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EFX - Limited Edition
RotJ Scout Trooper Helmet
 

Update April 6th 2018. Sometimes in this hobby it feels like ages before you receive the shiny new helmet you pre-ordered and paid for. However in the case of the EFX Scout Trooper helmets (Limited and Legend Editions), it really has been. NEARLY FOUR YEARS IN FACT!!!

Review photos courtesy and thanks to Mike W. Additional studio photos by StarWarsHelmets.com

So after a complaints-mailing campaign from disgruntled (and pre-paid) customers to Disney Licensing a couple of months ago, the news emerged that the Limited Edition helmets would 'soon' be shipping.  Having had a number of false dawns already on these helmets, there was a cautious response from collectors...

Note that there was still no real news on the more expensive Legend Edition helmets - more of that at the bottom of the page.

So the "Limited Edition" helmets have finally started to land of collectors doorsteps - and there's good and bad news...

The Good News is they're being shipped now and they're mostly a pretty good, albeit idealised version of a RotJ Scout Trooper helmet...

However the Bad News is that they look like they've been rushed out and have a number of inaccuracies which EFX could have, in fact absolutely should have fixed years ago...

So a couple of photos to kick off this now hands-on review. Overall as you can see its a decent looking helmet with lineage to the original screen-used helmets - as EFX used the original wooden moulds as their root mould.

Now its worth pointing out that as the Limited Edition is made from fiberglass, so it was never going to be an exact copy of the originals, which were vac-formed out of ABS/Styrene, so we knew there would be material-driven compromises - but just not this major!

So it just seems like the problem is that EFX appears to have just completely ignored the inherent differences of using an entirely different material, and so have ended up with a replica that from certain angles looks decidedly odd and very inaccurate in places.

Above a side on view with the helmet sitting on the new light-weight stand (itself a cause for some rumblings). For a start a number of people, including Mike, who provided the non-studio photos in this review, has not been able to completely close the visor shut - leaving an obvious gap. Now its possible that this may loosen over time, we just don't know.

Below, the most obvious problem arises though when you look at helmet from above

...as it reveals an absolute chasm between the visor and forehead -  so large you could probably lose the Death Star in it!

This gap is just ridiculous! It appears the EFX guys have made no attempt to adapt the design/fabrication to accommodate what is a completely different material (i.e. the fiberglass replica vs. the vac-formed plastic original). This has resulted in a woefully inaccurate and unsightly gap between the visor and the faceplate.

To make matters worse, as seen below this new gap now reveals the moulds underlying ear lugs/visor pivots which look plain ugly. Bottom line is EFX designers/engineers should have modified this part of the Limited Edition mould to accommodate the materials change. Its not like they didn't have the time - they had four years!


Below a comparison of the EFX against an original screen-used helmet (see here). As you can see the difference really is night and day. Note that the EFX visor is tilted slightly up. This was due to the visor mechanism which is not currently allowing it to fully close.

Below - If we move away from the visor issue - a shot from the front is a lot more pleasing. Definition around the eyes looks good as is the snout detailing. However there's clear flaring around the jaw-line which looks decidedly unflattering. As with all the premium EFX helmets its supplied with a numbered metal plaque and newly designed perspex stand.

This rear quarter shot shows the three main parts, the cap/back section, the visor and the (unseen) faceplate. On the original screen-used helmets (more photos here) both the back/cap and the visor were formed in two halves and then the vac-formed plastic glued, filled, reinforced and painted into single pieces. Since this is made from fiberglass EFX has not had to go through that process as has been able to mould single back/cap and visor sections. However, the Legend Edition will need to emulate this if its going to be accurate.

Usual view from the rear. No issues from this angle.

..and below the left quarter showing the new, almost delicate looking stand (although given its now a lot lighter than the old stand they may be a little cheaper to ship).

...and finally below another shot of the front again, certainly its most flattering angle. One final point worth mentioning - this helmet is absolutely un-wearable without major modifications: even if your head is small enough to fit it, the weight of the front, combined with lack of hard-hat liner means it drops forwards so your chin lines up with the goggle section!

Conclusion: Four years is too long to wait for an average looking helmet with a number of inaccuracies which really should have been resolved years ago. Collectors expect a lot for a $700 replica  - and the time waiting for this, combined with its glaring inaccuracies has understandably left a sour taste in the mouths of many who pre-ordered this from EFX.

The impression we're left with is that EFX rushed this - after pressure from their customers compelled Disney to probe just why it was taking EFX so long to fulfill on customer orders. Lets hope that they now press ahead with the Legend Edition!

So how does it compare with the recently reviewed RS PropMasters Scout Trooper Helmet?

Read on...

Scout Helmet Comparison
RS PropMasters Vs EFX Limited Edition
 

We thought we'd take the opportunity for some side by side comparisons of the EFX LE against the helmet currently seen as THE most accurate Scout Trooper replica - from RS PropMasters. We've therefore produced the following side-by-side pics and commentary...

For all these shots the RS PropMasters is on the Left, with the EFX Limited Edition on the Right.

Front-on they're both very similar, with the difference in materials used seemingly not affecting their looks (the RS is vac-formed from Styrene like the originals, whereas the EFX is made from a heavier and more robust Fiberglass). Accuracy-wise, the EFX has slightly more defined nose/cheek detailing, but negatively suffers from noticeable flaring around the jaw line - and a more flattened visor

No difference size-wise, although in the hands they obviously feel (and weigh) very different given the materials used. Externally, the RS has much the same feel as the original screen-used helmets, whereas the EFX has the weighty feel of a high-end collectible. Looking inside of the RS is exactly the same as the on-screen originals, bare plastic with a hard-hat liner - whereas the EFX insides have a matt black lining. Note that unless you have a small head you'll struggle with the RS, and even with that the EFX is still un-wearable!

Above, the jaw-line flaring on the EFX (right) is quite pronounced and very inaccurate. It prompts whether this was done intentionally to try and help the faceplate close properly - which as you can see from the shot below it hasn't!.

As you can see from the photo above and below the faceplate on the EFX just doesn't properly close, revealing the black elastic of the chin strap underneath.  Note that this helmet only arrived today so its possible that over time (and if we keep the pressure on keeping it closed) we may be able to reduce that gap. However this really isn't great!...

Next up the view from above front, we've already talked about that huge gap on the EFX and those darn ugly pivot plugs! Also from this angle that lack of curve in the visor on the EFX really stands out - not sure why that happened given their access to the original moulds.

 Below, all good from the rear. The decals on both are very similar suggesting both makers had access to the original designs. The EFX has a slight creamy/yellow hue when compared to the RS, which is a more pure white. Thats just something we noticed, not a negative or positive thing as its unlikely anyone would cosplay in one of these helmets!

..and finally below an overhead shot. The main issue with the EFX is of course the visor gap. Had EFX really wanted to solve this, then the solution would've been to make the pivot smaller (to account for the move from styrene to fiberglass) - and then simply restrict the visor so it didn't rise as far up. The result would have been a lot more accurate helmet with minor compromises given the facemask is never seen raised in the movie anyway!

So how does the EFX LE compare with the RS PropMasters Scout Trooper Helmet?

The answer is it simply doesn't - from a "screen-accuracy" perspective the RS beats the EFX hands-down as is a far more accurate replica of the original props used in Return of the Jedi. The RS is made from the same materials, constructed in the same manner - and cast from moulds taken from a production made helmet. The EFX is cast off a mould taken from the original moulds - but too many compromises and short-cuts have been made in taking the design from styrene to fiberglass - and this has had a negative impact on its accuracy.

It'll be interesting to see how the "Legend Edition" compares with the RS, but given the manufacturing compromises made with the Limited, we're not holding out too much hope for it. As far as Scout Trooper helmets are concerned, it appears you simply cannot mass produce to the same standard as the hand-made RS PropMasters are able to achieve.

Ultimately, the RS PropMasters Scout Trooper feels like a real film prop, whereas the EFX merely feels like the high-end licensed collectible it is. However, they are perhaps pitched at slightly different markets.

 

EFX Legend Edition Update (11/April/18):

For those who (like us) have pre-ordered the $900 Legend Edition Scout Helmet - Unfortunately there's still no positive news, with EFX indicating that delays are now in part due to their inability to ship the accompanying resin Scout Blaster Pistol, citing Disney's "gun-concern". We think most customers will dismiss such a poor excuse since there are plenty of workarounds (e.g. provide something else, reduce the price, paint the blaster orange etc. etc.).

Come on EFX, sort it out!