Rebel Soldier (Hoth Battle Gear)
After seeing Errex’s review of the modern updated of the Hoth Rebel Trooper, I thought it would be cool to take a look back at the vintage one. The Rebel Soldier was released as one of the first 10 figures from the Empire Strikes Back. He the first generic “good guy” in the vintage Star Wars line.
Hoth was a cold place and the Rebel Soldiers were geared up for the weather. As I’ve said before, because of where I grew up I have a soft spot for cold weather figures.
The overall uniform has a very quilted appearance, starting with his head gear. The Rebel hats were a combination of a billed hat and a form fitting hood that is squared off on the top. There’s a pair of ski type goggles above the bill along with a radio piece over one ear. I’ve never seen any actual head gear like this, but it makes sense.
There is fairly generic face peeking out from under the brim. Really there’s not much other than a splash of flesh tone with some generic Kenner eyes. Of course, back then not everybody painted their figure eyes, so this was a lot.
He also doesn’t get the scarf to cover his face that the Rebel Commander and Luke figures got. I suspect this was the give the Rebels human face as opposed to the faceless Stormtroopers.
The body is composed of what looks like a vest over a white padded jacket. The tan here looks pretty dark, considering I thought they were wearing grey or white in the film. With the number of Rebels shown on screen, there may have been different versions, though.
Star Wars costumes always seem to have extra bits of stuff attached to them, and this guy is no exception. on the left side of his chest he has some sort of small striped electronics piece. The right side has what I always imagined to be 2 grenades. Maybe, maybe not.
The one oddity is the belt. I don’t remember the Rebel uniforms having a belt like this one. If they did, why would they wear it over their coat? And why would the coat need belt loops?
Obviously, being a vintage figure, the articulation is limited to the big five. Mine is a bit of mixed bag. The head and legs are extremely tight. His left arm hangs loose at his side, though. Ironically, both of the figures I have are exactly the same with the left arm.
With all the GI Joe figures I’ve been reviewing, it seems odd to be reviewing a figure with a single gun as an accessory. He came with the generic pistol associated with the Rebels. The pointy one similar to the ones they used in the opening of A New Hope.
The Hoth Rebel Soldier filled a missing gap of being cannon fodder in the vintage line for the Imperial troops to shoot at. With the big battle in Empire it made sense that we got him when we did. Considering the technology and standards at the time, I’m pretty forgiving in his case. He’s a good solid figure.
Along with the blue coated Hoth Han Solo, he was one of two Rebel characters available in the first wave from The Empire Strikes Back. Luke and Leia were their Bespin attire. Because of his outfit being as close to Luke’s as it was, the Rebel Soldier filled the role of Hoth Luke back in the day until that figure was released. Slap a colored toothpick in this flat left hand, and he was a Wampa fighting farmboy.