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? 

Iíll admit it: Iím 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 Ėnot to mention that Iíve recently picked up Mortal Kombat Deception and Bloodrayne 2 as well. So needless to say, between sleep and home repairs Iíve 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 friggní C-3PO anywhere in stores Ėor online for a decent priceóthis basically wraps up my Star Wars purchases for a while. While Iíve been pleased with the VOTC line in general, Iíve 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 Hasbroís final four stack up?

Packaging - ****
Iíve 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 donít like however. Hasbro pulls a ďLucasĒ on the R2-D2 packaging with the phrase ďNow With Extension Arm!Ē The original read ďNow With Sensorscope!Ē 

Sculpting - Chewbacca, Stormtrooper: ****; Boba Fett: *** Ĺ; 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 Ėhell, R2ís 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 R2ís.

On the downside letís start with the legs. R2ís 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 Iíve heard about it from other collectors as well. While the leaning issue can be fixed in three-legged mode, R2 canít 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 doesnít 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 donít like the Sensorscope design. It rotates out of R2ís head as you turn the dome. In other words, it can only be completely raised if heís 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 Ėthe 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, theyíre also a mainstay of the Star Wars line, because you can never buy just one. One Stormtrooper standing around on his own doesnít 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. Itís a little klutzy Ėand the illusion only works from the sideóbut thereís no real visual impact. The helmet seems a little narrower than it should, compared to the source material, but itís 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 1ís seem to ride lower to the chest and shoulders than the number 2ís. 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. Chewieís 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 canít have everything.

Like Princess Leia, Chewbacca has no peg holes in his feet. Instead, Hasbro actually sculpted the bottoms. They look a little too ďHarry and the HendersonsĒ for me, but I like the idea. Even though he doesnít quite match up with the original ANH look, this guy covers the ESB and ROTJ appearances quite well. Hasbro doesnít need another Chewbacca ever, even though weíll probably see one in the Episode III line somewhere.

Paint - Boba Fett, Chewbacca: ****; R2-D2: *** Ĺ; 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 Iíve seen. The gray detailing on the helmet is a lot cleaner though.

R2 is another simple paint job, but thereíre 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 donít seem as clean up top when compared to the rest of the body.

Chewbaccaís fur highlights are really well done. While I could have gone with some lighter paint around the upper head, Iím not going to complain here. Chewieís 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. Bobaís 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: *** ĺ; 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. Itís all thatís 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 whatís 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 itís 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, Iím not entirely sure, since the thing barely moves. Chewbaccaís head is basically immobile. While Iím 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 thereís 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 heís easily the most poseable Fett out there, Boba could still use a little tinkering here and there. Letís just get this out of the way: hip joints. Iíve 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. Iím 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 Iím displaying here. If I werenít such an articulation freak, these last three figures would have gotten perfect scores in this category. 

Accessories - Chewbacca: *** Ĺ; 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 theyíre 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 thatís 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 Fettís 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 Iím 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 Ėitís closer to the ESB version than the ROTJ version, which had a ribbed barrel. But Iím not going to be that nit-picky.
Chewie only comes with one accessory, but itís 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 Ėyou have to insert the crosspiece through the bendy plastic in the gun. It doesnít 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: ** Ĺ 
Chewie and the Stormtrooper are pretty solid all around, but the short leg on R2 and Fettís more fragile parts (arm tubing, cape, antenna) make me a bit miffed.

Value - Chewbacca, Boba Fett: ** Ĺ; Stormtrooper, R2-D2: **
Youíre basically paying for the special packaging on these guys. While Iím willing to let Chewie and Fett slide a bit on there good looks, R2 and the Stormtrooper just donít 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.

Iíve 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 Soloís and Obi-Wan Kenobiís to be found on the pegs if youíre still looking. is probably the cheapest and easiest way to go online. Theyíve had every figure except C-3PO in at one point or another, and theyíre 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: *** ĺ; 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, heís got to come with his blaster, but weíve seen it already with a few other figures. Couldnít 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, collectorís figures mildly ticks me off with the amount of cash Iíve 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 isnít 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 doesnít 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 weíre on it, I think itís 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 Iím 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 canít 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, Iíd love to see this amount of care and detail go into future figures, especially the Episode III series just around the corner. We donít 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 friggní action features. Please.

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

Figure from the collection of Sean Teeter.

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