If you've been looking to dress up as a Stormtrooper for any of the Star Wars films coming to theatres in the next couple of years, you're in luck: Costuming company ANOVOS has opened up pre-orders for their First Order Stormtrooper, with orders expected to ship later this year. First Order Stormtroopers at the UK Premiere for The Force Awakens. Image: AP Images
The order pages show off images and pricing for the set of armour: you'll be able to order a kit (which you'll need to assemble yourself) or get it completely assembled. The costume is aimed at the serious cosplay community, and the two options ring in at $US2225 ($3099) and $US6915 ($9630) respectively.
That price point is well above the pricing for the original trilogy Storm Troopers, which cost $US650 ($905) a kit. The company has labelled the new armour as a premiere level product, with "every detail meticulously studied and excruciatingly reproduced for the ultimate wearable costume".
ANOVOS has been selling its First Order Stormtroopers in limited numbers to members of the 501st Legion (Disclaimer: I'm a member) to help with the film's promotion. These suits were labelled as prototypes, and this new version will have some improvements:
Produced in the USA, the Premier Line armour kit includes upgrades such as a rotocast rigid foam-filled two-piece detonator, single-piece backplate, improved chest detail via negative-drawn vacuum forming, new forearms and shins, and all new latex gaskets. The updated leather gloves and new boots are sourced from the original manufacturers which produced the screen-used pieces.
While costumes for movies are readily available, ANOVOS has recently distinguished itself by focusing the upper end of the cosplay community. In addition to Star Wars, its product lines include costumes from Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek and Ghostbusters. The company already offers several Force Awakens helmets and costumes.
According to the company's website, the costume will "only be available through July 31, 2016", with shipments beginning in September 2016. While the Premiere Line is now available for preorder, a Standard ensemble (Which won't include the helmet or boots) will be offered in August 2016.
While costumers itching to get their hands on a version of the armour seen in The Force Awakens will be excited, ANOVOS has wracked up considerable criticism for production delays and customer service problems, particularly after the release of its A New Hope Stormtrooper last year.
Consumers noted shipping delays for their orders, as well as continual problems resolving complaints from the company. The company currently has an 'F' rating from the Better Business Bureau. (In the interests of disclosure, I didn't have any issues when I ordered from the company.)
Despite the complaints, a wearable version of the First Order armour has been a highly anticipated product since the release of The Force Awakens last December. Hopefully, we'll be seeing the costumes at conventions before too long.