Star Wars Joker Squad
Entertainment Earth Exclusive

Star Wars Joker Squad action figures by Hasbro

If you've ever wondered whether it was more important to look good, or actually be good, look no further than Stormtroopers. Everybody loves them. And it's all because of that damn cool armor. Inept, bumbling, doofus', they had their asses handed to them by a bunch of stumpy Webkinz. And yet thousands of people spend thousands of dollars to dress up like them, my eight year old son has a huge army of them in his room, and even I just recently spent $180 on a pair from Sideshow. Yep, it's all about the looks, baby.

Entertainment Earth has a new exclusive boxed set that contains five Stormtroopers, all part of the 'Joker Squad'. This set is based on the Star Wars Legacy #4 comic, in which Troopers battled Troopers. These five are under the command of the sixth figure in the set, the Sith Lord Darth Maleval. The set is particularly interesting because it includes the first female Stormtrooper action figure.

You can pick up this set right now through EE for $40.

Packaging - ***
These guys come in a long box. Hey, it's a box, and you know I like those. It's shackled a bit by the same rather boring Clone Wars design, but it's fairly collector friendly (only a rubber band holds each figure in place), and it's easy to store for the MIBers.

Another plus is the labeling the box with the names of all the characters. If you haven't read the book, you'd have no idea who these very distinct Stormtroopers are. There's even some text on the back that gives a brief overview.
Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro
Ginny Weasley Harry Potter mini-bust by Gentle Giant
Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro
Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro
Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro
Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro
Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro
Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro
Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro

Sculpting - ***1/2
From the neck down, four of the five troopers are identical in sculpting. That's not too surprising, and the good news is that this trooper body/armor sculpt is excellent. There's a ton of small detail in the belt, torso armor, and helmet.

The helmets are all identical as well, at least in terms of sculpt. There are some paint differences, but more on that in the next category.

There is one trooper body sculpt that is unique, and it belongs to the babe known as Jes Gistang. Yea, I'm not making that up. Let's face it, Lucas and company were never particularly creative with their character names, but a chick named 'tang? Ted Nugent would certainly approve.

Back to the point - while she wears the same helmet, she has a unique body sculpt. She's smaller, more feminine, with slightly bigger...bumps. Her belt is a different design as well, lacking the holster and having some different packs. If I were being sexist, I'd say that's where she keeps her make up. In reality, it's probably were she keeps the testicles of other trooper that make cracks like that.

The figures stand the usual height, between 3 3/4" and 4" tall. Jes is thinner and more feminine than the other troopers, but she's about the same height.

Each of the five troopers has their own unique head sculpt. The skin head dude has a bit of a small noggin;, but the rest look terrific. The detail work in the hair is top notch, and Jes is quite pretty, especially for a Stormtrooper.

The sixth figure in the group is Darth Maleval. His armor sculpt is really impressive considering the scale, and is not obvious in the package as he is covered by the black robes. His head sculpt is decent, but does lack some of the texturing I expected, considering he's a squid head. Maleval is the tallest of the group, just a smidge over 4".

All the figures stand great on their own, and the hand sculpts are designed to work perfectly with the accessories.

Paint - ***
The paint work is fairly standard for the current Hasbro Star Wars line. Obviously, these aren't designed as high end collectibles, but they sport fairly good mass market style paint jobs.

There's not much slop on the faces, but I do wish that the flesh color wasn't so shiny. It's particularly distracting on Jes, who looks wet and sweaty. Hmmm, maybe that was on purpose, now that I consider it...

While the helmets all have the same sculpt, one of the five is actually painted slightly differently, more old school, including the 'teeth'. I'm assuming this was to match the character in the book, but I don't have it handy to reference.

Articulation - ***1/2
It shocks me that the same company that can do such a good job with articulation in this scale on the Star Wars line has such a hard time with new super hero lines like Marvel Universe and XMO:W.

All of these figures have ball jointed necks (the ball and socket kind), and they work fantastic on the five troopers. The tilt, lean and swivel in every direction, allowing you to add that extra personality to any pose. Maleval's doesn't work quite as well due to his more restrictive head sculpt, but it's still a somewhat useful joint.

There are also ball jointed shoulders all around, and the work great. Maleval's shoulder armor is joints as well, so that it can move up and down with the movement of the arms.

All the figures sport ball joints (pin/post style) at the knees, elbows, and ankles, giving them an excellent range of movement, and you the ability to get some very natural poses.

The troopers have cut wrists, but Maleval has a cut joint higher on the forearm. The hips are standard V cut, and there's an ab crunch that allows for both forward/backward movement, as well as the ability to turn.

Overall, the joints work great. The articulation is designed to work nicely with the trooper armor, and you'll be able to pose these in all kinds of fairly realistic ways. The joints are also sturdy enough to allow for normal play, making them great additions to your kid's army.

There are two minor nits. Of course, I would have preferred ball jointed hips as well. Who wouldn't. And on the male troopers, the sculpted chest armor doesn't come down far enough to hide the inside of the ab crunch joint when it tilts back even slightly. This is not a problem for sweet Jes.

Accessories - ***1/2
Usually when you get one of these exclusive sets, with lots of re-use, you end up with very few accessories. Not so this time.

Sure, the five blasters - one for each trooper - are all the same, but that's not a surprise. At least they all get at least one weapon, and Hondo Karr has his knife as well. Then there's the huge cannon-like blaster that belongs to Jes (she's the heavy arms expert of the group), which even looks good in her hands.

I already mentioned the paint and sculpt on the helmets, but these are truly accessories as well. Removable helmets makes them all that much more flexible on your display.

Maleval has two weapons as well - a light saber and a whip. Yes, I believe this is another first: the first S&M Sith Lord. Both weapons have solid sculpting, and fit perfectly in his hands.

If you count the removable helmets, everyone has at least two accessories, and two of them have three. That's unusual for a single carded Star Wars figure, let alone one in an exclusive pack like this.

Fun Factor - ****
These are great toys, no doubt about it. The articulation is useful and sturdy, there's cool accessories, and you get a bunch of troop builders PLUS a great looking bad guy. The minute my eight year old son saw these, he was bugging me to get them.

Value - ***
Right now, most stores are selling single Star Wars figures for around $8 a pop. Here, you're getting unique head sculpts (as well as two entirely unique figures), with plenty of accessories and great articulation, for about $6.70 each. Considering how much Hasbro is charging for their other 3 3/4" lines, this is a very good deal. And it's an exclusive set on top of it!

Things To Watch Out For
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
I really like this set - in fact, I like it quite a bit more than I had anticipated, and was a little hesitant to give it up to my son. Yea, he won out, but I had to really think about it.

This might be your only chance to get Jes. Who doesn't want to add an obviously female Stormtrooper to their squad? Hasbro could have cheaped out and not given her such a clearly female body, but they didn't, so she'll look unique on your shelf in or out of the helmet.

On top of that, you get a unique Sith Lord, plus five more cool Stormtroopers for your army. Hey, one of them even has a mullet!

I just wish Hasbro would give us articulation that works this well on the MU and XMO:W lines.

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

Where to Buy -
As I said, this is an Entertainment Earth exclusive, so that's the place to pick it up. If you're looking to army build, you can even pick up a case of these (6 packs for a total of 36 figures) for $220, or $6.11 each.

Related Links -
If you like Stormtroopers, I have all kinds of reviews:

- most recent was the new 12" version from Sideshow.

- If you like your troopers small, metal and expensive, check out the Attakus version.

- Medicom has done several 12" versions, including the Sandtrooper, regular Trooper, and Black Hole Trooper.

- here's a variety of 3 3/4" troopers.

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

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  My score converted to a five star system for comparison: 4.38

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Star Wars Joker Squad action figures from Hasbro

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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