501st LEGION CLONE TROOPER
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES ARCHIVE (HASBRO)
“An elite unit of Clone Troopers, the 501st Legion patrolled the grounds after their siege of the Jedi Temple on Coruscant”
Clone Troopers. They’re, like, one of the back bones of Star Wars. Yes, it has multiple back bones. It’s one of those aliens with multiple backs. And Clone Troopers are one of them. When in doubt, do some Clone Troopers. It’s a good motto, especially when it comes to toys. And one that Hasbro takes pretty well to heart. Sometimes, they even do those Clone Troopers multiple times. Also not a bad call, really. Despite seeming like the perfect avenue for constantly re-releasing clones, their main line of re-releases, the Archive, hasn’t yet had any actual Clone Troopers, just one commander. But that’s okay, because now we’ve got one. Yay for new old Clone Trooper!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The 501st Legion Clone Trooper is part of the fifth assortment of the Star Wars: The Black Series Archive line, alongside Episode III Obi-Wan, Darth Revan, and A New Hope Leia. He’s a re-release of a figure previously only available as part of the Entertainment Earth-exclusive “Clone Troopers of Order 66” boxed set from 2016. Apart from some minor paint adjustments on the weathering of the armor, the releases are effectively the same, since there’s no face to update with face printing or anything like that. The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. Since he’s a straight re-release, we’re back on the old Clone body, rather than either of the updated versions. That means a slight downgrade in terms of how the articulation works, but it’s still certainly passable, so I’ll hardly complain. The 501st Trooper’s sculpt is shared with all of the other standard Phase II clones. It’s the Phase I body, with the new helmet piece. While it’s not quite as accurate as newer releases, it’s still a pretty strong sculpt, even seven years removed from its original release. It’s not as good as the newer update, but it will fit in just fine with them. As with any standard rank and file clone, the thing that makes this guy “unique” is the paint work. It’s quite involved, with detailing not just for the 501st Legion’s distinctive blue markings, but also the wear and tear on the surface of the armor. The first release of this figure used straight paint for these details, which was a little inconsistent in application, but for this release it’s updated to the printed technique, which gives it some more consistency from piece to piece, and looks just a touch sharper. The Trooper is packed with his standard smaller blaster, which is accurate to what they carry in the film, as the long rifles are gone by that point. It does still feel kind of light, but it is what it is.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I was still on my “no prequels” rule for the most part when the set that contained this guy dropped, so I held off at the time. I grew to rather regret that moving forward, so when he was confirmed for a single-packed re-issue, I was definitely on board. He’s pretty straight forward. Nothing new, and perhaps slightly outdated at this point, but it’s exactly what you expect, and by that metric, he does what he needs to exactly on the mark.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.