Anovos Premiere Line First Order Stormtrooper Helmet review
I first heard of Anovos during the build up to Star Wars The Force Awakens. I’m a member of the 501st Legion and like many members, I was eagerly searching the internet for images of the new Stormtroopers for the film.
Rumors started floating around about a new company of former 501st Legion members and prop builders teaming up with Lucasfilm to make fully-licensed props. This was a huge break for fans and costumers alike. We would finally have a company that could produce movie accurate props from the Lucasfilm archives.
I was stoked.
The First Wave Hits The Market
A few friends were part of Anovos’ entry into the market with what we called “The Alpha” wave of First Order Stormtrooper suits. These folks were the test group for how Anovos would distribute products into the market. Anovos uses the wave or tiered approach to releasing new items.
The sooner you place the order, the cheaper the price for the item. The problem for people like myself is the blind trust I need to have with Anovos about what they are delivering.
I was skeptical to say the least. I’m not about to drop a chunk of money on something they just have pictures of with a disclaimer of “prototype shown, actual product may vary”. So, during Celebration Anaheim, I stopped by the Anovos booth to take a look.
I saw the Premiere line of First Order helmets and asked if I could get a closer look.
These helmets are LEGIT. I was sold on the spot. The overall construction of the helmets are top-notch. No bubbles or flaws on the outside of the helmet and the inside… oh, the liner.
When you look inside of one of the Premiere helmets, you’ll see soft foam lining throughout the helmet, with microfiber fabric overlays. Then, they have an adjustable foam padded donut to keep it secure and comfortable while you wear it.
When you put it on, it literally feels like you’re putting on a real helmet from the movie, because it basically is.
I met up with a friend of mine who was part of the “Alpha wave” of adopters and asked if I could try on his helmet. He agreed and I honestly felt like Finn in the trooper transport from the movie pulling the helmet over my head.
It fits like a glove and somehow still feels roomy enough for a fan and microphone setup inside. Another favorite is how well Anovos pulled off the bubble lens for the eyes. Traditionally, we heat up a welders shield in the oven to get the lenses to bubble like the ones you see in the movie.
The issue is that bubble lenses cause distortion when looking through them. So, as a cosplay or costumer, it’s hard to see through them and still judge distance balance when walking around. In fact, I know tons of people who get headaches from wearing helmets with bubble lenses for long periods of time during a troop or event.
Anovos lenses, don’t distort that bad. In fact, I was comfortable wearing my helmet from the start.
One of the biggest gripes I hear from other people in the costuming community is price. I’ll be honest, Anovos products sound expensive. The Premiere First Order Helmets cost about $600.00 before shipping. The more affordable standard line helmets sell for about $250.00 in comparison.
Is it worth it?
The short answer is yes, and I’ll tell you why. When building a fan-made replica, you’re paying for an unfinished product. They require bondo skills, trimming, sanding, painting, hardware, and assembly. Guess who does all of that? You do.
I’ve spent months of spare time assembling other fan-made helmets in the past and once I’ve added up the cost of materials I had to buy and the time it took to put it all together, it usually adds up to something close to what the Premiere helmets cost.
That’s excluding the fancy lining.
So, in the end, it’s sometimes cheaper to just buy the completed helmet from Anovos, and you know you’re getting a product that is the closest thing to owning a piece of the movie you can get.
If you’re not a costumer, but you like collecting movie helmets, then Anovos is the perfect option for you. You’ll receive a movie replica prop that is a duplicate of what you saw on the big screen.
Take a look at Anovos and see for yourself. They carry a steep price, but in the end, you get what you pay for and you’ll know you’re holding a helmet that’s the closest thing to owning an actual screen-used prop on the market.