Go Ahead, Mech His Day: We Review The ‘Force Awakens’ Desert Assault Walker, And You Can Enter to Win Your Own
With a new Star Wars on the way, the deluge of new action figures and toys has been constant. It's the first time in a long time that there's been any reason to create whole new lines from scratch, with some animated exceptions of course. However, as popular as the animated versions of the Star Wars universe have been, they just can't hold a candle to the hype surrounding an actual new film in the iconic franchise. Needless to say, since Force Friday, Hasbro's been busy.
In fact, Hasbro's got so many toys planned for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, there are even exclusive sets popping up at select retailers. Take this Desert Assault Walker and First Order Stormtrooper Officer set from Entertainment Earth. A repaint of the widely available Assault Walker and First Order Stromtrooper Sergeant, this exclusive set offers another way to build up the First Order forces for the 3.75" line. We got our hands on one of these sets courtesy of Entertainment Earth, and can only hope that these things actually make an appearance in the upcoming sequel.
The 3.75" line of figures has been rather divisive among the Star Wars collector base, with some decrying the lack of full articulation, and others more open to the idea of a smaller line with decent detail and the ability to take up less shelf space than the adult-aimed Black Series. For my taste, I like the 3.75" line well enough for the First Order figures. Building an army of Stormtroopers is much easier at this scale when it comes to displaying them, and it's also a might bit cheaper, too.
The Stormtrooper Officer is just about identical to the standard Stormtrooper, save for his orange pauldron. That used to be an indicator that a soldier was a Sandtrooper in the original trilogy, and seeing it here again on the Desert Walker set is a nice tribute to the old regime. The details aren't the crispest, but there's still plenty of nuance to take in even at this size. The simple paint app does show painting imperfections a bit more than a more complex figure, but there were only a few instances of trouble (mostly in the joint areas) on our Stormtrooper.
The Assault Walker itself takes a tiny bit of inspiration from the AT-STs of old, and makes them a bit more personal. The vehicles look a bit like the mechs from Metal Gear Solid V, what with the open cockpits and bipedal design, so they instantly have a bit more appeal for me. Finding a way to somehow capture all the coolness of Star Wars and Metal Gear in one figure (intentionally or not) is not something I'd thought I'd ever see happen in my lifetime. There's a lot of nice machine detailing in the vehicle, but I'm not sure why the First Order would even bother camouflaging vehicles like this.
The balance isn't perfect, as one leg is just a might crooked compared to the other, and the same can be said of the Stormtrooper. The one issue with limited articulation means there aren't multiple joints to help take the brunt of weight to keep the figure upright. When one foot is just millimeters off, it becomes a challenge to ensure everything works as intended. Fortunately, when the Stormtrooper is positioned inside the cockpit, it doesn't really matter much since he has controls to hold onto.
It's not really clear if these vehicles will be showing up in the final film at all. Often toys are made for kids to have something to play with instead of being 100% movie accurate, and until The Force Awakens arrives, we won't know for sure. For $29.99, it's not a bad set, particularly if you're looking to keep things small and simple. Some of the other vehicles in the line are a bit too big for proper display, but at just a hair over 7.5" tall (including figure), you'll have no trouble displaying this alongside your army.
We're also teaming with Entertainment Earth to give one of these exclusive figure sets away, and all you've got to do is check out the widget below for a chance to win. Be sure to check the official rules before entering. As this prize will be provided by Entertainment Earth, the giveaway is open to all residents of North America (US and CAN).
This figure was provided by Entertainment Earth for review. You can order your own (if you don't win our giveaway) from Entertainment Earth for $29.99.