Looks like I was wrong about assuming Darth Vader and Obi-Wan would be the next we saw of Hot Toy's fledgling Star Wars line - another Stormtrooper, but also the first figure from the now-defunct Expanded Universe from the toymakers renowned for their crazy details.
The Shadow Trooper never appeared in the Star Wars movies - it's an idea that first appeared in comics and video games, but found real purchase in Star Wars merchandising efforts because it's basically the ultimate equivalent of 'But she's got a new hat!', leading to plenty of variant Stormtroopers over the years. But it's especially interesting to see one coming now that there's very little emphasis being placed on what came of the Expanded Universe in recent Star Wars toys.
That doesn't stop this Shadow Trooper from being a beauty as its white-armoured predecessor was. Like the normal Stormtrooper, the Shadow Trooper comes with standard E-11 Blaster Rifle (no Blaster pistol though) and alternate hands for the figure to hold the weapon. The only real difference is the all-black colour scheme and a new Pauldron.
Even that minor difference is enough to kick in my rabid adoration of all things Stormtrooper, so of course I want one. Alas, at the moment the Shadow Trooper is a Hot Toys Exclusive that currently will only be available for preorder at ToySoul 2014 in Hong Kong later this month for a release in Q1 of 2015. At least there's plenty of pretty pictures to gawp at in the meantime.
You're reading Toybox, io9's new blog for all things pop culture. From merchandise to awesome fan creations, TV recaps and critical commentary on the hot topics of the day, you can find it all here!