Review: SHFiguarts Stormtrooper

Watch out, Hasbro; you’re not the only major toy companies with the Star Wars license anymore. My research is minimal (by which I mean I did none), but I believe Disney’s purchase of all things Star Wars opened up the license to a lot of Japanese toy companies, Bandai included. We’ve had a myriad of figures announced (and now released) from toylines like Revoltech, Play Arts Kai, and S.H. Figuarts. The Revoltech figures look ugly and the PAK figures look ugly and expensive, so I’m putting my money towards the Figuarts with their first release: everyone’s favorite white-armored mook, the Stormtrooper.

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Appearance

The first thing that struck me with the Figuarts Stormtrooper was the glossy finish of his white armor, which I’m fairly certain is painted over white plastic. It looks gorgeous and immediately makes this figure feel premium, as well as accurate to how the shiny white troopers look in the films. The bodysuit areas lack the glossy finish (but aren’t quite matte), and the small blue/grey details on the midriff and helmet are picked out cleanly. The grille of the helmet is a tad sloppy on mine, but it’s only really noticeable up close.

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The sculpt is almost perfect. As far as I can tell, the body is spot-on in terms of lines and proportions. The only area that isn’t quite a 100% match is the helmet: the “chin” area is a little bit too big. It’s really only obvious if you look at him chin-on, and in most normal poses it looks, well, normal. Besides, pretty much none of the original Stormtrooper helmets were identical, so it’s a minor issue.

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Compared to Hasbro’s Black Series Stormtrooper, it’s really no contest. The comparison is a bit of an unfair one considering the price (and budget) gaps, so things like the dull, ugly finish on Hasbro’s TK can be excused. On the other hand, Hasbro’s helmet looks downright ugly compared to the SHF, and the proportions in general are greatly improved. The Black Series figure does have its advantages, as it scales well with other 6″ figures and has a wider range of articulation… and is a good $15-$20 cheaper. 

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Articulation

Being an S.H. Figuarts figure, the Stormtrooper is pretty well-equipped for most poses. Impressively, his head and torso/waist are both triple ball-jointed. His shoulders have the typical Figuarts dual-ball-jointed system, but with the added bonus of his shoulderpads being on a balljoint/hinge joint allowing them to move naturally with poses.

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Unfortunately, the rest of his articulation is a bit restricted. His elbows and knees only have a 90 degree bend despite being double joints, and his hips are the non-extendable type, which means the tops of the thigh armor bump into both the crotch plate and his belt-things. It mostly just prevents his legs from moving forward too far, which isn’t as much of an issue as I feared it would be. He can’t sit down, but somehow I doubt the original prop armor allowed for comfortable seating, either.

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Accessories

TK doesn’t come with a whole lot extra, limited to his standard E-11 blaster rifle and three pairs of hands: fists, gun-holding, and slightly open. It’s not the most expansive selection of hand gestures, but I can’t think of anything else I’d want. The trigger finger hands also work pretty nicely as pointing hands, which is pretty neat.

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Overall

Hitting retail last month with their commander Darth Vader, the S.H. Figuarts Stormtroopers are a strong opening release for the line’s Star Wars figures. The limited articulation and relatively minimal accessories can be a bit of a downer if you expected more, but the near-perfect sculpt and fantastic plastic finish make this guy look spectacular on a shelf, especially if you have a few in a squad or flanking Vader (which, due to HLJ’s 1-per-person rule, I cannot do). If the Hasbro Black Series figure left you disappointed and you have the expendable money, don’t hesitate to pick up the Figuarts version.

Where to Buy

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