CLONE TROOPER ArtFX Kit/Statue/Figure
Star Wars Vinyl Figure Kit
Item No.: No. 13-142
Manufacturer: Kotobukiya, distributed in the USA by Dark Horse
Includes: Pistol, black Speeder Bike
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Spring 2004-present
Appearances: Attack of the Clones
Bio: Poised and ready for battle, the Clone Trooper conjures up all the excitement of filmdom's most cherished space fantasy. Measuring approximately 13-inches tall from the base to the tip of his laser rifle, this figure sets a new standard for the vinyl category. Packaged in a giant color window-box, this item will be the centerpiece for any Star Wars collection. (Taken from the Dark Horse info page.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' living room, on top of a speaker, where it has stood since Spring 2005.
Commentary: There's no shortage of high-end Star Wars items, and this Japanese import is certainly a unique release. A vinyl figure, this Clone Trooper is unique on many levels. For starters, it's technically a pre-painted model kit. The figure's arms, head, hands, and feet must all be snapped into place so he can stand guard on top of a particularly slick display base. No cutting or painting or gluing are necessary, you just put tab "a" into slot "b" and enjoy. The assembly takes about a minute and a 4-year-old would have no difficulty putting it together, unless the kid rides the short bus and can't stick together a couple of Duplo bricks. But I digress.
The 1:7 scale statue is a pretty good replica of the character as seen in the movie. The armor is great, and is molded in a white (or perhaps just off-white) plastic that, so far, has not taken to yellowing. When it comes to expensive stuff, this is something that's really important-- having your prized (and pricey) figure discolor is purely inexcusable. The figure has no articulation, and while his body resembles the movie quite nicely, the head... not so much. Kotobukiya puts a lot of work into their products and spends significant effort creating collectibles with unique poses, great deco, and tons of personality. Oh, and horrible faces. Their Star Wars line (and most lines based on real-world things, not anime or game characters) have mugs that are generally a little off-model. Perhaps its meant to be an artistic interpretation, but the "face" on this Clone Trooper helmet really doesn't look right. The area which can be best described as the "nose" and "mouth" seems weird, as the black area in the center is far too short, and the "mouth" seems far too long. And the amazing thing is it still looks great, and not just because it reminds me of how Samus Aran was posed on the Metroid II box art. No, this is a really nice figure that, from a distance, looks supremely impressive. The quality is on par with other high-end items from companies like Gentle Giant, but the fact that the helmet looks a little off is a really big buzzkill. I'd still suggest picking one up if you can get it for a good price, and given how Koto handles their products, you jut might be able to do that.
Collector's Notes: With very few exceptions (exclusives mostly), the entire Kotobukiya Star Wars catalog is open-stock, non-limited stuff. In other words, they can make as many as they want, it isn't a limited edition run. Because of this, the items simply cannot go up in value until production ends, and due to how some distributors dumped product in Europe, the prices have actually gone through the floor on a bunch of these. On eBay, you can get this for about $40-$75 without too much trouble. Koto also made repaints of at least two of the officers which were sold in the Japanese market. I like the white one, especially if you can get it for on the cheap.
Day 640: February 5, 2008