ELITE SQUAD TROOPER
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“After the formation of the Galactic Empire, a small group of highly skilled enlisted recruits is tasked with neutralizing anti-Imperial insurgents throughout the galaxy.”
I see a Trooper and I want to paint it black! No colors anymore, I want them to turn black!
It’s a pretty well-established thing that you can make anything in Star Wars better by, as The Who said, painting it black. Well, it mostly applies to troopers, I guess, but there’s a lot of those, so that’s a high percentage of Star Wars things. While mostly an excuse to sell some more toys, the concept of painting a trooper black has also found its way into the Star Wars ‘verse proper, with all sorts of different rationales behind it. In the case of the Clone Troopers, the latest excuse for them being all dark and monochromatic comes in the form of the Elite Squad Troopers, who will be playing some sort of role in the upcoming Bad Batch show, though specifically what, we don’t know quite yet. It does mean we’ve got the toy, though, which is good an excuse as any to trot out the Clone Trooper molds in swanky all-black.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Elite Squad Trooper is figure 03 in the Bad Batch sub-set of Black Series, and is the third and final of the three Bad Batch-related figure in the most recent assortment of the line. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. This guy is completely built out of re-used parts, though, in contrast to how things may look at first glance, they’re not all from the new Kamino Trooper mold. He uses that figure’s upper half, combined with the legs of the previous Clone Trooper body. It’s…different? I’m admittedly not sure why exactly they’ve made the change here. The range of motion was certainly better on the newer legs; the old ones are rather restricted in the ankles and hips. The only thing I can think of is that there were concerns of long-term durability with the construction of the new knee pads. I suppose there’s also potentially some aesthetic benefits to the older legs, but I’m not entirely sure it’s worth the trade-off, if I’m honest. I mean, it’s still generally better than just using the whole older Clone Trooper body; at least this one can more properly hold his weapons. In another instance of looks being deceiving, the paint work isn’t just a straight all-black set-up. In addition to the green visor, it’s also worth noting that the armor proper isn’t straight black, but rather more of a slate color, while the body suit is a straight black. It’s a subtle, but well done contrast, which also keeps him from being too visually bland. This guy’s packed with one single accessory, the DC-15A blaster. It’s a shame he just gets the one, since prior clones have gotten both the 15A and 15S versions. I’m guessing this might be a show-accuracy sort of thing, but it still makes the figure feel a little light, especially since he’s all repaint.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
An all-black repaint of any new trooper mold is effectively a given, so I was sort of expecting this one to crop up at some point, though I wasn’t expecting it quite this quickly. The mixed mold is a little weird, especially this soon after establishing the new body, and I wish they weren’t cutting accessories, but I will admit this figure is really slick looking. Sometimes, I’m just very easy to please, and this is one of those times.
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for Black Series, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.