Gentle Giant Scout Trooper/Speederbike Statue

Gentle Giant have had terrific success with the Star Wars license.  Most of that is attributed to the mini-bust line of course, but their full statues are growing in popularity as well.

The latest release in the series is the Scout Trooper with Speederbike. The speeder bikes were the Harley's of the Star Wars universe, and even an idiot like a Stormtrooper - or a punk ass Jedi wannabee kid wearing a goofy camouflage poncho - could look cool riding one.  We've seen a ton of speeder bikes over the years, but none quite like this one.

It's hitting retailers right now, and retails for around $200.  I pre-ordered mine months ago, but was it really worth the serious green?

Packaging -  ***
It's a huge box, with a couple photos of the statue.  It loses points since you won't actually see what you're buying - it gains them back because of the excellent job it does protecting the very fragile bike.

Sculpt - ***
This is a truly beautiful statue - with three glaring issues. Let's talk about the beauty first.

When we get down to the 'design' category, I'll talk more about the pose, but let's just say here that it's fantastic. There's tons of detail work in the bike itself, with varying textures and surface features. This is an extremely intricate job, with lots of little pieces that could be quite easy to break if you're not careful. You'll want to be careful even with just basic handling, because snapping a control lever or pedal off would be way too easy.

The trooper doesn't have quite the same level of detail, but is extremely realistic nonetheless. The folds of his boots and wrinkles of his clothes match the dynamic fluid lines of his body and pose, making it appear as though he just stepped right off the screen.

There's no doubt that this is an intricate sculpt, and beautiful work. The three glaring issues aren't so much of quality, but of execution. First, there's scale in general. This is a very small statue; I was shocked at the size when I pulled it out. And believe me, that's something I'm not used to.

The trooper would fit in with about a 7" scale line of action figures. Considering the price tag, that's quite a bit smaller than I had been anticipating.

The second big issue involves scale within the statue itself. Even though the general scale is small, the bike seems too small for the Trooper but at least an inch. Again, considering the amount of effort that went into the design and sculpt, this was pretty disappointing to see.

Finally, the base is a simple black affair. The bike and scout seem completely out of place on it, considering the relaxed, parked pose. Those three issues hurt the sculpt score - and overall score - for me, but if none of them seem particularly important to you, you'll be much happier than I with the final product.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work does a nice job complementing the sculpt, and in some ways adds to it. Paint ops are used to add damage and wear to the bike, giving it a more realistic 'used' look.

There's also a nice mix of finishes, to complement the various sculpted materials. Gloss is used sparingly, which is a smart move considering the highly reflective nature of the base.

I saw very little to almost zero slop, with clean lines and a good consistency on the major colors. There's a fair share of small detail paint work, especially on the bike, and it is quite clean and neat.

Design - ***1/2
When I first saw photos of the prototype, I knew I wanted this. And that was all due to the excellent design. The trooper is sitting on his bike, relaxed, and all that's missing is a Marlboro in his hand. It's a moment of quiet reflection for a nameless warrior.

The design is hurt though by the lack of any rocks, branches or other foliage on the base, and by the overall scale. The top of the black base is clear and reflective, which is cool in photos - but not so cool in person. It's far too plain, and doesn't match the feel or atmosphere of the trooper and his bike.

On the plus side, I do love the way they manage to pull off the 'floating' appearance of the bike. The trooper has a metal peg in his foot that attaches to the base, and a second metal peg on his butt that attaches to the bike. Voila - floating bike!

Value - *1/2
After opening this up, I had the same question running through my mind, over and over. I paid WHAT for THIS?

I ordered early though, and paid full retail. Two hundred bucks is a lot of bucks, and the price at several online stores is considerably less now. I know I have some suggestions below as cheap as $165, and at that price you can add another half star here. It's not a good deal even then, but it's slightly less painful.

Things to watch out for - 
Since these are pretty much blind purchases, you won't be able to watch for much up front.  Be careful fitting the pieces together once you get it home though, as the metal pegs can easily damage them or the base.

Overall -  **1/2
I have a theory that when people sign up for an expensive item early, they convince themselves of how great, wonderful and perfect it is long before it ever arrives, justifying in their own mind the large expenditure. Once it arrives, it has to be pretty close to a pile of crap before they'll admit there's anything major wrong. To do otherwise would imply they'd made a mistake in buying it, and even at a subconscious level, humans have a tough time doing that.

Well, I'm here to say I made a mistake buying this statue. While it is very nice, and shows some great sculpting and paint, the fact that the base is so plain, the scale is so small, and the bike is visually off in relation to the trooper, kills it for me. If this was a $100 statue, it wouldn't be an issue, but at this kind of price point that dog don't hunt.

Packaging - ***
Sculpt - ***
Paint - ***1/2
Design - ***1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online is probably your best option currently:

- Darkshadow Collectibles has this statue for $165.

- Fireside Collectibles has the statue for $168.

- Alter Ego Comics has it for $180.

Related Links:
It's always a good idea to hit the Gentle Giant site to see what plans they have, and if you're looking for the best all Star Wars site on the web, look no further than Rebel Scum.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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