The Battle of Hoth

One of my favorite scenes in all the Star Wars movies is the battle on the planet Hoth.  It also makes for some of the coolest figures we've gotten in the figure line.

The new Star Wars figures are starting to hit with a little more regularity right now, and the new packaging is making an appearance.  Now with labels for each of the films that the figure is from, the package bears some similarities to the last version, but with a much needed face lift.

One of the first of the new figures to use this package is a Snowtrooper from the aforementioned Battle of Hoth.  Unlike Luke or Leia, you can never have too many troopers - they make for great armies.  And once again, rather than cheaping out on us, Hasbro is giving us an all new sculpt.

I found these at Target, which tend to be the first stores in my area to get new Star Wars.  Some areas have better Wal-marts than we do, so you should keep checking there as well.  Target's price of $4.79 is pretty amazing though. 

Packaging - ***1/2
Although the logo is the same, the package is a darker blue, with a great name stripe on the left side.  This stripe makes it easy to see which film each figure is from, although it might have been more useful to put the character's name there for easy searching on the pegs.

I really like the new look, and the darker blue works great.  It always helps to freshen up a line to give the packages a new look once in awhile, although it annoys some MOCers who are more interested in consistency.

Sculpting - ***
As I mentioned, this is an all new sculpt, at least for the figure.  Even the removable backpack is slightly different.

There's lots of detail, and the figure is sculpted and articulated specifically to hold the cannon.  That works great, but without the cannon the stance is fairly goofy and the figure has a very tough time standing.  Similar to the deluxe Snowtrooper, the stance is an action pose, but that doesn't do much good if you can't keep him standing.

Paint - ****
The paint ops on the figure are excellent, with no slop or poor work.  The dustier color of the under garment is offset nicely with the brighter white of the armor, and I'm glad they didn't go with the 'dirty' look that they did with the deluxe version.

Articulation - **
This figure is more articulated than you'd expect, but not as articulated as other recent Star Wars figures, or articulated enough to allow for many possibilities.

He has neck (which can lean back and forward slightly), shoulders, waist, hips and his right ankle.  The ball joint in the right ankle doesn't help him stand as much as you'd hope, and the arm articulation is really only useful to get him set up with the included cannon.

Accessories - ****
There are three accessories - his removable backpack, his blaster, and the large firing cannon.

The backpack looks good and fits on his back nicely.  Likewise, the blaster fits in either hand fine, and there is a holster sculpted on his body that works well with the blaster.

The important accessory here is the cannon, which is extremely impressive at this price range.  This is the same style cannon that came with the deluxe version, although there are some minor sculpt differences.  This one fires a red blast instead of a gray projectile, but the red projectile is lighter in weight, and goes much farther.  You could actually knock a figure down with this one!  Another minor change is in the firing mechanism - the older version had a button on top, but this cannon fires when you move the handles that the trooper holds.

The cannon is great, and I'm very impressed by what you're getting in this package for just five bucks.

Value - ****
And how could this not get a perfect value score?  Okay, you don't get everything you got with the deluxe figure, but it's almost as much, and the cannon was clearly the most important part.  Considering you're paying less than half, and you can understand how he gets four stars in this category.

Overall - ***1/2
This really could have been a four star figure, but the dopey stance and the difficulty in standing him up knocked him off a half star.  Otherwise he's perfect, with great paint apps, excellent accessories, and a great price.  This guy will make for a great army builder!

Where to Buy - 
I picked mine up at Target, but you should start seeing these pop up at Wal-marts and Toys R Us stores soon enough.  Target's price of under $5 each is tough to beat.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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