Rebel Soldier (Echo Base Battle Gear)
One thing that struck me recently, is that the costume used by the Kenner vintage Hoth Rebel Trooper was something of a combination of the two outfits actually seen in the movie The Empire Strikes Back. Of course, then we’d have to assume that the more recent cold weather Rebel Troopers made by Hasbro are truly screen-accurate.
This was brought to my attention after I started playing around with the latest Rebel Soldier (Echo Base Battle Gear) released into Hasbro’s Star Wars Vintage Collection (VC68).
The figure depicts one of the soldiers going around inside Echo Base; therefore, his outfit looks more utilitarian than military. In fact, an acquaintance of mine readily identified this figure as a “Burberry Trooper”; a reference to a clothing brand that offers similarly cut padded vests.
This Rebel Soldier outfit is deceptively simple, consisting in a padded tan vest, an off-white jumpsuit underneath and footwear that seems to be grossly unfit for Hoth’s weather. There is a good amount of textures sculpted onto the garments and their shapes convey a feeling of layered clothing, even though no pieces are removable.
The head sculpt is particularly nice, even though most of it consists on a cold weather cap with a scarf tied over the visor. The face is fairly generic, but still manages to project some personality, even though the resemblance to the guy in the card is passing at best.
This Echo Base Soldier is super articulated, meaning he has:
• Ball jointed neck.
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Swivel wrists. Cut at the glove cuffs.
• Swivel waist.
• Swivel hips.
• Pegged hinge knees.
• Pegged hinge ankles.
All of the joints work well and feel nice and tight. Because of the way the torso is sculpted, the waist cannot freely swivel 360° and neither the hips can go up all the way at 90° sitting poses, but the overall motion range is good.
There is very little paint applications on this figure, since most of it is molded in the final plastic colors, although there are a few touches of gray and black to detail the clothes as well as a dab of flesh tone paint for the neck. All of the paint operations seem to be perfect on each copy of this figure I’ve seen at stores, so there is one less thing to worry about.
The accessory count is rather sparse on this Rebel Soldier, as they amount to a blaster pistol that fits into the functional holster at his right, and a pair of yellow-lensed goggles that go over his headgear.
The only complaint I have is that the head sculpt wasn’t planned to accommodate the goggles, so it is very easy for them to get loose and fall off once you remove the figure from the package. The goggles can be sort of forced over his eyes, but the look is rather silly and I am generally uncomfortable stretching this kind of accessories, as I fear they will snap over time.
Even though this type of Hoth Rebel isn’t as visually exciting (or combat-oriented) as the versions we got from the Legacy Collection, it is the closest modern version we will get resembling the vintage Kenner Hoth Rebel Trooper, and for me that was reason enough to add him to my collection.