#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.

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#2118: Captain Rex – Jet Propulsion Pack

CAPTAIN REX — JET PROPULSION PACK

STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“Captain Rex takes the battle to new heights. When the clone captain needs to reach high elevations, he boosts his rocket pack with a space combat propulsion pack. With this additional gear, Rex can take on battle droids even in space, increasing his chances of stopping even more of the droid army.”

Star Wars: The Clone Wars had the good fortune of hitting pretty much at the height of the 3 3/4 inch line’s quality and popularity, but even with a strong start, Hasbro wasn’t content to sit back and just tread water.  This meant that there were improvements to how they were making the figures with each successive year of the line.  In order to keep things relatively balanced, the show’s main characters all found themselves getting an update every so often.  Given “Clone” was in the title, it’s no surprise that the series’ main clone, Captain Rex, found himself with some of the most figures of any one in the line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Jet Propulsion Pack Rex was released in 2011, as figure 62 in that year’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars Basic Series line-up.  He was the line’s third version of the character, following the initial release and his cold-weather variant.  This one used a fancy new accessory as an excuse to give us an all-new take on the character’s already in the toyline design, lest he be the only main character not to get an update following the Season 3 model changes.  Rex’s model didn’t change, but the upgrades to the way the figures were made meant his 2008 figure looked a bit out of place with Anakin, Obi-Wan, and Ahsoka’s new figures.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 20 points of articulation.  Despite most of the clones being built from a common pool of parts, Rex was instead an all-new sculpt.  With that all-new sculpt was a new articulation scheme, which has a bit of give and take.  While he lost the hinges at the wrists, as well as the entire joint at the ankles and mid-torso, the figure gains a set of ball-jointed hips, which were quite a bit deal.  For the longest time, it didn’t matter how well-articulated a Star Wars figure may be, they’d always be saddled with a t-crotch.  This line’s ARF Trooper had experimented in a slightly different style of hips, which had some side to side, but again there was some give and take, and a definite learning curve on how those joints worked.  This Rex just had pretty straight forward ball-jointed hips, giving him the best possible range of movement.  It’s too bad that other joints had to be cut to facilitate this, but I think they managed a reasonable balance given the circumstances.  Rex’s sculpt is certainly the most show-accurate version of the character we got in the line, and probably one of the most show-accurate clone sculpts that the line produced period.  The armor’s details are for the most part very crisp, the removeable helmet manages to retain its accuracy even when being made from a softer plastic, and the underlying unmasked head isn’t as undersized as others in the line.  It also doesn’t have that issue of looking far older than it should, which a lot of the earlier clones (including the prior Rex) did.  His kama is cloth this time, aiding in the articulation, and also more appropriately simulating the improved movement among the show’s models from the same time.  Lastly, it’s a minor thing, but this Rex has both of his hands sculpted with trigger fingers, meaning for one of the very few times, he is able to properly dual wield.  That’s kind of amazing.  Rex’s paintwork is pretty solid.  The line went back and forth on if they wanted to do weathering on the clones, and Rex sort of catches some of that.  He lacks the dark wash of his earliest figures, but still has wavy edges to the colored sections of his armor, showing that he painted those sections on himself, and that they’re starting to wear a bit.  About the only thing that really bugs me on this guy’s paint is that his viewfinder was left all-white, but that’s pretty minor.  Rex has a pretty extensive selection of extras.  There’s the removable helmet, of course, as well as his dual blaster pistols, so that you can have a proper basic Rex.  On top of that, he also gets a larger blaster pistol and the titular Jet Propulsion pack.  The pack has a little removable Mandolorian-styled jetpack attached to the back as well, which can be directly plugged into Rex’s back.  Rex was seen sporting just the smaller pack from time to time on the show, so it’s nice that they included that option.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When this figure was released, I was still very much collecting this line, but I was sort of in and out on it.  I don’t know if I saw this guy in the wild, but I may have assumed he wasn’t all that different from the original release, which I was pretty happy with.  It wasn’t until years later that I actually found out how different he was, and at that point tracking one down was more of an endeavor.  My chance at getting one arrived a couple of weeks ago, courtesy of All Time Toys, who just got in a Clone Wars collection.  While piecing them together, I picked out a few for myself, which did *not* include Rex here.  However, in addition to yesterday’s Minimate set, Max had also given me $20 in store credit, which was just enough to net me this guy.  For the record?  That makes this his fault again.

#2010: Senate Commandos

SENATE COMMANDO CAPTAIN & SENATE COMMANDO

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS (HASBRO)

“A Senate Commando captain and his elite commando team confront suspicious arrivals to the Senate building. The captain and troopers rush to the platform where Cad Bane has landed without permission. They are prepared for a fight if necessary, but are taken by surprise when Bane springs his trap.”

In the break in movies between Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens, the Star Wars franchise didn’t go on hiatus as it had between Jedi and Phantom Menace.  Instead, it was kept going by a multimedia affair, the two most obvious being, of course, the toys, and the animated series Clone Wars.  Clone Wars took a lot of concepts, designs, and characters from the prequels and put them to new use.  Or, honestly, just put them to use period.  One such example were the Senate Guards, precursors to the Imperial Royal Guard.  In the movies, they didn’t do much more than stand in the background of scenes and remind you that one day they’d be putting on all red attire and serving the forces of evil.  The show, on the other hand, reworked them into the Senate Commandos, and even gave them a few focus episodes.  They made their way into the toyline, of course, but they aren’t among the easiest items to track down.  I managed to snag a set, though, and I’m reviewing it today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Released as a Target-exclusive two-pack in 2010, the Senate Commandos paired off with a complimentary Cad Bane and IG-86 two-pack, both based on the first season episode “Hostage Crisis,” which was one of the focus episodes for the commandos.  While the other pack was straight re-releases, both figures in this pairing were only available here.  Following the 2010/2011 re-branding of the Clone Wars line, these figures were part of the “Galactic Battle Game” concept that Hasbro was attempting to introduce into the line.  To facilitate this, the set includes two stands, a card with stats for each character, and a die chance cube with various symbols on it, presumably meant for use in playing the game.

SENATE COMMANDO CAPTAIN

First up, the ranking officer, the Senate Commando Captain.  Though un-named here, if he is indeed meant to be the commanding officer from “Hostage Crisis”, that would make him the ill-fated Captain Jayfon.  Yes, he had a name, because this is Star Wars.  Everyone has a name, just ask Elan Sleazbaggeno.  I suppose Jayfon should count himself lucky that he wasn’t named “Guardo” or something.  Anyway, this figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  He’s based on the streamlined design of the guards from the show.  Because of the more limited nature of the animation early in the run, the Guards could not keep their usual flowing cloaks.  For the sake of making things easier, their distinctive helmets and color-scheme were moved onto the standard Clone Trooper model.  The figure follows suit, being built on the basic Clone Trooper body from the line.  Fortunately, that’s one of the best molds the line produced, meaning this guy’s already starting ahead.    The forearms, legs, and pelvis are from the original base Clone Trooper, and the upper torso is from Rex, allowing for use of the smaller neck-peg for their heads.  The upper arms first showed up on Captain Argus in 2009, and since it’s supposed to be the same armor, they were sensibly re-used here.  It’s all topped off with a new head, which is a definite improvement to the removable helmet on the Argus figure.  It’s accurate to the source material, and sits nicely on the body.  For the most part, Jayfon is just molded in the appropriate shade of blue (which, it should be noted, is a different shade than was used for Argus; this one is technically more accurate), with black accent work.  As the captain, though, he needs some appropriate denotation, which the white accenting provides.  It’s more extensive than what we saw on Argus, though this is true to the show in both characters’ cases.  Whatever the case, it adds a very nice little pop to the figure.  Jayfon is packed with a small Clone-style blaster rifle.

SENATE COMMANDO

Okay, the Captain may have had a name, but the basic grunts really didn’t get them.  I guess this guy’s just an army builder. Crazy concept.  Like Jayfon, he stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 24 points of articulation.  For the most part, his construction is the same as the Captain’s, but he does get a unique head, this time with the shorter head-fin that the basic grunts sported.  It’s not a huge difference, but it’s true to the show and it makes it even easier to differentiate the two.  His paintwork is also a bit simpler, as he drops the white accent work.  It means he doesn’t pop as much as the Captain, but that’s appropriate for a rank and file trooper.  Lastly, the Commado swaps out the small blaster for a larger clone-style rifle, which is certainly nice for variety’s sake.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though not impossibly hard to find when released, the fact that this set shipped alongside a total re-pack set, and the two figures contained there-in never got re-issues meant that it never hung around anywhere for very long.  I was, rather foolishly, trying to convince myself I didn’t need to keep collecting Clone Wars figures at the time, and passed on them the one time I saw them.  I’ve regretted it ever since, especially after their price got pretty high on the after market.  Fortunately, I was able to get one when a very large collection of Star Wars figures was traded in to All Time Toys.  They still weren’t cheap, but they were a much better deal than they would have been elsewhere.  I really do like this set a lot.  The Captain’s the real star, but the basic commando is no slouch either.  It’s really criminal that the standard commando never got a single carded re-release, because I’d really love to have a whole squad.  Alas, that’s not financial feasible at the moment.

As noted above, I grabbed this set from my friends at All Time Toys.  While they only got one of these in, there was a whole lot more in that collection, and they can be found on their website and their eBay storefront.

#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.

#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.

#0976: Commander Gree

COMMANDER GREE

STAR WARS: CLONE WARS

GreeCW1

The Star Wars prequels are almost universally loathed. However, as bad as the movies as a whole may be, there are definitely some ideas and concepts present that were actually kind of cool, if under-explored. On the plus side, the animated Clone Wars show, was able to take a lot of those concepts and apply them to a narrative that didn’t totally suck. Possibly my favorite part of the prequels was the Clone army, who were actually given a ton of development and individualized treatment in Clone Wars. While many of the clones used in the show were new characters, the cartoon also took the chance to flesh out almost all of the named clones from Revenge of the Sith, including my personal favorite, Clone Commander Gree.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

GreeCW2Commander Gree was released in the 2009 assortment of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Clone Wars tie-in line. The figure stands about 3 ¾ inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. He represents Gree as he appears in the earlier part of the show, prior to the time skip. He’s seen here wearing his standard Phase I trooper armor, and as such, he uses the same basic parts as all the other basic clones in the line. The body isn’t a spot-on recreation of the cartoon design: the lower torso and the limbs are noticeably a little thicker, presumably to offer more stability. That said, it’s very close to what was seen in the show. Like most of the Clone commanders in the line, Gree features a removeable helmet. The helmet itself is nicely handled, and looks more or less the same as the second iteration of the non-removeable clone helmet. Under the helmet is Gree’s head, which is sporting his rather goody twin mohawked look. It’s a decent enough recreation of his look from the show, though it does look a little older than his on-screen counterpart. It’s also slightly on the small side, but that kind of comes with the removeable helmet territory. Gree gets a unique belt piece with a holster, as well as a bandolier add-on piece. These two pieces help to add a nice flair of uniqueness to him, which is certainly cool. Gree’s paintwork is handled pretty well. Early in the show’s run, the animation models were a bit less advanced. This affected Gree more than most, since his rather complex camo design was far too much to handle. So, his Clone Wars design is just the basic clone look, but with extensive green accents. The figure replicates this pretty well, and the overall application is nice and clean. Gree included a large blaster rifle, a blaster pistol, and a large missile missile launcher. Because Hasbro.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

So, I don’t recall exactly where I got Gree. I’m pretty sure it was a Target. I know I got him while he was still a relatively new figure.  The Clone Wars line was definitely a fun one, and Gree is a pretty strong showing.

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#0726: Captain Rex

CAPTAIN REX

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

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If there’s one upside to the Star Wars prequels, it’s the fact that they allowed for the creation of both of the Clone Wars animated series.  They managed to do impossible things like not suck and be something other than the absolute worst, which the prequels never really got down. The second of the two shows had a heavy focus on the Clone Troopers themselves, and changed them from a faceless legion to a collection of actual characters. One of the central clones in the show was Clone Captain Rex, who ended up becoming one of the show’s most popular characters. He got several figures during the actual Clone Wars toylines, and just before the shift to the Force Awakens stuff, he even made his way into the smaller scale The Black Series line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CapRex2Captain Rex was figure #09 in the 2014 series of the 3 ¾ inch Star Wars: The Black Series figures. He was part of the second assortment of figures released that year (the same assortment that gave us Commander Doom, for those interested). The figure is a little over 3 ¾ inches in height and has 24 points of articulation. Rex is based on his design from towards the end of the show, after several improvements had been made to his armor. Unlike other Clone Troopers from the show, Rex never got a full Phase II style helmet, instead opting to stick with a slightly modified Phase I helmet. It’s kind of one of his more unique features, and it’s showcased here. Like Doom, Rex’s figure takes his design from the show and realizes it a bit, so that it can fit in with the other figures from this line. His sculpt does this translation pretty well, retaining most of his defining traits from his show design, while also brining him in line with the “real-life” Clone Troopers. The figure uses the same basic body as the one we saw on Doom. It’s less articulated than I’d like, but it’s a decent sculpt, so I can’t complain too much. He gets a unique helmet, shoulder piece, and “skirt” piece with holsters. The new parts are nice, sharp sculpts, and the helmet in particular has some fantastic fine detail work. Hasbro’s weak link is and always shall be its paint apps. It’s not to say they aren’t trying, mind you. Rex has some phenomenal work. The weird blue eyebrow things on his helmet are really sharp and the 163 (yes, I counted them all) tally marks placed all around his armor are a really cool touch. So, what’s the problem? It’s the base color work again. The areas around the holsters are definitely the worst offenders, with tons of overspray and slop, but all of the base work is pretty darn sloppy, which kind of ruins all the effort that was put into the finer detail work. Rex is packed with a pair of blaster pistols. They’re a bit hard to get into his holsters, but he holds them well enough. Like Doom, the accessories feel a bit light for a figure in the higher-priced line. It couldn’t be that hard to throw in a large blaster or something.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Rex here was the second of the two pre-Force Awakens figures I found during my Force Friday travels. I couldn’t pass on Doom, but I didn’t need Rex. Of course, I was with Super Awesome Girlfriend at the time, and she absolutely refuses to let me put a figure back, no matter how many times I say I don’t need it. So, she bought him for me. I can’t say Rex was a figure I was desperately searching for or anything, but I did like the character on the show, and I thought this figure looked pretty cool. I’m glad to have him, because, paint issues aside, he’s actually a pretty great little figure.

#0719: Clone Commander Doom

CLONE COMMANDER DOOM

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

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DOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! Yes it’s DOOOOOOOOOOOOM!!!! So, hey, you know one cool thing about Disney owning both Marvel and Star Wars AND Hasbro holding the toy licenses for both of those properties? They can do cool combo stuff, like today’s focus, Clone Commander Doom, who began his life as a minor, cool little reference character, who I’m sure no one ever thought would get an actual figure with that name. But, here he is! Isn’t that cool?

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CommanderDoom2Commander Doom was released in the second series of the 2014 round of the 3 ¾ inch Star Wars: The Black Series figures. Did you get all that? Should I repeat it? Yeah, Hasbro’s release schemes are just a tad confusing. Commander Doom here is based on his appearance in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode “The Unknown,” where his animation model was based on Dr. Doom, the Marvel Comics character. One has to wonder if Commander Doom has some sort of rivalry with Clone Commander Fantastic; that would be nifty. The figure stands just over 3 ¾ inches tall and has 24 points of articulation. Sadly, it seems that Hasbro’s cutting back on the articulation of the smaller-scale Black Series stuff again. Doom loses both the ball jointed hips and the mid-torso joint of prior Clone Troopers, which is a bit of a bummer to say the least. It might be hard to tell under that non-standard paintjob, but Doom’s armor is mostly standard issue stuff. He’s wearing a modified form of the Phase II trooper armor, with a visor/antenna added to his helmet (in a similar fashion to Commander Cody) and a battle “skirt” thing, which has holsters for his blasters. It’s worth noting that, while Doom hails from an animated show, this figure has been sculpted to fit in with the more realistic figures that make up the rest of the line. With that in mind, Doom’s sculpt does a pretty good job of taking his design from the show and translating it into “real life.” The sculpt is a little softer than I’d like in some areas, but it’s nicely handled overall. I’m still not 100% sold on the look of the wrist joints, but that’s a minor issue, and the movement they provide is certainly enough to warrant their inclusion. Now, this is a Hasbro figure, which means that, no matter how good the sculpt may be, the paint is likely to be a letdown. While I certainly wouldn’t say this figure has the worst paint I’ve ever seen on a Hasbro figure, he’s still got more than a few occurrences of bleed over and slop. Also, his arms and legs are just molded in a slight off-white, as opposed to being grey due to scuffs and dirt, which robs him just a bit of his uniqueness. Aside from those issues, I will say Doom’s a pretty vibrant figure, especially for a Star Wars figure, and I enjoy how the various customizations to his armor have been carried out. Doom is packed with a pair of blaster pistols, which can be held or stored in his holsters. This feels a little light, especially for the higher Black Series price.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

While I was out looking for new stuff on Force Friday (and also visiting Super Awesome Girlfriend for the weekend), one of the Walmarts I stopped by happened to have some of the pre-Force Awakens Black Series figures in stock, this guy included. I had actually been hoping to find this guy ever since I stumbled upon the pictures of his prototype online, so I was pretty happy about stumbling across him. Doom has his share of issues, but he definitely stands out from the rest of my Star Wars figures, and he’s a shout out to one of the best characters in comics to boot!

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#0400: Waxer, Boil, & Numa

WAXER, BOIL & NUMA

STAR WARS (SIDESHOW)

When it comes to Star Wars, it’s no secret that I’m not much of a fan of the prequel trilogy. The reasons are many, far too many to list here. However, I don’t hate everything about the prequels. In particular, the two spin-off cartoons (The Clone Wars and Clone Wars) were actually not terrible. The latter series kind of meandered and wasn’t always the greatest, but it had its shining moments, and there are a few episodes in particular that I really enjoyed. When Sideshow was looking for interesting ways to expand their 12 inch Star Wars line, they turned to the cartoon for some ideas. Today, I’ll be looking at two of the line’s clone troopers, Waxer and Boil, as well as their small compatriot Numa.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This set was released by Sideshow in the summer of 2011 as part of their Star Wars line. The set is based on the episode “Innocents of Ryloth” which happens to be one of my favorite episodes of the show (it probably helps that the episode is essentially a 30 minute love letter to Aliens). This is the regular release of the set, but there was also a Sideshow exclusive version which had an extra piece for Numa.

WAXER

What’s interesting about Waxer is that he actually wasn’t created for the show. He actually first appeared in a comicbook story. When they got around to adapting that particular story, he had to be replaced by Boil due to having the misfortune of dying one episode previous. Bummer. Waxer is essentially based on his appearance in the episode, but he’s been given a more real world style. The figure is about 12 inches tall, and he’s got a bunch of articulation, which I don’t have an exact count on, as I don’t make a habit of undressing my action figures. Aside from the black jumpsuit, which is very well tailored, Waxer is pretty much all sculpted pieces. They’re all from previous clone troopers, but that doesn’t make them any less impressive. They are sharp and symmetrical, and they really look like the armor from the movies. The paintwork is exceptional, with plenty of weathering and texture to really make the armor look appropriately broken in. The orange accents, denoting him as being a clone under Commander Cody, are vibrant and clean, and really add to the figure’s look. He also has a few spots of graffiti on his helmet, which are true to the episode, and really contribute to the uniqueness of the figure. Waxer includes an extra un-helmeted head, a Phase II helmet, an extra set of fisted hands, extra running feet, blasters in three sizes, binoculars, and a display stand with the basic Star Wars logo. The head, while not Hot Toys quality, is pretty impressive. It’s an alright likeness of Temuera Morrison, though with the baldness and the smirk, it bears an uncanny resemblance to Billy Zane. The extra helmet is fine, though it lacks the personalization of the regular helmet. The hands offer a few options, and are all very nicely sculpted. The running feet are a neat concept, but finding a use for them can be difficult. The binoculars and blasters are pretty standard fare, but impressive nonetheless, and the stand is the new Hot Toys-style stand that allows the figure to be picked up and replaced with ease.

BOIL

Boil was created for the show as a partner in crime for Waxer, which is a role he filled quite well. Like Waxer, he’s based on his appearance in “Innocents of Ryloth” with a slightly more realistic approach taken. He’s about 12 inches tall, and he has the same points of articulation that Waxer has, however many that may be. He uses the basic Sideshow armored buck as a starting point, with the same black jumpsuit as Waxer. The armor is all the same, and it’s still really well executed, so that’s a definite plus. From the neck down, Boil’s paint is identical to that of Waxer. It’s fitting, since that’s true to the design, and it’s still an impressive set of work. Boil’s helmet is slightly different. He doesn’t have the vertical line of orange going down the center, and he has some slightly more elaborate graffiti on his helmet. It looks really good, and it’s minor, but different enough to set him apart nicely from Waxer. Boil pretty much comes with all the same stuff as Waxer: an un-helmeted head, a Phase II helmet, the extra hands and feet, the assortment of blasters, and the display stand. Most of it’s the same, but the helmet is done to match the pattern on his regular helmet, and obviously the un-helmeted head is different to convey Boil’s different look. He’s got a full head of hair, so the Morrison likeness is a bit more immediately apparent. The mustache looks a bit silly, but that’s true of the show’s design. He also has a few extra hands in a variety of gestures, which make for some entertaining poses.

NUMA

Numa is one of the titular innocents from the episode this set is based on. She’s essentially just Newt from Aliens. Her presence is what really makes this an episode-specific set, rather than just a pair of clone troopers. The figure is just shy of 6 inches tall and she features 5 points of articulation, which essentially means she’s only good for slight variations on the basic standing look. Numa’s smaller stature means she gets an all-new sculpt. It’s fairly well done. It seems to be the proper proportions and such. Numa’s head is probably the sculpt most negatively affected by the more realistic style. It’s not bad, but she seems somewhat expressionless. Also, the head seems a bit too small for the figure, which kind of makes her seem out of scale with Waxer and Boil. Numa has a cloth dress with a pleather belt. It’s pretty well tailored to the figure, and it seems to be an accurate depiction of what she wore in the episode. Numa’s paint work is pretty decent. It’s not super high quality, but it’s clean and even, and it does a good job with the colors and such. Numa’s only accessory is a display stand which can plug into the bottom of her left foot. The exclusive set added an extra arm holding the toy that she carries for most of the episode. The lack of accessories is forgivable, since Numa’s practically an accessory herself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Like I said above, “Innocents of Ryloth” is one of my favorite episodes of the series, so I knew pretty much as soon as this was announced that I wanted it. I remember I actually only saw a headshot of the two clones and I thought to myself, “well if they included Numa, I’d have to get it.” No sooner had I thought that, I scrolled down and saw the full picture and there she was. My super awesome, super supportive parents were kind enough to buy this for my birthday in 2011, which was very nice of them. I really like this set. Sure, Numa’s not perfect, but the clones just about are, and Numa is decent enough that she makes a great complement to them.