Vintage Original Trilogy Collection
Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, Chewbacca and R2D2

Sean Teeter, our very own college bum, is here with a big review of some small figures - the VOTC Fett, Chewie, R2 and Stormtrooper!  What's the dish, Sean? 

I’ll admit it: I’m a bit late getting to this one folks. Not only did I finally get all four vintage-style figures from the Return of the Jedi wave last week, I also got Halo 2 –not to mention that I’ve recently picked up Mortal Kombat Deception and Bloodrayne 2 as well. So needless to say, between sleep and home repairs I’ve been camped out in front of the X-Box as opposed to examining my latest Star Wars acquisitions.

This is it folks, the home stretch! While I still have yet to find a friggn’ C-3PO anywhere in stores –or online for a decent price—this basically wraps up my Star Wars purchases for a while. While I’ve been pleased with the VOTC line in general, I’ve been a little disappointed that only a few of these figures really blew me away. Han Solo from the ANH wave is the only true four-star figure thus far, with Luke and Yoda coming really, really close.
The ROTJ wave consists of four figures: Chewbacca, Boba Fett, R2-D2, and a Stormtrooper. How do Hasbro’s final four stack up?

Packaging - ****
I’ve pretty much covered this section in my previous vintage-styled reviews. These carded figures are simply the best packaging that Hasbro has ever done, and probably ever will. 

There is one interesting change that I don’t like however. Hasbro pulls a “Lucas” on the R2-D2 packaging with the phrase “Now With Extension Arm!” The original read “Now With Sensorscope!” 

Sculpting - Chewbacca, Stormtrooper: ****; Boba Fett: *** ½; R2-D2: barely *** 
I have yet to award any vintage-style figure less than three stars in this category, but I came really close with R2-D2. Overall he looks fine –hell, R2’s probably got the best track record at accurate sculpting out of any Star Wars figure. However, there were numerous little problems that just kept piling up the more time I spent looking at him.
First the good: keeping in line with scale issues, Hasbro redid the body, making him shorter and more accurate in height. The double lining on his body panels is also new and looks pretty nice, as do all his vents and knobs. The hosing on his feet has been sculpted separately for the first time and adds that little touch of realism missing from other R2’s.

On the downside let’s start with the legs. R2’s left leg is longer than the right one! I know this is not an isolated incident since I can tell the one I kept in the package suffers from the same problem, plus I’ve heard about it from other collectors as well. While the leaning issue can be fixed in three-legged mode, R2 can’t stand up straight. Apparently Hasbro fixed this problem on later releases, but it kid of bugs me this slipped through. The vacu-dome with the heavy seam up the sides also irritates me. While this might be in homage to the vintage figure, it just doesn’t look as good as the some of the painted versions out there. I can also do without the light-pipe eye. After all, it never lit up in the movies. I also don’t like the Sensorscope design. It rotates out of R2’s head as you turn the dome. In other words, it can only be completely raised if he’s looking to the side.

Boba Fett will probably be scrutinized the most due to his huge fan club. Lucky for all you fan boys out there, Hasbro did an excellent job. This is the best-looking Boba ever produced by Hasbro, but there are still a few things that could stand improvement. Every little wrinkle and detail of his jumpsuit is pretty dead-on, down to those little knick-knacks he carries in his shin pouches. The belt is sculpted to the ROTJ costume as opposed to the ESB version, complete with its row of front pouches. The chest armor is excellent, but could stand some more battle damage –the same with the helmet.
The tubes feeding into the right gauntlet are separately sculpted, but could have been a bit longer to help with the movement. As is, they impede the right elbow articulation. The left gauntlet seems too bulky across the bottom. The famed Wookie braids are also too big and lack detail. Fett has no peg holes for some reason. There are indents cut into his feet outlining where they should be, but neither are punched.

The Stormtrooper is easily one of the most iconic and distinctive-looking figures ever produced from movie land. Of course, they’re also a mainstay of the Star Wars line, because you can never buy just one. One Stormtrooper standing around on his own doesn’t do much for display purposes. You need a line of them standing at attention, or a platoon swarming the Rebel forces. Everyone sang the praises of the Comm-Tech trooper at first, then began to let Hasbro know what could have been done better. This time around Hasbro did their job and delivered the best-looking troop builder in the history of the Star Wars line. This guy is movie accurate down to the ribbed indentations on his forearms. The armor sculpt is perfectly done. The belt has been separately sculpted and layered over the waist. Hasbro tried to be a little too clever with the holster. Not wanting some bulky monster, they cut a hole in the flap for the gun barrel to go through. It’s a little klutzy –and the illusion only works from the side—but there’s no real visual impact. The helmet seems a little narrower than it should, compared to the source material, but it’s not a big thing in the long run. Speaking of the helmet, there appears to be a slight variation out there. Under the back rim of the helmet is either a number 1 or 2. While neither helmet looks different outside, the number 1’s seem to ride lower to the chest and shoulders than the number 2’s. The cavity for the ball joint is just deeper on the #1 helmets for some reason. 

Chewbacca looks like, well, Chewbacca. This is definitely an ROTJ sculpt of Chewie, right down to the bangs. The detailing, especially in the fur, blows the Bespin Escape version right out of the water. Even the hanging hair on the arms looks great, but the longer strands on the hands look a tad awkward in raised poses. The face is sculpted with a neutral look: open mouth, no grimacing or furrowed brows. Chewie’s bandolier had been sculpted separately this time to allow for a more natural, realistic look. I would have liked it to be removable, but we can’t have everything.

Like Princess Leia, Chewbacca has no peg holes in his feet. Instead, Hasbro actually sculpted the bottoms. They look a little too “Harry and the Hendersons” for me, but I like the idea. Even though he doesn’t quite match up with the original ANH look, this guy covers the ESB and ROTJ appearances quite well. Hasbro doesn’t need another Chewbacca ever, even though we’ll probably see one in the Episode III line somewhere.

Paint - Boba Fett, Chewbacca: ****; R2-D2: *** ½; Stormtrooper: ***
Despite having the least to paint, the Stormtrooper is surprisingly sloppy in some areas. The black application under the arms is splotchy in some spots, as are the front vents on the helmet. In fact the black detailing is hit on miss on every one of these guys I’ve seen. The gray detailing on the helmet is a lot cleaner though.

R2 is another simple paint job, but there’re still a few mistakes to be found. The body itself is pretty clean. All the blues and silvers are pretty close to perfect. The mess is on the vacu-formed dome. The blue applications just don’t seem as clean up top when compared to the rest of the body.

Chewbacca’s fur highlights are really well done. While I could have gone with some lighter paint around the upper head, I’m not going to complain here. Chewie’s teeth and tongue are not only painted, but clean as a whistle with no bleeding. Even the bandolier pouch looks great, sporting a nice weathered look.
While his armor could still use some more damage, this is easily the most accurate ROTJ Boba Fett out there. No more of this green suit/blue suit crap. Boba’s back in his gray jumpsuit, complete with movie-accurate detailing down to the little silver doohickies Velcroed to his shins. The red/maroon colors of his visor and gauntlets are suitably toned down unlike the gaudier Pit of Carkoon version. The only slop to be found is on the Wookie braids. In fact, the braids just need to be completely redone at a sculpting level first. 

Articulation - Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, Chewbacca: *** ¾; R2-D2: *** 
Compared to regular Hasbro figures, three of these guys blows everyone else out of the water, but there are still a few missed opportunities or problems keeping them from a perfect score.

R2-D2 has five joints: head, shoulders, and ankles. It’s all that’s required for this figure, but the application of the Sensorscope in his dome kind of screws up neutral posing. I also would have preferred the third leg to be a built in feature.
The Stormtrooper is miles beyond the Comm-Tech version with fourteen points: ball-jointed head, shoulders, elbows, knees, torso, and ankles, along with hip and wrist cuts. The sculpt of the lower torso armor limits the hip joints a bit, but the rest not only work for great poseability, but also blend in pretty seamlessly into the sculpt of the figure. So what’s the problem? The Stormtrooper is just missing the same ball-joint hips found on Luke and Han. This is a figure that really needed that extra articulation, and I was a little disappointed by it’s absence. The armor sculpt around the hips may be accurate, but it can be limiting on your more creative poses. However, the other points are excellent, especially the slotted ball joint in the upper torso which really allows for some great battle poses.

Chewbacca has fifteen points: ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, upper torso, lower torso, knees, ankles, and cuts at the hips, neck and wrists.

Easily the best feature on this Wookie is the double-jointed torso, which is very similar to the Wampa released a while back. Chewie can lean in any direction with these. The knee and ankle joints are well hidden in the sculpting, as are the shoulders. While I called the neck a cut joint, I’m not entirely sure, since the thing barely moves. Chewbacca’s head is basically immobile. While I’m sure it was designed that way to avoid damage to the bandolier on the shoulder, it just kind of sucks. As always, ball-jointed hips would have been nice too.

And then there’s the Fett-man. Boba also clocks in at fifteen points. He has a movable antenna, a ball-jointed head, shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles, as well as cuts at the forearms, waist, and hips.

While he’s easily the most poseable Fett out there, Boba could still use a little tinkering here and there. Let’s just get this out of the way: hip joints. I’ve harped on this enough by now, but most of the VOTC figures could have greatly benefited from the same hip joints found on Han and Luke, especially Vader, the Stromtrooper, and Fett. I’m also not as tickled with the forearm cuts either. I would have preferred cuts at the wrists instead, or at both points. However with the tube design on the right elbow, the cut is necessary for posing, even though the tubes still limit movement. On the plus side, the joints that are present are almost invisible at times. The knee design disappears in neutral poses, as do the shoulders and ankles.

Trust me though; the negative aspects are just my little pet peeves I’m displaying here. If I weren’t such an articulation freak, these last three figures would have gotten perfect scores in this category. 

Accessories - Chewbacca: *** ½; Boba Fett, R2-D2: ***; Stormtrooper: **
This has truly been the bane of this twelve-figure run, not to mention a sore spot for the whole Star Wars line over the years. At an SRP of about $10, Hasbro has done a pretty poor job with accessory distribution. There were a few bright spots with Yoda and Luke, but for the most part they’re pretty lackluster or just reused. These four run the entire gamut. 

The Stormtrooper comes with the same blaster found with Lando and Leia. I had hoped for a little more, like a re-sculpted long rifle in addition to the gun, but that’s all she wrote folks.

R2 has more accessories that I would have expected for an Astromech droid. He comes with a removable third leg, a removable chest cover, and open chest plate, a cutter arm, and an extension arm. The designs of the arms are a little off. The cutter looks more like it was made for pizza than anything else and the extension arm just look too generic. The closed chest panel fits nicely on R2 and blends in well at the seams. The molded open door seems to have a little more trouble staying on. The angle and shortness of the peg just works against it. The third leg looks okay, but feels a little tacky. I would have liked the leg just to tuck back into the body like previous models. Being an ROTJ release, I would have also liked a Luke Jedi Lightsaber hilt in his head instead of the permanently attached Sensorscope.

Boba Fett comes with his Blastech rifle and removable jet pack. The rifle is a refinished version of the Pit of Carkoon Fett’s weapon, without the blast effect tip. The main body of the jet pack seems to be based off of the same one that came with Jango Fett. The side jets are a little bigger, and the top design has a different texture. While I’m sure these are just a shade or two away from being total reuses, they look good enough to serve their purpose. 

Of course the one thing Hasbro did miss on was the rifle design –it’s closer to the ESB version than the ROTJ version, which had a ribbed barrel. But I’m not going to be that nit-picky.
Chewie only comes with one accessory, but it’s the single best weapon in this entire line. The Bowcaster is almost a work of art compared to the other accessories found throughout the vintage-styled figures. Every detail from the spheres at the ends of the crosspiece to the double scope is pretty damn accurate. The one thing keeping this from a perfect score is the cheap assembly by Hasbro. Instead of doing a complete molding, the Bowcaster comes in two pieces –you have to insert the crosspiece through the bendy plastic in the gun. It doesn’t really snap into place at all, and is just held between the top and bottom pieces of the gun frame.

Durability/Quality: Chewbacca, Stormtrooper: ***; Bobba Fett, R2-D2: ** ½ 
Chewie and the Stormtrooper are pretty solid all around, but the short leg on R2 and Fett’s more fragile parts (arm tubing, cape, antenna) make me a bit miffed.

Value - Chewbacca, Boba Fett: ** ½; Stormtrooper, R2-D2: **
You’re basically paying for the special packaging on these guys. While I’m willing to let Chewie and Fett slide a bit on there good looks, R2 and the Stormtrooper just don’t measure up as high. I would have felt better if these were going for $7.99 as opposed to $10 or higher, especially with the basic line running at $4.99 in most stores.

I’ve found every figure, except for Darth Vader and the droids in stores like Target, TRU, and Fred Meyers for $9.99 a pop. There are still plenty of Han Solo’s and Obi-Wan Kenobi’s to be found on the pegs if you’re still looking. is probably the cheapest and easiest way to go online. They’ve had every figure except C-3PO in at one point or another, and they’re constantly restocking. Expect to pay $10.99 apiece. Keep an eye out for their occasional free shipping deals for large toy purchases. 

Yup. Ebay. Check it out. Nuff said.

Overall - Chewbacca, Boba Fett: ****; Stormtrooper: *** ¾; R2-D2: ***
I really had a tough time figuring the final scores on these four. In the end I bit the bullet and gave Fett and Chewie perfect scores, despite some areas that could still face improvement. Why? Because in these guys are simply two of the best sculpted, best engineered, and best painted figures Hasbro has ever turned out in any scale. If I wanted too I could be a totally anal-retentive geek and harp on about their minute flaws, but compared to some of the crap Hasbro has churned out in the past (*cough* Geonosis Mace Windu with his amazing broken arm *cough*) I am more than happy with this pair. They look excellent on display.

The Stormtrooper is damn close, but falls short of perfect because of his blotchy underarms and single accessory. I know, he’s got to come with his blaster, but we’ve seen it already with a few other figures. Couldn’t Hasbro have tossed in a long rifle as well or maybe done a removable belt and holster? Seeing the same Imperial Blaster reused as the sole accessory for three semi-pricey, special edition, collector’s figures mildly ticks me off with the amount of cash I’ve doled out for these guys. However, this is still the best Stormtrooper by far, and easily the best troop builder available. However, any decent sized group is going to cost you a pretty penny. I still bought a handful of these guys despite the price. They fill out the frontlines quite well, especially when backed up by the Comm-Tech troop builder.

Classic or not, core character or not, R2-D2 just isn’t all that exciting, especially when there several versions of this simply designed character available. While I like the ideas behind the arm attachments, the application could have been a tad better. The vacu-dome also doesn’t look nearly as good as some of the other painted versions out there. I also disagree with the plug-in third leg as well as the ratcheting Sensorscope. While we’re on it, I think it’s time to retire the light pipe eye as well.

With this special line, Hasbro had twelve chances to produce the ultimate figures for their selected characters. While I’m mainly happy with the final results, I feel that they fell short in most cases. Han, Chewie, and Fett are easily the only figures to accomplish this feat, with Yoda, Luke, and the Stormtrooper running close enough to touch. While I highly recommend the rest (except C-3PO since I can’t find him anywhere for a reasonable price yet) as well, Hasbro exhibited enough of their regular problems (inaccurate painting/sculpting, inconsistent levels of articulation) to keep them from becoming the end-all, be-all versions of these characters. 

That being said, I’d love to see this amount of care and detail go into future figures, especially the Episode III series just around the corner. We don’t need any more expensive packaging Hasbro. Now that the bar has been raised on Star Wars figures, just continue to meet it. Give us more well-sculpted figures with great articulation, and decent accessories.
Oh yeah, and no more friggn’ action features. Please.

Packaging - ****
Sculpt - Chewbacca, Stormtrooper: ****; Boba Fett: *** ½; R2-D2: barely *** 
Paint - Boba Fett, Chewbacca: ****; R2-D2: *** ½; Stormtrooper: ***
Articulation - Stormtrooper, Boba Fett, Chewbacca: *** ¾; R2-D2: *** 
Accessories - Chewbacca: *** ½; Boba Fett, R2-D2: ***; Stormtrooper: **
Durability/Quality: Chewbacca, Stormtrooper: ***; Bobba Fett, R2-D2: ** ½ 
Value - Chewbacca, Boba Fett: ** ½; Stormtrooper, R2-D2: **
Overall - Chewbacca, Boba Fett: ****; Stormtrooper: *** ¾; R2-D2: ***

Figure from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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