REVIEW: First Order Snowspeeder from “The Force Awakens”

November 11, 2016 – Sometimes a bargain is just too good to pass up, which explains why this review of the First Order Snowspeeder is over a year late.

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Ordinarily, we would ignore vehicles and action figures that never made it to the final cut of a movie, including the snowspeeder from the deleted chase scene in The Force Awakens.

But when the 3.75″ First Order Snowspeeder was recently marked down to only $10.00 on Amazon (regularly $29.99), this bargain made us give the flying block of plastic another look.

First Order Snowspeeder (3.75″ Scale from The Force Awakens)

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The First Order Snowspeeder, released in Sept. 2015, is an all-new vehicle and easy to assemble. Just follow the picture manual or copy the cover art on the box.

The snowspeeder comes with three accessories: a removable cannon, a stand, and a spring-loaded projectile. The cannon can either be locked into position on the vehicle or it can stand independently, outside the vehicle, for another play option.

The snowspeeder is nicely molded with lots of fine details throughout the vehicle body, including what appear to be rectangular and cylindrical containers toward the front. Measuring 10″L x 6″W x 4.5″H (25.5cm L x 15cm W x 11.5cm H), the vehicle is sturdy and compact enough for easy display.

Most Star Wars vehicle collectors will probably appreciate the snowspeeder because it is unique. And even though the chase scene was deleted, the vehicle is now part of Star Wars history.

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On the other hand, we can see why some collectors might skip this purchase. For starters, the color scheme is rather drab – a rectangular form of drab gray plastic with a couple light-blue seats. And the boxy design (it actually tapers narrower toward the front) is “just OK”.

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Some critics have described the vehicle as a flying sofa or couch. And they rightfully wonder why, on an ice-cold planet, there is no protective windshield or covering.

The TFA snowspeeder is plainly a kid’s toy and not targeted toward adult collectors. And even kids might find the vehicle somewhat lacking: The vehicle is on the small side and out of scale. Figures are a little difficult to seat because the two headrests are permanently angled forward instead of up or back, and the vehicle can only accommodate two figures (well, three, if you remove the cannon stand). There is one peg hole on the floor next to the driver’s seat, so you can secure a standing snowtrooper. But that’s it.

Don’t look for compartments or lids to open, vent covers to close, or any other doodads to twist, turn or manipulate because there are none. At most, there is a single landing gear under the carriage which can be propped open or close.

First Order Snowtrooper Officer

The snowspeeder comes with a First Order Snowtrooper Officer, an all-new figure. The snowtrooper is unique in that for the first time ever, it comes with a colorful pauldron (orange) to denote its rank.

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The action figure has five points of articulation (ball-socket head, swivel shoulders and swivel hips). He comes with a blaster and survival backpack. If you remove the ball-jointed head, you can also remove the pauldron.

If you can find this vehicle on sale or clearance, then it might make sense to buy it. The snowspeeder and the First Order Snowtrooper Officer could be nice additions to a re-imagined Battle of Hoth diorama. Or you could ditch the snowspeeder and simply grab this set to acquire the orange pauldron-wearing officer.

To match the box cover art featuring two snowtroopers, buy a separate Snow Mission First Order Snowtrooper (currently $4.99 USD at Amazon or $5.80 at Walmart). The build-a-weapon feature looks kind of silly. But when you add the snowtrooper to the snowspeeder and snowtrooper officer, you now have a combination ready for action.

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