STEALTH OPS CLONE TROOPER One of Two, Sort Of
The Clone Wars Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 94736 No. 29650
Includes: Stand, two rockets, pistol, rifle, backpack, breathing gear, removable headgear
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: August 2011
Appearances: The Clone Wars comics
Bio: A stealth ops clone trooper is one of the crew on a new Republic stealth ship. The trooper's special gear includes a combat flight harness that holds a blaster pistol and a backpack that fires missiles. As part of the elite crew, the trooper is ready for the stealth ops missions that demand all of his skill, courage, and ingenuity. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' former kitchen.
Commentary: I'm starting with a note here: there are two very similar Clones released around the same time. One is this non-exclusive Stealth Ops Clone Trooper, the other is the Toys "R" Us exclusive Stealth Operations Clone Trooper released around the same time. The key differences: the name on the package, the non-exclusive version has way more gear, and the exclusive version has a distinctive black and yellow crest painted on his helmet. There are other differences, but those are the big ones, and that makes this pair of figures a fine "just different enough to make you mad" example. This release-- Ops-- has so much gear, it's unquestionably more fun and a better value. But the exclusive, Operations one? It's got a new helmet, and is essentially Commander Blackout.
So the figures are indeed different, and this one is based on the 2010 "Stone" body. That means no ankle joints, plus the wrists and waist are swivel-only. The deco is cool, just like the clones on the Stealth Prototype Ship from the "not Das Boot" episode of the series. His helmet has a wraparound piece of communications equipment similar to that of Lobot, and I'm pretty sure it's only removable because Hasbro forgot to glue it. Commander Jet has a similar piece, but it's swappable for another array with a pair of antenna extended fully. This one, it doesn't have that.
The biggest and weirdest addition to the figure is his backpack, which, since the figure doesn't have a peg hole in his back, connects to the breathing gear. The backpack is recycled from Kit Fisto, and the breathing gear is similar to that of the Space Trooper Clones. It even retains the nifty holster in the front, except this time all this extra gear is molded in a darker grey with some red highlights. It's fun. I'm not saying you should necessarily buy it, but if I had the chance to get more of this Clone I probably would. Hasbro hasn't done many black troopers for this line, and this definitely scratches that "close enough" itch to make it a worthwhile purchase.
Collector's Notes: If you buy this figure on the secondary market, be wary of the aforementioned two similar-but-different clones. The packaging looks alike, the figures look alike, and many of the exclusive version was released sans the TRU sticker by accident. You might not even realize you bought the wrong one until it's too late! As always the price varies, ranging from $10-$20 on eBay with a few flukes below $10. If Hasbro reissued it today at $9 or so, I think you'd be happy with it.