It’s only about 60 days before Rogue One hits screens in Singapore. Barely enough time to think about what you’d like to dress up as when you burst through those screen doors. Thankfully the ever-thoughtful Hasbro has thought of everything.
Over the years, the prolific toy maker has launched voice-changing helmets such as Darth Vader and Kylo Ren, but with the Black Series Stormtrooper helmet everyone can be a beloved knight-in-white-armour bobo-shooter.
There’s something about the Imperial grunts that everybody loves. Perhaps it’s the way they seem to walk into doors or fumble through blasted walls or the way they can’t seem to hit anything even though Obi Wan alluded to their precision marksmanship in A New Hope. Whatever it is, these Imperial troopers have wormed their way into our hearts. So much that it’s spawned a global costuming faction named the 501st Legion. While the 501st welcomes troopers of all shapes and sizes – even Rebel scum ones – you’ll see more Stormtroopers than Sith Lords at events where they’re dispatched.
Stormtrooper masks and helmets are not new to toy shelves but the Hasbro Black Series Imperial Stormtrooper Electronic Voice Changer Helmet is a beautifully sculpted helmet that could fit kids of all sizes (even those who have kids of their own). Out of the box, the helmet comes in three separate pieces: the mask, the back plate and the top plate. The back plate holds the battery compartment (3 x AAA batteries) as well as the speaker for the voice-changer. The top and mask just holds it all together.
Adjustable straps on the inside of the top plate, much like the ones you see in trucker caps, helps fit the helmet to your head. I found the fit to be just right but some of my colleagues have found it a little too a tight. I guess small heads do have its moments. The fit was so snug on me that it didn’t shift too much even when I headbanged to Prodigy’s Firestarter. If I’d added an additional chinstrap, I’d be able to blend right in at ladies night at Mos Eisley.
That said, I don’t think it will fit children under 10 years old due to its bulk. Even if the straps fit, it’d be hard to balance with a boulder on your shoulder. It also doesn’t accommodate bespectacled Stormies, so it’s either you go blind or get a pair of contact lens.
The Stormtrooper helmet is crafted from solid plastic, much like the Iron Man one from Hasbro Marvel Legends. It has a little heft at the bottom (probably from the battery pack and the speaker), which makes the helmet sit on your crown for a better fit. Its width around the mouth area is broader than the helm, which lets you breathe easier. You can definitely last in this helmet longer than the EFX one, which can be a little stifling.
The sculpt on this helmet is surprisingly good. The Dymak Exhaust Filters (blue), Heat Dispersion Vents (grey, on mask) and Osmotic Filters (grey on back of top plate) are cut into the plastic with ridges for a solid, tactile touch. Comparatively, the EFX Stormtrooper helmet, which is supposedly sculpted based on a stunt helmet in A New Hope, fares worse with its sticker “vents”.
The most important feature on the Imperial Stormtrooper Electronic Voice Changer helmet, however, is sorely lacking, Press the “Auditory Sensor” on the right side of the helmet to activate the voice changer and it crackles – but does nothing to change your voice regardless how close we tried to put our mouths to the microphone.
And we had hoped that Hasbro would have built the speakers into the Bliar Induction Filters on the chin instead of having it at the back so the sound would at least seem to come from the right side.
It’s easy enough to look ahead and even watch for low headroom in this helmet but the high visors make looking below a little difficult. Do not wear this helmet if you have cats in the house (we learnt this the hard way). Peripheral vision is pretty good but the lens warps your vision slightly. We tried typing this story with the mask on but since we still need to look at the keyboard to find the letters, it was slow going to say the least.
At the end of the day, the Hasbro Imperial Stormtrooper Electronic Voice Changer helmet is a good buy even if it doesn’t change our voice. For its price point and beautiful sculpt, it is definitely a sure-win this Halloween or at the Rogue One screening. Unfortunately, Hasbro doesn’t do the rest of the Stormtrooper armour but we’re sure you can get creative with a black body glove, and a white suit. Now move along and get to a toy store today!
Bonus Comparison: Hasbro Black Series Imperial Stormtrooper Helmet vs Stormtrooper Helmet Replica Collectible EFX (A New Hope)
|Sculpt:||Sculpted recessed “vents”||Stickers|
|Helmet material:||Plastic mold||Plastic mold|
|Voice changing:||Not really||None|
|Fit:||Snug as a bug||Need retrofitting to get it to fit|
|Size:||Almost similar in size but the Hasbro Black Series helmet comes ready to wear out of the box and it seems easier to breathe in it compared to the EFX collectible.|
|Price:||S$139.99 (Toys R Us)||S$329.90 (Simply Toys)|