Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 815: Clone Trooper (Animated)

CLONE TROOPER Rocket-Firing Launcher!
The Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 87638 No. 87660
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: No. 5
Includes: Blaster, rocket, rocket launcher
Action Feature: Rocket-firing launcher
Retail: $7.99
Availability: July 26, 2008
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.

Bio: Clone troopers put up an unrelenting defense against the hordes of battle droids that are pouring into the B'omarr monk monastery. The intrepid troopers are keeping the enemy at bay so that Anakin and Ahsoka can rescue Jabba's kidnapped son. The clone troopers use their blasters and thermal detonators with skill, focusing exclusively on ensuring that the mission is a success. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: After seemingly exhausting the potential for new Clone Trooper repaints, Hasbro has been gifted with a new Clone Trooper mold based on the new CG movie and television series. I must say I was extremely down on the idea of another stylized line of figures at first, as the notion of re-re-rebuying characters is getting old. Hasbro has once again proven that they make a great product, and this release is actually really good. Rather than doing another white trooper, Hasbro is trying yet another kind of dirt experiment, this time using a process similar to that used on CZ-4 in 2007. The result is a dirty figure with an even, unique level of battle damage. In case you didn't catch that, this means every single Clone Trooper figure has a unique paint job. Some have extra splotches, some don't. If you line up a dozen of them, each one is just a little bit different. This is great from an army builder's perspective, but I can imagine there are a few fans whose heads just exploded.

Taking what they learned from the 2008 Commander Gree figure, this Clone Trooper has superior-- but not perfect-- articulation. The hips are still fairly weak and aren't easily able to sit, sadly, but it does have the enhanced wrist joints which allow for better aiming of his weapons. Included is a battle-worn blaster and a rocket-firing launcher, so you've got one normal weapon for adult fans who hate big goofy blasters, and a big goofy blaster for the kids. Since the figure has 14 points of articulation, Hasbro managed to succeed in creating a figure that, assuming nobody has a problem with the style, should appeal to all audiences fairly equally.

Oh, and he has an over-the-shoulder rocket launcher that works pretty well. I'd say you should get one, and don't throw away the extra gun-- it's going to be useful if you plan on building some armies.

Collector's Notes: As a new mold with great articulation and seemingly infinite damage variants, this should keep fans busy for a while. It wouldn't surprise me to see some genuinely astonishing armies as a result. Due to the package design, it seems it may be difficult to find mind samples of this line.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 815: July 29, 2008

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