#1330: Arc Trooper

ARC TROOPER

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Through the creative vision of Lucasfilm Ltd. and the Cartoon Network, the Clone Wars are brought to life in an exciting new series of short animated chapters. A unique animation style captures the drama of this epic period in galactic history along with its outstanding heroes and adversaries. Noble Jedi warriors lead Clone Troopers into battle against the evil Separatist forces and their droid armies. Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda and their comrades struggle against the rising power of the dark side and confront personal challenges against a backdrop of war-torn planets”

Easily the best thing to come out of the Star Wars prequels is Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars micro series, released in the period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.  It was the most fun that Star Wars had been since the original trilogy.  There were a couple of cool new ideas introduced by the series, including the Advanced Recon Commando Troopers, or ARC Troopers, an advanced group of clones personally trained by Jango Fett before his demise.  I’ll be taking a look at one of them today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The ARC Trooper was released in the 2005 assortment of Hasbro’s animated-style Star Wars: Clone Wars line.  Though the figure is simply named “ARC Trooper,” he appears to be specifically based on Captain Fordo, the lead ARC Trooper from the series.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall (he’d be closer to 4 if he were standing upright) and he has 4 points of articulation.  This line was specifically based on Tartakovsky’s line-art from the series.  He’s style is very fluid, which means the figures are rather limited on the articulation front.  A number of figures opted for a more static pose, but the ARC Trooper was actually sculpted in a rather pre-posed manner.  He’s mid-stride, with his right outstretched in a commanding motion and his left down by his side holding a blaster.  While I’m generally not a huge fan of pre-posing on action figures, this is definitely one time where it really works, because it aids in capturing that fluid style I was talking about.  The sculpt does an overall pretty solid job of capturing the distinctive design of the clones from the cartoon.  The only slightly off part is the helmet; on the show, the helmets bowed inward at the bottom, but here it flares out.  It doesn’t result in a super different look or anything, but it’s ever so slightly off.  Still, it’s quite a nice sculpt.  The paintwork on this guy is pretty straightforward.  It’s just flat colors, as it should be.  The application is mostly pretty clean, though there’s a bit of slop on the edges of the kama.  Fordo included a pair of blasters, which can either be held or stowed in his fully-functioning holsters.  He also included the same black display stand included with all of the Clone Wars figures, though, surprisingly, he doesn’t really need it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Captain Fordo was my first Clone Wars figure.  I was always interested in the line, but all the figures I wanted were in hot demand at the time, so I could never find them in stores.  I ended up getting this guy while on a day trip with my dad and my brother.  We had gone to a small comic show, which had been a bust in terms of action figures, so my dad took us to a Target on the way back and let us each pick something out.  Christian got an Anakin and I got this guy.  He’s not a super complex figure or anything, but I still really like him, and he reminds me that I should really track down more of this line.

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#0976: Commander Gree

COMMANDER GREE

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS

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The Star Wars prequels are almost universally loathed. However, as bad as the movies as a whole may be, there are definitely some ideas and concepts present that were actually kind of cool, if under-explored. On the plus side, the animated Clone Wars show, was able to take a lot of those concepts and apply them to a narrative that didn’t totally suck. Possibly my favorite part of the prequels was the Clone army, who were actually given a ton of development and individualized treatment in Clone Wars. While many of the clones used in the show were new characters, the cartoon also took the chance to flesh out almost all of the named clones from Revenge of the Sith, including my personal favorite, Clone Commander Gree.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GreeCW2Commander Gree was released in the 2009 assortment of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars tie-in line. The figure stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. He represents Gree as he appears in the earlier part of the show, prior to the time skip. He’s seen here wearing his standard Phase I trooper armor, and as such, he uses the same basic parts as all the other basic clones in the line. The body isn’t a spot-on recreation of the cartoon design: the lower torso and the limbs are noticeably a little thicker, presumably to offer more stability. That said, it’s very close to what was seen in the show. Like most of the Clone commanders in the line, Gree features a removeable helmet. The helmet itself is nicely handled, and looks more or less the same as the second iteration of the non-removeable clone helmet. Under the helmet is Gree’s head, which is sporting his rather goody twin mohawked look. It’s a decent enough recreation of his look from the show, though it does look a little older than his on-screen counterpart. It’s also slightly on the small side, but that kind of comes with the removeable helmet territory. Gree gets a unique belt piece with a holster, as well as a bandolier add-on piece. These two pieces help to add a nice flair of uniqueness to him, which is certainly cool. Gree’s paintwork is handled pretty well. Early in the show’s run, the animation models were a bit less advanced. This affected Gree more than most, since his rather complex camo design was far too much to handle. So, his Clone Wars design is just the basic clone look, but with extensive green accents. The figure replicates this pretty well, and the overall application is nice and clean. Gree included a large blaster rifle, a blaster pistol, and a large missile missile launcher. Because Hasbro.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I don’t recall exactly where I got Gree. I’m pretty sure it was a Target. I know I got him while he was still a relatively new figure.  The Clone Wars line was definitely a fun one, and Gree is a pretty strong showing.

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#0726: Captain Rex

CAPTAIN REX

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

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If there’s one upside to the Star Wars prequels, it’s the fact that they allowed for the creation of both of the Clone Wars animated series.  They managed to do impossible things like not suck and be something other than the absolute worst, which the prequels never really got down. The second of the two shows had a heavy focus on the Clone Troopers themselves, and changed them from a faceless legion to a collection of actual characters. One of the central clones in the show was Clone Captain Rex, who ended up becoming one of the show’s most popular characters. He got several figures during the actual Clone Wars toylines, and just before the shift to the Force Awakens stuff, he even made his way into the smaller scale The Black Series line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapRex2Captain Rex was figure #09 in the 2014 series of the 3 ¾ inch Star Wars: The Black Series figures. He was part of the second assortment of figures released that year (the same assortment that gave us Commander Doom, for those interested). The figure is a little over 3 ¾ inches in height and has 24 points of articulation. Rex is based on his design from towards the end of the show, after several improvements had been made to his armor. Unlike other Clone Troopers from the show, Rex never got a full Phase II style helmet, instead opting to stick with a slightly modified Phase I helmet. It’s kind of one of his more unique features, and it’s showcased here. Like Doom, Rex’s figure takes his design from the show and realizes it a bit, so that it can fit in with the other figures from this line. His sculpt does this translation pretty well, retaining most of his defining traits from his show design, while also brining him in line with the “real-life” Clone Troopers. The figure uses the same basic body as the one we saw on Doom. It’s less articulated than I’d like, but it’s a decent sculpt, so I can’t complain too much. He gets a unique helmet, shoulder piece, and “skirt” piece with holsters. The new parts are nice, sharp sculpts, and the helmet in particular has some fantastic fine detail work. Hasbro’s weak link is and always shall be its paint apps. It’s not to say they aren’t trying, mind you. Rex has some phenomenal work. The weird blue eyebrow things on his helmet are really sharp and the 163 (yes, I counted them all) tally marks placed all around his armor are a really cool touch. So, what’s the problem? It’s the base color work again. The areas around the holsters are definitely the worst offenders, with tons of overspray and slop, but all of the base work is pretty darn sloppy, which kind of ruins all the effort that was put into the finer detail work. Rex is packed with a pair of blaster pistols. They’re a bit hard to get into his holsters, but he holds them well enough. Like Doom, the accessories feel a bit light for a figure in the higher-priced line. It couldn’t be that hard to throw in a large blaster or something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rex here was the second of the two pre-Force Awakens figures I found during my Force Friday travels. I couldn’t pass on Doom, but I didn’t need Rex. Of course, I was with Super Awesome Girlfriend at the time, and she absolutely refuses to let me put a figure back, no matter how many times I say I don’t need it. So, she bought him for me. I can’t say Rex was a figure I was desperately searching for or anything, but I did like the character on the show, and I thought this figure looked pretty cool. I’m glad to have him, because, paint issues aside, he’s actually a pretty great little figure.

#0719: Clone Commander Doom

CLONE COMMANDER DOOM

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

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DOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! Yes it’s DOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! So, hey, you know one cool thing about Disney owning both Marvel and Star Wars AND Hasbro holding the toy licenses for both of those properties? They can do cool combo stuff, like today’s focus, Clone Commander Doom, who began his life as a minor, cool little reference character, who I’m sure no one ever thought would get an actual figure with that name. But, here he is! Isn’t that cool?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CommanderDoom2Commander Doom was released in the second series of the 2014 round of the 3 ¾ inch Star Wars: The Black Series figures. Did you get all that? Should I repeat it? Yeah, Hasbro’s release schemes are just a tad confusing. Commander Doom here is based on his appearance in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “The Unknown,” where his animation model was based on Dr. Doom, the Marvel Comics character. One has to wonder if Commander Doom has some sort of rivalry with Clone Commander Fantastic; that would be nifty. The figure stands just over 3 ¾ inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Sadly, it seems that Hasbro’s cutting back on the articulation of the smaller-scale Black Series stuff again. Doom loses both the ball jointed hips and the mid-torso joint of prior Clone Troopers, which is a bit of a bummer to say the least. It might be hard to tell under that non-standard paintjob, but Doom’s armor is mostly standard issue stuff. He’s wearing a modified form of the Phase II trooper armor, with a visor/antenna added to his helmet (in a similar fashion to Commander Cody) and a battle “skirt” thing, which has holsters for his blasters. It’s worth noting that, while Doom hails from an animated show, this figure has been sculpted to fit in with the more realistic figures that make up the rest of the line. With that in mind, Doom’s sculpt does a pretty good job of taking his design from the show and translating it into “real life.” The sculpt is a little softer than I’d like in some areas, but it’s nicely handled overall. I’m still not 100% sold on the look of the wrist joints, but that’s a minor issue, and the movement they provide is certainly enough to warrant their inclusion. Now, this is a Hasbro figure, which means that, no matter how good the sculpt may be, the paint is likely to be a letdown. While I certainly wouldn’t say this figure has the worst paint I’ve ever seen on a Hasbro figure, he’s still got more than a few occurrences of bleed over and slop. Also, his arms and legs are just molded in a slight off-white, as opposed to being grey due to scuffs and dirt, which robs him just a bit of his uniqueness. Aside from those issues, I will say Doom’s a pretty vibrant figure, especially for a Star Wars figure, and I enjoy how the various customizations to his armor have been carried out. Doom is packed with a pair of blaster pistols, which can be held or stored in his holsters. This feels a little light, especially for the higher Black Series price.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was out looking for new stuff on Force Friday (and also visiting Super Awesome Girlfriend for the weekend), one of the Walmarts I stopped by happened to have some of the pre-Force Awakens Black Series figures in stock, this guy included. I had actually been hoping to find this guy ever since I stumbled upon the pictures of his prototype online, so I was pretty happy about stumbling across him. Doom has his share of issues, but he definitely stands out from the rest of my Star Wars figures, and he’s a shout out to one of the best characters in comics to boot!

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#0400: Waxer, Boil, & Numa

WAXER, BOIL & NUMA

STAR WARS (SIDESHOW)

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When it comes to Star Wars, it’s no secret that I’m not much of a fan of the prequel trilogy. The reasons are many, far too many to list here. However, I don’t hate everything about the prequels. In particular, the two spin-off cartoons (The Clone Wars and Clone Wars) were actually not terrible. The latter series kind of meandered and wasn’t always the greatest, but it had its shining moments, and there are a few episodes in particular that I really enjoyed. When Sideshow was looking for interesting ways to expand their 12 inch Star Wars line, they turned to the cartoon for some ideas. Today, I’ll be looking at two of the line’s clone troopers, Waxer and Boil, as well as their small compatriot Numa.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was released by Sideshow in the summer of 2011 as part of their Star Wars line. The set is based on the episode “Innocents of Ryloth” which happens to be one of my favorite episodes of the show (it probably helps that the episode is essentially a 30 minute love letter to Aliens). This is the regular release of the set, but there was also a Sideshow exclusive version which had an extra piece for Numa.

WAXER

WaxerBoil&Numa2What’s interesting about Waxer is that he actually wasn’t created for the show. He actually first appeared in a comicbook story. When they got around to adapting that particular story, he had to be replaced by Boil due to having the misfortune of dying one episode previous. Bummer. Waxer is essentially based on his appearance in the episode, but he’s been given a more real world style. The figure is about 12 inches tall, and he’s got a bunch of articulation, which I don’t have an exact count on, as I don’t make a habit of undressing my action figures. Aside from the black jumpsuit, which is very well tailored, Waxer is pretty much all sculpted pieces. They’re all from previous clone troopers, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive. They are sharp and symmetrical, and they really look like the armor from the movies. The paintwork is exceptional, with plenty of weathering and texture to really make the armor look appropriately broken in. The orange accents, denoting him as being a clone under Commander Cody, are vibrant and clean, and really add to the figure’s look. He also has a few spots of graffiti on his helmet, which are true to the episode, and really contribute to the uniqueness of the figure. Waxer includes an extra un-helmeted head, a Phase II helmet, an extra set of fisted hands, extra running feet, blasters in three sizes, binoculars, and a display stand with the basic Star Wars logo. The head, while not Hot Toys quality, is pretty impressive. It’s an alright likeness of Temuera Morrison, though with the baldness and the smirk, it bears an uncanny resemblance to Billy Zane. The extra helmet is fine, though it lacks the personalization of the regular helmet. The hands offer a few options, and are all very nicely sculpted. The running feet are a neat concept, but finding a use for them can be difficult. The binoculars and blasters are pretty standard fare, but impressive nonetheless, and the stand is the new Hot Toys-style stand that allows the figure to be picked up and replaced with ease.

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BOIL

WaxerBoil&Numa3Boil was created for the show as a partner in crime for Waxer, which is a role he filled quite well. Like Waxer, he’s based on his appearance in “Innocents of Ryloth” with a slightly more realistic approach taken. He’s about 12 inches tall, and he has the same points of articulation that Waxer has, however many that may be. He uses the basic Sideshow armored buck as a starting point, with the same black jumpsuit as Waxer. The armor is all the same, and it’s still really well executed, so that’s a definite plus. From the neck down, Boil’s paint is identical to that of Waxer. It’s fitting, since that’s true to the design, and it’s still an impressive set of work. Boil’s helmet is slightly different. He doesn’t have the vertical line of orange going down the center, and he has some slightly more elaborate graffiti on his helmet. It looks really good, and it’s minor, but different enough to set him apart nicely from Waxer. Boil pretty much comes with all the same stuff as Waxer: an un-helmeted head, a Phase II helmet, the extra hands and feet, the assortment of blasters, and the display stand. Most of it’s the same, but the helmet is done to match the pattern on his regular helmet, and obviously the un-helmeted head is different to convey Boil’s different look. He’s got a full head of hair, so the Morrison likeness is a bit more immediately apparent. The mustache looks a bit silly, but that’s true of the show’s design. He also has a few extra hands in a variety of gestures, which make for some entertaining poses.

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NUMA

WaxerBoil&Numa4Numa is one of the titular innocents from the episode this set is based on. She’s essentially just Newt from Aliens. Her presence is what really makes this an episode-specific set, rather than just a pair of clone troopers. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and she features 5 points of articulation, which essentially means she’s only good for slight variations on the basic standing look. Numa’s smaller stature means she gets an all-new sculpt. It’s fairly well done. It seems to be the proper proportions and such. Numa’s head is probably the sculpt most negatively affected by the more realistic style. It’s not bad, but she seems somewhat expressionless. Also, the head seems a bit too small for the figure, which kind of makes her seem out of scale with Waxer and Boil. Numa has a cloth dress with a pleather belt. It’s pretty well tailored to the figure, and it seems to be an accurate depiction of what she wore in the episode. Numa’s paint work is pretty decent. It’s not super high quality, but it’s clean and even, and it does a good job with the colors and such. Numa’s only accessory is a display stand which can plug into the bottom of her left foot. The exclusive set added an extra arm holding the toy that she carries for most of the episode. The lack of accessories is forgivable, since Numa’s practically an accessory herself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like I said above, “Innocents of Ryloth” is one of my favorite episodes of the series, so I knew pretty much as soon as this was announced that I wanted it. I remember I actually only saw a headshot of the two clones and I thought to myself, “well if they included Numa, I’d have to get it.” No sooner had I thought that, I scrolled down and saw the full picture and there she was. My super awesome, super supportive parents were kind enough to buy this for my birthday in 2011, which was very nice of them. I really like this set. Sure, Numa’s not perfect, but the clones just about are, and Numa is decent enough that she makes a great complement to them.

#0320: Clone Sergeant

CLONE SERGEANT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

CloneSergeant1

So, remember how Star Wars: The Black Series was supposed to be a deluxe 6-inch line of figures, sort of as Hasbro’s big move to please the fans? Yeah, well apparently, that was just a little too un-Hasbro of them. It was a move that wasn’t confusing at all, and that didn’t work. So, to make up for this, they decided to simultaneously release a 3 ¾ inch line under the exact same name, to the detriment of fans and ill-informed retail workers everywhere. On the plus side, the line does promise a more diverse line-up than the larger scale figures, as well as some improvements over the previous 3 ¾ inch figures. Today, I’ll be taking a look at the line’s version of the Clone Sergeant, who interestingly enough was just announced for the 6-inch line as well. Prepare for the confusion everybody!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CloneSergeantWilsonThe Clone Sergeant is part of the first assortment of the 3 ¾ inch scale Star Wars: The Black Series. The figure is just a basic Clone Sergeant, not any character in particular, and the figure is in the clone’s original “Phase I” armor. If I recall correctly, the Sergeant rank is not seen in Attack of Clones, so this is officially a Clone wars figure. The Sergeant is about 3 ¾ inches in height and features 26 points of articulation. While the articulation is still a little bit stilted in a few areas, the level present in these new figures is incredibly impressive. Hasbro’s done quite a few Clone Troopers over the years, with lots of shared parts between them, but I think that the newly engineered articulation means this figure sports an all-new sculpt. The details of the sculpt are nice and sharp, and the figure’s proportions look pretty good. The helmet is removable. The helmet is properly scaled, but in order to make it fit properly, the head had to be a tad under-scaled. The underlying head also bears little resemblance to actor Temuera Morrison, which is too bad. However, I can’t see many people leaving the helmet off, so it’s not much of a loss. The paint work is basic, but also key in differentiating the Sergeant from the other Clones. The Sergeant has an olive green accent on his armor, which looks really great, and definitely makes the figure stand out. The paintwork is all nice and cleanly applied. The unmasked head has some slightly odd eyes, but they aren’t horrible for the scale. The Sergeant includes both long and short blaster rifles, which allows you to add just a touch of customization.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Clone Sergeant was purchased at a Walmart, nearby my girlfriend’s college campus. I don’t usually shop at Walmart, but she needed to get a few things and I went with her. Me being me, I took a look in the action figure aisle, where I found this guy and a few other SW:TBS figures. I hadn’t initially planned on getting any of them, but Super Awesome Girlfriend is a terrible influence on me (okay, not really. She’s just incredibly supportive!) So, I ended up getting a few figures from the line. I really like the Sergeant, mostly due to the green accents, which are just really cool!

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