CLONE TROOPER Training Fatigues
30th Anniversary Collection Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 87500 No. 87456
Includes: Helmet, armor, blaster, coin
Action Feature: Snap-on armor
Availability: November 2007
Appearances: Attack of the Clones
Bio: Clone trooper trainees wear red uniforms to identify their status while they undergo the intense process that teaches them marksmanship, weapons handling and other military skills. They all eat and train together, reinforcing their role as an indistinguishable part of a large group and discouraging any hint of individuality. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam's photo studio.
Commentary: Around 1990, Kenner came up with a "Quick Change" Batman figure which was essentially a Bruce Wayne figure with snap-on Batman costume bits. Since then, we've seen this concept brought back for Batman and countless other figures like Darth Vader and this unique Clone Trooper. The good news is that the figure under the armor is pretty decent. The costume is a good replica of the training suit seen in the movie, plus it has a working holster, some nifty markings, and good articulation. Without the armor, the figure isn't at all terrible looking as there are no stray holes to "peg" the armor in, or anything like that. While the articulation is good, it isn't great. The figure has ball-jointed elbows and knees, but normal shoulders and no ankles. As a result, the figure is generally forced into a quasi-action "running" or at least "walking" pose, and there's no way to get both hands to grip a blaster like one might expect. Aiming is a little awkward, and the figure seems best as background fodder and not much of an action hero unto himself. I expect this was to make sure the armor feature worked properly, which, I guess, is OK.
The armor itself seems like something that someone in a suit at Hasbro demanded. It makes the figure look very bulky, and while it works much better than the 2005 Obi-Wan Kenobi figure with armor, it's really not all that great. The armor to guard his forearms doesn't really fit too well, but the shoulder and shin armor fit nicely. If bulky. Fully assembled, the figure more or less reads as a Clone Trooper but only because of the helmet. Otherwise it looks like "guy in pajamas and armor he found by the side of the road." I'm sure selling a Clone Trooper without any armor in the box is a very difficult thing to do, because fans identify these troopers by their colorless exteriors. Problem is, it looks a little dopey. I'm sure they did the best job they could given whatever edict(s) were established for the toy, but that doesn't mean I have to love it. It's unfortunate when a character from a 2002 movie is released in 2007 and is anything but the coolest it could possibly be, but there you go. To make a long critique short, I'm sure fans wouldn't be at all upset if/when Hasbro goes back and does a new version of this figure with ball-jointed shoulders and better overall articulation so he can grip a gun with both hands or, you know, seem like he could convincingly survive basic training on Kamino.
Collector's Notes: At the end of 2007, this figure is really just starting to hit. In early 2008, Hasbro will phase out the coins and bring in display stands, so you can probably get this figure either way (or both ways) if you're so inclined. So if you're looking to troop build, I suggest you hold off and try to get both versions so you can maximize the variety of unnecessary pack-ins you can get. The coin is pretty nice though.
Day 600: December 27, 2007