Rebel Fleet Trooper
Star Wars - Sideshow Collectibles

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Ryan is back tonight with a look at one of Sideshow's better Star Wars human army builders - take it away, Ryan!

Thanks again to MWC…

After seeing the recent review of the Henry Jones figure from Sideshow, we know the level of awesomeness they’re capable of. I’m almost tempted to get it myself and I’m not even a big Indy fan. They’ve been moving up the ladder as far as the quality of their product, and in the case of sixth-scale figures, we’ve seen drastic improvements in sculpting, paint, and even articulation with the new Prometheus body. But with this review, I’m turning the clocks back a little bit, to a figure that was released last year: the Rebel Fleet Trooper, which is currently in stock at Sideshow on second chance opportunity.

This figure depicts one trooper in particular—Lieutenant Pello Scrumbas, the older guy whom we see at the very beginning of “A New Hope” crouched down with his blaster aimed at the sliding blast door, waiting for the Imperial Stormtroopers to come blasting their way in. He was fried a couple of seconds later, in a scene that was obviously meant to show the skill and ferocity of the Stormtroopers (and this is pretty much the only scene that does it, as the Stormtroopers turn into bumbling idiots who can’t hit the broad side of a barn from then on). Since there is currently no review of this guy on the site and I think he warrants one, I decided to do the honors. 

Packaging - ****
Sideshow goes with the same packaging as always, and definitely has made “if it aint broke, don’t fix it” their policy with this. Good idea. With this figure, there’s only one tray, as the accessories are imbedded in the plastic beside it. The other side gives information about the saga (on top) and Rebel Fleet Troopers in general (on the bottom).

Sculpting - ***1/2
I kind of wish they had gone for a more general look on this figure than try to portray one troop/actor in particular, especially one that so easily stands out from the rest of the bunch. As it is, if you decided you wanted to get two or three of these guys to battle your Stormtroopers (assuming you’re Oprah or Bill Gates and can cough up the cash), you would end up with a bunch of old guys who look exactly alike (and these obviously aren’t clone troopers). They could have at least done the same thing they did with their Endor Troopers and made three different variations. But anyway, now that I’m done ranting, I can look at the positive side and say that if they were going to do one RFT in particular, it might as well be Lt. Scrumbas, who seems to be their leader and the only one who we are given a close-up shot of. Heck, that’s more than we can say for Captain Antilles, a figure that was released around the same time and has a few similarities with this one, which I’ll address as I go along.

After saying all that, I can tell you that this is a very well-sculpted figure. The likeness to the character isn’t dead-on, but it’s close. Head and hands are the right size and well-proportioned, the eyes and nose appear to be the right shape and size, and the facial lines and wrinkles are all there. They gave him a very very slight open-mouth expression, which is good, and I definitely prefer it to Jedi Luke’s gaping “I just wet my pants” expression. The hair is very well-sculpted also, although we only see the character with his helmet on in the film. The helmet and blaster are the right size and shape also. I was particularly impressed with the sculpting on the boots. There are several wrinkles sculpted into the black pleather, giving them a very lifelike appearance. Sculpting is usually a strong area for Sideshow, and this is no exception.

Paint - **1/2
Unfortunately, this is another “bad/mediocre paint hurts good sculpt” situation. The hair is well-painted, with a perfect blend of light and dark shades of gray. The blaster is exceptionally well-painted as well. The right eyebrow is very good, while the left is sloppy, at least on mine. The paint on the bottom lip is sloppy as well, but the point that really kills this score is the eyes. The right eye is lazy and off-center. A lazy eye isn’t a good thing when you’re trying to aim and shoot at Stormtroopers (and no, the actor didn’t have a lazy eye in the film, so this obviously was not intentional). The paint around the nails on his hands is also below top-quality. This is one similarity with Captain Antilles—good sculpt and mediocre paint.

Articulation - **
It’s the one and only Art S. Buck. At the time this figure was made, that body was already past its retirement age. Here’s yet another similarity with Antilles (and Ki-Adi Mundi too I believe)—older body on a newer figure with a higher price. Arm and leg joints are too tight while the arms and legs themselves are a little too loose. The head looks up at a good range, but won’t look down at all. Another issue with this body that aggravated me here—the hands and wrist pegs. The freakin’ pegs are once again bigger than the holes that they insert into. I had to soften the hands with hot water, then use the tip of a file to make the holes bigger so that the pegs would fit without me having to shove the hands on them with all my might and run the risk of breaking the pegs off when trying to remove them.  I’ll go ahead and tell you that the overall score will take a direct hit over this.

Outfit - ***
I confess, I never particularly enjoy doing the outfit section. I’m not sure why. But it’s more than necessary here, since it’s one of this figure’s stronger points. First, there’s the blue shirt, which folds across underneath the vest and is fastened with snap buttons. I wish the sleeves were a tad longer, but that’s a minor nit. The pants are a little baggy, but the pockets on them are real and not just stitched on for aesthetic purposes.

I count the helmet as part of the outfit rather than an accessory, and it fits well on his head via a stretchy fabric band and a chin piece, which is just the right size.  The helmet overall is well-sculpted, and the antenna is just the right size and helps give it a cool professional-type look. The boots, as I already mentioned, are made of a soft pleather and are well-sculpted also, with wrinkles sculpted into them to make them look more realistic. The gun belt fits well, but the holster isn’t quite big enough for the blaster. I had to shove it down in there as hard as I could to make it fit, and then pull the strap down hard to make it fit over it. The strap is held closed by a magnet that’s a little weak and embedded too deeply in the holster to make the strap hold very well.  The exceptional magnetic holsters/straps on the Stormtrooper and Indiana Jones show me that Sideshow can do better. The vest fits well, but tends to stick up too much on the shoulders from riding up in the back, making me have to pull it down. The pockets on it don’t open but they look good anyhow.
Though I have nits with the outfit, they are minor, and overall the outfit is well-done and one of the stronger aspects of this figure.

Accessories - *1/2
I love accessories, and thus am not pleased when figures don’t come with many. With this one you get a blaster, an extra set of hands, and a display stand. The blaster is cool, and though the extra set of hands aren’t necessary, I’m glad they’re there, considering the price. Same goes for the display stand: you won’t need it, but it’s better to have it than not. Though I’m disappointed with this lack of accessories, I can’t really think of any other accessory that these guys would have besides their blasters, but I’m sure that considering the price tag Sideshow could have came up with something.  And by the way, there is no regular/exclusive with this guy, another commonality with Antilles (along with the lack of accessories in general).

Value for money- *1/2
$70--for a figure with only one major accessory, and on the Buck body that shouldn’t even exist anymore (not to mention the lazy eye). Come on. That must be the reason why this guy is still in stock at Sideshow. They had a special limited time deal where they took him down to $60, and that’s just about an average value, but they’ve since reverted back to $70. Had this been a major character in the saga, they could have gotten by with it easier, but when figures like this guy—and Captain Antilles—who barely make an appearance cost $70 while being on the old body, sales will be rather slow. I once again took the cheapskate route and picked him up on ebay for $45, which he’s worth in my opinion. I don’t mind buying Sideshow’s products directly from them occasionally though, as long as the price doesn’t exceed the quality by too much, because this recession is hitting the collectibles market pretty hard and they probably need all the sales they can get at this point. As for this guy, I would try getting him at $55 or less. 

Fun Factor - ***
Kids would have fun with this guy, even though he looks like grandpa. He’s got a helmet and a gun—a rather big gun—so he could be tons of fun to play with. But as usual with sixth scales, this isn’t a figure for kids, especially considering the price.

Things to Watch Out For -
Be careful when swapping the hands. You’ll probably need to run hot water over them to soften them up and hollow out the holes with a sharp point like I did to make them fit and come off easier. That’s pretty much it.

Overall - ** 1/2
This is a pretty nice figure, and I’m glad I have it. I’m not a completist on this line by any means, but I like getting figures from the first film (Episode IV), since it’s classic and original, and this is the first human character we see when it begins.  But I cannot abide by a $70 price tag on a figure that is still on the older body and has so few accessories. The mediocre paint job—particularly the lazy eye—hurts the score also. At anything below $60, this is certainly a three star figure because of the great sculpt and nice outfit, but nothing more.  I assume many people would consider him a three star figure anyway, since I tend to be more harsh than most, particularly on value scores (I still have yet to review a figure that I believe worthy of a perfect overall score). But I’m a huge stickler on getting every dime of what you pay for, especially with the way things are nowadays. Fortunately, Sideshow seems to have since gotten over the old-body/new-price phase, and if they keep improving the way they have been, they may ultimately reach Hot Toys territory.

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Ryan Kelly.

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