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Don Post Deluxe Stormtrooper Helmet

When these helmets were released back in 1998,  they were the absolute nadir of Stormtrooper costuming. Made of rigid fiberglass (and weighed more like concrete), the Don Post DEEEEE-LUXXXXE Stormtrooper helmet was a nineties way of addressing the "serious collectors market" at a time when such a market didn't really exist. It was a few more years before Master Replicas tapped into that market with their range of high-end collectibles - although commercially MR didn't fare much better and closed after a few years with EFX picking up the mantle. Looking at them now they don't look overly accurate (the odd reworked symmetry of the helmet putting paid to that) - but we still love them!

Above one of our NEW 360 degree Rotating spins - just hold L down and drag to rotate..

Above and below a couple of more recent shots of the Fiberglass Deluxe Don Post. Above from the side it has that RotJ style look to it, but as you turn the helmet around to face you its similarity with the original helmets starts to wear thin.

So in all a nice try from Don Post, but we'll never understand why they decided to change the design, rather than simply recast the original helmet design. We remember hearing a few years back that it was all down to an accident - that the mould wasn't adequately supported and so they were left (almost literally) picking up the pieces.

Above and below, photos from 2004 from Tommi of his DP Deluxe Stormtrooper helmet, which are practically the same as the helmets on their life-size Statues (see here). The overall likeness is okay but the facial dimensions are a little wrong. Supposedly Don Post took the mould from half an original helmet and then mirrored the opposite side, its symmetry resulting in a slightly unusual look about it -but we still love it!

Whether this was because the original helmet was damaged, incomplete, or because Lucasfilm didn't wish to have exact matches around is unclear. However despite these glaring inaccuracies, The Deluxe (DP Ref 82102 - a Limited Edition run of 1,000 were planned  - although we don't know how many were actually made and shipped) is still a nice helmet - and in 1998 was the Rolls Royce of trooper lids! 

As mentioned above its from the same Don Post cast as the soft-Vinyl Classic Action (see lower down) and exactly the same as the helmet on the life size statue, except for the eye lenses which are obviously transparent on the helmet but not on the lifesize. Here's a comparison pic below of the Lifesize (left) and Deluxe (right).

I recently snagged myself one of these. I know its not the most accurate but I just HAD to have it!

The ubiquitous "brick wall" shot - sorry I must get a decent photographers background!  Anyway - this helmet is HEAVY, feels like a huge lump of fiberglass. The build quality is really nice and the glossy finish perfect (MR please take notice!). Inside, the finish is  really nicely finished with black padding although its very hard to see out through the eye lenses (not that you'd ever troop in this anyway)

The only criticism (away from the overall accuracy) is the mic tips which are just resin hunks. Below, the rear actually looks quite accurate.

The tube stripes are also painted black as opposed to blue, but overall I suppose that's a minor point

Mine came with this interesting looking stand from Don Post. Similar to the TIE stand it was an early prototype idea which was subsequently shelved.

Marty from Canada recently snapped these photos that compare the Deluxe and Classic Action helmets

As you can see that visually they're almost identical, illustrating clearly the fact that the moulds used to create them were the same.

The cheaper vinyl Classic Action is on the left, with the more expensive (and rarer) Fiberglass Deluxe on the right. Form the looks of it the deluxe is just a bit bigger. The shot below showing the inside view and the giveaway rubbery vinyl of the CA

DP Classic Action Stormtrooper

The great thing about Don Post is that they went for three price ranges of helmets, with the Classic Action fitting in the "mid price" range at the $100-$120 range. The Classic Actions (CA's) were more accurate than their budget counterparts and were fabricated from the same moulds as the Deluxe range - however were made of Vinyl rather than fiberglass. The DP CA Stormtrooper is a good example of this...

DP Classic Action Stormtrooper (DP Ref 82107). Not completely accurate but I still really like this one. It comes with padding, although I've added a bit more on the inside around the ears and it looks very nice. Its a nice helmet, with the same design as the rare fiberglass Deluxe, only the C/A is made from a strong vinyl.

Above and below some pics from David of his reworked Don Post Classic Action which looks really great...

David spent over 40 hours dremmelling away the molded neck trim and eye sockets, hand painting the details, replacing the lenses/neck trim.

He then remodeling the entire inside to look "functional". Cool work

 

Don Post  - Standard Stormtrooper Helmet

Don Post also produced a range of Cheap masks and Helmets, which typically retailed for around $50-$60, and some of them like the Biker Scout and Imperial Guards were extremely good. However one of the first to arrive on 1977 was the Stormtrooper and to be honest, it wasn't really very good.

Make from injection moulded vinyl, it was essentially a hollow blob of soft, pliable vinyl with a plastic stuck on decal for a frown and circles of sponge for ears. Ahhh but I loved mine, since at the time (we're talking 70's and 80's here people) there was nothing else. They changed the design a little over the years with some having punched holes in the eyes rather than smoked lenses - nice!

Thousands and thousands of these helmets (DP ref 82002) were made by Don Post Studios between 1977 and the time when they passed the baton onto Rubies in the late nineties. One of THE most common emails we get here at Star Wars Helmets Towers are from people who claim to have distant relatives (usually called Elizabeth) who worked for George, Fox or at Elstree back in the 70's and were given one of these "original" helmets as a gift on their retirement. Well Lizzy baby, if this is all you got for working your years in the movie industry, then you got stiffed!

The clear giveaways showing it isn't original are;

a) its made of soft pliable Vinyl
b) It has "copyright 20th Century Fox" scrawled on the lower rear underside
c) The "teeth" section consists of a black and grey sticker, rather than breathing holes.
d) Round circles of sponge material taking the place of its "ears"
e) It looks nothing like a Stormtrooper

 

Below some comparisons, the first showing the (cheap) Standard helmet on the far right, with a fan-made FX in the centre and the more expensive (but still Vinyl) Classic Action on the Left.

I found this ad (left) recently for the original Don Post helmets, feature in an old Star Wars poster monthly from 1977. Whether retail prices have dropped over the last 25 years, or its an indication of the U.S.'s low inflation rate I'm not sure, but a 70-80% increase in prices over a quarter of a century is extremely low (as an indication, UK prices tend to double every 10 years). Economics' lesson over.
 

Don Post Deluxe Stormtrooper Statue

Firstly, apologies for the overall quality of some of these images as some are frame grabbed from some video I took with my old video camera , at FAO Schwarz in Orlando, in 1998. However these props have come up in forum discussions recently and I though them worth including, as I haven't really seen many images like these knocking around.

The Don Post Life Size Lucasfilm Archive statues were produced in limited numbers and given that you needed a truck to move them, are now somewhat of a rarity.

Originally costing $4,500, the Stormtrooper (DP Ref 82022) strikes a menacing pose (or so the publicity material says). Despite the armour being made in sections, it is in fact glued/bolted together such that you can forget ever wearing it. It's probably for this reason that just a few of these were shifted, after all do you want to pay this price for something you cant wear, or a quarter for something that you can? If you watch the documentary on the AOTC DVD you'll see a couple of these in the Lucasfilm offices.

Just managed to find another image of the DP statue, along with its plaque of authenticity

I've just received these images which are much improved and far better illustrate the detail of the statue. Overall the build quality of these items are excellent, although the Stormtrooper looks a little odd as the helmet (the same as the limited edition fiberglass Don post Deluxe) has an unusual look about it. I understand that rather than cast an entire helmet, the DP guys only cast half the helmet and then mirrored the sculpt. Why on earth they did this I don't know (Lucasfilm concern over copies, helmet was damaged on the other side?) I don't know.

But because of that the Statue isn't quite film accurate, although still a cool collectible.

Each one has a unique number, and looking below, the strange symmetry of the helmet is understandably less apparent when viewed from the side, hence it looks more accurate from this angle.

..another photo sent to me, this one of very few Stormtrooper Statues in the UK.

Below, Marcus has sent me these shots of his recent acquisition. Despite a few scuffs its in really good condition and he got it for a very keen price.

Below a nice close up of its blaster, which is not half bad!

 and a close-up of the helmet that, apart from a bit of brow-trim replacement looks great

Now these helmets were shipped out so the helmet couldn't (easily) be removed. However with a big of grunt work Marcus has been able to remove it, and this is what he found.....

As already mentioned, the helmet is actually the Don Post Deluxe, although changes were made such as the opaque eye lenses. In addition it looks like DP filled part of the inside with fiberglass behind the eye and then stuck a big blob of something so it sits right on the head.