And so, the big day finally arrived: Force Friday 2016 and the worldwide launch of Star Wars Rogue One figures and collectibles! I staked out Walmart at midnight and then hit Target at 8AM, all in the name of getting all the Rogue One toys I had my eye on… and I did! Over the next few weeks I’ll be reviewing all of my favorite (and least favorite) new action figures, but let’s start with a review of perhaps today’s hottest release. The first shipment sold out online in under 5 minutes–do the 6″ Black Series Death Trooper figures live up to the hype?
Between Walmart and Target, I picked up three 6″ Death Trooper Black Series figures today–but was it ~$55 well-spent…?
Thankfully: Yes! Although I saw some early criticism online for the Rogue One Black Series Death Trooper figures regarding their proportions and articulation, I’m pretty thrilled with them after a few hours of posing.
I love that Disney chose to not just make the Deathtroopers a totally black palette swap of the Original Trilogy Stormtroopers. The different-shaped helmet reminds me a lot of the Clone Wars designs, and make these troopers feel “different” enough from the imbecilic incompetence of the OT Stormtroopers.
You can’t see it very well in most photos, but the green-painted parts of the Death Trooper helmet–especially the visor–look incredibly eerie and threatening in person. It really adds a lot to the personality of the figure when you can see the green bits of the helmet in proper lighting.
The other painted areas on this predominantly black army-builder also really pop and break up the darkness nicely. The various silver straps and buckles and dark grey under armor add a lot to this figure’s aesthetic and make it feel like more than just a black blob of plastic.
I’d heard a lot of griping about the articulation on this figure from early reviews, but I think that it’s mostly fine. The full articulation scheme includes a ball-hinge neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists; ball-jointed upper torso and hips; swivel thighs; double-jointed knees and hinge ankles with ankle rockers.
There’s some limitations to the posing possibilities due to missing points of articulation (which I’ll talk about shortly), but for the most part I am extremely pleased with the options that are available for posing these troopers.
You get two guns with the Rogue One Death Trooper figure: a blaster rifle and a small blaster pistol. There’s only one small dab of paint deco on the rifle and none on the pistol–but I honestly don’t mind that in this one instance. I think it works to not have any stray colors distracting away from the armor this time out.
The “holster” on the figure’s right thigh is just a little rubber loop–the type of holster I expected to hate on sight and that would be totally unusable in practice. But as it turns out, the holster holds the pistol snugly and doesn’t get in the way of the leg articulation at all. Score.
And speaking of not inhibiting the articulation, the soft rubber shoulder armor on these Death Trooper 6″ figures is a true delight! The rubbery armor plates don’t restrict limitation at all, but they’re also nice and tight and look terrific. Great stuff!
Whether the Death Trooper armor will look it in the final movie or not no one can say yet, but the legs on this figure do look a bit thin and long from head-on when he’s just standing around casually. I don’t think the skinny legs are that much of an issue personally, but I know some folks do hate them.
In addition, some key points of articulation that Marvel collectors are used to are absent here: swivel waist, ball-hinge hips, double-jointed elbows and swivel biceps most notably. I can live without most of those, but a gun-wielding soldier should have double-hinge elbows, in my opinion.
Also, the ball-hinge neck has a great range-of-motion looking sideways and down, but can’t look upward at all. That’s a real shame, as it means this trooper variety will never be able to lie flat and look forward to snipe enemies. Oh well!
Overall: After reading some negative early reviews of the Star Wars 6″ Black Series Death Trooper figure, I feared the worst. But I am very pleased to say that I’m overall ecstatic with this action figure.
While it can look a bit too lanky when posed plainly and the articulation is missing several points that are commonplace in Marvel Legends, this Rogue One Death Trooper looks absolutely superb once you get him into a pose. The SH Figuarts Death Trooper may end up being a slightly better figure when all is said and done, but for the price, this Death Trooper six inch figure is still pretty excellent. Recommended.