Hardly a new subject on coins, Star Wars has had a fantastic run of new issues from the New Zealand Mint over the last half-decade, and it seems the mint is far from finished with the humongous movie franchise. We’ve already seen poster foils, but this latest coin is the first of its type to date – rectangular and antique-finished. Just as Star Wars is a common coin subject, the Imperial Stormtrooper itself is hardly rare within that genre, so this one had better pull something out of the bag to catch the collectors eye. Devoid of gimmickry, this debut issue in the new ‘Guards of the Empire’ series fortunately falls back on that most important of things, a solid piece of design.
I’m going to say straight off that I like this one a lot. I don’t consider myself a big Star Wars fan despite a passion for science-fiction, but a lot of the iconic imagery of the movies has made the jump to popular culture, and the Imperial Stormtrooper is instantly recognisable anywhere. The depiction here is perfect, hinting at the countless numbers of faceless warriors that enforced the Empires will. Simple, but effective.
Sadly, no effort has been expended on the obverse, something we’d like to see more of. We’re fine with the effigy of QEII. Indeed, we think looking back at this period it will be seen as the defining symbol of this age of coin collecting, but that doesn’t mean it has to be dominant on half of a coins surface area.
Packaging is outstanding, of course. The acrylic frame is well liked here and the new hologram stamped certificate is a neat addition. The mintage of 2,000 is also much improved over the far larger numbers that have been attached to previous issues. As I said earlier, I like this one and I reckon it will be popular. A good start to 2020 for Star Wars coins and we look forward to the next release in the series. Available now.