshow Shock Trooper, where the look seems more realistic. And not to pick on the idea of the paint being hand done by the troopers like warriors of old, but didn't they generally make their paint work unique in those cases?  Why, if the troopers are hand painting their own armor, do they still look all the same?

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying TrueType has all the articulation you'd expect, and unlike the FO Troopers, it is much less restricted.  That's due to the armor design, which has a looser fit around the joints, as well as the cloth under suit.  This cloth version is softer and more flexible than the more rubbery version used with the newer Troopers.

I had no trouble finding relaxed, flowing poses, and his joints are tight enough to hold deep, dynamic stances as well.  The shoulders can't rise up too high, but mine can't either, so it's not that far off reality.

The hands swap easily, with little fear of breakage or damage.  The hands - and feet, which can sometimes be a problem - stayed on during posing as well.

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - **1/2
There are three truly key accessories here, and one really sets him apart from his non-game counterparts.

Let's start with the hands, of which there are seven. He comes wearing fists, and there is a pair of gun grips, a 'relaxed' pair that work well with holding the front of the rifle, and a gesturing left.  As mentioned earlier, they swap easily but stay tightly in place, and there's a couple extra wrist pegs just in case.

He also has a display base with a crotch support, done up in a desert style with his own name plate. No surprises here, but I wish they'd do a better job getting the foot impressions in the sand to properly match the actual feet. Still, that's a minor nit.

He also has the usual thermal detonator, which slips onto the back of the belt with two metal clips.

Now let's talk about the three accessories you really care about - the two blasters and his pack.  The long blaster rifle and blaster pistol both look terrific, and fit neatly in the supplied hands.  The pistol also fits perfectly in the leather holster (with magnetically held strap) on his left hip.  Sculpting and paint work is excellent, and they include nice features like the folding stock on the pistol and folding support on the rifle.

The pack is a game specific design, and they've done a much better job with the wear, dirt, and damage here.  It's extremely realistic, and the sharply defined sculpt looks terrific.

However, this pack is where this category takes a major, major hit. There is no magnet to hold it in place, at least not on mine. While recent releases from Hot Toys (like their Flametrooper) and Sideshow (like their Captain Rex) employ magnets to bear the brunt of the weight of a pack, there's no such addition here. There are two thin straps for his shoulders, and these tend to slide in the buckles quite easily.  That means every time you handle him, the pack slips down and the straps need to be readjusted.  The placement of the detonator on the belt helps a little, providing some support, but the lack of a magnet is inexcusable, particularly at this price point.  Add in a magnet, three and a half stars here - no magnet, two and a half.

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***1/2
There's really two pieces to the outfit to discuss here, since we already went over the Sculpt and Paint of the armor itself.

The underlying body suit is less restrictive and great looking - both big pluses. He also has the same removable belt as before, held in place with Velcro in back.  The two 'packs' that hang down on either side aren't glued in place straight this time, but it's not too far off the mark.

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***
Normally the good articulation and great looking blasters would boost this score pretty high, since it would be a blast coming up with new and interesting poses.  But the annoying pack pulls things back down to earth, and adds some annoyance to regular adjustments.

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Value - *1/2
Let's keep in mind that this is a repaint with some new accessories, not a brand new unique figure. And yet, they are charging unique figure prices. They'd take a hit here just for that, but add in issues with the figure as well? Yea, that's a serious hit to the Overall.

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. At least nothing unique or unusual to this figure.

Overall - **1/2
The underlying sculpt, body, armor, blasters - these things are just as great as you'd expect.  This is a repaint after all, and a repaint of a terrific figure to start.

That makes the repaint aspect pretty critical here, boosting the importance of the Paint category even more than normal.  Add in the most crucial accessory - the pack - that sets this figure apart, and factor in that accessories lack of a magnetic attachment, and you have a double whammy on this particular variation that really hurts its final overall score.

If you need any more evidence of my disappointment, know that upon receiving this figure and looking it over, I cancelled my pre-order for the Battlefront Jump Trooper. That means I can pretty much leave off all the Battlefront variants now, unless there's something really outstanding. I also suspect that picking these variants up on the after market will be the smarter economic decision.

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

Star Wars Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has him in stock for $220.

- Sideshow also has him for $220.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered quite a bit of the Hot Toys Star Wars line, including the recent Finn and Riot Control Trooper, Captain Phasma, the FO Flametrooper, the FO Snowtroopers, and the First Order Shock Trooper. Other Hot Toys Star Wars figures include Kylo Ren, Darth Vader, C-3PO, Tatooine Luke Skywalker, Luke in his Shock Trooper Disguise, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han and Chewbacca from ANH. If you'd like a bit more of a regular Shock Trooper, 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. They also did a Shock Trooper back in the day.

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 Battlefront Shock Trooper 1/6th action figure 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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