Hasbro

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The AT-AT Driver are the pilots of the Imperial Forces AT-AT Walkers first seen in The Empire Strikes Back during the battle of Hoth. Working in teams of two they control the AT-AT Walkers driving and firing controls. Their uniforms are designed to protect them in harsh frozen climates if they are forced to abandon the AT-AT Walkers during combat.

 

Name: AT-AT Driver/Pilot
Line: Star Wars Black Series
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Released:
2016
Price: $19.99 USD
Scale:  6 inches in height
Accessories: E-11 Blaster Pistol

This is pretty much my first and only Star Wars Black Series purchase so far, I did dip my toe in ever so slightly a few years back and picked up Greedo which I had for a little while, before selling off, but I never took him out of the box and had a good look at him properly. So when Hasbro finally announced the AT-AT Driver I was looking forward to owning the figure and promptly placed my pre-order with BBTS.

The figure was released late December last year and I had my pile-of-loot shipped in January so he didn’t make the cut in my “best of” list. This was still one of the figures I was hoping that Hasbro would include in their Black Series of 6″ toys and I’m glad to have finally got my hands on him.

SCULPTING

I’m no Star Wars expert when it comes to Imperial armour and the tiny nuances when comparing what’s on the screen to toys and figures. But to me, this looks like a pretty good effort from Hasbro and looks quite good when compared to say the 3.65 AT-At Driver with the removable helmet. (That figure’s helmet looks horrible FYI) I think the proportions look about right and there’s plenty of nice details all over the figure. Plenty of creases on the clothes and nice smooth surfaces for the armour.

The Helmet itself is definitely the standout and that life support chest piece is a close second. (Seeing these are the main components of the AT-AT Driver armour in my opinion, I’m glad they’ve nailed them.) The only thing I don’t like is where the chest armour meets the hips as it cinches in and makes the AT-AT Driver look like he’s got some voluptuous proportions and once you notice it, it can’t be unseen, that’s for sure.

 

PAINT

There’s not too much paint on the AT-AT Driver. It’s mainly used for little details like the life support system on the chest or on the helmet. Overall I’d say it’s generally nice and neat, however, there are some stray spots on other parts of the figure. I really think the paint does a nice job of bringing out the details on that chest piece.  I’d say the paint application is up to Hasbro’s usual standard (say when compared with the Marvel Legends I have for example.)

ARTICULATION

The AT-AT Driver has the following articulation: Ball-joint/swivel head, hinge/swivel shoulders, hinge/swivel elbows, hinge/swivel wrists, ball-joint waist, hinge/swivel hips, swivel thighs, double-jointed knees and hinge/swivel ankles which can pivot as well.

All in all, it’s a good amount of articulation and one of the highlights of the Black Series from the beginning. You can get the AT-AT Driver into plenty of poses without too much trouble, even if the hoses that are attached to the helmet and chest armour make the head a bit hard to move around too much and the strap/loop things on his legs affect the articulation there too.

I enjoyed playing with him while taking the photos this is a pretty fun figure to play with and to pose.

ACCESSORIES

The AT-AT Driver comes with the ever present E-11 Blaster Pistol that almost every Imperial trooper and pilot tends to come with. Just like the smaller 3.65 Inch figures, the blaster is a bit warped right out of the package. Besides this common issue, it looks good and fits into the AT-AT Driver gun holding hand with little-to-no difficulty and is a snug fit.

Child Birthing Hips You Say?!?!?

 

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

None I can think of, besides the minor nitpicks mentioned above.

PRICE

I paid $19.99 USD for the figure from BBTS and I’m quite happy with that. I’m assuming that’s around the normal retail price and for the quality of the figure not too cheap, but not too expensive either. I don’t tend to buy many figures in person these days after all when the Internet is so convenient.

OVERALL

I’m not going to be buying every figure released in the Black Series, I’m going to be very selective with what characters I buy, so my collection at the moment is very small (just the AT-AT Driver right now). Much like my Marvel Legends purchases, it will just be my favorite characters. With that said, I’m very impressed with this figure, it’s a very strong effort from Hasbro and the price point is great too. I’m assuming you’d have to be an Imperial Forces completist to pick this guy up, but he does look quite nice next to the Snowtrooper. I’m very happy with him and if you end up buying one for yourself, I’d like to think you’d be too.

 

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The Snowtrooper is the cold climate version of the standard Imperial Stormtrooper. Featured in the Empire Strikes Back when the Imperial Forces attack the rebels base on Hoth. They have very unique armor and equipment design to deal with the harsh conditions they are deployed into.

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Name: Snowtrooper (Imperial Stormtrooper – Hoth Battle Gear)
Line: Star Wars Saga Collection
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Released:
2007
Price: $9.99 USD
Scale: 3.67 inches in height
Accessories: E-11 Blaster Pistol

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This is one of the first figures I bought which got me back into 3.65 Inch size Star Wars figure collecting. This figure along with IG-88 were the first two I bought from my local toy/collectible store back in 2007.

Even although I was happy with having a couple of cool looking figures I didn’t really buy a lot until recently where together with my brother we bought a lot. (there are at least five of these Snowtroopers now).

It may have been a while between reviews for these Star Wars figures, but I’ll get to them eventually (like everything else I plan to review).

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SCULPTING

I really love the sculpting with this Snowtrooper. To my eyes it’s a pretty close match to what we see on the screen and the proportions are good too. I really love the helmet/mask the best, it just looks so damn cool. Plenty of fine detail work in the folds of clothing and a nice amount of detail on the armor pieces as well.

The soft goods “waist cape” is a nice touch also. I really don’t care for the head underneath the mask, I’d have preferred it if there was nothing but just a ball joint as it doesn’t really add to the figure at all.

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PAINT

I think Hasbro has done a great job with their paint application with this figure. Where needed they have cast the part in the colour it is meant to be and then applied paint where required (like the smaller pieces of armor on the arms and legs, for example) it all blends quite well and by having five of them, to inspect, the paint is pretty much uniform across all five figures, without too much difference or variation.

The weathering is great too! just the right amount of dirt and grime applied to the feet and armor itself ( the helmet has a very subtle wash on it to bring up those details). Very neat and slop free.

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ARTICULATION

The Snowtrooper has the following articulation: Ball jointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, ball jointed abs/waist, swivel legs (at the groin), swivel/hinge knees and swivel/hinge ankles. What I like about the articulation on this figure is that it’s fairly well hidden. I prefer toys like this, as it at least appears that some effort and thought was put into the design of the toy.

As far as for how useful the articulation is, he at least can aim and pose with his gun pretty well! The legs are sculpted slightly apart and I think that ruins the posability of the figure, as it makes it hard for him to do and crouching or ducking poses, without looking weird. But he’s definitely good to pose standing around, even if that backpack can make him a little off balance at times.

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ACCESSORIES

The Snowtrooper comes with a blaster and not much else, I guess you could count his helmet and backpack as accessories if you wanted. It’s the stock standard blaster that comes with pretty much every Hasbro Imperial figure and comes bent or warped in many various ways with each figure. My only real complaint is that most of these figures struggle to hold it firmly in their hands so it’s always moving around or falling out of the figures hands a lot. It’s sculpted well, cast in black and does the job well enough for the price point.

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POTENTIAL PROBLEMS

Besides the blaster being all kinds of deformed most of the time, there’s not too much to watch out for. Hasbro does make very solid toys that can withstand most abuse that a toy would take, seeing this figure is aimed at collectors, I doubt you would have any problems.

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PRICE

I paid the retail price for this guy back in the day, so I’m pretty sure it was close to $15 – $20 AUD, I was happy with that price back then as the figure just oozes quality for the price point. For this guy, I’d just try and pay what you feel comfortable paying as he’s not a major character in any way.

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OVERALL

If you are after a great small scale representation of an Imperial Stormtrooper in Hoth Battle Gear (Snowtrooper), then look no further, this figure is awesome and easily suppresses anything that came before him. He looks especially good in a group of these guys all together. I think he’s only going to be topped by the upcoming larger Black series version. He’s also been released a few times so I’d like to think he’s not that hard to come by either if you are after one.

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L – Circa 1990’s, R – Circa 2000’s – Sadly no 1980’s representative atm

 

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The Imperial Stromtrooper is one of those iconic and distinctive movie soldier designs ever, which is instantly recognisable to even non-fans of Star Wars. The elite soldier is the main ground force of the Galactic Empire and a ever-present reminder of the power of Emperor Palpatine.

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Name: Stormtrooper (VC41)
Line: Star Wars Vintage Collection
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Released: 2011
Price: First released –$19.99 AUD, Now – varies $50 -$60 AUD Minimum
Scale: 3.67 inches in height
Accessories: One E-11 blaster and one DLT-19 rifle

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I’m not a hardcore Star Wars fan, but I do enjoy the original trilogy and the movies have stuck with me in one way or another from first watching them all those years ago in the early 1990s as a child, with my father and brother.

Hasbro have been making Star Wars figures for a long time now and with the Vintage Collection I feel they are making some of the best, if not the best small scale Stars Wars figures.
That’s not knocking anything Kenner made, the 1990’s Power Of The Force Star Wars figures I’ll always have a soft spot for as it’s the series of Star Wars figures I first collected as a child.

I picked up a few of these figures back when they were released, but I didn’t get hardcore into collecting the series, up until recently that is. I’ve got a nice collection going now which is a joint collection with my brother (like a lot of our figure collections, we like characters the other doesn’t)

I picked up the Stormtrooper a couple of weeks ago and was quite impressed with him, so I decided to do a review, with potentially a few more figures from the Vintage Collection to be reviewed in the near future.

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SCULPTING
The sculpting of the Stormtrooper is excellent! Especially in this scale, I really can’t find much, if any fault with it. The look of the Stormtrooper armour is captured really well. There are plenty of nice details on the helmet and torso, even the legs and arms with plenty of small grooves and indents between panels.

Even with the removable helmet the head underneath and helmet itself don’t look too small or big. The removable helmet is a nice touch, but not something required (by me at least.)
I’m not going to over scrutinize the sculpting too much, being more of a casual Star Wars fan, but it’s a home run for me.

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PAINT
The Stormtrooper is pretty light on paint, it’s mainly used for details on the figure and that’s just the way I like it. What paint there is, is fairly neat, I don’t have much slop if any on my figure.

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ARTICULATION
The Stormtrooper features the following articulation: Ball-jointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel wrists, ball-jointed torso, swivel/hinge hips, swivel/hinge knees and swivel/hinge ankles.

For Star Wars figures at this scale and size, I think this is a perfect amount of articulation, even if it isn’t needed for the character, I think its great Hasbro included as much as possible. I really love the swivel/hinge joints as they give you plenty of poseability and are the most natural joint choice in my eyes.

You can get this trooper into a number of great poses you would expect to and even some you might not. The articulation these Star Wars figures have is definitely one of the things I really love about them.

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ACCESSORIES
The Stormtrooper comes with two guns, one blaster and one rifle as well. Both are sculpted really well for the size and cast in black. The blaster comes with pretty much any Imperial figure, be it Snowtrooper, AT-AT Pilot etc so, it’s getting a lot of use.

If I had a complaint with it, it would be that the plastic it is made out of can be a little too soft at times and the blasters can be a little bent right out of the packet.

The rifle is a lot harder plastic and looks great! It’s not normally a weapon I would use with my Stormtroopers but it’s nice to have that option. Like the blaster, this rifle has been used a lot with other figures.

Excellent likeness of Ray Liotta!

Excellent likeness of Ray Liotta!

POTENTIAL PROBLEMS
The only problem I can think of with this figure is getting the correct version of it! You have to be very careful when purchasing this figure to make sure it’s not the Empire Strikes Back version with will have incorrect paint applications on the helmet and torso.

Otherwise, Hasbro have made one solid toy. Just be careful with the blaster as sometimes they can go missing, being so small and (on occasion) fitting a little loose in the figures hands.

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PRICE
I paid about $50 AUD MOSC for this Stormtrooper, I also came pretty late to the party and only picked this figure up recently (2015 after all!), and hence the hefty mark up. I didn’t want to buy a loose version for my first Vintage Collection Stormtrooper, so I chose to pay more. If I intend to buy any more of this trooper to army build, I think I’ll be trying to pick up some loose ones.

For some figures you will just be paying through the nose if you didn’t get in early whether MOSC or loose (Vintage Collection C-3PO for example) the price can be fairly high, something to keep in mind if you are only now starting a small scale Star Wars collection.

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OVERALL
I know there are newer released Stormtroopers in the smaller size, like in the Black Series, but they are a little inferior when compared to this version (IE the neck is too long) I’m quite happy with this figure, he looks good among the other figures and the scale is great as well.

The only problem with having a number of smaller Star Wars figures is that now I want to buy a few more Stormtroopers, because after all, who can stop at just one? Definitely worth picking up if you can get one for a good price and if you are space limited. I bought the Hot Toys Stormtrooper two-pack recently so if I get the chance I’ll review them too.

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Battle Beasts was a toy line consisting of small anthropomorphic animals in body armour; each toy came with its own individual weapon. Released in the mid 1980’s, each Battle Beast would have a heat sensitive sticker on its chest, which when rubbed would reveal the symbol of wood, fire or water. You could then play a rock, scissors, paper-type game using the toys with your friends.

I discovered Battle Beasts was when I was in primary school. I was in the school library looking through the magazines there and came across a full page colour ad. Now this magazine was pretty old and this was the mid 90’s, so there was no way to learn more about these cool looking toys. I do remember I liked the look of most of the

toys, Web Slinger Spider being the best. Fast forward to today and with the internet it’s pretty easy to rediscover and find things you remember from your youth. Thanks to Alex Bickmore and Super Toy Archive, I now not only knew more about these toys, but was also able to buy them too.

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Name: Web Slinger Spider
Line: Battle Beasts
Manufacturer: Hasbro/Takara
Released: 1986
Price: Then – around $5- $10 (estimate) Now – roughly the same loose, more MOSC
Scale: 2 inches in height
Accessories: Blade/sword weapon

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Sculpting

Considering the size, the detail on the figure is quite good. They are small in height, but fairly wide little toys. You have some nice detailing on the armour, plenty of grooves, panels etc. Overall I would say it has a lot of smooth surfaces. The standout features of the figurine are the extra legs sticking out from the back, and the great detail in the Spider’s face.

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Paint

The toy is cast in grey plastic, with paint added for the armour and details on the head. As for the application of the paint, it certainly isn’t a standout presentation; however it is satisfactory. Apart from a few stray dots of paint, I would say it looks pretty good. One thing to watch out for would be paint being rubbed off on the top of the head or corners of the armour.

Articulation

Web slinger spider only has two points of articulation, his arms. That’s it. You aren’t going to get him into any dramatic action stances, that’s for sure. But it is possible to get a few nice poses out of him.

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Accessories

Just one accessory for this toy: his bladed weapon. I would describe the sword as very smooth, with no sharp points and it has a nice shape to it. It fits easily into his hand. Sometimes it will fall out if you’re not careful.

Potential problems

Not really anything to worry about with this toy. Just make sure you don’t lose the weapon, as it is small and a dull grey colour.

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Price

Buying one of these battle beasts won’t cost you much, unless you want one MOSC then you’ll have a harder time tracking one down for a decent price.

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Overall

I quite like Web Slinger Spider. Once I finally found out more about these 80’s figures I wasn’t too disappointed. The print ad from my childhood didn’t set me up for any unrealistic expectations, thankfully. You get to really enjoy these toys more when you have a group of different characters together on a self, that’s when they start to look really cool. However, even by itself Web Slinger Spider is still cool in my book! They will look great mixed in with some Transformers Pretenders or any Transformer post the original Transformer’s movie. I would recommend giving Battle Beasts a try if you have fond memories of them like I did or if you are into collecting cool looking little toys.

This page copyright 2013 Mike’s Toy Blog. All rights reversed.