Bug-battling ship returns to fight another day...
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Yamato USA's hit Sci-Fi Figure Gallery line amazed us at Figures.com earlier this year with the releases of two fantastic items from the Starship Troopers universe: the Rodger Young and a Marauder power suit (see our reviews HERE and HERE respectively). Following on the success of those two are more weapons in your battle against the Arachnids. Today we'll be taking a look at a variant of the main ship from the first film, the Rodger Young Alternate Radio Tower Version!
The 1997 epic sci-fi film Starship Troopers offered a real treat to spaceship fans with the awesome "Corvette Transports," workhorses of the humans' fleet. With modular sections to fit different mission profiles, the basic ship could fill various fleet roles. The ship most often seen in the film was the Rodger Young, which at times hosted the Roughnecks and whose crew complement included Carmen Ibanez. Essentially a troop carrier, the ship was loaded with Mobile Infantry and its assorted support vehicles. While traveling through deep space the Rodger Young encountered a massive asteroid, suffering the total loss of its radio tower. The structure was replaced by an alternate design when the ship took part in the final invasion of Planet P.
The new Alternate Radio Tower Version of the Rodger Young comes in a package with a very similar design to the original. It's fully enclosed and very sturdy, providing you with lots of glossy images of the ship on display and in Photoshopped space scenes (prominently showing off the new tower design, of course). The scene on the front of the box is different enough from the initial release to really stand out, especially when you've got them side by side. The same dog-ear graphic (blue instead of red) proudly announces the limited run of only 1,000 Rodger Youngs worldwide, while text on the front and back mention the included numbered resin base.
The back of the box has age appropriate warnings and plenty of cool Japanese text. Opening the box reveals the same halved styrofoam brick taped together. Assembly is identical to the first version, and it's easy with the included instruction sheet. The pieces fit together so well that they don't even really require glue, but you might as well use it to ensure stability. The ship is quite weighty at 9 inches long with significant metal content.
As near as I can tell the two Rodger Youngs have the same sculpt with the exception of the radio tower, and that's a very good thing. At first glance the ship has a fairly traditional cylindrical shaped hull with a blunted nosecone and four outrigger-style engine pods. But, look closer and you'll find a wealth of technological details. Everything is sculpted, from ridges to ports, bays to gun emplacements, and a multitude of panels, spheres, circles, etc.
One of the coolest parts is the dorsal section just aft of the bow. In the center of an open area is a round tower that anchors a flying bridge linking the bow to a half ring around the ship's central section. That bridge even has translucent plastic "windows" which look great. Of course, this version is unique for its radio tower design! Rising up from the dorsal side just ahead of the engine section, the original tower consisted of three boxy elements side by side. The new version has the same base, but is topped by a wider structure with angled protrusions on its front and sides.
When a new version of the Rodger Young was announced I wondered if it might have a different color scheme to set it apart as well. Instead, the paint is so unique on each ship that I think any two side by side would look different. While the vessel appears to be a solid gray, there's much more to it than that. Different shades of serve to give the ship a more realistic look, while whites and oranges dot the hull to represent running lights, ports, etc. The exhaust ports of all four engines are black, as are the front of the two lower pods while the upper ones are a pale blue.
Finally, on either side of the forward section is a pre-attached decal with the number 176 and "Rodger Young" in tiny letters. The subtle variations in the colors and patterning really bring the ship to life, especially on display next to the first version.
The Rodger Young Alternate Radio Tower Version comes packaged with a black resin display stand with felt cradles for the ship that are shaped and sized to hold it level. There's a metal nameplate on the front with the film title and ship’s name along with the edition number (mine is 195/1000), while the bottom of the base has the film's Tristar copyright information. Because the ship has such a convoluted surface including tiny metal "guns" around its midsection I highly recommend using the base and not putting down the Rodger Young (either version) on a flat surface.
Like the first release, this Rodger Young is an amazing collectible. It's incredibly screen-accurate, and the new radio tower looks great. Have a preference for which version of the ship you like more? Yamato USA has got you covered! Or collect them both and be well on your way toward a Fleet to back up your Mobile Infantry. 1000 won't last long, so don't wait on getting yours.
Review and photos by Scott Rubin
Review sample courtesy of Yamato USA