Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,586: Clone Pilot

CLONE PILOT White Variant
Revenge of the Sith Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 85173 No. 85423
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: III-34
Includes: Blaster, cannon, projectile
Action Feature: Firing red rocket
Retail: $5.24
Availability: April 2005
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith

Bio: Clone trooper pilots are specially trained for the skills needed to fly attack and troop ships. As part of the Grand Army of the Republic, the clone pilots engage the Separatist forces across the galaxy. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' patio thing.

Commentary: In addition to troopers, pilots tend to do really well. This Clone Pilot was hugely popular at first and then started to hang for a bit in 2005 for reasons I'll never quite understand. At the time of his release, there was the ARC-170 fighter plus the Republic Gunship, and simply filling their driver and gunner seats would take at least 5 pilots. And if you wanted one out on display? Well, that's six right there. (I bought a bunch of them.)

The figure is, depending on who you ask, a disappointment or a success. In a movie year, with kids as a big part of the focus, the smart toy company will start to figure out where they need to be a little more economical with articulation. Given that a pilot really only needs to sit in a ship and look good to be a success, it's almost a surprise that we got a figure with 12 points of articulation. While I prefer the ball joints at the elbows-- and really, who wouldn't?-- the swivels more or less get the job done. The figure accurately replicates the "costume" in the movie, as it existed only as a lower-resolution digital model inside the ships. You didn't see a lot of these guys walking around, but some were floating among space debris. The figure is reasonably simple, mostly wearing white and grey with a little color here and there. The skin tone seems overly bright and a little peachy, but aside from that it's pretty much just another clone in a new outfit. The lighter uniform looks good, if a little chunky, but he has absolutely no problems taking a seat in most Republic vehicles.

It's a nice piece, and if you just need butts for the seats of your vehicles be sure you get this one. It's reasonably cheap and you aren't going to see much below the neck once the figure was stored in the ship. (Or in the case of many Republic Gunships, you might not see the figure at all the tinting is so dark.) I wouldn't consider this the definitive essential Clone Pilot for your collection but it positively is the ideal figure to have sitting in your Revenge of the Sith-era Republic vehicles.

Collector's Notes: The figure was retooled in 2008 with more articulation, and this exact mold was repainted black later in 2005. The current value of the first 2005 release, as outlined in this review, is close to $2. So if you can find a lot of them for market price, go crazy, you'll be glad you have them handy for your many vehicle purchases.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,586: July 13, 2011

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