Friday, March 16, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,763: Clone Trooper (Gearshift)

CLONE TROOPER possibly "Gearshift"
The Clone Wars Legacy of Terror DVD Set
Item No.:
Asst. 30411 No. 31677
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #1 of 2
Includes: Stand, game card, blaster, Obi-Wan Kenobi figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: March 2012
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: Obi-Wan and clone troopers discover a macabre legacy of terror on Geonosis. The Jedi General and a team of clone troopers enter a Geonosian temple and find an underground hive of undead Geonosian warriors, their menacing queen - and the frightening brain worms she uses to control her zombie army! (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' photo hole.

Commentary: The Clone Trooper and Obi-Wan Kenobi DVD 2-pack was announced at Comic-Con 2011 last July, with an August on-shelf date. Simple, right? Well, sort of-- sometimes exclusives get delayed quite a bit, especially in the last couple of years where a few items ended up in different retailers entirely or were simply quietly canceled. Since this set started showing up in European packaging and in a few Asian auctions, it seemed obvious that it was made-- but where were the US packaged versions? And why weren't they at Walmart like they were supposed to be? We don't know, but we do know that the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls chains of closeout stores (which share a lot of inventory) got them. Since it just showed up this week, your mileage may vary but I suggest you run out to your stores this weekend to go looking. Due to the high foot traffic in these stores, parents and non-collectors can gobble them up before you even knew you missed them.

Anyway, now this item exists, and as of yesterday we know for a fact you can go buy one. I ran to Marshalls after work and found what seemed to be a case, already beat up a bit, but devoid of any Walmart stickering. (Some previous Ross/Max/Marshalls closeouts had the stickers manually removed.) So for the time being, it's less an exclusive than it was a "dumped" item. Between the two sets there are two significantly different figures, one repack, and one that's just different enough to make you mad. This Clone is the one with the best new tooling, as his helmet was tweaked to include those really cool head lamps seen in many episodes of the show. This mold could be used to refresh several styles of the troopers, but as Hasbro seems to be slowly winding down this line it seems unlikely that we'll see these cool lamps again any time soon. The figure uses the 2008 body type (ankles!) and is similar to the existing 212th Battalion Clone Troopers. Named specifically "Clone Trooper" on his card, it's unknown if it's one of many unnamed troopers or Gearshift, who looks the same, or if it matters. What I do know is that if you want it, it's ten bucks, and for every one you buy for your army you'll get another Obi-Wan Kenobi figure you don't want. (I like Obi-Wan, I just have been "forced" to buy many in the name of my clone army.)

The deco is more or less normal for a clone, so when you get right down to it the main reason to buy this set are the lamps on his helmet. As a trooper fan, I'll buy any clone with a change to its sculpt without a lot of complaining, and I like it. I wish it was sold on a single card so I could get them cheaper, but the rising costs of single figures compared to this two-pack makes that complaint moot. For $10, this is a fun set if you don't have an Obi-Wan Kenobi, or too many Clone Troopers, or the episode "Legacy of Terror" on DVD or Blu-Ray. As a kid item, it's wonderful. (Scary, but wonderful.) I mean, it's ten bucks for two good figures and 30 minutes of entertainment. It's hard to go wrong for that, Hasbro can (and should [and is]) do more of this kind of product-- recent Transformers Prime Cyberverse toys have been spotted with DVDs as well. Back in the 1980s, we had "Listen & Fun" sets which had a goofy audio cassette adventure and a toy, so we've come a long way.

Collector's Notes: Originally announced as a Walmart exclusive, this is one of many sets originally announced as an exclusive to the chain which ended up on clearance at other stores later. Does this mean anything? Probably not, other than the market may have finally achieved a level of Star Wars saturation. Given some years have had north of 200-300 figures (counting Battle Packs), a little reduction or correction is probably a good thing, and given the lack of new Clone Wars product on the shelves these days I would say this is an exciting release. It doesn't take much. So don't shell out for this on eBay, people of March 2012: go check your local T.J. Maxx and Marshalls first.

One last note: the date stamp reads 11851, meaning it was produced on or about July 4, 2011. Knowing how long it takes a container of toys to get from China to the USA, this would've probably put it at a mid-August arrival at a US port, and for all I know this means it was later than Walmart wanted it and they said "nevermind," but this is just speculation. Maybe Walmart just didn't want it any more, period, which is unfortunate given exclusives seemed a little light late last year.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,763: March 16, 2012


lowtek_ketwol said...

Maybe the reason WM said no to this wave of 2 packs is because historically (in my area anyway) these Clone Wars themed 2 packs warmed badly, even on clearance. I can still find Ahsoka/Plo set wave in the clearance aisle!

danielhubby said...

I found this Legacy of Terror two-pack (only one and no sign of the other two pack) at the Elverson Walmart Supercenter Store #3501 in Elverson, PA last Saturday night. I had never been in that store before (small and with a less-than-stellar toy department). It was tossed in what was literally a toy Clearance "pile" near their Seasonal/ Clearance section. I haven't heard of anyone else spotting these at Walmart, despite this being the retail chain originally slated to carry them. Odd.

Anonymous said...

I thought that this set was a terrible idea, it should've had an undead geonosian, and the gearshift/clone trooper figure. None of this "More Obi-Wan" stuff, he's a cool character, but I've already got 3 normal Obi-wans. I don't want repacks of main characters, I want soldiers.