As discussed in my recent article on The Last Jedi and my disappointment with it, I am still all in on the Movie Realization aka Samurai Star Wars figures. In fact, they are the only Star Wars thing I am collecting at the moment because of their quality and design. With my purchase of the Stormtrooper, I’m finally catching up a bit on this figure line and I have the first few releases other than Boba Fett. Boba Fett is impossible to find at a reasonable price now and the stormtrooper is one of the most expensive regular releases as it goes for nearly the full price of $90. And with a high cost comes high expectations, so let’s see how good of a figure I got as a late Christmas present to myself!
Box – As always, the simple and clean box design is beautiful and fits the serious tone of these figures well. It is worth nothing that this box is thinner and less wide than the Sandtrooper and Darth Vader figures. To me, that indicates fewer accessories even before I opened it but you’ll have to read on to see if that is the case. The images on the back of the box are slightly less impressive than the previous two releases as well though I’m excited to now have two guards for Darth Vader.
Accessories – As I alluded, the accessories look a little thin for the Ashigaru Stormtrooper (or at least with minimal surprises this time). A sword is a must have in this line and a blaster which is not too big and looks very Star Wars-y is nice to see too. The scabbard surprisingly is great to pose the figure with as you’ll see in several pictures in the review. Unfortunately, the scope on the blaster was either broken in the package or I broke it accidentally while posing the figure. It hasn’t completely snapped off so I plan on gluing back into place but be aware that this a part that is apparently easily broken. Like I discussed in the Sandtrooper review, the set of hands seems like it would have everything you could want but I find them to be a bit more frustrating to use than expected. A lot of the hands don’t hold the accessories as well as I would like and I feel like this is another pair or two of hands away from greatness. A pair of pointing hands would fit the characters really well and add some more display options. Overall, the accessories are good but not great on this figure. They are probably the least interesting of the samurai figures thus far but that is mostly due to how later releases like the Sandtrooper have come along and improved on the early designs.
Paint and Details – This section will be short and not surprising if you’ve seen these figures at all. The details are outstanding! I didn’t see any paint flaws with the Stormtrooper and the level of detail and the way the paint is applied is excellent. I think these figures are some of the highest quality you can find for around this price and it is hard not to admire them when you have them in-hand. If you already own the Sandtrooper, you might be wondering if this figure stands out enough from it and the answer is that it certainly does. The colors are a little less and color and so while they look similar, you have no problem telling the two apart.
Articulation – The area where these figures generally excel is the articulation and Ashigaru Stormtrooper is fairly strong in this area. The first thing I noticed is that the legs are actually a little loose compared to other figures in this line which generally are on the tight side. I don’t think you’ll have trouble with this figure not holding a pose but it would be better to see the legs be a bit tighter so you know it will be able to stand up for many years to come. The arms, head, and torso have no such problems and while the head doesn’t have great up and down articulation, it does its job. I had trouble getting the arms up in a way that didn’t expose the armor flaps in an unrealistic way. This is a shame because the Sandtrooper didn’t have this issue.
With these limitations, I found that some poses worked better than others. The gun looks best as if it is actually being shot. The sword works pretty well any way you decide to use it and it kind of seems as if this figure was designed to dual wield because that looks great as well. The biggest issue I had was getting the right hands for the weapon in question. Some hands hold weapons too loosely or too tightly which made posing a little less fun than I hoped but I do think that the results speak for themselves.
Closing Thoughts – The Ashigaru Stormtrooper is my least favorite of three figures I’ve purchased in the line but not by a lot. It doesn’t have one thing that stands out from the other figures and it offers just a little less in accessories department as well. That does not mean I don’t enjoy the figure and am happy to have it my collection though. It is the iconic stormtrooper in samurai form and it really helps build off of the other figures in the Movie Realization line. That and it is not a surprise that the stormtrooper is a little more vanilla than Darth Vader. That is the way it works in Star Wars and Star Wars figures. So if you purchase this figure with the right expectations and can get it for a fair price, I’m confident that you will like the Ashigaru Stormtrooper too.