Thursday, April 26, 2018

Road to Solo: Death Star Trooper from Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III by Hasbro

    Last year Hasbro released a number of significant action figures from Star Wars: A New Hope in the 40th Anniversary Collection. While many of those figures were re-releases of earlier figures, a few of them were new additions to the Black Series. Hasbro has been releasing all of those new sculpts from the 40th Anniversary Collection into the standard Black Series Phase III line and while most have been released with no changes (the Jawas, Darth Vader, Tusken Raider), the Death Squad Commander is definitely turning some heads with his re-release. First, he's been renamed as the Death Star Trooper (probably a more accurate term than the Kenner labeled Death Squad Commander). Second, he has a new headsculpt thanks to Hasbro's new face printing technology. The 2018 figures have been largely taking advantage of this new method of creating life-like human faces and the Death Star Trooper is the second figure to be re-released with a new portrait. Considering that the headsculpt is so much more impressive and that this guy is an army builder I jumped in on this double dip. How did that turn out? Find out after the break...

 The Facts:

Height: 6 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed abdomen, swivel/ hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a hinged neck, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: DH-17 Blaster and helmet

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars 

On the left is the newly released Black Series Phase III Death Star Trooper. On the right is the 40th Anniversary Collection Death Squad Commander. Overall they are the same figure, so my review will mostly cover what is new and improved. The articulation is still the same, as is most everything below the neck although the suit color on the Death Star Trooper seems a bit nicer.
 The Positives:

* The Death Star Destroyer is an impressive figure and, despite being clad in all black, manages to have a rather interesting look. Maybe it's just because it's a classic, killer design or maybe it's just because I'm still so darn partial to anything from the Original Trilogy. Who knows? That being said I do think this figure's outfit looks a bit better than the Death Squad Commander's outfit. I think the black is a bit shinier here which looks better to my eyes.

* Let's talk about the headsculpt and printing here as it is so amazing that it caused the great Poe Ghostal to come out of a four year hiatus to post about it! This is a killer headsculpt. It is so insanely lifelike for a figure in this scale and, particularly, for a figure at this price point. The eyes, the skin tone, and even the hair look strikingly realistic.  Hasbro, you're doing some fine work my friends.

* The Death Star Trooper comes with a DH-17 blaster pistol. It's not a bad choice, though I really wish he had included a SE-14C or a similar model. The DH-17 is molded in a gunmetal plastic with a painted barrel tip. The paint is a bit darker than on the Death Squad Commander's figure, which seemed to have more of a blue hue. 

 * Here's a closer look at the helmet. It not only has a very nice design to it but it fits perfectly and stays on very securely. It looks perfect in place thanks to the very secure chin strap.
 My Death Squad Commander actually had a few paint flaws which killed a bit of my enthusiasm for the figure. The Death Star Trooper however does not have those flaws. Mix together the lack of flaws with the incredible new portrait and better uniform coloring and Hasbro has delivered an Epic update of this figure. If you missed out on this guy the first time around don't worry; you haven't really missed anything. If you already have the 40th Anniversary Collection release, this guy's headsculpt is so much better that you can easily put the two side by side and have two unique troops. He's incredible!

If you're looking for more Imperial Navy Troopers I've reviewed the classic Galoob Micro Machines Star Destroyer/ Space Fortress Transforming Action set which includes a Naval Trooper microfigure and the Hasbro 40th Anniversary Collection Death Squad Commander.

For more Star Wars: The Black Series Phase III figures, check out the following:

442nd Siege Battalion Clone Trooper, 212th Attack Battalion Utapau Trooper, Coruscant Guard ---(Phase II), and 501st Legion Clone Trooper 4 pack
Admiral Ackbar and First Order Officer
Ahsoka Tano 
AT-AT Pilot 
Baze Malbus
Captain Cassian Andor (Eadu) 
Captain Poe Dameron
C-3PO (Resistance Base)
Captain Phasma
Chirrut Imwe 
Clone Captain Rex (HasCon Exclusive)
Clone Commander Gree
Constable Zuvio
Darth Revan 
Darth Vader (Emperor's Wrath)
Director Krennic 
DJ (Canto Bight)
Elite Praetorian Guard
Elite Praetorian Guard (with Heavy Blade)
Finn (First Order Disguise)
Finn (FN-2187)
Finn (Jakku)
First Order Flametrooper
First Order General Hux
First Order Snowtrooper
First Order Snowtrooper Officer
First Order Special Forces TIE Fighter
First Order Stormtrooper
First Order Stormtrooper Executioner 
First Order Stormtrooper (with Gear)
First Order TIE Fighter Pilot
General Leia Organa
Grand Admiral Thrawn (SDCC Exclusive)
Grand Moff Tarkin 
Guardians of Evil 4-Pack
Guavian Enforcer
Han Solo 
Hera Syndulla
Imperial AT-ACT Driver
Imperial Death Trooper
Imperial Death Trooper, Captain Cassian Andor, and Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha) 3 pack
Imperial Hovertank Pilot 
Imperial Shock Trooper 
Imperial Royal Guard 
Inferno Squad Agent
Jaina Solo (Legends)
Jango Fett
Kanan Jarrus
Kylo Ren 
Kylo Ren (SDCC 2016)
Kylo Ren (The Last Jedi) 
Kylo Ren (Starkiller Base)
Kylo Ren (Throne Room)
Lando Calrissian
Luke Skywalker 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master) 
Luke Skywalker (Jedi Master)- Ahch-To Island
Maz Kanata 
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Force Spirit)
Obi-Wan Kenobi (SDCC 2016)
Phase 1 Clone Trooper Commander, Phase II Clone Trooper, Imperial Stormtrooper, and First Order ---Stormtrooper Officer four pack
Poe Dameron
Poe Dameron and First Order Riot Control Stormtrooper
Princess Leia Organa 
Qui-Gon Jinn
R2-A3, R5-K6, and R2-F2
Range Trooper
Resistance Tech Rose
Resistance Trooper
Rey (Island Journey)
Rey (Jakku) & BB-8 
Rey (Jedi Training)
Rey (Jedi Training)- Crait
Rey (Starkiller Base) 
Rey's Speeder (Jakku)
Sabine Wren
Sandtrooper Sergeant, Crimson Stormtrooper, Lieutenant OXIXO, and R2-Q5
Scarif Stormtrooper
Scarif Stormtrooper Squad Leader 
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Eadu)
Sergeant Jyn Erso (Jedha)
Supreme Leader Snoke (Throne Room)
Tusken Raider 
X-34 Landspeeder & Luke Skywalker (SDCC Exclusive) 
X-Wing Pilot Asty


  1. The difference is crazy! So much nicer on this new one. Also, I forgot all about Poe Ghostal. I used to loved his site. Poe's PoA, Epic Reviews (and then of course Action Figure BBQ) were some of my everyday visits.

    1. Brad has been putting up plenty of stuff over at the Epic Review. We've been podcasting nearly weekly and keeping the good old place alive still!

  2. Imperial troops are like crack. Or Lay's potato chips. Death Star Troopers especially, since, as I've mentioned before, they're my favorite. As a result, between them and the earlier Death Squad Commander(s), I already have way more of these guys than I need.

    1. How many of these guys do you have?

    2. I think four? Five? Not including the original pre-faceprint tech Death Squad Commanders (of whom I have three).

    3. Do you actually make dioramas for these? I imagine army building with the Black Series figures looks pretty impressive.


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