Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sideshow Star Wars Imperial Stormtrooper Review

Sideshow's 1/6 scale 12-inch Imperial Stormtrooper from Star Wars Episodes IV to VI has finally arrived! Because of Sideshow's price, you can get two figures for the amount you pay for one Medicom figure. The question is, "Is Sideshow's Stormtrooper any good?" Well, you'll have to see for yourself :)

The box is excellent as always. I really like the magnetic tab closure used for all Sideshow's Star Wars packaging, so much better than velcro tabs.

Back of box has movie stills of the Imperial Stormtroopers of the Galactic Empire as they appeared in the three films

Accessories (if you can call them that) included are the E-11 BlasTech Standard Imperial Sidearm (also known simply as Stormtrooper Blaster), the Thermal Detonator and a pair of spare hands. Both blaster and detonator are part and parcel of the Imperial Stormtrooper so actually they don't qualify as accessories

The Stormtrooper Blaster, E-11 BlasTech Standard Imperial Sidearm, which is actually a souped up Sterling L2A1 with foldable stock, is very well reproduced in 1/6 scale by Sideshow - IMHO it looks identical to actual movie props. The thermal detonator comes with clips which you attach to his utility belt to complete the look.

The basic trooper straight out of the box is a leftie i.e. he's left-handed. That's what the extra hands are for, to make him right-handed. This is so that they will look nice when posed standing on either side of Darth Vader, be it left or right side. Will post them with Darth Vader later.

When I first took him out of the box, I was most displeased with the head. He appeared to have no neck (see picture above). It was like he shrugged his shoulders and got stuck doing that. So I plucked the head/helmet off.

Inside of the helmet. You can see the holes where the mouth is supposed to be.

And here's the head/helmet with nice details. This is based on the "Trooper Helmet - A New Hope (Stunt)" with higher black brow, leaving a gap for the "eyes" and has a extended frown.

When I plonked the helmet back in, I made sure it didn't go in all the way. Happy to report that I'm quite pleased with the outcome :)

Like everyone's been saying, the chest piece to too wide. It protrudes too much at the sides, making him rather oversized at the top.

Sideshow's Stormtrooper helmet is nice. The additional touch of cutting holes at the mouth area is interesting though not accurate. Under the helmet there's supposed to be an atmosphere intake and processing unit, voice filtering unit and comlink microphone.

Another view of the Imperial Stormtrooper Blaster. From Star Wars resource, the folding 3-position stock converts the weapon to a rifle configuration for sustained long-distance firing. We never saw this happen in any of the films. The Sterling L2A1 magazine is now a power cell which carries enough energy for 100 shots.

The Imperial Stormtroopers' most distinctive equipment is the white battle armor they normally wear, which was inherited from their time as clone troopers. The complete 18-piece armor set completely encases the body and typically has no individually distinguishing marking outside of rank. This armor is known as Phase III armor.

A view from a different angle of Sideshow's Imperial Stormtrooper helmet and armor

Another contention about Sideshow's Stormtrooper armor is the crotch guard or lack thereof. It would seem that this Stormtrooper is not packing much in that particular area. The leg armor is nice although it's quite loose. What I find interesting about the Star Wars Galactic Empire Imperial Stormtrooper design is that the leg armor is not symmetrical. The right leg armor has power cells for the suit system while the left leg armor has a sniper position knee protector plate.

I pasted the chest armor down so that he won't look bloated from the side

Close-up of the chest armor

Close-up of the utility belt with blaster power cell containers and energy rations. The two rectangular things at the side are supposed to be 'energy sinks' which absorb blast energy. The holster is placed on the left side which meant that it'll be more suited for a leftie to draw his weapon. The thermal detonator is located at the back.

Another view of the leg armor plus the dirty boots. One would have expected them to spit shine their boots too.

Back view of Sideshow's Stormtrooper. The power pack and pressurized gas system in the stormtrooper armor backplate allows him to survive even in the vacuum of space for limited periods.

Stormtroopers are issued a thermal detonator carried at the back of the belt. Controls to set arming, timing and blast energy are not labeled so that enemy troops cannot use the powerful explosives if they are captured (never heard of torture or mind tap?). The detonator is obviously not meant to be used on board an Imperial ship or battle station. The holster has a restraining strap that is held down by magnets - nice touch by Sideshow.

"It's them! Blast them!" I have a motion activated Stormtrooper that has this phrase from the movie.

Sideshow's Imperial Stormtrooper can hold some pretty decent poses

Another view of the Stormtrooper's utility belt and energy sink

Right leg armor details

Sideshow's 1/6 scale 12-inch Imperial Stormtrooper ready to go into action

In "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones", the troopers were cloned from bounty hunter Jango Fett, to be the Army of the Republic in the Clone Wars. Towards the end of the Clone Wars, the troopers enacted Order 66 at the command of Chancellor Palpatine, attacking their Jedi generals. Initially, the stormtroopers served as the army of the Galactic Empire, putting down revolts and establishing imperial authority. After one such revolt on Kamino, Fett clones throughout the army were slowly replaced by non-clone recruits to reduce their susceptibility to manipulation. So by Episodes IV to VI, they were a mix of clones and conscripts.

Overall I really like the Sideshow Stormtrooper. One of the key reasons is of course the price. I've since stopped collecting Medicom's armored troopers because of the HIGH price and SMALL size. However the one problem I have with Sidehow's body is that it still has very loose joints.

More Sideshow Stormtrooper pictures here

Pictures of Sideshow Imperial Stormtroopers with Darth Vader here

You can view pictures of Marmit's Stormtrooper here and Medicom's Stormtrooper here. I've also covered Marmit's Sandtrooper here and Sandtrooper Sergeant here as well as Medicom's Sandtrooper here.

There's also the AT-AT Driver by Hasbro here and Marmit's version here. Not forgetting Death Star Gunner, Death Star Trooper, Tie Fighter Pilot and Scout Trooper.


Joshua said...

love this post alex! especially the pics of your stormtrooper towards the modified the chest plate and pasted it down towards the last few pics right? whilst the first few were off the box???

wanted to get this figure but gave it a pass because of the bulky chest plate..if pasting down is the solution, i'm getting him...

desmond said...

Bro, always love your detailed review of the toys.

Jcee said...

Love the review! I love the figure too! The Stormtroopers are one of my favorites in Star Wars.

alex teo said...

hi joshua, thanks for the compliments ;> the chest plate is still very wide :( but pasting it down helps keep it from flaring so it looks good at certain angles, especially from the sides. also posing with the hands raised holding his blaster helps negate the wide chest as opposed to posing him with his hands down at his sides, hence emphasizing the wide chest. Not pushing the helmet all the way down also makes him look better, and it doesn't hamper the poseability in any way. in fact, it improves it.

hey desmond, thanks. i try to share what little i know - makes it more interesting :)

hi Jcee, the Stormtroopers are one of the best looking troopers in the entire galaxy. I still prefer them over the clone troopers.

Joshua said...

how much did you pay for it Alex?? is the material for the armor same as Medicoms' soft plastic?

seriously considering to get one!! your pictures have got me irrevesably hooked alex!

alex teo said...

hey joshua, i believe they are going for SGD150. The material's more of a hard plastic than Medicom's soft version. That's why the chest armor can't be bent to curve around his body and sticks out at the sides, making the whole chest area look wide.

i'm glad you like the pictures - more to come in the next post ;p

Anonymous said...

hi does the blaster have moving parts like the 3 postion blaster?

alex teo said...

The Stormtrooper Blaster comes with foldable stock and is very well reproduced in 1/6 scale by Sideshow but I've never seen how it was used as a 3 position blaster.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alex. Thanks for responding to my first question. Check out the URL for an image from a VINTAGE STORMTROOPER 3 POSITION BLASTER toy. It shows all three positions nicely. Can all three be achievable using this blaster?

alex teo said...

Yup the Sideshow Star Wars 1:6 scale stormtrooper blaster can be extended to the laser battle position, folded back to sneak attack position and also standing guard position :>

Anonymous said...

WOW!!That's so cool. Thanks Alex

alex teo said...

You're most welcome. Next opportunity I have, I'll post pictures of the 1/6 blaster in all 3 positions :)