Having finally reached the point where Jedi librarian Jocasta Nu actually saw production as a Star Wars 4″ figure, Hasbro has finally deigned to give Star Wars collectors the 6″ Star Wars action figure line that fans have been begging for for the past decade. I bought a whole case of Star Wars The Black Series Wave 1 6″ figures, and where better to begin than with a review of the collecting community’s current darling: the Star Wars Black Series 6″ Sandtrooper figure…
Hasbro threw us a real curveball with Star Wars The Black Series Wave 1, as collectors ordinarily would have expected generic Black Series Stormtroopers to be in the initial set–not Sandtroopers. I much prefer plain old Stormtroopers, but I have no problem with Hasbro diversifying the line by starting off with a less popular Imperial troop builder and making collectors wait for plain Stormtroopers.
Let the Sandtrooper Black Series figures ride the hype of The Black Series Wave 1, then unleash the Stormtroopers when the publicity starts to die down with Star Wars Black Series Wave 3. Great decision by Hasbro, in my opinion. If you absolutely can’t wait for Stormtroopers, you can strip down the extra accessories from the Sandtrooper and be left with a basic Stormtrooper 6″ figure with paint deco. The helmet is a little wobbly without the pauldron, but it looks good regardless.
For 20 bucks a figure collectors expect a good amount of extras with each figure–and they will not feel ripped off with this Sandtrooper. The Star Wars Black Series six inch Sandtrooper action figure comes with an incredible assortment of accessories, including a removable backpack, a removable orange pauldron (a squad leader pauldron), weapons and a removable shoulder pouch attached to the backpack.
The Sandtrooper six inch Star Wars The Black Series action figure comes with not one, not two, but three different weapons! The three weapons the Sandtrooper Black Series figure comes with are a BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifle, a BlasTech DLT-19 Heavy Blaster Rifle and a BlasTech T-21 Light Repeating Blaster. As this is a brand new line, all three guns are totally new sculpts. And moreover–they have paint apps on them! The guns all look great and the Sandtrooper 6″ figure can hold them tightly without issues.
I buy a ton of 6″ action figures from dozens of toy lines, so I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to articulation. The Star Wars Black Series Sandtrooper six-inch figure has a pretty good–but not excellent–articulation scheme, especially for being one of the initial figures in a new toy line.
The Sandtrooper is packing a ball-jointed head with plenty of range of motion, a ball-jointed upper torso, ball-hinged shoulders and wrists, swivel biceps, double-hinge elbows, pivoting hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinge knees and my favorite point of articulation in the world: ankle rockers. It’s not the perfect amount of flexibility, but it’s still far from being bad, and the Sandtrooper can easily stand stably in a ton of different poses (including on one leg!).
I open all of my figures, so I don’t care much for packaging, but I will say that the 6″ Star Wars Black Series packaging is far superior to that of the 3 3/4″ Black Series line’s. The Stat Wars Black Series 6″ figure boxes are classy and effective, and if I had endless space I wouldn’t mind keeping all the boxes to return the figures to when not being displayed.
I’ve seen a lot of people praising the paint deco on the Sandtrooper Black Series 6 inch figure, but I find the sand weathering to be pretty mediocre. The sand deco is “okay”, but I’m absolutely baffled as to why the heaviest sand deco is on the Black Series Sandtrooper’s helmet, and then gradually tapers off as you go further down on the Sandtrooper figure’s body. What, there was a sandstorm only on the Sandtrooper’s face or something? Ridiculous.
I also don’t care for the fact that the Sandtrooper backpack is pristinely clean, with not a speck of sand on it. Not only did the Sandtrooper get sandblasted in the face, but the sandstorm also managed to avoid his backpack entirely. Maybe this was okay for 3 3/4″ Star Wars figures, but at this larger 6″ scale it just doesn’t look right to me.
Even more annoying is the fact that Hasbro chose to implement a shoulder pouch on the Black Series 6″ Sandtrooper via a plastic strap attached to the Sandtrooper’s backpack. On paper this sounds alright, but in execution the strap won’t stay down and the pouch is constantly getting in the way and looking just plain wrong. You can sort of force the pouch under the Sandtrooper’s neck to keep it down, but that’s a silly makeshift solution at best. You can also remove the pouch entirely, but I don’t think losing an accessory is the best solution to fixing an issue with it.
Finally, I’m a bit dismayed by some aspects of the Black Series 6″ Sandtrooper’s articulation. While he has many points I love (particularly the ankle rockers), he’s also missing some crucial flexibility. His lower body has double-hinge knees, but there’s no swivel calves or swivel knee range of motion, meaning that this lower body can be a real pain to pose. The 6″ Sandtrooper figure’s elbows have the same issue of being double-hinge with no swivel, although the swivel biceps help out a bit there. Even so, some of the Sandtrooper’s articulation just isn’t what I was looking for.
The Sandtrooper is easily the most poplar figure from the Star Wars Black Series Wave 1. Surprisingly, the easiest and cheapest place to get the Sandtrooper is from Amazon, where he’s fairly consistently available for $19.99 with no tax and free shipping.
Overall: Though I’ve seen copious amounts of praise for this Star Wars Black Series 6″ Sandtrooper action figure going around, the figure really only feels “pretty good” to me instead of excellent. The illogical distribution of the sand deco on the figure really throws off the aesthetic, a couple of missing joints hurt the Sandtrooper’s flexibility, and I outright hate the floppy strap and shoulder pad attached to the backpack. However, the Star Wars Sandtrooper Black Series figure does have an amazingly accurate sculpt, lots of usable articulation, and a superb assortment of included weapons and accessories. The Star Wars Black Series Wave 1 Sandtrooper figure is definitely not perfect, but it is a good start to the Star Wars Black Series six inch figures line. Recommended.