Toy Review: Star Wars The Black Series | Imperial Shock Trooper


Today’s review is the Walmart Exclusive, Star Wars The Black Series Imperial Shock Trooper from the newly released (November 17th, 2015) Star Wars Battlefront video game by EA. I love Star Wars, but I’m not a gamer. I don’t know much about this video game, but the toy is pretty darn cool.

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Figure Details

  • Character: Imperial Shock Trooper
  • Manufacturer: Hasbro
  • Series: Star Wars The Black Series 
  • Dimensions: 6.25
  • Recommended: Ages 4+
  • MSRP: $19.97 Paid: $12.30
  • Part Number/SKU: 630509391790
  • Buy it on Amazon

Articulation – ★★☆☆

This figure has some really awesome articulation, but also some big issues that could have been easily addressed with some sculpt changes. I would have easily given this figure four, possibly even five stars had it not been for these issues. Let’s take a closer look.

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Total POA’s = 29

  • Arms – There are 7 joints per arm.
    • Shoulders: Ball Joint as well as a Pin/Hinge Joint that is hindered considerably by the red armor plates glued onto the shoulders. You’ll not be able to move the shoulders out more than about 15-20 degrees. No matter the position you try, you cannot move that arm more. Huge fail.
    • Bicep: Peg Joint which is hidden nicely by the shoulder armor plate. Range of motion is good.
    • Elbow: Double Pin/Hinge joints provide a good amount of bend in the elbows. There is a minor sculpt issue which prevents the elbow from bending further, though it’s not a big issue since you already get a decent amount of motion.
    • Wrist: Peg Joint as well as a Pin/Hinge joint. Both have a good range of motion. The right hand hinge joint is not positioned on the top of the hand, so you can move the right hand a little better for gun positioning. This is a nice feature.
  • Legs – There are 6 joints in each leg/hip/ankle area.
    • Hips: T-Jointed Ball Joint is hindered in forward motion due to the same sculpt effect as the elbow, but this affects the range of motion forward detrimentally. Backwards motion is almost non-existent. Outward motion is hindered somewhat by the utility belt pieces, but not so negatively that you cannot pose the figure.
    • Thigh: Peg Joint with cut joint which is nicely hidden by armor, but the armor is sculpted as such to prevent the legs from moving forward as was mentioned, but it also prevents the thigh from swiveling much, which is the entire purpose of the joint. This could have been prevented with a couple small changes to the sculpt of the armor.
    • Knees: Double Pin/Hinge joints provides a really good range of motion.
    • Shin: There is no shin articulation and normally I’m ok with this, but with the limitation in the thigh, it would be really useful to at least have a shin joint here.
    • Ankles: Each ankle has 2 joints. Pin/Hinge Joints that allow for excellent backward motion and decent forward motion. The ankle rocker is a good, functional joint.
  • Body – Double Ball Joint joint in the torso. A swivel of the torso provides a nicely ratcheted range of motion and there is an ok amount of ab crunch, though the backwards arch is really nice. Very good range of motion for side crunch on both sides.
  • Head: A single Ball Joint and a Pin/Hinge disc. This is the star of the articulation on this figure. The peg on the joint is long enough and the ball is large enough with a nicely sculpted underside of the head provides an immense amount of up, down, side-to-side, and tilt action. I love this joint.

This figure could have easily been a huge articulation hit, but because of the sculpt choices that hindered some of the articulation, I have to drop this figures rating down considerably. There’s still really nice articulation, but those choices are just unacceptable to me.

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Mold – ★★☆☆☆

When sculpt choices hinder articulation that is there on a figure, you’re going to lose a lot of credibility. If this were a statue, the figure would have a much higher rating from me. Let’s look at the positives first.

I love the helmet. The look of this helmet is really detailed. Somewhat, the better part of the helmet is what you do not see. How they chose to sculpt the helmet proved invaluable to the articulation.

The right and left knees have different sculpts. I like this, though the left knee pad does look a bit odd when the knee joints are bent, but it’s not horrible.

There is a really nice utility belt which also has a softer plastic gun holster that does not hinder any articulation. There are two pouches on each side that do cause a bit of articulation hindrance, but not critical to the articulation.

Now on to the negatives. First, the shoulder armor plates ruin the articulation of the shoulders. They look nice enough, but had they been smaller at the joint, they could have been just fine.

The actual knee parts that create the joint are exposed considerably when the knees bend and they look pretty ugly. I’ll take the extra range of motion though.

The feet are too narrow. This causes an already top heavy figure to be somewhat harder to stand. I’m not a huge fan of the pointy look of the toe of the shoes either.

The raised plastic ridge on the top and bottom of the biceps and thighs, though it looks nice, causes such an articulation disaster that they just weren’t worth adding to the figure.

Comparing the figure to the video game version of the Imperial Shock Trooper, you’ll find the likeness is spot on. Hasbro did a superb job here, and I would have given them an additional star for this had the issues with the articulation not been so bad.

Overall, the figure has some nice detail work in the sculpt, but there are just too many unforgivable choices made that I cannot give this figure a good review on the sculpt.

Paint – ★★★★

The red is what lured me to this figure. There’s no real shading or dry brushing that I can see, but the paint design is just sick. The detail work on the helmet is very well done. Throughout the figure the lines are clean except in a few areas. I noticed the knees have a little red paint bleeding into the white and I’ve notice on the back belt area some red paint specs that I cannot get off. Nothing I’d consider enough to not get the figure by any means.

Truly the only issue I have is in the change of paint color on the belt. The front is all red, but the back turns to an ugly yellow which is actually two different colors in one splotchy area. It’s interesting to say the least. The front of the belt could have used some extra color as well. The buckle is simply red as are all the pouches and belt portions.

Accessories – ★★★★☆

The Shock Trooper comes with two weapons, both of which are very well sculpted and painted. There is a long pistol type gun and then a very long canon style rifle. The second gun has the majority of the paint detail as it has a bit of a gun metal grey dry brush that really pops. As I sifted through the few troopers my Walmart had, I noticed the paint application differed quite a bit from toy to toy. Some had a lot less of the grey than others. I’m glad I was able to find one with a nice amount of grey.

The guns are sculpted really well so they fit very nicely in the figures hands. They even molded the trigger finger to fit fairly well over the trigger guard.

Packaging – ★★★☆☆

The Hasbro packaging for the Black Series figures is nice, but a little more artwork would be nice. I really like that you can see the entire figure through the display window on the front and one side of the packaging. The rectangular shape is clean and great for stacking. If you keep your figures in package you’ll be happy with this packaging, though the cardboard is a bit flimsy and easily crushed or bent.

Overall Rating – ★★★☆☆

I’m torn on this figure. It looks great, but the articulation frustrates me to no end. If you can find it in the wild, snatch it up. This figure is flying off the shelves right now. It seems everyone thinks this is going to be a real money maker on Ebay. Right now they’re going for $40 or more so get it now while it’s still selling for under $20. It’s a must have simply because of the cool look, but if you can’t find it, the regular First Order Storm Trooper is still pretty nice.

Do you have any of these figures? If so, do you have a review to share? Please share in the comments or link to your review.

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