Hot Toys’ Star Wars Battlefront Jumptrooper Jets Into Action [Review]
Few games have brought the world of Star Wars to life quite like Star Wars Battlefront. DICE's most recent entry in the franchise is arguably one of the most beautiful games of the past year, let alone one of the best-looking Star Wars video games. It's fitting then that Hot Toys, purveyor of some of the best-looking Star Wars figures, would take the chance on bringing some of those Battlefront characters to life in toy form.
Rather than focus on the more familiar faces of the original Star Wars trilogy however, Hot Toys has honed in on crafting some of the best Stormtrooper figures money can buy. After already releasing a figure based on Battlefront's Shocktrooper, the Hong Kong company has now turned its detail-oriented eye to the Jumptrooper.
With so many Stormtroopers in various shapes and sizes already on the market, it's often hard to justify the existence of yet another one. You've got to have something special about your version that makes it stand out from the legion of white helmets. Even within Hot Toys' own catalog, there are already a number of Stormtroopers available or on the way. It's a challenge to give collectors a reason to add yet another one to the collection.
For the most part, the differences in Stormtrooper toys boil down to a few small alterations here and there. Just adding a shoulder pauldron and a new gun is often enough for fans to add another to their army, but where that might work at the $20 level, small changes like that ask a lot of the audience at $200+ a pop. You may want to build a contingent of Imperial forces for display alongside the more recognizable and unique characters of Star Wars, but it's going a pricey endeavor if you choose to go the Hot Toys route.
The Jumptrooper is no real exception to that rule. It has the base Stormtrooper body, which is getting some good mileage over at Hot Toys right now. When you've seen dozens of Stormtrooper toys over the years, it's easy to spot one that isn't quite up to snuff. That's not of particular concern here, as Hot Toys' armor sculpt is very strong. There are very few deviations within the classic trilogy Stormtrooper design, and that's across most media. The comics have introduced some more outrageous fabrications, but the games have generally stayed true to that core mold. This far along in the franchise's lifespan, you've got to nail Stormtrooper armor perfectly to even be considered an average figure. Hot Toys gets it just right though, and it's in the rest of the nuance that this version begins to stand out from the crowd.
Stormtrooper figures are often captured at their shiniest. It's a point of Imperial pride that the armor and uniform be as flawless as possible, and if you look across the films and shows in this universe, you'll note just how crisp the white armor is in most instances. There are rare exceptions of course, such as those Stormtroopers deployed to planets where cleanliness is next to impossible. Sandtroopers have always been the default dirty boys of the bunch, but with Tatooine being a key setting in Star Wars Battlefront, that gave Hot Toys some leeway to dust up the Jumptrooper to make him look like he's been out in the elements for some time.
This particular weathering is what makes the Jumptrooper more special than the other Stormtroopers released by Hot Toys thus far. It's not often we get to see one of these soldiers look like he's been on the battlefield. Granted, the average lifespan of a Stormtrooper isn't all that spectacular, but seeing a figure with a little bit of grit gives the impression he was actually in combat somewhere. There are going to be some garrisons --- particularly on the outer rim --- that just don't have the time to polish the chestplates to those pristine Death Star levels. Scoring and weathering are going to happen, and when you're constantly facing down the Rebel army amidst sandstorms in the wastes of a planet like Jakku, being bright and shiny white just isn't a priority anymore.
There's some great paint work done here, showing the degradation of the armor after an indeterminate amount of time in the dunes, with nicks and wear apparent in all the right places. It's subtle, and that's what makes it all the more impressive in its authenticity. What's more, there's clear pockets of build-up in all the joints and crevices, showing this guy isn't just straight off the dropship; he's been here, he's been around, and he's somehow managed to survive. This figure tells a story with its minutiae, and that's so important in creating a sense of personality with characters you'd typically consider to be more drone-like than individualistic.
This figure is more than his armor though, and the weapons included give him a sense of place. We rarely see Stormtroopers in the films use anything beyond the E-11 blaster rifle, so when one comes with a scout pistol, an A280C rifle, and a RT-97C heavy blaster, you know the particular time and place from when he came. It's not that these weapons haven't existed in Star Wars canon elsewhere; it's just that Stormtroopers in the original trilogy are hardly ever seen using more than the standard issue E-11. The mechanical fabrication of these weapons is unrivaled, and Hot Toys once again shows just why it is in a class all its own when it comes to high-detail figures.
You couldn't rightly call this Stormtrooper a Jumptrooper without the inclusion of a jetpack, which is one of Battlefront's special items. It attaches to the back with magnets, which is A+ design. Trying to remove armor or throw straps over the figure's shoulders would have been a major hassle, and the magnetic attachment is easy and clean. It also means you can swap it on and off without having to finagle with the figure too much. The jetpack itself matches up with the Imperial aesthetic, and its attachment is seamless thanks to keeping with the white uniformity. There's a lovely patina on the exhaust ports, too. Again, that lends to the idea this character has been in action, used this jetpack, and adds that much more realism.
To go one further, Hot Toys not only included a dynamic posing stand, which is taller than the standard offering and has some flexibility. It's also included two fire boost effects to put in jet exhaust to make it look like the pack if firing, and that the Jumptrooper is actually jumping. These are small flourishes, but ones that you expect to see from Hot Toys given the premium pricing attached to these figures. With the great poseablity the armor and figure affords, you can get fairly creative with how you want the Jumptrooper to look in the air (or on the ground), too.
Forty years after debuting, it takes a lot of effort to create a Stormtrooper figure that is worthy of some attention. While all the familiar parts and pieces are in place for Hot Toys' latest Imperial soldier, there's so much nuance invested throughout, it's hard not to notice. The average collector may find the differences between this Jumptrooper and the standard Stormtrooper negligible, but thanks to the subtleties in the design, the Jumptrooper has enough personality to make him a unique entry among the dozens of similar recruits.
The Hot Toys Star Wars Battlefront Jumptrooper figure is available now from Sideshow Collectibles for $234.99. This figure was provided by Sideshow for review.