STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)
“These Advanced Reconnaissance Fighters often operate All-Terrain Recon Transport (AT-RT) walkers on scouting or combat operations. Riding atop these armed vehicles, ARF troopers can swiftly sweep through an area and cut down battle droids in their path.”
We’ve had environment and job specific troopers in Star Wars since the very beginning. It’s on one hand very practical, and on the other a great way to justify more toys and other merch. So, as the franchise has grown, so too have the variants on the troopers. Within Clone Wars, there already some built-in armor variants going in, but a few more variants were quickly built-in. Debuting in the theatrical film that launched the series were the ARF Troopers, a subset of clones with a unique helmet inspired by the Scout Troopers of the Original Trilogy. The design cropped up a good number of times during the show, as well as a good number of times in the accompanying toyline. I’m looking at the first of the toyline releases today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The ARF Trooper is figure CW10, released in the second assortment of the second generation of Hasbro’s Clone Wars line. Since the first assortment was all re-packs moved to the new packaging style, the second assortment served as the first batch of real new figures for this adjusted version of the line, and the ARF Trooper was its first proper clone. The figure stands a little over 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation. The ARF Trooper marked a notable step forward for the line, taking the already quite posable standard Clone Trooper body, and replacing the pelvis and upper legs to change the hip joints to universals, rather than the usual t-crotch. This allowed the figure a great deal more mobility, and was just generally pretty awesome. He also got a new head sculpt, based on the different helmet design. Boy is it a sleek design, and boy does it look great in toy form. Put the whole thing together, and you’ve got one of the slickest Clone sculpts the line ever produced. The ARF Trooper’s paint work is fairly decent. It’s largely pretty basic, but there’s some fun smaller detail work on the helmet, which has more going on than the usual Clone Trooper helmet. The ARF Trooper is packed with a standard DC-15S blaster, a D-6 rotary blaster, and a firing missile.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I remember this figure first dropping. It was right after I’d started my senior year of high school. I remember finding him and his assortment-mate Commander Gree at retail fairly quickly. And then I very vividly remember passing on them both because I had a date with a girl the next night and I thought it would be a wiser investment of my money to spend it on the date. A week later, the girl had dumped me, and I had no new Clone Wars figures to console me. Lesson learned. Thankfully, by the end of the year, I’d gotten another chance, and I wound up with both of the figures I’d missed. The ARF Trooper was at the time and remains to this day my very favorite mold from this line, and it all started with this guy. He’s so much fun, and it’s a genuine goal of mine to own all of the variants of the mold. Someday I’ll get there!