After reviewing a couple of the more recent First Order Snowtrooper action figures, I think it would be nice to revisit one of the original designs by renowned artist Ralph McQuarrie, released by Hasbro as part of the 30th Anniversary Collection a few years ago.
The McQuarrie Concept Snowtrooper features a number of traits that were carried on to the final designs used for Episode V, like the oversized, smooth helmet and the cloth mask piece, although the mask piece on this Hasbro figure can be removed, showing underneath a mask design that was adapted later on for the TV show Star Wars: Rebels.
• Ball jointed neck.
• Pin & disk shoulders.
• Pin & disk elbows.
• Swivel wrists.
• Swivel waist.
• Swivel hips.
• Pin & disk knees.
At the time of it’s release, the lack of ankles on this Snowtrooper was seen as something of an inconvenience, mostly because the legs were sculpted to convey movement or at best, a slight contraposto stance but I have grown to appreciate the aesthetics behind this design decision.
The paintjob on the Concept Snowtrooper is one of the best I have seen in this scale. Most of the figure was molded in off-white plastic, with the armored bits painted in matte white and a healthy dose of simulated wear and tear painted on top. You can see dings and grime judiciously applied all over the figure, complemented by bright-colored markings.
Of particular note is the cipher on the left side of the helmet, where each character is actually etched onto the plastic. While only the left side of the helmet can be seen in the original McQuarrie painting, the sculptor at Hasbro added the same etchings on the right side of the helmet, reversed as to have them be mirror images of the ones on the left.
At some point after the designs were finished it was determined that these symbols were actually writing, and thus having them reversed made little sense, so instead of smoothing the right side of the helmet, they decided to leave the already engraved symbols unpainted.
As far as accessories, the McQuarrie Concept Snowtrooper figure comes armed with a large bore blaster rifle, the aforementioned mask piece and a backpack. This backpack is a rubber vest that slides over the neck post after popping out the head of the figure. Also included is the corresponding commemorative coin, made from aluminum and minted with a portrait of the character on one side and the Galactic Empire crest on the reverse.
I think this Concept figure is one of the highlights in my collection, as I can see the influence of this design stretching well beyond the characters from the Original Trilogy.
Errex Score: 93/100