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E-FX Hero Stormtrooper (ANH)
Limited Edition Helmet

24th June 2008. Today, e-fx kindly sent us a production Stormtrooper helmet and I've cracked off a few shots as well as some comparisons against the equivalent MR helmet released last year.

If we rewind back to 2007, you may remember that Master Replicas sent us their final production version of their forthcoming Hero Stormtrooper helmet, something that had been in development for some time. Unfortunately due to production delays at the final stages MR's Stormtrooper helmets didn't start to ship until the fall and by the time their license ended on 31st December 2007 they had only sold just over 1,000 of the expected 2,500 run. If you want to check out the review of the MR "version" of this then go here..

So rather than disappoint the large number of collectors who missed out on the MR, e-FX is producing a short run of 500 Hero helmets - which are in all intent and purposes the very same MR helmets. Sure the stand and plaque now sport a different moniker, but the helmet is just the same as the MR - and that really isn't a  bad thing!

So here's the package, sans paperwork. As with the Master Replicas "Limited Edition" helmet, this is a solid-feeling Fiberglass helmet based on the "Hero" design used  in Star Wars - A New Hope. If you're unsure of the differences between the "Hero's" and "Stunt's" then check out this page.

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

EFX is due to release a brand new Hero Stormtrooper sometime next year (2015) so it will be interested to see how things have improved over the intervening years. Though they will also be producing a fiberglass version - they have promised an ABS version which is the one we're most interested - in since will be the most accurate (same materials as the original - duh!)

So these helmets are made from the same moulds as the MR versions and are also made in China (although a different factory) - however it looks like the specification they used was the same as everything bar a few minor things match up 100%, including rubber trim, replica hovi-mix mic tips, frown screen and lenses.

Above, close up of the frown and Vocoder - better painting of the frown (still by hand I understand) and the chin Vocoder has been cleaned up a little. However, ignoring the stand and plaque these are the only differences between the MR and e-FX helmets.

Above a shot with the e-FX specific stand which features a circular "hat" rather than the MR half-sphere. IMO this made the e-FX easier to position on the stand as the MR's tended to slip forward.

As with the MR the e-FX comes with two sets of bubble lenses, with the smoked grey versions pre-installed and the green inside the packaging. It's still my belief that the original Hero's were grey, not green.

With only 500 helmets due to go on sale on 7th July you can expect these to sell out very quickly - and should go a long way to address those who lost out on the MR helmet shortfall. However if you've already got the MR LE, there's little reason to add this to your collection - unless you really are a completest.

So to summarise, this is effectively the same helmet as the MR, with a few (very) minor tweaks. However this should be seen as a good thing since the MR helmet was pretty darn good in the first place. As most off you reading this will know, the original screen-used Hero helmets for ANH were made of vac-formed ABS plastic which is great for a movie expected to wrap in a couple of months, but not so  good for a collectible expected to sit on a shelf for years on end receiving close examination. Hence the only real criticisms from hard-core fans of the MR/eFX are due to their composition rather than physical appearance - and as I've said for a long time, the realities of producing mass-market "high-end" collectibles means fiberglass is the only way to go. The eFX doesn't improve on the MR, since in effect there's nothing to improve on.....

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


Comparison with MR Stormtrooper

As you can see that apart from a better defined Vocoder (and the obvious stand/plaque changes) this is exactly the same as the MR version - thought that really isn't a bad thing! Note that If you want to check out the review of the MR "version" of this then go here..

The frowns painted a little better. On some MR's the frown wasn't too clever but a more standardised way of painting for the eFX should see a more uniform appearance across production.

Rear's all the same. I tried to look for subtle differences in the trapezoid paintings across the helmet but found nothing - really.

Spot the difference - No matter how hard you look, they're the same, apart from that subtle Vocoder bump. No difference in sharpness - remember this is fiberglass not vac-pulled plastic.

Inside eFX has chosen the same velour-type material as MR for padding, which personally I thought was great. Reminded me of an old Vauxhall Cavalier used to have! On the inside-rear of the helmet (not in shot) the tab now says eFX not MR  so in years to come it'll always be clear which is which.

There's only so many side by side "spot the difference" shots I can do, but here goes.....

The blue of the tube vents seem a bit muted to the extent they almost look black - blame the overcast British weather for that!

People not into this hobby must look at pages like this and say "WTF?"

If one looks bigger then its CLOSER TO THE CAMERA - OKAY?

Can this be the end of the "I think the xx looks better than the yy" debate?

Finally a helicopter shot taken at 500 feet using a Nikon XB4000 with RF7 trillion Mcbastard lens
 

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