Sandtrooper (Black Series)

January 11, 2014 | By More

BkS Sandtrooper (2)

A couple years ago, when someone asked me what would it take for me to stop collecting the Hasbro Star Wars action figures I stated that barring a change in scale, I would be pretty much buying them as long as they made them.


BkS Sandtrooper (7)Guess what?  They have not cancelled the 4-inch line (yet), but for all intents and purposes if you cannot find anything in that scale at stores while all there is available is the new 6-inch Black Series, I’d say that the dreaded scale change has already occurred.


However, something funny happened. Local Walmart stores brought the whole first wave and I found that a couple of the figures looked really interesting. One of those is the subject of today’s review.


The Sandtrooper turned out to be more than  just a really good rendition of the characters we saw on the screen. Hasbro had already managed to produce excellent Sandtroopers in the 30th Anniversary and Vintage collections, but at this larger scale they really have set the bar higher than ever.


Even though the sculpted detail is essentially the same as in the smaller versions, the 6-inch Sandtrooper does a better job at showcasing each individual piece of armor, but the thing that really makes this a great action figure is the way it blends in the articulation.


BkS Sandtrooper (12)The articulation on the Sandtrooper consists of:


• Ball jointed neck.

• Pegged hinge shoulders.

• Upper biceps swivel.

• Double hinged elbows.

• Pegged hinge wrists.

• Floating torso.

• Pegged hinge hips.

• Upper thigh swivels.

• Double hinged knees.

• Pegged hinge ankles.

• Rocker feet.


BkS Sandtrooper (6)From an aesthetic point of view, the pins required for the double hinges at knees and elbows are the only bits that can be a little distracting, but I don’t mind them that much.


From a functional point of view, some of these articulation points have some limits imposed by the armor design, but then again, I think this Sandtrooper has as much mobility as any cosplayer would, wearing one of these costumes.


One of the strongest point on this figure is the paintjob. For a start, the basic Stormtrooper armor is molded in white plastic and the black and gray detailing on the helmet, as well as the black undersuit, are painted very neatly on my sample.


BkS Sandtrooper (3)After that, the Sandtrooper got a really nice weathering effect all over the armor simulating the accumulation of dust. This effect looks extremely effective and natural, and appears to be random enough as to justify having multiples of this trooper.


My only two issues about the paintjob are that the weathering effect does not extend to the additional gear and that the ankles should have been painted black, but these are fairly minor annoyances.


What really sets apart Sandtroopers from regular Stormtroopers is the amount of gear they carry, starting with the rank designating pauldron over his right shoulder, molded from black rubber and decorated with a bright orange cover. He also comes with a large survival backpack made from black flexible plastic with details painted in white and gray.


This backpack attaches to the figure via a peg that connects to the hole disguised as the circular port on the armor’s back plate, and it includes a small cartridge pouch dangling from a curved strip of plastic that goes over the shoulder piece, presumably to provide a better grasp to the figure’s torso.


BkS Sandtrooper (9)

The figure comes with quite a nice cache of weaponry too, in the form of a E-11 blaster carbine, a DLT-19 heavy rifle and the T-21 repeater blaster with shoulder strap. Both longer weapons have painted details in them, but the carbine was left unpainted.


With all the gear on, the Sandtrooper looks really impressive, which makes me think that maybe these troopers are actually tougher and better prepared than the Stormtroopers stationed at both Death Stars and Endor, which would account for Obi-Wan’s appraisal of their performance during the attack to the jawas.


It seems to me that Tatooine’s environment would be far less forgiving and offer a really toughening experience compared to being aboard a self-sufficient battle station the size of a moon, or even deployed in a lush forest where the natives look like stuffed toys.


In any case, the Sandtrooper from the 6-inch Black Series collection is tantalizingly close to being perfect, and not a bad figure to start reconsidering a scale change.

 BkS Sandtrooper (4)

Errex Score: 97/100

 BkS Sandtrooper

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Category: Featured, Star Wars, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.

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