501st LEGION TROOPER Saga Legends Version 1
30th Anniversary Collection Saga Legends
Item No.: Asst. 85770 No. 87429
Includes: Rifle, Helmet, Coin, Removable Shoulder Armor
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Summer 2007
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith
Bio: These highly trained tactical ops clone troopers accompany Darth Vader on a mission to destroy the Jedi. Vader and the troopers storm the Jedi Temple and, with crack marksmanship and coordinated team maneuvers, quickly eliminate the Jedi inside. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: The toy shelves of Adam Pawlus.
Commentary: One of the real bummers about this line as of late is that it's difficult to determine which figure is a new figure and which is merely a variant-- if you repaint a figure, or swap heads, is it new? The 501st Legion Trooper walks the fine line in that Hasbro used a new plastic for it, changed the deco, removed the dirty (or bloody) boot paint, and gave us this particular release. Based on the mold used for the 2005 AT-TE Gunner and Tactical Ops Clone Trooper, it features enhanced leg articulation and fairly crappy arm articulation. Sure, it's virtually super-poseable, but none of the arm joints can do anything butt swivel and there's no waist joint. The figure's bright white plastic and removable helmet should endear it to fans and army builders, as if you're putting together a big 501st squad, a little variety is nice to have. The main reason to pick this figure up is because it's astonishingly bright white plastic which, so far, seems less likely to discolor. Plus it can sit, and sit well. Aside from that, it's a repaint of a previous release... now without the cross-eye problem. This is hardly one of the best figures in terms of articulation, but fans of the 501st Legion probably won't care-- it's another addition to Darth Vader's squads, and easily the figure's biggest and best selling point. If you have the 2005 trooper, this is a slight improvement in terms of sharpness of deco and overall materials used... but if you're looking to cut corners, you can probably skip this one if you have another figure that's close enough in your collection already.
Collector's Notes: This figure is a repaint of a release from late 2005. And in early 2008, this exact deco and plastic will be used on another version of this exact figure, which will use the III-41 "Super Articulated" mold. Figures often have variant paint, or variant heads, but this is one of very few figures to feature a variant mold.
If you like the 501st-- and boy oh boy, do most of you-- just collecting this single kind of clone will add up quickly. Kmart had a Quick-Draw version of it as an exclusive, then there's the 2005 carded version (with the same mold as this one), Commander Bow, Commander Appo, an Airborne trooper from Order 66 sets, the Battlefront II 501st Clone, the Battlefront II Jet Trooper, plus there's a Titanium Series figure of the squad too. The 501st is one of the most robust legions of clones Hasbro put out to date, although there's still room for a 501st AT-RT driver, a 501st Pilot, a 501st ARC Trooper, a 501st Engineer, and who knows what the heck else.
Day 577: December 4, 2007