Thursday, October 28, 2010

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,402: ARC Trooper Commander

The Clone Wars Battle Packs
Item No.:
Asst. 94743 No. 19682
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Pistols, rifle, stand, rangefinder, pauldron, display stand, wrist communicator, game card
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $24.99
Availability: September 2010
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Like the men under his command, the ARC trooper commander faces even the most threatening situation with unfailing courage. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: The backdrop from his battle pack.

Commentary: Let's get this out of the way: the ARC Trooper Commander is Fordo form the 2003 Clone Wars show. For the uninitiated, Fordo is the baddest-ass Clone to appear in any of the many television projects bearing the Star Wars name and anyone who says otherwise is a damned filthy liar. Hasbro effectively introduced this figure at the summer conventions as Fordo, and this is unofficially Fordo because Fordo doesn't appear on the new cartoon. His deco matches closely, and his two pistols are closely modeled after the character's earlier appearances (note the lack of red dots on his breastplate). His rangefinder has a white tip, he has red armor, and the wrist communicator on his left hand. Since the style of the shows is quite different, it's a great port of a popular character. It's really, really good.

With 14 points of articulation, this figure is essentially a reworked 2008 Captain Rex. The pivoting/swiveling wrists are still here as are ankle joints, but there are two new elements. The kama/wasitcoat/skirt is a new sculpt designed especially to fit "Fordo"'s weapons, and the helmet is also a new sculpt. Unlike other clones, the helmet is not removable (thank you Hasbro) and the rangefinder is both fully articulated and removable. His legs seem to have a full range of motion, but the skirt itself is stiff and may prevent him from sitting in a vehicle. That's OK though-- the figure is so good, you'll want it out on your desk. As repainted and reworked clones go, this one makes me incredibly happy, and he's one of very few characters from that show to transition to the new toy style. Heck, he might be the only one from that show to get a toy without actually appearing on the new show.

The other figures in the set are all different enough to make its purchase worthwhile, but this one just makes me incredibly happy. OK, so I'm easy-- but if you saw those episodes I think you'll agree that this is a must-own figure. This is one of my favorite figures of 2010 because if you look at the holsters and wrist commlink, it's obvious Hasbro really did rework this figure to be as Fordo-y as humanly possible. Having said that, I almost feel ungrateful saying "now how about other 2003 ARC Troopers and Gunners in the animated style? I'd buy 'em." (Seriously though, this is a wonderful figure.) I would very much like Hasbro to see more ARC Trooper gift sets like this one... but with different figures, of course. I'd buy 3-4 a year, easily.

Collector's Notes: Hasbro has made other figures intended to be (or inspired by) Fordo. In 2003, they repainted the standard ARC Trooper figure in red, which was a shorter run and hard to find item. In 2005, they released animated-style figures specifically designed to be Fordo from the show. A red ARC Trooper was made as a Wal-Mart exclusive in 2009, but they called it "Alpha" despite "Alpha" being blue in most of his appearances. Oh, and Target got a red ARC Trooper in this color scheme in 2008 but it didn't have a specific name, it was also merely called "ARC Trooper Commander." The 2006 Fordo figure doesn't really look that close to Fordo except in color, as it's missing the rangefinder and that's sort of an important piece.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,402: October 28, 2010

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