Friday, December 23, 2016

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,321: Clone Trooper (442nd Siege Battalion, The Black Series 6-Inch)

CLONE TROOPER 442nd Siege Battalion
The Force Awakens The Black Series 6-Inch Figure Entertainment Earth Exclusive Set
Item No.:
  No. C0495
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pistol, rifle
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $99.99
Availability: November 2016
Appearances: n/a

Bio: Equipped with AT-RT walkers and ISP speeders with green markings, and skilled in besieging enemy fortifications, the 442nd Siege Battalion was a unit of clone troopers within the Grand Army of the Republic during the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Commentary:  There are a lot of Clone Trooper figures, but not all that many as 6-inch action figures.  The 442nd Siege Battalion (green trooper) was one that had a few very vocal fans, and that's why he appeared in this set - it helps to lobby for the things you love, because you never know who's listening.   The figure is the same as the one Amazon sold as a plain white trooper in its 2015 exclusive set, but with a twist - well,  not so much "a twist" as "something to make it good."  The plain white Phase II Clone Trooper was as plain as they came, and for this go-round Hasbro decided to really ramp up the deco.  Like... I can't believe how ramped up it is.

You've seen the body before, so the 29 points of articulation are unlikely to surprise you - rocker ankles, bend-and-swivel wrists, things that once would knock us flat on our butts are now de rigueur.   Double-jointed elbows and knees are a holdover from an early phase in The Black Series, as Hasbro has elected to keep the knees but drop the elbows on most of its figures since late 2015.  Mercifully as a mere redeco, this figure keeps the great jointing.

Despite being trimmed from the film or merely a concept for Revenge of the Sith, the green clone is no slouch.  It shares a basic design template with Utapau's orange clones, but shockingly isn't just a color swap of the 212th Attack Battalion clone in this very set.  The battle damage and scrapings are totally different!   I'm stunned!  I've also gone on the record as saying that the prototypes for these figures had some of Hasbro's best paint jobs ever - and I'm thrilled to say the final figures are just as good.  If you look really close, you'll notice that the green squad markings are actually scratched up.  The little white specks in the green fields aren't white paint bits, they're actual exposed bits of white plastic.  This sort of thing is kind of uncommon, so you best believe I'm in luv l-u-v.   Each green marking is scraped and scratched, but I should note that the left shoulder and the top of the helmet are pretty clean.  That doesn't mean you can't mess 'em up with a rock or something.

Also of note, the battle damage - many, but not all, of the figure's armor pieces have faux scrapes on them.  Grey and black markings all over show that this trooper has had another bad day, with the kind of carbon scoring you'd expect to see on a much more expensive figure.  A move lived-in look is appreciated, especially since this clone has but one accessory.  The short rifle fits perfectly in his hand and with double-elbows and swivel biceps, it's a good figure for assuming more combat-oriented poses.  I've got them all sitting on my desk and I'm guessing I'm more taken with them than you are.   (You're missing out.)

Expensive exclusive sets are probably about to become a thing of the past - Hasbro's 2015 bit TIE Fighter and Millennium Falcon got marked down pretty severely.  2016's higher-end Transformers have shown up in the markdown channels pretty quickly.   The sad reality here is that if you don't support sets like this, there won't be more.  Maybe you care, maybe you don't, but there's certainly decreasing incentive for these sorts of items to be produced in the current marketplace and retail climate.   I hope we see more - there are certainly more Clones I'd love to see from The Clone Wars and beyond - but it's starting to feel like this might be the last/only hurrah for Revenge of the Sith in the 6-inch size.  Hopefully before Hasbro calls it a day, we'll at least get Count Dooku and maybe a swell General Grievous.   I like this clone a lot, and I think if you saw it up close you'd love it too.  I should also note that the box is not unlike a VHS tape boxed set - and as a bonus, it's not taped shut, so you can slip the figures back in if you're so inclined.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.   Where I ram-rodded its creation.  There's an interesting creation story behind this set I hope to someday share with you.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,321 December 23, 2016

No comments: