Late in Dec 2014, Bandai Tamashii Nations released the first in their new Star Wars Movie Realization figures. Based off the Japanese feudal style that inspired George Lucas, the Samurai Taisho Darth Vader was an amazing figure, and was my favourite Star Wars figure of 2014 in any scale!
Soon after they released teaser photos of upcoming trooper figures, including the Stormtrooper, Sandtrooper, and potentially even the Snowtrooper and Biker Scout. It's been a long 6 month wait, and they've finally released the Ashigaru Stormtrooper figure, and it was definitely worth the wait!
For my full video review, click the video link below to check it out on the Kool Kollectibles YouTube channel. For more pics and info, scroll on down for the full written review :)
The packaging style follows closely with that of the Darth Vader, and is very simple and classy. The clamshell inside is perfectly collector friendly. The set comes with a nice array of accessories, including the vintage style flint gun, katana sword and sheath, and an assortment of swap out hand sculpts.
The figure itself is every bit as amazing as the Darth Vader figure, with the details really standing out due to the white armour instead of the black on Vader. The sculpting of the helmet is incredible, with beautiful patterning that matches the line markings on the standard Stormtrooper helmet.
I love the way they did the style around the chin area of the helmet, and the hinge joint that attaches the chin flap. The flap itself has the little gold highlights that are scattered across many areas of the suit. Because it is on a flap, it's easy to move around to articulate the head more, so there's no real issue with articulation.
The rear of the helmet is similar to the layered pattern on the Darth Vader helmet, and is again a softer plastic with gaps between layers. There's a little give in the plastic so there isn't too much restriction in head movement when posing. The subtle weathering on the helmet is nice, and leaves plenty of room for more dirt and grime for the Sandtrooper version!
The body armour is of course the highlight. Some people do not like the style of the chest/torso plate, especially the visible nipples. But this is very accurate to the traditional Samurai ere Japanese armour, and I think it looks awesome. Particularly with the very nicely done dirt/weathering, I think Bandai have done another great job.
The rear of the torso piece is just as intricate as the front, with almost gill-like patterning on the back. I think that really accentuates the figure and makes it look amazing from any angle. I also love the fake ropes across the tops of the shoulders that mimic rope ties used to hold the front and rear sections together.
The shoulder pads are also a nice design touch, where they are attached to the arms via a ball joint. This allows for a lot of range of motion in the arms since the shoulder plate can be easily moved out of the way. The shoulder joints themselves are on a well-designed ball joint system that can move the shoulder up and down, out the sides almost perpendicular to the body, and straight out the front or rear.
As with the Vader, much of the detailing in the costume centres on the kama or skirt. It is all one piece that is made of softer plastic to allow for the hip articulation. The detailing with the front dagger sheath, and the fake ropes holding the various flaps is really nice, especially with all the gold/yellow highlights.
I love how they have mimicked the canister at the rear of normal Stormtrooper outfits. I'm not exactly sure what it's meant to be, but it still looks cool! :) Again the detailing in the flaps is very nicely done. On the left side that is a clips that holds the katana sheath nicely, which is just inserted and left along the hip.
Even the leg armour is nicely molded and detailed. The thighs have a white armour layer under the kama skirt, leading into black plastic representing the undersuit. It's all soft plastic that doesn't restrict hip/leg articulation too much. Going down towards the lower leg armour, that looks fantastic too. The differences in design between the legs is another nice bit of detail, and again the weathering is top-notch.
The feet are a little hard to articulate and get looking right, especially flat on the ground. The ankle joints get a little hard to manipulate without a true ankle rocker motion. I do believe that the ball joint can be rotated to allow the ankles to be tilted in the perpendicular direction, but I haven't tried it out myself yet. But other than that, all the movement is as expected, and nothing is loose so standing on its own is quite easy. The line markings on the shoes also look great.
General points of articulation include both double jointed elbows and knees. The elbows in particular look great, with a wide range of motion, and the elbow joints doesn't become too visible went bent. Similarly, the knee joints also have a great range of motion, and can all cater for some amazingly dynamic poses.
Posed together with Vader, I think the potential for something really special in the Star Wars collecting world is immediately obvious. There is just nothing else out there that is as unique but still instantly recognisable as these Bandai Movie Realization figures!
With teaser pics already posted showing variant Stormtroopers with flags, drums, and other accessories, there will be plenty of opportunity to build an incredible feudal army of Stormtroopers! Add to that the amazing pics of the Royal Guards and Boba Fett, I think this line will become a legendary line of Star Wars figures in the future.
These figures are definitely gaining in popularity, and are selling out fast at most retailers. Click the link here to get yourself the Ashigaru Stormtrooper from BBTS! Do NOT miss out!! :)
As most of you know, I grew up in the 80s, so have a love of most things classic action / sci-fi that came out of that awesome decade. Back to the Future ranks right up there with my favourite movies, and so it was a given that I would get the figure as soon as Hot Toys announced their 1/6th scale Marty McFly and Delorean collectibles.
Marty went up for preorder at Sideshow Collectibles in late July 2014 (click the link here for the order details!), so it's been a long wait for its final release. But I can wholeheartedly say that it was well worth the wait, and Hot Toys have really done this iconic character justice!
The packaging is pretty simple, going back to the basic shoe box style and cardboard insert of previous figures. I like the simplicity and the classic BTTF logo and fiery Delorean tracks into the distance really makes me look forward to early next year when the Delorean is released!
Since I ordered the exclusive version from Sideshow, it comes with the additional guitar from the audition scene in the movie. There was a lot of discussion on the accuracy of the guitar to the actual model used in the movie. I'm not that hardcore a guitar fan to really know the difference, so it doesn't really mean too much to me. I just think it's a cool additional extra for them to have thrown in lol!!
Regardless of whether you got the exclusive or just the regular, there are a heap of accessories anyway. I just wish Hot Toys provided so much with all of their figures in this price range!
It comes with a nicely sculpted and painted skateboard, very nicely detailed and padded backpack, the walkman and headphones, camcorder, sunglasses, calculator wrist watch, and the array of hands. And that's all in addition to the amazing layered costume and figure itself!
The costume has been really nicely tailored, and nothing feels overly big or too tight. There are a number of layers to the costume, with the red outer jacket, inner denim jacket, his checkered shirt, and then the red t-shirt underneath!
The red jacket is the most delicate, with the silver and black buttons being only glued on with the tiniest amount of glue. Any sort of pressure on them will dislodge them, so be VERY careful! They do provide spares, but losing them will be very easy if you don't immediately see them when they fall off.
But other than that, the outfit is awesome with a lot of detail. The denim material used is very nice and doesn't feel too delicate. The subtle weathering on the jeans is especially well done.
The shoes are also nicely sculpted, albeit without the classic Nike logo. I guess they didn't want to go the extra mile and obtain the Nike license, but overall I'm OK with that. There are lots of customisers out there selling decals that can be stuck on the shoes, and also the manufacturer logos on the camcorder and walkman.
The head sculpt and facial paint app are again the very high Hot Toys standard (if only Sideshow figures could match that paint app and skin texture on their head sculpts!). The only nitpick would be that the head sculpt really only applies to some poses, such as the one where he's taking off the sunnies to look at his watch.
Talking about poses, the articulation overall is great, except in the shoulder areas where care was needed for mine. The shoulders could easily be moved out to the sides, but trying to rotate them forward was difficult. I was actually afraid that I was going to snap something.
In the end, it seemed the clothing underneath might have been restricting the movement. After a bit of futzing and slow movement and adjustment of the clothes, the shoulders could be rotated forward. So at least I could achieve the pose I really wanted, shown above and below. Now all I need is for the Delorean to release so I can have his right foot inside the car! Oh, and a Doc Brown would just top it off even more :)
All in all, if you're a fan of the movie, then this is a must-have figure! The attention to detail in most parts of the figure is excellent, the accessories are numerous and perfect for many scenes in the movie, and the head sculpt is great and instantly recognisable. Highly recommended!!