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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica
Star Wars Rogue One

Hasbro
Date Published: 2016-10-12
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 2 out of 4

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Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica by Hasbro

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Introduction

Hasbro has been testing the waters with medium quality prop replicas for awhile now with their Star Wars license.  They've only recently stepped up their game with Marvel, releasing the Iron Man helmet and Captain America shield under the 'Marvel Legends' brand. Both of these were terrific, and considering the price point - right around $100 - a great option for the budget conscious collector.

I'm checking out another recent release in their Star Wars line up, part of their Force Friday product splash.  This time it's a Rogue One Stormtrooper helmet, complete with voice changing technology to create the same distinct sound that we hear from the troopers on screen.  This guy is slightly cheaper than the Marvel Legends releases, coming in at around $80 at mass market retailers like Target.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica by Hasbro

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Packaging - ***
It comes in a box pretty much identical to the box we saw with the earlier Iron Man helmet, but with the current Star Wars graphics and design theme. Inside are several pieces of cardboard to hold the pieces in place, and each piece of the helmet (there are three) comes wrapped in a plastic bag. There's a small set of instructions included. I deducted a half star because while there were plastic bags, I had several pretty obvious rub marks on the crown of the helmet.

Sculpting/Design - ***1/2
The helmet comes in three pieces, each wrapped individually in the box.  There's the front of the face, back of the head, and crown of the head. These snap together tightly - once it's together, it's not coming apart. This design isn't as 'one size fits all' as we saw with the Iron Man helmet, because there's no way to adjust the size of the neck hole once you have it put together. If you're head can't fit, you're out of luck.  I have a big head and was able to just slide it on, and my teenage son had no trouble.

Inside the helmet are two interconnecting straps that crisscross the top of the head, one side to side, one front to back.  Both are adjustable. I would get these straps adjusted as much as possible before putting the top piece in place.  With the front and back attached, you can put the helmet on the person in question and easily adjust the straps to get the best fit and ride.  Then snap the final top piece in place. You can still adjust the straps once the entire helmet is assembled, but it will be harder, and require taking the helmet off, adjusting, putting it back on, taking it off, adjusting...etc. With the top piece off, you can adjust while wearing it.

The overall size and shape of the helmet is quite good, although it is a little off model to my eye. Of course, these helmets have been viewed and reviewed by replica makers and fans to the most minute detail, so I have no doubt they will be plenty of nits to pick. But for me, the casual observer, this is a very solid recreation.  I compared it to a number of still photos, and I can find areas - like around the 'ears' or the vents in front - where I feel things are slightly off, but these issues are extremely minor. This is a Rogue One design as well, which we can't really properly compare until the film has been released.

The construction is also VERY solid. While it's not quite at the level of the high end, far more expensive replicas that are available, it's still extremely good, made from a thick PVC.  That does mean it's weighty though, which some cosplayers and kids may find less desirable. It won't exhaust you to wear it, but it's important to get a good adjustment on the straps to compensate.

Unlike the Iron Man helmet, you can breathe in this one. Along the bridge of the 'nose', where the gray and black slats are, there are gaps that allow air to pass through. They aren't huge, but it's better than nothing. The vents at the bottom front are not vents, but solid pieces.

One of the downsides on this, if you're only looking at it as a pure prop replica, is the slots for the speaker in back, and the somewhat hidden battery cover. The speaker was unavoidable if they wanted to include the feature, but they could have done a better job hiding the battery cover on the inside of the helmet (like the Iron Man version) rather than having it on the outside.

One other note about the construction - the black band across the forehead is actually a softer, rubbery material. I thought that was a nice touch, and there is also a soft rubber nose rest on the inside, making the fit a bit more comfortable. It does not have the sculpt details on the interior that the Iron Man helmet had.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica by Hasbro

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Paint - ***
This guy was packed well, but I still ended up with quite a few rub marks - very serious ones at that - on the top of the helmet.  The solid white color does wonders for hiding them in photos, and they aren't even all that noticeable in person, if not for the effect they have on the finish. Still, I'd like a completely clean look right out of the box, and don't want surface damage until the kids have had their go at it.

The rest of the paint work was excellent. The translucent eyes look great, and there's no serious slop or stray marks to be seen.  The colors are relatively screen accurate as well, and the quality is in line with the price point.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica by Hasbro

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Sound Feature - Bupkis
One of the most important features of this helmet - assuming you're buying it to wear and play with - is the voice changer.  There is a battery compartment and speaker on the back of the helmet. Pop off the outer cover on the compartment, unscrew the inner cover, and insert three (not included) AAA batteries. Put it back together, and press the button on the right side of the helmet (it's the gray rectangle, a nice use of an actual exterior feature as a button) and your voice comes through the speaker sounding like an actual Stormtrooper. How cool is that?

Sadly, not as cool as I'd hoped, since mine doesn't work at all. The microphone is right below the nose on a short adjustable 'stick'. Pressing the button on the side of the helmet - on mine - makes a weird start up noise, but my voice is not altered at all. Pressing the button again does shut it down, creating another sound in the speaker, so it appears to be either the microphone that's causing the issue, or the connections between the front half of the mask (where the mic is) and the back half (where the switch, batteries, and speaker are). Since the two pieces snap together permanently, there's not much you can do about adjusting this connection once you've assembled the helmet.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica by Hasbro

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Fun Factor - **
If this were being judged as a pure prop replica, I'd be skipping this category.  Like statues and busts, prop replicas aren't really meant to be 'fun'. But this is also designed for kids and adults alike to wear and enjoy, and when it comes to cosplay, the activity can be lots of fun.

Unfortunately, the loss of the voice changing feature cuts deep here.  While the wear-ability is pretty good - and certainly better than we saw with the Iron Man helmet - a key part of the fun is the sound feature. With it working properly, I'd anticipate a *** or even ***1/2 here. Without it, ** is as best as I can go.

That's a sullen teenager wearing it in the photo below.

Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica by Hasbro

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Value - Cosplay **; Prop Replica ****
The lack of a voice changing feature is a real bummer here. At $80, I'd have gone the full four stars in this category with it working.  As it is, you're paying for a feature that doesn't work out of the box, and while I'm pretty sure I was just unlucky enough to get a dud, I can't guarantee you won't have issues as well.

But if you're really only looking at it as a replica, the Value is excellent. I know that seems counter intuitive - how can it be a better Value since the voice changing feature doesn't work either way? - but this is one of those rare cases where WHY you are buying the item has a huge effect on your perceived value.

Things to Watch Out For -
On the off chance the sound issues aren't super rare, keep your receipt handy. To avoid creating any of your own issues, be very careful with the electronic connections between the front and back half of the helmet. I don't think that's the issue with mine, but I have no way of checking now without potentially breaking the locking tabs.

Overall - Cosplay **; Prop Replica ***1/2
Like the Iron Man helmet, I'm grading this one for two different purposes.  As a prop replica, it's terrific.  Under that scenario, the voice changer has little point, and the only downside is the scuff marks that mine exhibited right out of the box.  The Value score actually rises (and that's not easy to do) when you look at it only from a replica standpoint, particularly since it can rival those costing $250 or more. In fact, take away the issues I had with scuff marks and rubs on the paint, and I think you would have a four star replica here.  The materials are high quality, the build quality is great, and it has a proper heft and feel when you pick it up.

But as a cosplay helmet, the non-working voice changer is a big deal.  Your kids won't be happy if you open this up and can't get it to work, and neither will you. If yours does work, I could easily see this hitting a full four stars, since the Value would jump, the Fun Factor would jump, and depending on the quality of the effect, the Sound Feature score could be quite high.

That's just a guess though, and I really need to hear the effect to be sure.  I'll be taking this guy back later today, but I don't have any hope that they'll have another at this time to exchange.  These have been in very short supply at the local stores, and I was quite surprised to find one when I did. If you have picked one up and the voice changing feature works for you, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.

In the next photo is a less sullen but more grumpy middle aged man wearing the helmet. And an I Am Groot t-shirt.

UPDATE: I managed to return this at lunch time, and the woman working the register at Target said she had one returned yesterday for the exact same reason. Yep, hang on to that receipt. And as expected, they didn't have another for me to exchange.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Sound Feature - Bupkis
Fun Factor - **
Value - **
Overall - Cosplay **; Prop Replica ***1/2

Star Wars Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica by Hasbro

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Where to Buy 
I picked this guy up at Target for around $80. Online options include these site sponsors:

- has it for just $75.

- Entertainment Earth has it for $90.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I have already covered two of the new Marvel themed prop replicas from Hasbro, the Iron Man helmet and the Captain America shield. I had much better luck with both.

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 Stormtrooper Helmet Prop Replica by Hasbro

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

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