Toy Maniac: Utapau Shadow Trooper Sideshow Collectibles Toy Review (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Friday, October 28, 2011
To celebrate the best time of year, Halloween, Sideshow Collectibles has been running their Spooktacular Event all week long. It is eight days of giveaways and announcements for the fourth quarter of 2011. Among all the hoopla, a new Star Wars Sideshow Collectible found its way into the hands of the Toy Maniac.
When I first looked at theUtapau Shadow Trooper, I instantly tried to remember him from the prequels. He is obviously not seen in Star Wars Revenge of the Sith. However, the Star Wars universe is a vast place and characters, such as these, fall into the Expanded Universe. He has had some figures made by Hasbro (pictured above) but Sideshow supplied even more backstory for the character.
“Created mainly as a reconnaissance tool, the shadow trooper division was designed to augment the dwindling number of ARC troopers. Operating singly or in pairs, they pose as mercenaries or bounty hunters to slip quietly in and out of locations while quietly gathering intelligence.
Shadow Trooper armor is based on standard Phase II clone armor with the addition of strategically placed magseals that allow the attachment of deceptive plating to alter their appearance. Though primarily cosmetic, the plating can also disguise a trooper's sensor signature or alter regular movement, preventing observers from recognizing the characteristic "clone gait." The armor also has a special sensor reflective coating that absorbs active scans. Thermal dampers and EM hardening prevent passive sensor from picking up the telltale signatures of standard armor while a high-powered jammer further adds to the Shadow Troopers’ shroud of invisibility, ensuring they remain undetectable. Their standard issue weapon is equipped with a sound suppressor for silent operation and has an optional mode that makes a bolt invisible to the regular visual spectrum. Shadow Trooper snipers use the invisible beam to great effect.
When the Confederacy of Independent Systems stronghold was discovered on Utapau as General Grievous' hideout, a platoon of shadow troopers was assigned to infiltrate six sinkhole cities and place jammers that would allow the Republic army to invade without notice. Success of the shadow trooper division led to the creation of the Storm Commandos, as well as Blackhole's elite Stormtrooper forces” -Sideshow Collectibles.
This being my second Star Wars Sideshow Collectible, I thought the box was a tad redundant. However, during a toy hunt in Burbank California (at Blast From the Past) I came across several Star Wars Sideshow Collectibles. They were instantly recognizable by the box. I knew what I was looking at and the search for a Commander Cody was over; which is great because someone has to boss around this Shadow Trooper. Inside the box, Sideshow Collectible always supplies an extra layer of plastic that keeps the additional accessories neatly stored.
The Shadow Trooper is an impressive figure in the 12 inch format. The details, battle scars, and scratches pop even from a distance. Sadly, the helmet does not come off revealing the face of Temuera Morrison. It would probably increase the cost of the figure, but it would be well worth it to give it that extra bit of character.
The Shadow Trooper comes with all that is seen here. The 12-inch Figure Display Base with the Star Wars Logo is probably the least inspired accessory. It does the job but each figure, in the Star Wars Militaries line, should have a division or even a brigade logo. A symbol of the republic, rebellion, republic, or federation would be fine too.
The BlasTech DC-15 Blaster Rifle and the BlasTech DC-15A Blaster are incredibly detailed but much like the Sideshow Sandtrooper (see review) there is no place for the blaster if the rife is in hand (except for the box). With the Shadow Troopers belt permanently attached, it is even hard to attach another character’s holster.
The Shadow Trooper comes with two different sets of boots. The regular flat footed pair is easily the more poseable. The arched feet create a dilemma and make it a necessity to use the stand. This may have been the intention all along, but poses outside of the stand are always way cooler. These additional feet enable you to see gravity work very quickly.
The Shadow Trooper comes with 15 different hands; my favorite being the one that is shaped as the peace symbol. These hands give your positions a variety of meanings. “Stand by”, “go”, “two head” and “good job” now can accompany each position. These hands make it more than just a figure holding a rife; they give him character and purpose.
THE FINAL WORD:
With the look and feel of the Utapau Shadow Trooper, its members should have been Vader’s Legion to wipe out the Jedi. The Sideshow biography on the trooper did reveal that there weren’t many of these soldiers and they did work in small groups. Perhaps a board sword was needed to wipe out the Jedi and not the fine scalpel of the Shadow Trooper. The figure itself is an incredible addition to the Sideshow Collectible Star Wars Militaries line and to your collection at home.
Check out the Toy Maniac’s recent review of Sideshow’s Undying Carcass here on Mania.
Robert Trate writes two weekly columns for Mania the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.
Mania Grade: A-
Toy Produce: The Utapau Shadow Trooper
Toy Line: Sideshow Collectibles
Suggested Retail: $89.99
Includes: Fully articulated male body, 2 rifles, multiple sets of hands, 2 sets of feet, 12-inch Figure Display Base with Star Wars Logo