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Review of Sandtrooper sixth scale Star Wars action figure

Hot Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Introduction

There's a new movie opening tonight that a few of your friends and loved ones have been kinda looking forward to. It's no big deal, just a little sci-fi flick that's flown under the radar.

Yea, right. I heard Jimmy Hoffa and Elvis both came out of hiding this week, just to get tickets for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Hey, it was in my Facebook feed so it must be true.

But before everything turns into Force Awakens, I thought I'd look at another terrific figure from the Original Trilogy. Think of it as old school meets new quality, as Hot Toys does the classic Sandtrooper. This guy has just started shipping, and will run you around $220, although I have one sponsor below $210!

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Packaging - ***
Nothing special here, although the interior artwork on the cardboard tray cover is quite attractive.  This is pretty much a shoebox, with a single plastic tray that holds the figure and all the accessories. That they were able to fit all the extras in a single tray is pretty impressive. It's all collector friendly too of course, although you will probably end up tossing out some of the plastic wrap on the figure after you remove it.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Hey, it's a Stormtrooper! Yea, we've seen an awful lot of these over the years, and this one is another nice job from the folks at Hot Toys.  It's no easy task to produce a well accepted Trooper collectible like this, because it's a character that has been studied and photographed and analyzed in amazing detail for cosplay. Serious Stormtrooper aficionados can recognize when something is off by a few millimeters, while the rest of us see something that looks relatively close and declare it perfection.

I'm certainly no expert on the intricacies of the Trooper helmet and armor, but what I see here looks damn good to my eye. There's a little softness to the work around the grill, and I'm not super keen on the way the codpiece section (front and back) is fitted, but these are fairly minor nits.

The detailing on the torso armor is quite nice, and the overall fit of the armor is great. It's made from a hard plastic, which feels more realistic to me than some of the softer armor from the past. The hands are sculpted to work nicely with the accessories, and the overall height - just above 12" - makes him fit in properly with both Hot Toys and Sideshow figures.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Paint - ***
While most wear and tear has been done by various companies with great success, I don't think any have yet quite gotten the sand tarnished look of these Troopers right. Medicom tried, Sideshow tried, and now Hot Toys...and it's just not quite there.

Hot Toys gets close, and it's certainly better than some we've seen. But it still looks like applied paint far more than blown dirt, something done with a specific purpose and guided hand rather than a random act of filth.

There's also a few spots that are uncharacteristically sloppy this time around. The most noticeable is around the grill slats on the nose of the mask, where the edges are sloppy and there's even some stray marks on the white of the face.

Sometimes, Hot Toys reputation is their own worst enemy, and while the work here is not terrible by any stretch of the imagination, it is below the very high bar they've set for themselves with past releases.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Articulation - ***1/2
The usual TrueType has the usual articulation and the usual quality.  While the figure is lightweight overall, the body feels strong and tight. There's little restriction, even with the Trooper armor.

The ball jointed neck can't quite do the sort of tilt and lean that a helmet-less figure could, but that's to be expected. There is some movement there, and you can get very natural poses.  The legs have the least restrictions, while the arms and torso are a bit more tied up with the closely packed pieces of armor.

Still, you can get great poses with all three of the guns, as well as the binoculars.  The joints are tight enough that the pack and weapons won't cause wilt or lean, and there are plenty of options for your personal set up.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Accessories - ****
I've been known to whine about the lack of accessories with a number of recent Hot Toys releases - look no further than last week's Avengers Maria Hill. But you'll get no complaints out of me this time around.

Let's start with the hands, seven in total.  He has a pair of fists, a pair of gun grips, a pair of relaxed grips (he comes wearing these), and one open palm gesturing left. There's a couple extra wrist pegs just in case, but the hands swap pretty easily. I did manage to snap one of the pegs, but it was my own damn fault, and it was easy enough to retrieve the broken pieces and swap to a new one.

One of the nice things about the gloved and armored Trooper hands is that they never seem over sized, unlike the bare Hot Toys hands.  These are made from a harder rubber though, making it a bit tricky getting the accessories in place.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

On his back he can wear his survival pack. Well sculpted and light weight, it also includes the separate long and short cycle filter. These snap into place on either side. The pack is held in place with two adjustable straps, and it works relatively well. However, I do wish they'd adopted the Sideshow concept of having a small magnet mid-back to anchor the pack, and just use the straps for additional support and show.  Only using the straps means a lot more adjusting and slipping while posing the figure.

There are four leather packs as well, three ammo packs (two for the belt, one for the shoulder), and one short pack for the back of the belt. This lower pack also hides the Velcro closure on the belt nicely, but does get in the way a bit of the aforementioned survival pack. The packs look terrific, and are made from a nice, leathery material with some soft wear. The shoulder pouch has an additional side pouch mounted to it, and is held in place with an elastic strap. Actually, all four utilize elastic straps, and they work quite well.

No self respecting Trooper would go out without a blaster, and this guy comes with three.  There's the usual short blaster with folding stock, as well as the round heavy blaster, common to Sandtroopers, and the long blaster rifle with folding bi-pod. The sculpts on all three are excellent, and the paints add a terrific realism to their look.

There's a small patrol droid too, with a clear plastic rod and small black base.  Getting the plastic rod to fit inside the black base was a little tricky - it's a tight fit - but it does work.  The paint on the droid is a little gloppy, and less clean than I'm accustomed to seeing with Hot Toys, but it's still a nice addition overall.

I almost forgot his nifty binoculars, similar to the ones we've seen with the Hoth figures. There's no strap, but he can hold them quite easily in the relaxed grip hands.

Finally, there's his own display base, done up with a sandy top and crotch support.  I really do like the look of the sand, but they designed it with footprints. If you don't place his feet in these prints, it's going to look pretty odd, and that means you're much more limited in the stances he can take on the base.

It's also worth noting that if you have him on this base, you can skip the small black base for the droid and insert the clear rod directly into a small hole on the back right of this larger stand.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Outfit - ***1/2
I've already discussed the paint and sculpt work on the armor, and the fit is quite good as well.  You have more than the armor to the outfit however, including the belt, pauldron and underlying body suit.

Unlike the Force Awakens Troopers, the OT dudes have the stretchy cloth bodysuit. This is much less restrictive than the leathery/rubbery suits like the one I just reviewed on the FO Squad Leader Stormtrooper. The fit is great, and there's no bagging or bulky areas.

The belt is an important addition, since it hides the seam between the torso armor and the codpiece. It closes in back with a Velcro strip, and you can hide this with the soft rounded pouch. In the photo below I lifted up the belt so you could see the gap between the pieces of armor that I'm talking about - in the rest of the photos, the belt is pulled down to hide this area.

The pauldron is held in place with an elastic band, and looks great on the right shoulder. It's also pretty easy to remove, which made putting the pack on much easier. The orange color is a nice change of pace if you bought the earlier Sideshow Deluxe Sandtrooper.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Fun Factor - ***
While this is a great figure for posing and displaying, the pack is on the annoying side. I really wish they'd added the magnet to hold it in place, making it less difficult to work with. That issue pulls the overall 'fun' back a half star for me.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Value - **1/2
I complain a lot about the $220 price tag on these troopers, largely due to the amount of re-use that goes into them. But this time around you're getting a nice, solid set of accessories, making the price a wash. I'm not willing to say you're getting a bargain, but a **1/2 for Value means the category won't have any impact on my final Overall, either positive or negative.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Things to Watch Out For -
The grips are pretty tight and the hands are quite hard, so take care when putting the weapons in place. Other than that, you should be as fine as frog's hair.

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Overall - ***1/2
With some of the Hot Toys OT Star Wars releases, the important question is whether or not the figure is good enough to justify spending $200+ to replace the already very nice Sideshow release. With the Sandtrooper, that's not quite the case. Because of the orange pauldron, it depends on which Sideshow Sandtrooper you have.  The deluxe included the gray or white pauldron, and the Corporal came with the black, making this orange one different enough to justify.  However, if you also picked up the Sideshow Squad Leader, you'll already have a very similar Sandtrooper.

Then again, you probably paid about $100 for that trooper, and that was 5 years ago. For the completists that have all 4 of the Sideshow releases one idea is to swap the orange pauldron on the Sideshow Squad Leader with either the white or gray pauldron that came with the deluxe version. Add in this Hot Toys release and you'll have five Sandtroopers, all with a different color rank.

While the paint work is still a little short of what I'd like to see, this guy is a worthy addition overall, and the general quality is slightly above the Sideshow releases.  Add this guy to the Sideshow Dewback, and you'll have a killer set up.

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

Star Wars Sandtrooper sixth scale figure by Hot Toys

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has him but at the full $220.

- comes in at just $209.

- has him still on pre-order for $220.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This is not the first Sandtrooper of course, and Sideshow did a terrific version several years ago at the same time they did their Dewback. Medicom did one too. If you're more interested in smaller figures, there's the 6" Black version as well, released with the black and orange pauldorn.

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 Sandtrooper sixth scale 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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