Thursday, February 16, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,742: Clone Trooper

CLONE TROOPER Cannon Pack Fires Missiles!
The Clone Wars Basic Action Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 37290 No. 37294
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: CW2
Includes: Rifle, pistol, firing rocket, dud rocket, backpack, stand
Action Feature: Rocket-firing backpack
Retail: $8.99
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: Clone Wars TV series

Bio: The weapons and armor of the clone troopers evolve as the Clone Wars continue. As battle conditions change, the troopers' armor and equipment is updated, including new helmets with more advanced communication and survival technology, and new weapons like missile-equipped jetpacks. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' coffee table.

Commentary: I incorrectly assumed that we had reached a point where new versions of existing characters would be as good as (or better than) previous attempts, but the sheer volume of Clone Trooper toys makes this difficult to do. This new phase of clone armor looks a lot like the 2005 clones, except it's a lot thinner and has less going for it in the way of articulation. My biggest gripe is the lack of the ball-jointed hip joints, this makes it difficult for these new troopers to sit. No ankle joints are present, and the wrists are swivel-only. It looks good, but it feels like it could play a little better. The biggest change to the armor is the panel on the back, which previously looked like the "OII" on the Stormtroopers. Now, it's the same classic Clone mishmash as seen in Revenge of the Sith, which makes sense because these are effectively those very troopers.

The deco feels weak, simply because the helmet isn't as decorated as the movie equivalent. We're used to seeing a stripe on the forehead, and Hasbro opted not to include one here. This gives the figures an incomplete look, which doesn't help when the figure already looks bland compared to the TV counterpart-- after all, those troopers have squad markings. Plain white clones are far and few between on the show these days, and it's my assumption that this figure (long-term, anyway) will be more popular with customizers than with collectors. It's very OK-- I like the quantity of gear, and the jetpack is a nice bonus. I just wish the helmet had a stripe on it, it would look considerably better with a half-cent's worth of paint added to it.

Collector's Notes: New! And common. Packed at 2 per case, the figure may be hanging around at a store near you right now. I wouldn't necessarily suggest running out and building an army, but then again, what do I know? I'd say it's worth getting at least one, but I personally have no interest in buying more until I see if Hasbro puts out an improved version later. Or unless I get a big vehicle needing lots of troops in it, which, right now, it doesn't look like I'm gonna get this year. I'm a little surprised Hasbro doesn't introduce new troopers exclusively in multipacks-- I mean, why let people buy only one clone? Put three identical ones in a $20 gift set, cut costs a bit, and encourage troop building. If the recent batch of Battle Packs has taught us anything, it's that people would rather buy three basically obscure clones over repacks of figures they've bought time and again since 1999.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,742: February 16, 2012

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