Kotobukiya Snowtrooper

Everybody loves troopers. My 5 year old son got his first taste of Star Wars through the Clone Wars DVD's. And anyone who's watched the Clone Wars cartoons knows they made the troopers some seriously kick ass soldiers.

So when he first watched A New Hope this year, his first question was "Why are the guys in white bad guys?" And such was his first valuable lesson on war, that the military men aren't good and bad at a global level, but just men doing what they are told to do by those in power.

Even though the Stormtroopers in Episodes IV, V and VI weren't the most accurate marksman, most coordinated runners, or even the brightest clones in the petri dish, they still had some seriously cool outfits. And I've always thought that the coolest looking amongst them was the Snowtroopers.

Kotobukiya has been doing hard plastic 'snap together kits' under the Star Wars banner for some time now, and I recently picked up their Snowtrooper on Ebay. I already own several others, including the nifty Boba Fett - can this trooper stack up against the rest?

Packaging -  ***
These are technically model kits. There are generally two reasons for doing that. First, it often allows the manufacturer to do something with the licensing that would be otherwise impossible because of other licensors already having it locked up.

The other reason that might not be as obvious has to do with tariffs on imports. I've been told that unassembled products, like models, are hit with lower tariffs than something like an action figure or statue.

In either case, the Snowtrooper comes in five separate pieces (including the base), all tucked inside an insert tray in a large box. The pieces are arranged in the tray to look like the figure, but not quite assembled.

They also come with instructions for assembly, although you won't need them. It's nice to have them though, and I wish other companies would follow this example.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Kotobukiya always does very dynamic poses and sculpts. Many times, they look great. Unfortunately, sometimes they don't.

This time, they pulled it off nicely. The trooper is looking to his right, moving quickly across the snow covered Hoth landscape, blaster ready. It's a fluid, dynamic, interesting pose that looks realistic and eye catching.

There's plenty of small detail, and the solid, hard plastic that they use makes it possible for every wrinkle, every button, every fold, to stand out nicely.

These are called 1/7th scale by Koto, but they are in line with most 1/6th scale stuff. The troopers proportions are terrific, and his scale as compared to others in the line is great. 

The base attaches very tightly and securely to his feet, and is nicely decorated with blasted remnants of equipment, along with plenty of other Snowtrooper footprints.

And if you want to know of examples of when Koto's attempt at a action pose did not work, well, don't even get me started on Slave Leia or Superman.

Paint - ***
The Snowtrooper is predominately white of course, but there is some use of wash to bring out the highlights, and to create a slightly dirty or worn appearance to his outfit.

This works pretty well, but some of the dirt was a bit distracting, and looked more like a flaw in the work than the sweat stains it was meant to convey.

While the paint ops are limited, what's here is generally consistent and clean, and the gray wash isn't over used or excessive.

Articulation - Bupkis
Just in case you were wondering, no, none of the points where you assemble this figure can actually turn or twist. I wasn't expecting it, so this will have no weight on the final score, but I wanted to be sure you knew.

Accessories - Bupkis
Again, I wasn't expecting any (although some of the Koto statues DO have separate guns, etc.), so this will have little bearing on the overall score. More importantly, I wanted to let you know that the gun is NOT a separate piece.

Kit Construction/Quality - ****
Kotobukiya uses a very solid, dense plastic for their statues, and it allows for a solid construction and heft. The pieces fit together with no gaps, and once together they stay that way. There is only one way to put them together, so while instructions are included, it's highly unlikely that you'll need them. The quality of the Koto Star Wars models that I own has always been top notch, and that type of consistency is much appreciated when you're shelling out this kind of money sight unseen.

Fun Factor - **
These aren't really designed as 'fun', although a kid may enjoy the aspect of putting them together the first time. However, once that's done, it's up on the shelf. Of course, that's pretty much true of any 'model'.

Value - **1/2
I'm judging this at around $80, which is the going retail. Now, while I would very much like you to purchase this guy from one of my sponsors in the links below, I also have to admit that you can often get better deals on ebay for these IF you're patient.

I paid around $50 for this one, but I watched a fair number of auctions before I finally got him. At around $80, he's an average value, especially in the statue market. But at $50, you can easily add another half star, maybe a full star!

Things to watch out for - 
Not much. Actually, nothing. He's very sturdy, and it's pretty unlikely that you'll have any trouble getting him put together.

Overall -  ***1/2
I'm very pleased with this purchase, my fourth or fifth Kotobukiya 12" statue. I'll be picking up additional ones, particularly the R2-D2/C-3PO they recently announced, and possibly the Maul. I haven't been impressed with any of the 'human' likenesses so far, but when it comes to the masked or alien characters, they tend to do a bangin' job. The big Star Wars fan should take the time to check these out, because they give you the quality of a high end statue on a beer drinking budget.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - Bupkis
Accessories - Bupkis
Kit Construction/Quality - ****
Fun Factor - **
Value - **1/2
Overall -  ***1/2

Where to Buy -
You have a number of online options:

- Killer Toys has this guy for $80. They also have a ton of the others, in the $80 and up price range.

- CornerStoreComics has him in for $80. They also have a pre-order price of $120 up for the R2/C-3PO, and that's pretty good.

- Alter Ego Comics doesn't have the Snowtrooper, but they have a number of the others in the $85 range.

- Amazing Toyz is sold out of this guy, but they have many of the others in that $80 - $85 range.

- Fireside Collectibles has him on back order at $80, and many of the others for $80 - $85.

Related Links:
I reviewed the Koto Boba Fett as well.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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