Compared to other science fiction, specs are everywhere, such as, several portrayals of Doctor Who (Matt Smith and David Tenant, who wore 3-D glasses – clearly bonus points), Laura Roslin on “Battlestar Galactica,” and Geordi La Forge’s visor (an artificial sensory organ but it still counts) in "Star Trek: TNG."
I should describe my mindset prior to asking such a question. Like most of the Earth’s population, this author is a fan of "Star Wars" (seen the films, watched some of the cartoons, and played a few games from this franchise); so, especially as a kid, this “space western” was saliently on my mind. Additionally, as far as I can remember, every member of my family has faithfully worn glasses. As the youngest, I perceived this face accessory as being a sign of maturity and esteem.
An answer satiated my curiosity a few weeks later while looking at Halloween masks. Both Darth Vader and the stormtrooper masks have built-in lenses and thus are wearing corrective goggles…eureka! With the former being the archenemy of Episodes IV - VI, my affinity gravitated toward stormtroopers – the less evil glasses wearers of “Star Wars.”
Therefore, when given the chance to review an item from Sideshow Collectibles, I jumped at the Stormtrooper Commander ($359.99; limited edition of 1000). Quoting from the box, “Imperial stormtroopers were regarded as the Empire’s finest soldiers, and their commanders were specially trained to be far superior to the common infantry solider.” I previously encountered this version of a stormtrooper in “The Force Unleashed” video game, as he stands out from the classic all white model by having blue markings on his armor.
This figure was expertly packaged within a sizable box (approximately 14" long x 9.5" wide x 19.5" tall). Internally, the Styrofoam packaging perfectly cradled each of the pieces (helmet, body, hands, belt, thermal detonator, and base), thus, some light assembly was required. Thankfully, the use of posts, hooks, Velcro, and magnets made the previously mentioned endeavor effortlessly simple.
The design and build quality of this premium figure is unbelievable. Many would describe such an object as possessing an “attention to detail;” yet, that phrase is nowhere near sufficient in describing this figure.
This sculpture is perfectly accurate to the source material with identical coloration, proportions, and accessories (E-11 blaster, holster, and thermal detonator). Yet, this is more than a 19.5” tall action figure, as the designers even utilized authentic materials with leather on the holster and two differently textured, black fabrics for the under suit and neck seal. Amazingly, the artists at Sideshow Collectibles added realism through fractures of various shape and color on the armor that visually depicts this soldier’s combat experience. Furthermore, the base was not overlooked; it received a grimy, worn, faux metallic finish that resembles the floor of a starship.
While totally static, this design’s combination of size, specifics, and stance leads one to believe this Stormtrooper Commander could spontaneously move. For me, this figure deserves the highest compliment of transcending the quality of life-like to actually feeling alive. This is the 20th anniversary of Sideshow Collectibles and they have clearly perfected crafting pieces of art.
Rating: 5 out of 5
After seeing Episode II, it appears that much of the stormtroopers are clones of Jango Fett, who does not wear glasses; however, I like to believe he has “readers” built into his helmet for presbyopia.
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