Well, let me start by saying that even though these are (bootlegs-knock-offs-reproductions-fakes) not official vintage Star Wars merchandise, to myself the Star Wars (and especially Stormtrooper) fan these are one of the greatest things I've ever seen. Though it could be seen as offensive on both Vintage and Gentle Giant's Star Wars efforts, I welcome ANY well done incarnation of simply my favorite toy EVER... In childhood... fist full of '77 stormtroopers... In adolesence... fist fulls of '95 Froot Loops Han Solo Stormtoroopers... In adulthood... Way too many stormtroopers for a grown man. And now? It has come to this... Basically a matched effort of Gentle Giant's 12" line. I do not have one in hand... (yet) but minus the dookie packaging job (once again) these almost seem to be more authentic looking than GG's figure. Sadly they may just be direct copies. @ half the price.
With the release of the Gentle Giant's 12" line my interest was peaked in a neighborly way but I say let folks reboot their collection with an entire array of 12" vinyl figures @ $100 a pop, but not me sir... not in this house... not tonight!!! Though I debated for months on tracking down a 12" trooper to call my own I just couldn't get past the fact that these were just blow mold/rotocast heavy vinyl Hamilton Gifts quality 12" figures... for $100? I'm essentially paying for the fact that shipping and the size of these things prevent them from being able to have a retail presence with these pieces. It's enough to make me seek a reasonably priced substitute... for me there is Crazy Toys out of China/Hong Kong. Most likely under an illegitimate contract to produce these figures much like the now repackaged 3.75" figures, now making their second rounds on the interweb, will be debated ONCE AGAIN as abominations to vintage collecting.
This time around the packaging is very plain but different enough in format to be a little more "classy". Its a plain black design featuring photos of the figure itself (or its original moldsake) with the figures blister packed on a fold over resealable plastic case fitted to its carboard backer. If I had to guess... the backside of this is either plain brown paper or just more repeated photography with no mention of trademarks or copyrights or anything like that. But anyway back to the footlong model...
As you can see the figure is a pretty faithful DoppleTrooper to the 3.75" figure as well as the Gentle Giant 2-ups. It could even possibly be sourced from an original 2-up. That would make this a pretty authentic step figure to the vintage figures. I don't think it is a direct copy of the Gentle Giant figures though because they (Gentle Giant) seem to me to be less detailed as a casualty of their process where as this one seems to be a very sharp direct cast and copy of an authentic production figure. Regardless of its origins or deceitful existence though, I will be excited to have one of these on my shelf.
I think these shots featuring the Gentle Giant artwork behind is possibly more of a bait a switch tactic photographically to draw the eye in. I doubt we will see much color inside or in back of the packaging on these. It comes in a plain window box (with no plastic) with its badly photoshopped Star Wars logo dropped at the bottom (I hate Bevel and Emboss).
But the nice thing about this figure (initially) is that there is no way to confuse it with a legitimate vintage product. But then we go back to Gentle Giant legitimately having the license to produce their work as is now being subverted by Crazy Toys... and doing a damn fine job of it.
Either way... hate if you must... I'm getting one.