Medicom RAH Stormtrooper

I don't buy a ton of Medicom stuff, so it's as big a surprise to me as it is to you that I have my third (fourth, if you count Adam's guest review) of a Medicom product already this week.

But I ordered this guy from what seems like a long, long time ago, and when he finally showed up at the door I was pretty excited. Stormtroopers, for all their bumbling inefficiencies, are still damn cool looking. If you ignore the their klutzy tendencies and their inability to hit the broadside of a Millenium Falcon with a baseball bat, and focus on the nifty armor, you'll be a lot more enamored with them.

I know this because my son loves them. He was first introduced to them through the Clonetroopers on the animated show, and then watched the Stormtroopers on the original trilogy. He's still a tad perplexed as to how his cool good guys from the cartoon ended up the bad guys in the movies, but at the end of the day I don't think it matters much to him. The designs are cool, and Hasbro has come a long way with the articulation on the smaller figures to create even better toys out of these guys.

Unlike some folks, I only bought one white Medicom Stormtrooper. Yes, it would be very cool to have one on either side of the Medicom Vader, but I'm not that rich. At $130, it was a bit painful just to buy one, but the good news is that right now they have them on sale (and in stock) for $99! And yes, this figure was originally released a couple years ago, but with this sale price, I thought it was worthwhile to revisit him.

Packaging - ***
While I thought the packaging for the FMA line was interesting and well done, the Star Wars boxes are simply dull. Hey, I'm all for the beauty and elegance that can exist in simplicity - it's why I love the animated style so much. But simple doesn't have to mean 'plain'. And that's what these boxes are.

Fortunately, they make up for that by being collector friendly. This is a term I use a lot, originally coined by Flatt World Figures in respect to packaging. It means that the package can be opened without any substantial damage, and the figure can always be returned at a later date. This is a nice feature, and really should be the expectation for any high end sixth scale collectible.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpted armor is a thing of beauty - Medicom has produced the finest looking Stormtrooper to date in this approximate scale. The armor appears to be designed very much like the actual, uncomfortable and restrictive armor that the extras had to wear on screen.  But I'm betting this figure actually has a better range of movement than they did.

It might appear at first blush that the helmet is too large for the body.  But I say nay, nay!  Is it big?  Yes, but look at any photo of an actual trooper and you'll see that the helmet IS large on the body.  To have an actual human head under there requires it to be out of scale with the rest of the body.  What you see here is an extremely close approximation to reality.

If you're wondering what's under the helmet, I've included a shot. It's a standard mannequin style head, which allows the helmet to sit properly on the shoulders. And no, it doesn't look like Temuera Morrison.

Scale has always been an issue for the Medicom Star Wars figures. This trooper stands 11 1/2 inches tall, which is too short to be seen with any other true sixth scale figures. At that height, he's about the same as the Sideshow Jedi Luke, and we all know that even Luke was short for a Stormtrooper.  That pretty much limits you to posing him with the RAH Vader or Luke, and the upcoming RAH Fett.  That's an unfortunate negative for a lot of folks with this line.  It's one thing to not be able to pose them with the Sideshow Star Wars line - but it's a whole 'nother not to be able to pose them with almost no other sixth scale licenses.

Along with scale, there is one other sculpt issue for me.  This guy has tiny hands.  Tiny, tiny hands.  They are clearly too small for his body, even sculpted in the gloves and armor.

Paint - ***1/2
The armor is molded in the bright (and I mean snow blind bright) white armor, but there is added paint operations to areas like the helmet and torso.  The small details that are here are fairly well done, although there is a bit of slop between the black paint and the bright white in a few areas.

Articulation - ***1/2
The Medicom body is one of the best articulated AND flows and hangs in a very natural and realistic way.

Getting this guy into poses that seemed lifelike was easy, unlike some 12" bodies currently on the market.  Getting him to hold poses without the benefit of the display stand was also easy, a big plus to me.

All the articulation you expect in a sixth scale figure is here, including ball joints at the neck, hips, shoulders and ankles, and double joints at the ankles and knees. Even wearing the restrictive armor, this guy can take and hold more poses than most.

The armor is restrictive though, so don't expect any deep fighting stances or wild round kicks.  Still, the articulation is designed to not only hold various poses, but do so in a natural manner, a huge plus.

Accessories - ***
The trooper comes with his trademark blaster, which fits nicely in the holster permanently attached to the outfit. The sculpt is extremely detailed, but it does seem that the overall size is a smidge small. That just might be my perceptions though, and if it is a bit undersized, it's not enough to be a major problem.

The same can't be said for the extra set of hands, which, like the attached set, are way too tiny. With hands this small, it ain't surprising that this guy's 'blaster' is a bit undersized. And his gun too.

The hands pop on and off easily enough, but don't have the annoying tendency to come off while posing. There's also the standard clear display stand, which is nice but not particularly necessary for this guy. You'll be able to get him into some good poses without it, and he'll stay there indefinitely.

The right hand is posed to hold the blaster, while the left is giving a thumbs up signal. I can see this particular hand being used in many a comic photo.

While the accessories are good, at this price point they're definitely a bit light. Considering the number of cool items that could have been included, having just the blaster and a set of hands is a bit of a disappointment.

Outfit - ****
I've already mentioned the sculpt and paint on the armor, but let's not forget that the outfit also has to fit the body well, and not be any more restrictive than necessary.

Under the armor is a soft body suit, zippered up the back.  Most of the armor is not actually attached to the suit though, and stays in place with a tight fit to the body.  The one exception MIGHT be the bicep armor pieces, because these are very tight on the arms.  I wasn't going to go tearing at them to double check.

The shoulder armor is actually attached to the chest armor with two small, glued pieces of cloth at the very top.  This allows the shoulder armor to move completely up and out of the way for just about any arm pose.

The helmet has foam inside to ensure a tight fit on the head, and to ensure that it won't tilt due to gravity.  That way it holds tilted and twisted poses nicely.

Capping things off is a terrific soft leather holster for the blaster.  The strap does not actually open, but the holster is designed to the blaster can be pushed down far enough for the strap to be placed over the stock.

Fun Factor - ***
Kids love Storm(and clone)troopers. But this guy is unlikely to end up in any backyard brawls, cool as he may be. That's probably for the best, since the armor is a bit easy to damage, and might tear free from the body suit with even basic play.

But for the older kid who can appreciate the nature of this figure (oh, I'm thinking 10 - 12, depending on the kid of course), this would actually make a really amazing present.

Value - **
I'm grading this at the $130 I paid, which tends to be the average price when these guys were first hitting. However, they have them on sale right now for about $100, which is much more in line with what I'd consider an average value. Pick him up at that price, and you can add another half star.

Things to Watch Out For - 
Pretty much nothing. If you do decide to take the helmet off, use some care, since you can pull the foam padding loose. But in general, this figure is well built and can take basic handling and posing without fear of damage.

Overall - ***1/2
If I had paid $100 for this guy, he just might be a four star review.  Even at the extra thirty clams, he's still a Hell of an action figure.  If you're thinking about picking one up, now might be the time with prices a tad lower than they were in the past.

The thing that sets this figure - and many of the other Medicom figures - apart is proportion.  The armor and body proportions look excellent, and the effect on the realism that this has can't be stressed enough.

I had planned on picking up the RAH Fett as well, but I'm on the waiting list.  Damn if I didn't forget about the preorder until 1:30, and by then they were already sold out! 

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***
Outfit - ****
Value -  **
Fun Factor - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy - got this in stock, and has them on sale for just $99 each right now. Hey, I paid $130, which is where my value score comes from, but at $100, you can add another half star!

Related Links - 
Other Medicom Star Wars reviews include:

- guest reviews of the VCD Yoda and Boba Fett.

- guest reviews of the ROTS Vader, Jedi Luke, and this very Trooper.

- and my review of their first release Darth Vader.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour