STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES
It’s been a whole seven months since I’ve looked at a Star Wars: The Black Series figure. That kind of surprised me. I double-checked a few times, but, yep, Darth Vader was the last one I looked at, back on October 6th of last year. It’s odd, because I was pretty sold on this line when it launched. However, the remnants of the first few series have hung around in my area, so finding the newer figures has been few and far between. Evidently, I was so desperate to get something from the line that I was willing to break my one rule going in: No prequel figures. Yeah, bad Ethan. Just go with it, okay?
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Clone Sergeant was released as part of the sixth series of Star Wars: The Black Series. He’s figure #07, though it’s worth noting that the numbering restarted for 2014, so he’s a little higher in the actual numbering. The figure is roughly 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. He’s a Phase I-style Clone Trooper, which technically means he’s from Attack of the Clones, although, as I noted in my last Clone Sergeant review, I’m fairly certain the no Sergeants actually appear in that film, making this figure technically a Clone Wars figure. But I could be wrong. This being a Phase I Clone, it’s not really a surprise that the sculpt is identical to that of the Series 4 Clone Trooper, and will be the same as the soon-to-be-released Clone Lieutenant. In Hasbro’s defense, this is completely film accurate and totally to be expected. The additional Clone ranks are here to get more use out of the completely unique tooling of the first Clone. It’s worth noting that this sculpt is a really great piece of work. Everything is nice and clean, and there’s lots of symmetry. The armor is appropriately smooth and the underlying body suit has some wonderful texture work. There is one issue, and I’m not sure entirely how to classify it. Simply put, the figure has a rather obvious set of serial numbers etched into his left thigh. Well, I say etched, but they almost look as if someone chewed them in. It’s strange looking. Clearly, this isn’t meant to be part of the sculpt, but it’s there and it’s rather distracting. The paint is somewhat important on this figure, since it is the one thing that differentiates it from the normal Clone Trooper. It’s okay, but not great. The colors are well chosen, and everything is pretty much correctly placed, but the green areas in particular are rather rough around the edges, looking almost as if the green hasn’t been fully mixed together. It’s only really noticeable up close, but it certainly could be better. The Clone Sergeant is packed with two rifles: one large and one small. These are the same ones included with the normal Trooper, and they are nice translations of the film designs.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
It’s kind of Super Awesome Girlfriend’s fault. See, I was visiting her at school and we went to Toys R Us, because that’s what we do, and they had this figure there. I’ve been resisting the urge to buy a Black Series Clone Trooper for a while now, and so far I’ve managed to do pretty well. But she was standing there with me and she said three words that meant I couldn’t turn the figure down: “It has green!” Damn. So, I bought the Clone Sergeant. And now I totally have a prequel figure, even though I swore I wouldn’t buy any. To be fair, he’s a decent figure. Sure, the paint could be better, but that’s hardly a surprise when dealing with Hasbro. So, has this figure shattered the glass wall preventing me from buying prequel stuff? Will I be tracking down a Darth Maul on eBay? Nah, probably not. He’s cool and all, but I don’t see this being anything but a one off.
Since the third series of figures my SWB buying has been mostly limited to troopers, bounty hunters, and characters from the first year of Kenner’s The Power of the Force II line. I did buy Vader because I didn’t initially realize he was a ROTJ Vader. There are a few figures that I’d buy no matter what (Ahsoka, Admiral Ackbar, and Sabine Wren come to mind) but other than that I’m trying to stick to my limits.
That being said there have been lots of troops in this line but fortunately they’ve been well done over all. I really think this guy is a great figure. The paint job actually makes me like him more than the standard version of the Clone Trooper. He’s a really fun figure to mess around and play with.