The Clone Wars Class I Vehicles
Item No.: Asst. 36576 No. 37017
Includes: 2 rockets, stand, submarine, backpack, 2 dart guns, 2 swim fins, figure stand, game card
Action Feature: STAP vehicle has launching rockets
Availability: March 2011
Appearances: The Clone Wars
Bio: An assault submarine glides through the water piloted by a scuba clone trooper. Marine missions require special methods for assault and reconnaisance, as demonstrated by the Republic's "Devilish" OMS (One Man Submersible). The versatile subs can be operated underwater or on the surface of the water. Either way, scuba clone troopers can attack from the sea, firing the sub's torpedo launcher at the enemy. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' desk.
Commentary: Return of the squared-off t-crotch! Rejoice! The SCUBA Clone Trooper is a fun mix of 1980s and 2010s toymaking techniques. Since he has those squared-off hips, he can actually do things like sit-- this works way better than other figures in the line, and reminds me of the good ol' days in 1995-1997 when most figures were designed with sitting in mind. Today, it's more of an afterthought, and some figures simply don't (or can't) sit. The figure has giant beefy shoulder armor which borders on ridiculous, but maybe they're going for a "floaty" motif. They're pretty big on the TV show too, so let's assume this was intentional. The deco is good-- clean armor, with some red stripes. He has ankle joints, wrist joints, and pretty much all the joints you could want on a Clone figure short of the bend-and-swivel wrists. Nicely done, Hasbro.
The accessories are also exceptional-- and for $18, they should be. In addition to the transformable vehicle, which goes from a sort of a jetski thing to a quasi-submarine thing, you get firing rockets, two undersea clone blasters, swim fins, and a SCUBA pack. The neat thing about the SCUBA gear is how it does and does not work well. Much like the 1980s G.I. Joe Hydro Viper, it has hoses which connect the mask to a backpack so the figure can breathe underwater. Also like the Hydro Viper, getting it to stay put can be tricky. The mask fits over the clone's "face" with tiny little grooves, and if you bump the figure too much it may just pop off. This is an instance where just gluing it in place might not be a bad idea. It looks good, but the white of the mask doesn't quite match the rest of the armor. Still, since the rest has grey and a reddish color which more or less matches 16bit.com's layout, I'm pretty happy with it.
I love aquatic figures and I dig clones, so this all-new sculpt with nice gear and a fun vehicle is pretty cool. I feel that the whole jetski thing has been done to death, but I do appreciate the two modes as it gives the vehicle a little more play value than it had to be. This was a good execution of an idea that could've been done a lot more cheaply, so kudos to Hasbro on a job well done.
Collector's Notes: The companion vehicle in this assortment shipped to online retailers as early as January, but this one didn't hit until about March. I have yet to see it in stores, but you may be able to order it online. As some big box retail stores are phasing out a lot of SKUs that aren't basic figures, you may want to keep your eyes peeled and don't hesitate to buy it if you see it. Much like the previous "mini vehicle with figure" assortment, it wouldn't surprise me if Hasbro didn't plan on doing too many more of these this year.
Day 1,761: March 14, 2012