McQuarrie Concept Stormtrooper (30th Anniversary Collection)
By Jeff Gouse (SithLord0498)
SCULPT – 5 out of 5
While this is the first figure in an all-new subline of the Hasbro Star Wars dynasty, the Concept Stormtrooper is actually a recycled sculpt from an older figure series: the original Saga Collection (circa 2003).
Four years later, this sculpt still holds up extremely well. The armor is sharp in all the right places, and the contours of the helmet are fluid and match closely to the concept artwork from where this figure was derived. The ornamentation on the abdoment and belt is quite detailed for such a small size, and the holster is successfully functional.
PAINT APPLICATION – 4.75 out of 5
This is where the updated Concept Stormtrooper far surpasses its 2003 predecessor. The 2003 Saga version had virtually ZERO paint deco. There was the black undersuit, white armor, and some black for the helmet details and the poorly-designed battle-damage on the shield. Its color scheme shared little with the source material.
The new Concept Stormtrooper, however, excels in the paint department and closely adheres to McQuarrie’s concept art. There is very little room to improve upon these paint applications. The armor’s gray contour lines in the painting are faithfully reproduced on this figure. The left shoulder pad adds a slight splash of color with a red triangle, which adds a bit of life to the grayscale armor.
The shield is by far one of the best looking accessories I have ever seen on a Star Wars figure, and it is entirely due to the paint deco. The two tone shield is brought to life with the varying concentrations of black paint wash, and the two blaster burns look incredibly lifelike. The upper left burn look blistered and sizzled, and the lower right burn has a good combination of heat damage and scraped paint.
The only negative with the paint application is that the jumpsuit looks as though it should be a darker shade of gray. The original version was a pure black with no gray shades, and the new version is too light of a gray. Perhaps the third time will be the charm (after all, this IS Hasbro…), but this figure is good the way it is.
ARTICULATION – 3 out of 5
Considering the great job they did on the paint applications and sculpt, it’s a shame that Hasbro didn’t retool the articulation for this inaugural McQuarrie Series figure. In a wave of figures where the troopers have 10+ points of articulation, the Concept Stormtrooper weighs in with eight POA and a pitiful eight for that matter. The only ball joints on the figure are the shoulders. Even if nothing else was changed, this figure could have been a 3.5 or 3.75 if just the head was ball-jointed because a simple head tilt can add so much life and character to a figure’s pose.
Alas, this remains a very stiff Imperial trooper.
ACCESSORIES – 4 out of 5
Let’s get the only negative out of the way first. The original figure’s unique concept art-inspired display stand is not included. Considering everything else about this figure (except the paint deco) was recycled, the figure lost an entire point for this omission.
But this trooper has everything else a collector could want. The blaster, holster, shield, and lightsaber from the concept art have been included once again, and the figure has absolutely no problem holding any of them.
“FUN FACTOR” – 4.5 out of 5
Even though the articulation seriously cripples the poseability of this figure, the updated Concept Stormtrooper still has significant “fun value” because of both the unique design and accessories. Some of the combinations can be: blaster and shield, lightsaber only, lightsaber and shield…well you get the idea.
OVERALL RATING – 4.25 out of 5
While falling short of a home run opening for the McQuarrie Signature Series line, the Concept Stormtrooper has many positives going for it. It looks great, and the accessories really add a lot of character and display options for collectors. If future releases can at least match this quality (and hopefully surpass it), then this is an action figure sub-line I highly recommend buying in its entirety.
Unfortunately, the Concept Stormtrooper is currently shipping one per case, so it is very scarce on the pegs for now. With any luck, the Stormtrooper will enjoy frequent rotation in future cases and/or entire McQuarrie sets will be available closer to the Christmas season.
In any event, despite its flaws, this is a must-own figure.