You might not know this, but there is a show on Disney+ called The Mandalorian, and it is a bit popular. The story keeps getting better and better, and last week’s episode was certainly a doozy, if I may say so myself. As you might imagine, Hasbro is working to ride that giant wave of popularity with new Black Series offerings coming as quickly as they can get them to market. Target checks in with a new exclusive in the form leftovers (appropriate for this post-Thanksgiving time frame) from the once mighty Empire, the Remnant Stormtrooper.
Before I start, I want to say that there will not be any spoilers for this past week’s episode of The Mandalorian. I usually try to wait at least a week before talking casually about plot points to a new movie or show, and since this review can be handled without coming within a mile of needing to mention spoilers, you can be safe here. Seriously though, if you have not watched the episode yet, GO DO IT NOW. I can wait. GO.
Back? Good! Okay, so if you have not checked in with Star Wars since Return of the Jedi, you might be interested to know that, even though the Rebellion overthrew the Emperor, there was still a lot of work ahead of them to completely clean up the remains of all of those loyal Empire-types. Yep, even without Vader and Sheev, many of the officers and troopers, especially throughout the Outer Rim, continued to do their thing in terms of being jerks to locals and baby Yodas alike. Out on Nevarro, a large contingent were still supporting Moff Gideon, and several of those Remnant Stormtroopers hung around town and assisted with typical Imperial bullying. I mean, aside from being beaten up and stained due to the Imperial credits running out for the armor cleaning, these guys are essentially Stormtrooper repaints, so you knew Hasbro would be all over it.
I admit that I am a bit surprised that an army-builder, especially one with such potential to be REALLY popular, has been released as a store exclusive, but here we are. There has been a history of challenges when it comes to procuring Target exclusives, but it seems to be getting a bit better as of late. That said, since this is pretty much the primary troop builder for The Mandalorian thus far, it is still not going to be easy going with this one, I think, so if you are wanting multiples, buckle up. This one comes on the heels of a new standard Stormtrooper release, so the SW universe keeps rapidly expanding in terms of the armies of the Empire. I have not actually gotten my new regular trooper yet, so this Remnant version is my first experience with the new-and-improved base body.
Overall, this is definitely an upgrade over the previous Trooper in terms of base, with the sculpt being more accurate to (most) source materials. To me, this is most apparent in the shape of the helmet and body armor, both of which take on more screen-accurate proportions with this offering. The articulation is much improved, especially in terms of range of movement and functionality, so with the exception of the upper arms being a challenge at times, I find this guy able to assume more natural poses like missing targets, bumping his head, and dying. I kid, I kid because the Empire must have kept it’s most inept troopers on the Death Star and sent the better ones to the Outer Rim since those in The Mandalorian seem much more effective. Well, to some extent anyway.
Its the paint and deco that really sets this guy apart though, and for a mass-produced toy, I think the overall intended effect is, well, effective. As hard as it is to get nice clean paint lines on action figures, it is actually a lot harder to produce a convincing “dirty” aesthetic. Most of the Troopers on Nevarro have not sent their armor through the intergalactic dishwasher in quite some time, so they are dingy, dinted, and dinged-up. The brown and grey effects on the armor are actually printed on (like the Photo Real faces), and it mostly works. It gets more convincing if you stand about 3 feet away, but I am mostly satisfied with it. The discoloration looks appropriate for the grunge one would pick up on a dry volcanic planet, too. The funny part about that is the color used is also remarkably similar to the color white plastic can start to turn as it ages (a lot of vintage Star Wars Troopers have naturally become Remnants at this point), so in a way, you get a pre-aged Trooper without any of the plastic rot. I am sure that will come later.
The accessories are limited to the singular in the form of the same standard Stormtrooper blaster we have seen countless times before. That is cool though, it is not like there is an annual budget for new weaponry anymore.
This is a nice addition to the Mando portion of your Star Wars display, which is cool, but also extremely frustrating. Yeah, I want more unique characters from the show like, yesterday, but there is a lot of value in getting the troops out there, too. The problem is the exclusivity, and with this guy being long gone from the Target website (maybe he will be back?) you are going to have to haunt the aisles in the middle of a pandemic if you want to bolster your ranks. Its tough, to be sure, but I guess that is how things go in 2020. Now, is it Friday yet? I am ready for the next episode!