#2844: ARC Trooper Echo

ARC TROOPER ECHO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

First introduced in the first season episode “Rookies,” Domino Squad is a group that The Clone Wars uses to really showcase the general progression of the clones throughout the wars, as well as also hitting home just how bad war can be, seeing as the Squad has a tendency to fall like, well, dominos.  Central to the squad’s early stories are Fives and Echo, the two that have the most advancement of any clones in the show, starting off as mere cadets, and eventually becoming full-fledged ARC Troopers.  Echo himself has gone even further, becoming one of the few Regs to continue his story post-Order 66 as part of Clone Force 99, aka the titular team from The Bad Batch.  This kid’s got some range, let me tell you.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

ARC Trooper Echo is another of the four figures in the Target-exclusive Clone Wars-retro assortment of Star Wars: The Black Series.  He’s the first figure of Echo in the line, though it would be an incredible shock if he were the last, given the incredible prominence of Echo’s updated Bad Batch gear.  As the name signifies, this figure is based on Echo’s ARC Trooper look, which he sported in the “Citadel” arc of the show, which is notably the story that “killed” him, before the final season brought him back.  It’s the look that had the most appearances within the show (prior to The Bad Batch, of course), and it’s his coolest look as a Reg.  Plus, they haven’t done any actual ARC troopers in this scale, so he’s a good reason to introduce the tooling.  It does mean that he doesn’t actually go with any other figures in the line, of course, since he doesn’t match up with the Batch, and he also doesn’t match up with Rex, since Rex was in his Phase I armor still when Echo died, but there are worse things to have to deal with.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Remember how I mentioned the weird mix-up of Hawk retooling Rex’s body into a more basic clone body, rather than using the newly introduced basic clone?  So, you might assume that Echo, with his ARC Trooper gear, would naturally be using the Rex body as well, right?  Nope.  Echo’s on the new basic clone body, with a bunch of stuff tacked onto it.  I know.  It’s weird.  I mean, it’s still a nice body, so I’m not complaining.  I’m just confused, that’s all.  In order to update that standard clone armor into a full ARC Trooper set-up, Echo gets a new set of forearms and lower legs, as well as new add-on pieces for his additional torso gear, as well as his belt, kama, and holsters.  He’s also got a brand new head and helmet to complete the whole set-up.  It’s interesting that he’s got a rubber kama, as opposed to the cloth we’ve gotten for the commanders thus far, but I don’t hate the look, and it doesn’t hold back the articulation too badly.  The unmasked head continues the trend of the unmasked clones not looking all that much like Temuera Morrison, though this one does at least seem to be heading a bit more in the right direction, I suppose.  The helmet sits well on the head, though, which is a definite plus, as some of the others have had a little bit of trouble with that fit.  The rest of the new parts mesh well with the old, and the end result is a quite nicely put together ARC Trooper set-up.  The paint work on Echo is generally pretty decent.  There’s a good deal of variety to it, but the application is generally pretty cleanly handled.  There are some fuzzier edges on a few of the blue lines, but it can be written off to a little bit of wear, to be honest.  He’s got the face printing on the unmasked head, which definitely helps with the likeness, at least a little bit.  And, just to make him properly Echo, he’s got the hand print graffiti, which is always a fun touch.  Echo is pretty well accessorized, getting a long blaster rifle, a short blaster rifle, and two blaster pistols.  He still can’t properly hold both pistols at once, of course, since only the right hand has a trigger finger, but at least you have some options.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

“Rookies” was the first episode of Clone Wars that really spoke to me, and I’ve long since had a soft spot for Domino Squad, and Echo in particular.  I always liked his story, and I was sad when he was killed off in the “Citadel” arc.  I was very glad to see him brought back in Season 7, and he’s thus far been one of my favorite parts of The Bad Batch.  I hope to get a Batch version of him soon, but I’m also glad to have gotten him in his peak form here.  Sure, he doesn’t match up with anyone at the moment, but hopefully we can at the very least get a Fives to go with him.  Once again, thanks to Max for setting me up with this one.  I wasn’t expecting him to be quite as easily acquired, but I’m happy he was.

#2843: Clone Pilot Hawk

CLONE PILOT HAWK

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Store exclusives have been the bane of pretty much every collector’s existence for the last year, because not only has the number of things that are exclusive jumped, but so has the number of people trying to scalp them in order to make a quick buck.  Not helping matters is the general lack of quality distribution when it comes to actually getting them out there, making for an all around just unpleasant experience.  So, there’s definitely a little twinge of anxiety that hits every time a new item is announced, and then also confirmed as an exclusive.  In the case of Star Wars: The Black Series, there’s a whole sub-set of throwback Clone Wars figures, which seemed poised to be the worst thing ever to get, but which now seem to be significantly less so, which I suppose is a good thing.  For me personally, I was most invested in getting the clones, which I have.  I’m starting things off today, with a look at Clone Pilot Hawk.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Pilot Hawk is one of the four figures in Target’s exclusive assortment of Clone Wars-retro carded Black Series figures.  He’s the most obscure character in the bunch, to be sure, notably being the only one included who has never had a figure, even in the days of Hasbro’s far more expansive Clone Wars toy line.  Not only did we not get Hawk, we never even got one of the pilots with this specific helmet design, which does feel kind of baffling when you get right down to it.  The figure stands just over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Now, the fact that Hasbro very recently introduced an all-new basic clone body into the line might lead you to believe that Hawk might, you know, be built on it, what with being kind of a basic clone and all.  However, you’d in fact be a fool to think that, because he’s absolutely not built on that body.  Neither is he built on the old clone body, though, so don’t think that either.  Instead, he’s actually built on the Captain Rex body, for some reason.  I mean, I’m not knocking it.  It’s a good body in its own right, and certainly an improvement on the old clone body, meaning his movement isn’t really restricted like it would have been on that older body.  In fact, his movement’s pretty darn great, so that’s cool.  He gets an all-new head for his unique helmet, as well as a connected breathing device, to signify his pilot nature.  Also, in a far more minor touch, he also gets a new belt, sans the kama and the holsters.  The new parts are nicely crafted, with the helmet in particular being the real star piece here.  It does a quite respectable job of walking the line between animated faithfulness and merging with the realistic style of the line.  I definitely like it a lot.  Hawk’s paintwork is generally pretty nicely handled.  There’s a little bit of slop on the hands on my figure, but he otherwise turned out pretty nicely.  I like the extra markings on the armor, as well as how they’ve weathered them a bit to show that his armor’s been in use.  Hawk is packed with a standard small Clone Trooper blaster.  It’s a little light, but it’s also fairly standard set-up for a pilot figure in this line, so it’s hard to say it’s a surprise.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Hawk was my only “must have” figure in this set, largely because I’ve just always liked this particular pilot design and it’s literally never gotten a figure before.  I was happy he got a figure, but not so happy that it wound up as an exclusive.  Fortunately, Max was able to help me out with this one, as it wound up being literally the first of the four he saw at retail.  He turned out really nicely, and I’m curious to see if we might actually get some of the other Clone Pilots in the main line now.  Time will tell.

There’s also a bit of a post-Jess segment to this one as well.  This figure is the last figure added to my collection before Jess died.  Max brought him to me during her last week in the hospital, and I had him with me those last few days.  He’s the last new figure I got to show her, and the last figure she got to be excited about me adding to my collection.  I didn’t know that when I got him, but those are the sorts of things you never do know, I guess.  I do know that showing off my new figures to her was one of my very favorite things about collecting in the last eight years, and the items I gotten since all feel a little different, since something’s very definitely missing.  He gets to be my last contact to that feeling, and the last true part of that collection.  My collection post-Jess will be a different one, and I’ll have to figure out how as I move forward.  But this guy’s not going anywhere, I can tell you that much.

#2766: Clone Trooper Lieutenant

CLONE TROOPER LIEUTENANT

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Throughout the Clone Wars, Clone Troopers fought the Battle Droids of the Separatists across the galaxy. They were loyal to their Jedi generals and the Supreme Chancellor.”

When introduced in Attack of the Clones, the Clone Troopers originally made use of varying colored stripes in order to differentiate ranks amongst the many identical guys running around during the big battle on Geonosis.  Red were captains, yellow were commanders, green were sergeants, and blue were lieutenants.  Of course, then the final film came along, and pretty much everything of note was done by the all-white regular clones….but it was the thought that counted, right?  When The Black Series‘ first Clone Trooper body was introduced, Hasbro got to work doing the various ranks.  The basic, captain, and sergeant got main-line releases, and the commander was part of a boxed set…and then?  Nothing.  There was a break, and the line eventually got a new clone body.  But before entirely retiring the original body, Hasbro decided to throw some of the longer-term collectors a bone, and actually finish out the original set, with one last release, adding the lieutenant to the ranks after all these years.  That was awfully nice of them, wasn’t it?  And I bet it was super easy to get, too.  Right?  Yeah….

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Clone Trooper Lieutenant is officially the first figure in the Attack of the Clones sub-set of Phase IV of Star Wars: The Black Series.  He was released exclusively through Walgreens, and hit retail at the tail end of last year.  I mean, in theory, at least.  He wasn’t really super widespread or anything.  Granted, he also wasn’t quite as in demand as other Black Series exclusives at the same time, so it was a little hard to track.  It probably could have been worse.  The figure stands a little over 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  He’s built on that original Clone body, which I reviewed first when I looked at the Sergeant.  It’s got some troubles with the articulation layout, especially on the elbows and shoulders, but it’s far from the worst thing that Hasbro put out.  On top of that, it’s still a pretty nice looking sculpt, so it’s certainly got that going for it.  I very much liked it when it was new, and I still do like it quite a bit, even now, when there’s technically a better option out there.  The main thing that differentiates this guy from the other clones on this body is, of course, the paint.  The lieutenants were blue, which is a very nice, and also very familiar look for clones.  The actual shade of blue here’s not really right; the lieutenants were a lighter shade of blue, in contrast to the darker shade of blue that became more common with the 501st troopers.  So, this one’s technically not quite right.  Of course, the Lieutenants are largely theoretical in the films anyway, so it’s not really the end of the world there, I suppose.  Just sort of odd.  I do like that they changed him up ever so slightly from the others in terms of how the paint was applied, giving him a little bit more wear on his paint.  He looks like he’s actually made it through a battle or two, which is cool.  Like all versions of this mold, he’s packed with the two different blaster rifles.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this figure was unveiled, I was excited, then not.  Partially, it was the reveal that he was an exclusive, and partially it was that he was on the old body.  I opted not to really go hunting for him, since I’m expecting he’ll probably get updated to the new body at some point.  However, when one of them came into All Time via a trade, I did find it a lot harder to say no, and ultimately didn’t.  That’s how I’m reviewing him, and all.  He’s not breaking molds, or doing anything new, and honestly, he’s actually a bit inaccurate, but he’s still a clone, and clones are just usually a lot of fun.  This one’s really not different, there.  He’s fun.  And he’s blue.  And that’s pretty cool.

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.

#2754: Elite Squad Trooper

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.

#2752: Hunter

HUNTER

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“The Bad Batch, technically known as Clone Force 99, is the result of Kaminoan experiments to create specialist clone commandos. Hunter, their leader, is a strong and stoic soldier.”

The Bad Batch, an elite squat of slightly defective clones, made their first appearance in what was originally one of a handful of unfinished episodes of The Clone Wars following its <second> cancellation.  When Disney+ renewed the show for one last season, the Batch’s introductory episode was expanded into the full planned arc, and the characters were well received enough to gain a further follow-up, this time in the form of their own dedicated series, which will be premiering next week for May 4th.  In an effort to tie-in, Hasbro’s doing the whole squad in Black Series form.  I’m starting things off, appropriately, with the team’s leader, Dutch Hunter!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Hunter is the first figure in the Bad Batch-based sub-set of Black Series Phase IV, and is part of the fourth Black Series assortment since the re-work.  He’s the first of the three Bad Batch figures in this particular round.  The figure stands just over 6 inches all and he has 27 points of articulation.  Hunter’s articulation scheme is very much the same as that of the recently re-vamped Clone Trooper figure, which is rather fitting, and also a solid basis for articulation, since that figure moved pretty well.  His sculpt is largely a new piece (though a fair bit of it is shared with his assortment-mate Crosshair), but he does share his feet with the standard Clone trooper.  Otherwise, it’s new, and it’s pretty strong.  I did notice that his armor design does stay a little closer to the animation styling that other Clone Wars clones, but with no real-word-equivalent armor design for him, I guess that’s kind of a little more expected.  There are at least some extra smaller details added throughout the armor, in order to make it a little more lived-in, so he’s got some scratches and such worked in.  The design is a little stubborn in figure form in a few spots, especially on the shoulders, I found.  That said, I do think it’s generally a nice piece, and I was impressed by how the removable helmet worked out in particular.  Given Hunter’s longer hair, I was expecting it to be a much tighter fit, and for the helmet to end up making him look a lot more bobble-headed than it does.  I think I do still slightly prefer him un-helmeted, but both ways work out alright.  Hunter’s paint work isn’t bad, but it’s a bit of a mix, really.  The underlying face has the printing technique, which looks good, and the customized look on his helmet is impressive, but it does feel like he’d be a little more impressive with some additional accenting to bring out the sculpted details.  As it is, it still looks okay, but it could be better.  Hunter is packed with his customized larger blaster, as well as one of the standard smaller blasters, a knife, and a back pack.  It’s a shame that there’s no storage for either blaster, but it’s a minor complaint.  Getting extras is always cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Bad Batch are a cool enough concept, and certainly one that seemed to be begging for toys.  I’m glad they finally got something, and Hunter’s a good starting point for the line.  He pretty much gives a slight taste of all of the elements we’ll see with the others from the squad.  The paint detailing could maybe stepped up a notch, but otherwise he’s a pretty solid offering, and on par with the new Troopers they’ve been putting out recently.

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.

#2705: Clone Commander Fox

CLONE COMMANDER FOX

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Commander Fox led the Coruscant Guard, an elite clone trooper unit assigned to serve as peace-keepers on the Galactic Republic capital.”

With all of the new Archive releases covered (or substituted for the earlier release, as was the case for Cody), I guess I’ll fill this week out with a couple of older releases that I have on hand.  The photo at the end of yesterday’s review may have cued some readers into the fact that I have Clone Commander Fox, but I have not yet reviewed Clone Commander Fox, so I guess I might as well get on that.  How about this here Commander Fox figure?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Commander Fox was a shared retailed exclusive Black Series release from 2019.  Technically, he was a GameStop/Thinkgeek exclusive, but he was also offered up through Big Bad Toy Store, so he was rather thoroughly distributed.  Fox’s design follows the trend for all of the Clone Commanders’ designs so far, going for his Phase II design.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  Fox is built on the standard Clone Trooper body, for better or for worse.  That’s overall a good thing, but it does mean that he’s got some slight issues regarding range of motion on his joints, as well as the lack of a trigger finger on his left hand, for the purposes of dual wielding.  He’s got the adjusted belt with the holsters like we saw on Wolffe and Rex, along with a cloth kama piece to match.  The kama still seems a little short, no doubt due to using the same pattern as the other two.  Fox gets a new helmet piece, which is rather similar to Cody’s but lacks a couple of Cody’s specific details.  The standard portions of the helmet match up in style with Cody’s helmet, indicating that they at least started from a common point.  The visor, which is a separate piece on both, is a notably softer plastic here, which causes it to be slightly warped on my copy of the figure.  It’s not terribly so, but it’s noticeable.  Fox’s paint work is pretty nicely handled.  The base work is pretty clean, and the predominantly red coloring helps him stand out.  There’s a lot of fun detail work going on, with some notable wear and tear on his armor.  It gives him a realistic vibe, which works pretty well.  Fox is armed with a DC-15A long rifle and a pair of DC-17 pistols.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve pretty much thrown in the towel on resisting getting any of the Clone Commanders, so I knew I wanted Fox as soon as he was shown off.  That being said, it being Fox, I wasn’t in a major rush or anything.  I actually wound up picking him up from an All Time trade-in, back before I even got yesterday’s Cody figure.  I just kept putting off reviewing him because, you know, life, and all.  But, I figured, with Cody finally getting reviewed, I might as well clear out all of the Clone reviews on deck.  Fox isn’t the most impressive of the Clones, but he’s got a distinctive look, and now I’ve got a red one, so that’s cool.

#2704: Clone Commander Cody

CLONE COMMANDER CODY

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A natural and practical leader in the clone army, Clone Commander Cody was a good fit for General Kenobi, to whom he was particularly loyal.”

While they’ve stepped it up a little bit in the last few years, when The Black Series launched, the prequel component was pretty light.  In the first three years of the line, there were only seven prequel figures, four of them being Clone variants of some form or another.  Just prior to wrapping up the line’s second incarnation, just before the re-branding for The Force Awakens, they put out their first actually named clone, Commander Cody, who was in an otherwise OT-based assortment.  He was easy to overlook at the time, but as we’ve gotten more and more of the other Clone Commanders, he’s become rather a desired entry in the line.  Thankfully, he just got a re-release as part of the Archive line-up.  Not that I’m reviewing that release here, but I’ll get to that later.  Onto the figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Before being re-issued in the third assortment of The Black Series Archive, Commander Cody was originally released in early 2015, as #14 in the Blue Line incarnation of The Black Series, heading off the final assortment of that incarnation (alongside the previously reviewed Leia as Boushh and IG-88).  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and has 29 points of articulation.  Cody is built on the the original Clone Trooper body.  He got a new head, upper torso, shoulder pads, and upper right arm in order to replicate Cody’s more personalized armor elements.  The original Clone body does show its age these days, but it was still quite good for the time, and it’s certainly not terrible.  Cody’s new shoulder pads even address the issue with the standard body by giving him a slightly better clearance, and thereby a better range of motion on those particular joints.  The Cody-specific parts are all really nicely sculpted, and have quite a lot of deep detail work.  His armor shows some more wear and tear than the rest of the Clones, which is appropriate for the character.  By far my favorite piece is the head, which manages to be a nicer, sharper recreation of the Phase II helmet than the standard one that later followed, with deeper detailing, and a far better range of motion on the neck joint than the regular helmet as well.  Cody’s paint work is pretty solid; while the pre-TFA stuff had some issues with paintwork, there was a real reversal on this final assortment before the switch-over.  Cody followed that set up, and actually has some decent work.  The orange stripes on his main armor have some nice simulated wear, and the knee pads have some cool accenting to make them look dirty and messed up.  The white sections of the armor could perhaps use some slight accenting to bring out some of the sculpted damage, but accenting on white can be very tricky, so it’s probably for the best that it was just left out.  Cody is packed with both the DC-15 and DC15A blasters, which have become the norm for the Clones.  Interestingly, his helmet isn’t removable like some of the later Clone Commanders, despite Cody rather prominently taking off his helmet in his film appearance.  Ultimately, it’s probably for the best, however, since it means that this figure doesn’t have the older style paint on the head to contend with.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I passed on this guy when he was new because I was far more focussed on the other two figures in the set, and I was still trying to hold to my no prequels rule.  However, once Hasbro really started getting into the other Clone Commanders, I definitely regretting passing on him more and more.  Back over the summer, All Time had this guy come in with a whole Black Series collection, and I was interested, but the Archive was not yet announced, and that meant he was at the peak of his after market value.  That was outside my price range, so I passed, albeit somewhat disappointedly.  Max was evidently having none of that, and decided to be far to nice to me, and got me this guy anyway.  Sure, the Archive release is out now, but that doesn’t make how I got this one any less special, nor does it change the fact that I had him for a good six months before there was another opportunity.  Whichever release you get, this guy is really cool, and I’m glad to have him to round out the set.

#2663: Clone Trooper – Phase I

CLONE TROOPER — PHASE I

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Clone Troopers were so symbolic of the times, the galaxy-wide conflict that saw their debut took its name from their ranks: The Clone Wars.”

Oh, boy!  More Clone Troopers!  My favorite!  Like, actually, genuinely.  I’m not being sarcastic.  I just want to make sure that’s clear, because, very frequently on this site, when I open a review that way, I’m not tending to be terribly genuine with my words.  But I am this time.  For real!  …So, yeah.  Let’s review this Clone Trooper figure that I’m genuinely very happy to have, and I’ll try not to be any more suspicious and weird about it, yeah?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Phase I Clone Trooper is part of the second Phase IV assortment of Star Wars: The Black Series.  I know, that’s a lot of phases, huh?  He’s the second figure in the Attack of the Clones sub-set, following up on the Walgreens-exclusive Clone Lieutenant.  I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to wind up having a fair number of clones for this particular sub-line.  Despite the fact that he’s a direct follow-up to the Lieutenant, and logic would dictate that the two of them would be identical from a sculpting standpoint, they are, in fact, completely different figures.  While the Lieutenant was a re-use of the original Clone mold (which I reviewed as the Clone Sergeant), this one is built on the all-new Clone Trooper tooling introduced in the first Phase IV assortment with the Kamino Clone.  Why they didn’t just hold off and do the Lieutenant on the new body is anyone’s guess, but I’m just focusing on this guy, not dissecting the insanity that is Hasbro’s production choices.  This figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Apart from a new helmet, he’s the same sculpt as the Kamino Clone, which is fine by me.  I was a big fan of that mold, with its improved range of motion, and its much sharper sculpting.  I look forward to buying as many times as Hasbro sees fit to re-use it, because I’m a sucker for a decent Clone Trooper.  The new helmet is what makes this guy a proper Phase I Clone, and it’s a really nice piece.  I quite like it.  Like the Phase II helmet, it’s been placed atop an unpainted clone head, no doubt future proofing for when they branch into the named clones from Clone Wars.  In terms of paint, this guy’s a touch more basic than the Kamino release, being a standard Shiny.  Those were the ones we saw the most of, especially in AotC, so it makes sense to start here.  It’s a good, clean look, but keeps all of the proper accent work.  He’s packed with the he DC-15A rifle and DC-15S blasters, same as the Kamino release.  I do like that we actually get them both, since the Stormtroopers are down to just one weapon each.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After thoroughly enjoying the Kamino Trooper, I’ve been clamoring to get some more figures on this mold, and was very definitely interested in seeing some Phase I guys.  The Lieutenant through me for a bit of a loop, but then they showed this guy off, and I was back in.  This was probably my most wanted figure out of this assortment, even though there’s not technically a lot new going on.  It’s just a really strong base to start with, and I’m very excited by the prospect of getting all manner of ranks and individualized clones as we move forward.  In the mean time, this guy really tides me over.

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.

#2583: Clone Trooper – Kamino

CLONE TROOPER — KAMINO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Clone Troopers were grown on the planet Kamino from the genetic template of bounty hunter Jango Fett and made into a highly-efficient military force.”

Ah, yes, the Clone Troopers.  My gateway drug into having prequel stuff in my Black Series collection.  Thanks a lot, clones.  Over there bein’ all awesome and stuff.  Why’d you have to be like that?  Awww, you know I can’t stay mad at you, clones.  You’re just too darn cool! Well, guess I better just buy a whole slew of new ones, right?  Cool.  Cool cool cool.  No doubt, no doubt.  Sure is convenient that there’s, like, a slew of new ones on the horizon, isn’t it?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The Kamino Clone Trooper is part of the first assortment of the latest relaunch of Star Wars: The Black Series.  As noted in the Rebels Hera review, these new figures ditch the numbering scheme of the prior lines, and each have a little mural, separated by their source material.  The Kamino Trooper is based on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and is at launch the only figure from that set (though there’s the whole currently Walmart-exclusive Siege of Mandalor sub-set, as well as a Cad Bane that will be added for the next assortment).  This clone is a show-exclusive design, seen on the Kamino security officers in the episodes “Conspiracy” and “Fugitive.”  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  The major selling point on this particular clone is that he’s the first to utilize the all-new Clone Trooper base body that Hasbro’s rolling out with this Black Series re-launch.  Honestly, it’s overdue.  The old clone body was great for its time, but The Black Series has improved its articulation schemes leaps and bounds in the past six years since that base’s introduction, and it was really starting to show its age.  We’d already seen an update with Rex, but that was a more commander-oriented body.  This one’s far more all-purpose.  While it’s technically got less joints, the range on those joints is a lot better, allowing this clone to get far deeper poses.  He actually can hold his rifle correctly (something the prior body struggled with), and he can get into a pretty solid crouch on one knee pose, which is something the other figure couldn’t do at all.  Really just a head to toe improvement on posing.  But, it’s not just the range of motion that’s impressive; the cohesiveness of the sculpt is also still preserved, and in fact improved over the original mold.  The armor is cleanly recreated and looks really slick.  The helmet is certainly the best Phase II helmet we’ve seen from the line as well, and there’s actually a full head up under it, although it’s unpainted and the helmet’s glued in place.  Still, they’re clearly doing some future planning with that piece.  The paint work on this guy is pretty strong.  It’s very grey, of course, but that’s accurate.  There’s a lot of markings on this particular design, and the application is all pretty sharp.  I really love the shoulder pads in particular; they’re really clean, and it’s just a cool design.  The Kamino Trooper is packed with both the DC-15A rifle and DC-15S blaster.  Like the clone, they appear to be new molds, but it’s hard to say quite as definitively.  They certainly work well, and it’s nice that he still gets both options.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I like clones, and as I’ve gotten more into my collecting of this line, I’ve grown to like the clones even more.  It’s been a bit since we’ve gotten any troopers, and doing a rewatch of the show leading up to the finale certainly made me want to see more of them in the line.  So, this guy was probably my most wanted out of the new line-up.  As luck would have it, he was also the first I was able to get my hands on.  He’s really awesome, and I look forward to getting a whole slew of other clones built on this body.

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.

#2397: AT-RT (w/ ARF Trooper Boil)

AT-RT (w/ ARF TROOPER BOIL)

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Clone trooper Boil pilots an AT-RT during the battle to retake Geonosis. An AT-RT (All Terrain Recon Transport) is a one-man walker armed with a repeating laser cannon. With its height, mobility and speed, the walker allows Boil to support the embattled Republic forces as they fight waves of battle droids and Geonosian warriors.”

Since I reviewed Waxer yesterday, it feels kind of wrong to leave this pair incomplete.  It’s okay, because Hasbro was way ahead of me on that one, and saw fit to, you know, actually release a Boil that matched with yesterday’s Waxer…before they had even released that Waxer, in fact.  That sure was nice of them.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Boil and the AT-RT were released in 2010, as part of the Deluxe Figures sub-line of Hasbro’s Clone Wars tie-in.  Each entry in the line was one standard figure paired off with a smaller-scale vehicle.  There were a lot of main character variants included, but it did serve as a way for us to get a handful of new or slightly more unique character, including quite a number of clone variants.  This was the second ARF Trooper and AT-RT pairing released in the line, and wouldn’t end up being the last.  It was, however, the only one with a named clone.  Boil is pretty much the same figure as the Waxer I reviewed yesterday, being the same core body and all.  I love the core body, and it’s supposed to be the same armor, so that’s hardly a bad thing.  He does change up some things on the paint front a bit.  His colors are ever so slightly different from Waxer’s, likely due to them being produced a year apart from each other.  It’s not really that noticeable, unless you do something stupid like photograph both of them together under heavy contrast lighting.  But who would do something stupid like that?  Other than that, Boil also ports over his markings from his standard armor, with again the exception of some Numa-inspired graffiti, this time on the right side of his visor.  Again, it’s probably my favorite touch on these figures, because it clearly denotes who they’re supposed to be.  Boil doesn’t get the heavy gun like Waxer, but he’s still got the standard blaster and a stand.  Oh, right, and the AT-RT, of course.  First appearing in Revenge of the Sith, the AT-RTs were put to good use in The Clone Wars, and the mold was put to good use here in the toyline.  I’ve actually looked at a good chunk of it before, since it got repurposed for the Assault Walker from the Force Awakens line.  I liked that one well enough, and that was honestly a dumbed down version of this mold.  This one is more clearly designed to work with the included figure, and while it’s still not as articulated as the ones from the show, it’s a pretty nifty little vehicle, and certainly brings value to this set beyond just the Boil figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Boil came from the same collection at All Time that got me the matching Waxer, as well as the *other* Boil and Waxer.  I actually held off on this one a little bit, because there were two in the collection, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy the whole walker just to get a Boil to go with my Waxer.  Ultimately, I decided it was probably worth my time, and I’m glad I did, because it’s a fun little set in its own right.  Sure, Boil is only superficially different from the Waxer figure I already had, but I like having the two of them in yet another style, and now I’ve finally got one of the AT-RTs to go with the handful of ARF Troopers I’ve already got in my collection.  That’s pretty nifty!

As I touched on above,  I got this set from my friends at All Time Toys.  While the Clone Wars stuff moved pretty fast, they’ve got other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.