Friday, March 13, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 978: Clone Trooper (Recon)

CLONE TROOPER Speeder Bike Recon
The Clone Wars Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 87752 No. 84899
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster rifle and pistol, firing rocket attachment, bike
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $19.99
Availability: July 2008
Appearances: The Clone Wars (somewhere)

Bio: Anakin is sent to the planet Teth to rescue Jabba the Hutt's kidnapped son. The Huttlet is being held in a a B'omarr monk monastery built on a high cliff. Anakin and his team of clone troopers fight their way up the cliff as battle droids attack from above. On the ground below, clone troopers on speeder bikes guard protect the assault team as battle droids launch an attack from the rear. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Commentary: Around 2005 Hasbro got a whiff of the kind of green they could be making from their toy Clone Trooper action figures. Three years later we're seeing the realization of "the dream," with the kind of crazy variations, repaints, armor-enhanced, and other varieties of this fan-friendly figure. From a single mold, Hasbro has so far required two flavors of vehicle drivers, this grey version, white clones, damaged clones, 501st and 212th clones, space clones, Coruscant clones, and more you're just not ready to handle yet. It's nuts, and each one is based on a fairly solid mold. This particular figure features the 14 points of articulation you've come to expect with additional movement on the wrists, allowing for superior posing with rifles or on vehicles. Unfortunately, lateral hip movement has not yet been included on any animated clones, which is something I feel is really missing when you're dealing with biker figures. The final figures have a little bit of leg warping, which is a bit of a pain. Sure, you could boil them back into place, but you shouldn't have to.

If you take a plain white clone as a base, this figure adds grey stripes, a couple of dots on the chest, and the same red shoulder marking we saw on the AT-TE driver clone and the Battle of Christophsis clones. As a unique clone, this set is worth getting just for the novelty of the grey-striped clone thing. But if you think grey is too bland, well, save your money and get one of the kajillion other troopers out there.

Collector's Notes: This set has been in decent circulation since it came out, and it provides a good bang for the buck. The clone figure is a repaint of a $7-$8 toy, and you get two of them. You also get two fairly sizable speederbikes. Were this an exclusive at a convention, you'd probably be paying $25 for 1 bike and 1 clone. So chew on that, or something.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 978: March 13, 2009

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