#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.

#2396: ARF Trooper Waxer & Battle Droid

ARF TROOPER WAXER & BATTLE DROID

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Clone troopers fight battle droids to destroy a Separatist weapons factory. ARF trooper Waxer scouts ahead to gather information about the enemy. He runs into a squad of battle droids, and stops these robotic warriors before they reveal his position.”

Star Wars: The Clone Wars leaned pretty heavily on its cast of clones, a fitting choice given the title.  In order to actually keep the show interesting, they made a point of giving the clones personalities, in contrast to the fairly mindless squadrons of them we’d seen in the films.  While some of them were just one offs, others were popular enough to get a few appearances under their belts.  My personal favorite pair were Boil and Waxer, a bickering odd couple that first appeared in “Innocents of Ryloth” and would make a handful of other appearances as the show progressed.  Today, I’m looking at my boy Waxer’s second figure from Hasbro’s main toyline, which faced him off against a Battle Droid!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

ARF Trooper Waxer and the Battle Droid were released as part of Hasbro’s Clone Wars line as a Target-exclusive two-pack in 2011, hitting alongside a Special Ops Clone Trooper and Geonosian Drone set.  Both pairs were based on the Season 2 episode “Landing at Point Rain.”

ARF TROOPER WAXER

For “Landing at Point Rain,” a good chunk of the clones got new, camouflaged armor.  In the case of Waxer, he actually traded up to the ARF trooper armor, which means he’s got not only a new paint scheme, but also a snazzy new helmet with a rather Biker Scout-inspired look.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall and he has 26 points of articulation.  Waxer’s just a repaint of the standard ARF Trooper from the main line.  I means he doesn’t get a removable helmet like his last figure (to be fair, he never takes it off in this gear anyway), but it also means he’s using the best Clone body that the line put out.  It’s got all the cool stuff of the usual clone body, but also throws a universal joint on the hips in place of the usual cut joints.  While it’s not a pitch perfect articulation set, it’s certainly a very good one, and means it’s really easy to get some good poses out of him.  The actual sculpt is also quite accurate to the animation models, and the helmet in particular is a real thing of beauty.  Waxer’s paintwork is quite involved, since he has to get the Geonosis-style camo, all throughout, which means he’s got some sort of painted detailing pretty much all over.  He also gets his character-specific markings, which match up with his standard armor, with the exception of one new detail: he’s got a little drawing of Numa, the Twi’lek he helped rescue in “Innocents” on the back of his helmet.  This detail was one of the coolest things added in the show, and It’s really awesome that Hasbro remembered to include it here.  Waxer gets a standard DC-15S blaster, plus a D-6 rotary blaster, a firing missile, and a display stand.

BATTLE DROID

I’ve never been much for the basic Battle Droids, and I felt that one of the best things that Clone Wars did was introduce the likes of the Commando Droids in order to shift the focus a bit.  Because of this, I never got any of the standard Battle Droids.  But, this one was packed with Waxer, so I guess I had to get him.  The figure stands 4 inches tall and he has…okay hang on, I have to amend the first part first part: he’s 4 inches tall.  He doesn’t do much standing, which is my first big issue with the guy.  He simply can’t stand without something to hold him up.  He’s got 8 points of articulation, which is my next thing.  The arms on this guy are great…and that’s about it when it comes to the articulation.  Despite all those obvious joints being there in the design, they aren’t articulated for the most part.  The legs in particular are bad, because they just get the cut joints at the hips, and nothing more.  That certainly doesn’t help with the issues of standing.  Also not helping is the fact that this guy is just warped all over the place.  His legs, his neck, even his forearms are all warped out of their proper shaping, and he came out of the box that way.  At the very least, the sculpt looks like what it’s supposed to, so he’s got that going for him.  The Battle Droid’s coloring is the darker Geonosis shading, which honestly looks a bit better in general.  He’s got yellow markings, which I believe makes him a Commander.  Good for him, I guess.  He’s packed with an E-5 blaster (which he can’t hold correctly) and a display stand (not the one pictured, that’s a Pro-Tech stand).

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Last summer, All Time got in a pretty heft Clone Wars collection, which was the source of the Assault on Ryloth pack that I picked up and reviewed at the time.  I also grabbed quite a few others, which included this pair which, like so many other Clone Wars releases, I missed when they were first released.  It wasn’t a hard sell, since it’s Waxer, who’s my favorite clone, wearing the ARF armor, which is my favorite armor.  He’s awesome, and I’m glad to have him.  The Battle Droid’s not great, and I remember part of why I didn’t pick any of them up in the first place.  Hey, at least I got Waxer.

As I touched on above,  I got these guys 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.

#2355: Clone Commander Bly

CLONE COMMANDER BLY

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“A veteran of many Clone Wars battles, Clone Comander Bly (clone designation CC-5052) served in the 327th Star Corps on such worlds as Quell, Maridun, and Felucia.”

When first introduced during the climax of Attack of the Clones, the Clone Troopers had no names, no personality to speak of, and no hint of individuality.  It wasn’t until Revenge of the Sith that we really got any hint of there being more to the clones than that, with the introduction of a handful of named individual clone commanders.  Amongst that handful of clones commanders was Bly, whom I’ll be taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Commander Bly is figure 104 in the Black Series line-up.  Amazingly, he’s only our third clone commanding officer in the main line, and only the second under the current numbering system (the two prior figures being Cody under the blue-style packaging, and Rex under the current set-up).  Bly was one of the clones who we saw in both sets of armor over the course of The Clone Wars and the movies, but the figure opts for his Phase II appearance from Revenge of the Sith.  It’s sensible, given that all of our commanders so far have been in their Phase II armor, making for a more cohesive appearance. The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  While the vast majority of the clones use the same pool of standard clone parts, Bly marks the first time we’ve seen a re-use of the upgraded parts used by Rex.  I’ve been waiting to see these parts re-appear since they were introduced with Rex, and I’m very happy to finally see them again.  They’re a noticeable improvement over the other body, especially in terms of the poseability on the arms, making Bly a far more playable figure than most of the other clones.  Bly uses the lower right arm, left arm, pelvis, legs, feet, and the back of the torso from Rex, a slightly modified version of the standard Phase II helmet with a visor, and a new front torso, upper right arm, pauldron, and belt.  It’s actually a fairly large number new parts, and more than I’d been expecting to see here, but they’re really nice parts, and match nicely with the pre-existing parts, as well as the source material.  It all makes for a really sharp looking figure.  The only downside is that he’s still got only one trigger finger, despite having the dual pistols, though at least in Bly’s case the dual pistols aren’t his primary weaponry, unlike Rex and Wolf.  Bly’s paintwork is pretty strong; his distinct markings are replicated, but they have been properly weathered and scarred, showing that Bly’s been on the battlefield for a while.  Bly is packed with his DC-15A blaster rifle and a pair of DC-17 hand blasters, which a fairly standard selection for a clone release, and honestly pretty good for one that uses so many new parts.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Back in 2005, when the original Bly figure was released, I came across both him and Gree at retail, but was unable to buy them at the time.  While I was able to track down a Gree, I went many years without a single Bly in my collection, and have long viewed him as the one that got away.  I actually managed to get one a few months go…just in time for this guy to be announced.  Oh well, now I’ve got them both!  I really like this guy a lot, and he’s honestly the best clone Hasbro’s put out, and narrowly edges out Zorii Bliss as my favorite figure in this assortment.  Here’s hoping for more like Bly!

Bly was purchased from my friends at All Time Toys.  If you’re looking for Black Series, or other toys both old and new, please check out their website and their eBay storefront.

#2119: Assault on Ryloth

WAXER, BOIL, CLONE COMMANDER CODY, & MACE WINDU

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Jedi generals and clone troopers battle the Separatists who have taken control of the planet Ryloth, homeworld of the Twi’leks. Mace Windu coordinates battle plans as he prepares to bring gunships onto the planet. Clone Troopers Waxer and Boil, who are eager for combat, join Clone Commander Cody on a mission to free Twi’lek prisoners being used as shields to protect a deadly proton cannon.”

Fairly early on in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the show runners realized that a show with “Clone” in the title was going to have to lean pretty heavily on clones as characters.  With that taken into consideration, the previous depictions of clones literally just being whole squadrons of the same guy a couple dozen times over wasn’t going to work.  Over the course of the show’s first season, they began introducing the audience to lots of troopers, all with individual names and personalities, many of them even getting their own small arcs.  There were a few clone-centered early on, which included my personal favorite episode, “Innocents of Ryloth,” the middle entry of Season 1’s Ryloth trilogy.  “Innocents” brought in troopers Waxer and Boil, and bickering pair that would crop up a couple more times over the course of the show.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Waxer, Boil, Clone Commander Cody, and Mace Windu make up the “Assualt on Ryloth” Battle Pack, which was available exclusively at Target in 2009.  The set is based primarily on “Innocents,” though Mace’s presence brings in the follow-up, “Liberty on Ryloth.”

WAXER

Technically, Waxer appeared prior to “Innocents,” as part of the tie-in comic “Slaves of the Republic.”  Of course, the timing is close enough that Waxer was likely created for the show first and dropped into the comic later, given production cycles and all.  Whatever the case, Waxer’s appearance in “Innocents” is certainly the better showcase.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 24 points of articulation.  All of the figures in this set were built from pre-existing molds, which really isn’t too surprising for Waxer, what with him being a clone and all.  Nevertheless, there’s a surprising amount of frankenstiening going on here.  Waxer uses the body of Clone Trooper Denal (meaning he’s got a spot for a backpack…not that he includes one, of course), with Commander Thire’s dual holster-sporting belt, and the original Captain Rex head, all topped off with the upgraded removable helmet first seen on Gree.  The holsters on the belt on show accurate, and I’m not entirely sure why they went with the torso with the peghole, but beyond that Waxer’s as good as any figure built from the basic clone parts, which is to say he’s very good.  He poses well, and his helmet sits properly and tightly on the head, and he’s fairly accurate to the animation models.  His paintwork is solid stuff, though it’s worth noting this set was released in a period when Hasbro was going for cleaned up clones.  He still gets his proper 212th markings, as well as his personalized helmet, with tally marks and all.  Waxer is packed with a pair of DC-17 Blaster pistols, as well as a DC-15A rifle.  Technically, he’s carrying the 15C in the episode, but it’s not like I don’t have a bunch of those I can give him, including one of the two in this very set.

BOIL

Though he never seemed to get the same prominence as Waxer, Boil ended up as the more fortunate of the two, since he was one of the few prominent clones still alive at the end of the show’s run…at least as far as we knew.  Boil and Waxer’s designs were very similar, but Boil ended up sticking with the Rex/Basic Trooper hybrid body that was first introduced with Matchstick, with the head of Commander Cody.  No extra holsters or spots for back packs on him.  He does *technically* still have Cody’s molded scars on his forehead, but there’s enough else going on that you really don’t notice them.  Beyond that, he’s another pretty solid clone figure.  His paint does change up things ever so slightly from Waxer.  Obviously the head’s different, what with the mustache and all, as is the helmet, which has Boil’s specific markings and graffiti.  There’s one more rather minor change between the two: Boil has solid colors on the shoulders, while Waxer had stripes.  In the show, they actually both had stripes, but when they they got their ARF armor in their second appearance, Boil had one solid shoulder to further distinguish.  This figure just carries that forward symmetrically.  It’s not technically show accurate, but I really don’t mind the slight change for the sake of a slightly more unique figure.  Boil isn’t quite as heavily armed as Waxer, with only a DC-15C blaster rifle.

CLONE COMMANDER CODY

As the clone in charge of Waxer and Boil’s battalion, Cody’s definitely a sensible choice for inclusion.  He’s essentially just a reissue of his single release figure from the main line.  Cody shared his legs and lower arms with the standard early line clones, but had his own head, torso, pelvis, and upper arms.  The head is the same one I just looked at for Boil, but the scarring now makes sense.  The other parts incorporate Cody’s unique armor elements.  Curiously, his torso, and especially his waist, is really skinny when compared to all of the other Clones released around the same time.  Was Cody just more conscious of his figure?  Whatever the case, Cody’s sculpt is just as strong as the other two clones, making him another really solid figure offering.  For the most part, Cody’s paint is identical to his single release, though the orange on his armor was dulled down a bit to better match Waxer and Boil, and he also loses the painted aspect of his facial scar.  Cody included his removable helmet, as well as a DC-15C blaster rifle.

MACE WINDU

Windu is honestly the weirdest choice in this set, since he only has a small role at the beginning and end of “Innocents,” with the primary Jedi being Obi-Wan.  While Windu wraps up the Ryloth Trilogy in the next episode, it’s without Waxer, Boil, and Cody.  I’d wager that the main reason he was chosen over Kenobi is that he was the rarer figure at the time, and Hasbro wanted collectors to get another shot.  Worked out for me, since I didn’t have a Windu.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation.  For whatever reason, the initial Jedi for this line weren’t given full articulation, so Mace lacks any sort of knee or ankle movement.  It definitely cuts down on the crazy action poses.  Despite the reduced articulation, his sculpt is actually pretty solid.  It’s a decent translation of the animation model, and fits in well with the rest of the line.  His paintwork is pretty minimal, with just a lot of browns for the most part.  For whatever reason, his eyebrows went from dark brown on the single to an orange here, which looks a little off, but really only if you closely examine him.  It honestly reads as him just not having eyebrows most of the time.  Windu included his lightsaber, plus a helmet, collar, and shoulder pads to give him some clone armor.  He also includes a spring-loaded waist joint, which gives him a sort of a slashing feature when you pull it back.  Yay?

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

With “Innocents” being my favorite episode of the show, you’d think that this set would have been on my list from day one, right?  I mean, I got the high-end Sideshow set, right?  Yeah, well this pack wasn’t anywhere near as easily gotten as the Sideshow figures, so I actually didn’t have them.  In fact, for the longest time, I just passed off my generic 212th trooper as one of them.  It wasn’t until the set got traded into All Time a couple of weeks ago that I finally had my chance, and while they may have been a little pricey, I kind of counted them as a birthday present to myself.  Expensive as they may be, I really like the Waxer and Boil included here, and I’m happy to have finally gotten them.  It’s just too bad we never got a Numa to go with them.

#1854: Captain Rex

CLONE CAPTAIN REX

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Clone Captain Rex served the Republic during the Clone Wars, often taking orders from Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano.  He viewed military service as an honor, and he always completed his mission.”

When The Black Series launched, I was sticking to a pretty firm “no prequels” rule.  Even before breaking that rule so many times over, I had a small few exceptions.  Amongst them was the focus of today’s review, Clone Captain Rex.  Introduced during the second Clone Wars cartoon, Rex has become one of the biggest break-out characters of the entire prequel era, and is, for me, one of that whole shebang’s most redeeming aspects.  And now I have yet another Rex figure.  Noice.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Captain Rex was initially released as an exclusive to HasCon last year, before seeing a proper release as figure 59 in the main Black Series line-up, hitting stores in the same early 2018 assortment as Island Journey Rey and DJ.  This Rex, like his smaller Black Series counterpart, is based on his design from the end of the Clone Wars show, as they approached the Revenge of the Sith aesthetic.  The figure stands 6 1/4 inches tall and he has 31 points of articulation.  All of the prior Black Series Clone Trooper releases I’ve looked at have drawn from the same pool of parts.  This figure, on the other hand, uses an entirely unique sculpt.  As much as I like that old sculpt, I definitely appreciate the changed-up design here, which has sharper detailing, slightly more balanced proportions, and a much more-improved range of motion on the joints.  The articulation is definitely my favorite aspect of the new sculpt, especially the shoulders, which actually slot into the shoulder socket, rather than just pushing upward.  Like Wolffe, Rex features a removable helmet, which is reasonable enough, though I can’t say that Rex’s animated design has translated all that well to the realistic styling.  Fortunately, the helmet is very nicely sculpted and stays on tightly once in place, so you never have to take it off if you don’t want to.  Rex’s paint work is one of the best Black Series offerings I’ve gotten.  All of the base work is cleanly applied, he’s got some pretty solid weathering on the armored sections (though it gets a little heavy on his helmet and the belt), and he even has all of the tally marks, like his smaller version, no doubt tracking his kill count.  It’s a fun little touch, and I’m glad it was included here.  Rex is packed with his twin blaster pistols, which are the same ones we saw with Wolffe, and are a very sensible choice for Rex, since he was usually seen carrying them.  Like with Wolffe, to have Rex properly dual-wield them, you will need to free his left hand’s trigger finger from the other three, though.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, as noted, I’m a pretty big fan of Rex.  I couldn’t get the exclusive, so I was definitely down for the mass release…or I would have been if I had been able to find him anywhere.  But, try and try as I may, I had no luck with that.  Fortunately, Hasbro’s been working to get out re-freshes of some of the harder to find figures, so I was able to get in on a preorder for one of those.  It took its sweet time to get here, but he was certainly worth the wait.  By far, Rex is the strongest of the Clone Commanders we’ve gotten, and I’m really happy that I was able to get a hold of one.

#1751: Clone Commander Wolffe

CLONE COMMANDER WOLFFE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

“Clone Commander Wolffe (clone designation CC-3636) served in the Clne Wars as commander of the tight-knit unit known as the Wolfpack. A seasoned and battered combatant, Wolffe has witnessed some of the worst the war has to offer. Despite tragedy, he fights on bravely, proudly brandishing his battle scars and instilling loyalty among his men.”

I swore to myself I wasn’t going to do this.  I swore I wasn’t going to get roped into all these 6-inch clone troopers.  I stood there, Commander Cody in my hand and said “no.”  I broke the rule for Commander Gree, but come on, he’s Gree.  I can’t not buy Gree.  Except now, I’ve got this thing, where every time the subject of another Clone Commander comes up, there’s this little voice in the back of my head that says “he’d look pretty cool standing next to that Gree figure you have.”  Guess I’m just admitting defeat on this one.  Well, here’s Clone Commander Wolffe.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Clone Commander Wolffe is an exclusive item from Hasbro’s The Black Series, who sort of stretches the whole “exclusive” label, being available at GameStop, Barnes & Noble, EB Games, and Disney Parks locations.  Feels a bit like they decided his exclusive status by throwing darts at the wall there.  At least this way, he should be pretty easy to track down.  Wolffe had quite a few designs over the course of Clone Wars, beginning his journey as just a uniformed officer, before eventually armoring up.  This figure represents him from nearer the end of the show, after the clones had switched over to their Phase II armor like we saw in RotS.  It’s Wolffe’s most unique look, and it also means he matches the other Clone Commanders we’ve gotten so far.  The figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation.  As with Gree, Wolffe shares a lot of his pieces with the Clone Sergeant I reviewed a ways back.  It’s certainly a serviceable body, but just the tiniest bit frustrating, since an improved version was introduced with Captain Rex.  This one is beginning to show it’s age, especially when it comes to posablility; those shoulders are quite restricted.  In addition, it means he’s still using the exact same hands as the other Clones, which are configured for holding a rifle two-handed.  As such, he lacks a proper trigger finger on his left hand, preventing him from holding both of his pistols correctly.  It’s a quick modification to separate the index finger, of course, but it’s still the sort of thing Hasbro probably wants to invest in going forward.  Wolffe gets a new head, and left shoulder pad, as well as borrowing the belt from Rex.  The head gives us a look at Wolffe’s scarred unmasked face, which is a pretty fun sculpt, though I’m not sure I’m seeing much Temuera Morrison in the sculpt.  Still, that scar over his eye is quite impressive.  He gets helmet to go over the head, of course; Wolffe’s helmet is a more unique one, with a different visor set up, as well as the common rangefinder addition.  It goes pretty well over the head, and you probably wouldn’t guess it was removable if you didn’t already know.  The belt piece is a simple variation on the basic clone belt, but with two holsters and a cloth kama attached to it.  I do wish the kama were just a touch longer, but that’s a fairly minor complaint.  Wolffe’s paintwork is pretty decent.  All of his character-specific armor detailing has been gotten down, especially on the helmet.  He’s got a few bits of weathering, though they aren’t quite as convincing as some of the other troopers.  His head gets the face printing, which helps him look more lifelike.  In addition to the removable helmet, Wolffe also gets the previously mentioned blaster pistols.  It’s a shame he couldn’t also get one of the rifles, but the helmet and two guns are enough to keep him from feeling too light.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Having missed out on Rex, I was as bit more committed to getting this guy.  Fortunately for me, Super Awesome Fiancee works at GameStop, so I was able to enlist her help in getting one.  He’s not Rex or Gree, but Wolffe is still a pretty darn cool looking guy, and minor flaws aside, he translated well into this Black Series release.

#1426: Clone Commander Gree

CLONE COMMANDER GREE

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

“Clone Commander Gree, designation 1004, led the Elite Corps of clone troopers during the Clone Wars.  He saw deployments on such heated battlefronts as Kashyyyk.  Though a faithful commander who carried out the Jedi’s orders, Gree was ultimately loyal to the Republic.”

I’ve spent two whole weeks looking at the smaller scale offerings for The Last Jedi, but I’ve not yet looked at any of Hasbro’s other big line, The Black Series.  There’s a simple reason for this:  I’ve yet to see most of the new Black Series stuff anywhere.  I did manage grab at least one figure, albeit not one of the characters from the new movie.  Instead, we jump back to the Prequels (I know, not my first choice either), and take a look at one of my favorite clones, Clone Commander Gree!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Commander Gree is a Toys R Us exclusive offering for Star Wars: The Black Series.  A smaller supply of this figure initially showed up at SDCC this year, but the vast majority of figures showed up at TRU retail stores for Force Friday, allowing Gree to take the slot taken by the Snowtrooper Commander and Hovertank Driver in years past.  The figure stands about 6 inches tall and has 31 points of articulation.  Gree is seen here in his Phase II Clone Trooper from Revenge of the Sith.  It’s definitely the more distinct of his two designs, and thus not a surprise for this figure at all.  Gree is largely built from the same pieces as the Clone Sergeant I reviewed way back when. It was a good sculpt then, and it’s still a good sculpt now.  Gree obviously gets the Phase II helmet in place of the Phase I version, and it fits well on the body and looks far more accurate than a good number of other Phase II trooper figures.  Gree gets a unique torso and left thigh piece as well, patterned after the standard pieces, but adding some of Gree’s extra straps and such.  The torso even gets a port for a removable antennae, which is a nice touch, though the antennae has a tendency to fall out of place a lot.  Paint is the most important part of a good Commander Gree figure, and this figure definitely delivers on that front.  All of the colors match up very nicely with his on-screen color scheme, and the level of detailing, especially on the camouflaged areas of the armor, is just top notch.  They’ve even included a good deal of silver detailing, showcasing the wear and tear that Gree’s armor’s undergone.  That’s a detail that’s largely been left off of the smaller figures, so I’m very glad to see it show up here.  Gree is actually quite well accessorized for a Black Series release, getting both small and large blaster rifles, and a pair of quadnoculars to hold.  I wouldn’t have minded an unmasked head as well, but that’s still more than what’s been included with prior 6″ troopers.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I first started collecting The Black Series, my one rule was no Prequel figures.  I broke that rule for the Clone Sergeant, but I’ve stuck to it since.  However, even when I decided on that rule, I knew this guy would be an exception.  Gree’s always been my favorite of the Clone Commanders, and I have just about every other figure of him, so I certainly wasn’t passing on this one.  My TRU didn’t get any Black Series figures on Force Friday, but this guy showed up about a week later.  This is easily the best Gree figure ever released, and definitely one of my favorite Black Series figures.

#1330: Arc Trooper

ARC TROOPER

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Through the creative vision of Lucasfilm Ltd. and the Cartoon Network, the Clone Wars are brought to life in an exciting new series of short animated chapters. A unique animation style captures the drama of this epic period in galactic history along with its outstanding heroes and adversaries. Noble Jedi warriors lead Clone Troopers into battle against the evil Separatist forces and their droid armies. Anakin, Obi-Wan, Yoda and their comrades struggle against the rising power of the dark side and confront personal challenges against a backdrop of war-torn planets”

Easily the best thing to come out of the Star Wars prequels is Genndy Tartakovsky’s Star Wars: Clone Wars micro series, released in the period between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.  It was the most fun that Star Wars had been since the original trilogy.  There were a couple of cool new ideas introduced by the series, including the Advanced Recon Commando Troopers, or ARC Troopers, an advanced group of clones personally trained by Jango Fett before his demise.  I’ll be taking a look at one of them today!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

The ARC Trooper was released in the 2005 assortment of Hasbro’s animated-style Star Wars: Clone Wars line.  Though the figure is simply named “ARC Trooper,” he appears to be specifically based on Captain Fordo, the lead ARC Trooper from the series.  The figure stands about 3 1/2 inches tall (he’d be closer to 4 if he were standing upright) and he has 4 points of articulation.  This line was specifically based on Tartakovsky’s line-art from the series.  He’s style is very fluid, which means the figures are rather limited on the articulation front.  A number of figures opted for a more static pose, but the ARC Trooper was actually sculpted in a rather pre-posed manner.  He’s mid-stride, with his right outstretched in a commanding motion and his left down by his side holding a blaster.  While I’m generally not a huge fan of pre-posing on action figures, this is definitely one time where it really works, because it aids in capturing that fluid style I was talking about.  The sculpt does an overall pretty solid job of capturing the distinctive design of the clones from the cartoon.  The only slightly off part is the helmet; on the show, the helmets bowed inward at the bottom, but here it flares out.  It doesn’t result in a super different look or anything, but it’s ever so slightly off.  Still, it’s quite a nice sculpt.  The paintwork on this guy is pretty straightforward.  It’s just flat colors, as it should be.  The application is mostly pretty clean, though there’s a bit of slop on the edges of the kama.  Fordo included a pair of blasters, which can either be held or stowed in his fully-functioning holsters.  He also included the same black display stand included with all of the Clone Wars figures, though, surprisingly, he doesn’t really need it.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Captain Fordo was my first Clone Wars figure.  I was always interested in the line, but all the figures I wanted were in hot demand at the time, so I could never find them in stores.  I ended up getting this guy while on a day trip with my dad and my brother.  We had gone to a small comic show, which had been a bust in terms of action figures, so my dad took us to a Target on the way back and let us each pick something out.  Christian got an Anakin and I got this guy.  He’s not a super complex figure or anything, but I still really like him, and he reminds me that I should really track down more of this line.

#1181: Clone Commander Cody

CLONE COMMANDER CODY

LEGO STAR WARS: CONSTRACTION FIGURES

commcodylego1

Alright, let’s start off week three of the post-Christmas reviews by looking at…something from the same line as yesterday.  It’s like something different, only the exact opposite!  Like yesterday’s review, today’s subject comes from the somewhat contested Star Wars prequel trilogy.  In fact, he’s even the same actor as yesterday’s character, thanks to the wonders of cloning!  Yes, it’s everyone’s favorite clone commander who tried to kill Obi-Wan in Episode III, Clone Commander Cody!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

commcodylego2Commander Cody was another figure from the first assortment of Lego Star Wars: Constraction Figures, released during 2015’s Force Friday event.  Amazingly enough, Cody was the only Storm/Clone Trooper variant available in the first assortment.  The figure is assembled from 82 pieces and, like Jango, stands about 9 1/2 inches tall.  In terms of construction Cody is very similar to Jango, using most of the same basic pieces.  Upon closer inspection, several of the body pieces are clearly designed to be Clone Trooper armor, and it seems they were rather hastily refitted to be Jango’s distinctive Mandalorian togs.  That being the case, a lot of the pieces work a lot better for this guy, and he makes for a more faithful recreation of his on-screen counterpart.  The helmet, while still not as spot-on a recreation like K-2’s head, it’s more complex design makes for a more interesting sculpt than Jango’s.  I personally could still stand to have a little more detail present, but I definitely like this one.  Of the three Constraction figures I’ve looked at so far, Cody has the best paintwork by far.  Not only is the white and orange nice and vibrant, but he’s also got a ton of great detail work, especially on the torso.  There’s some fantastic weathering going on here.  Cody includes his larger blaster rifle, which is a surprisingly good recreation of the rifle seen in the movies.  That’s it.  No action feature for this guy.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like Jango, Cody was a Christmas present from Super Awesome Girlfriend’s parents, picked up during the same Walgreens sale.  Cody’s not my first choice of Clone Commander (Rex would be first, followed closely by Gree), but he’s not a bad character, and I’d be more inclined to pick him up than Jango.  The end result is definitely a superior figure to Jango, and probably one of the better Constraction figures Lego’s put out.  K-2’s still my favorite, but this guy’s a solid follow-up!

#1107: Captain Rex

CAPTAIN REX

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

rexrebels1

Ever since The Force Awakens re-launched everything, I’ve been on a pretty serious Star Wars kick, and it’s only gotten worse with all the Rogue One stuff.  One of the things I’m finally getting around to as part of said kick is watching Star Wars: Rebels.  I gotta say, I don’t know why I put it off for so long, it’s definitely a fun show.  One of the cool things about the show is how it’s connecting its predecessor Clone Wars with the Original Trilogy, by bringing in a few of Clone Wars’ original characters.  One of my personal favorites from Clone Wars was clone Captain Rex, who appears in Rebels during the second season.  I haven’t gotten to him on the show just yet, but that didn’t stop me from picking up his action figure!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

rexrebels2Captain Rex is from the towards the tail-end of the Star Wars: The Force Awakens line.  He was part of the third Desert Gear assortment, alongside Unkar Plutt and FN-2187.  This assortment technically hit back in February, but most places didn’t see it until early summer.  Rex is based on his Rebels appearance, which is a fair bit removed from his Clone Wars look, what with it being 15 years later and all.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has the basic 5 points of articulation we’ve come to expect from the standard 3 3/4-inch stuff.  Rex’s sculpt is unique to him, and it does an alright job translating his show design into plastic form.  I wouldn’t mind a bit more fine detailing here and there, but the overall appearance matches up pretty well.  For some reason, Rex has been sculpted with his chest puffed out bit and his neck set back.  The only way to get him to look forward is to tilt the head down as far as it will go on the ball joint, and even then he’s still sort of looking upward.  I’m not sure why they handled him that way, and it makes posing him rather difficult.  In terms of paint, Rex is certainly well executed from at technical standpoint, with most of the paintwork being rather clean.  The real issue is that he’s actually too clean.  His show design has the armor looking rather disheveled, but on the figure that’s really limited to just the bottom of his boots.  He doesn’t look terrible by any means, but he isn’t quite as cool as he could be either.  Rex includes a pair of small blaster pistols, just like the ones he carried during Clone Wars, which can be stored in the holsters on his legs.  He also has his helmet, which seems slightly oversized, but is still pretty cool.  I especially like that he still has the tally marks that he was sporting towards the end of TCW.  Lastly, Rex has a piece of the build-a-whatsit thing.  It’s a staff that fires a missile.  It’s actually not as lame as prior pieces, but still not adding much value to the figure.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I actually picked up Rex before starting Rebels, back during the summer.  I was in upstate New York with Super Awesome Girlfriend and her aunt and uncle on an RV trip, and I found this guy at the local Walmart.  Not gonna lie, I partly bought him because he was one of the few figures there I didn’t have, and I was sort of going into withdrawal due to not having ready access to internet and being in a town with literally nowhere to buy action figures (apart from said Walmart).  That being said, I’d been intrigued by this figure since seeing his prototype at SDCC.  I’ve always had a soft spot for Rex, and I look forward to seeing him on the show.