CLONE TROOPER Bust-Ups
Star Wars Bust-Ups
Manufacturer: Gentle Giant
Type: Promotional piece, also sold as a retail release
Includes: Pieces to assemble to make the sculpture as seen
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: February 2004
Appearances: Attack of the Clones
Bio: Clone troopers were identical, genetically-modified soldiers bred and trained to serve in the Republic's army during the conflict that came to be known as the Clone Wars. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.
Commentary: When I first saw the Bust-Ups in 2004, I wasn't sure what to make of them other than that I thought it was the most awesome thing I'd seen in a while. This Clone Trooper was one of the reasons, because, well, just look at it. While it isn't 100% perfect in its blue markings (the chin, for example), it's gorgeous. The stripes are cleanly painted, the sculpt is crisp, and its whites are very white. At the time, many of Hasbro's figures had a bad habit of being off-white or discoloring before you even opened the packages, the whiter-than-white figures we see today were almost unthinkable. For these reasons and more, I was totally bowled over by this piece. He had personality-- he's gesturing off to something in the distance. His weapon is excellently sculpted-- just take a look at it. Gentle Giant even made sure the black body suit had some good detailing on it, plus colored in some of the grooves in the belt and on the armor to better bring out this white trooper's high level of detail. At the time, I had visions of shelves packed with these things, and collectors possibly even quitting Hasbro to move on to these cheaper, more highly detailed releases. Well, obviously that never happened-- the first mass-released series focused on a lot of human characters that didn't turn out too well, and some of the armored guys which would come later ranged from excellent to merely OK. This piece, though, was gorgeous-- one of Gentle Giant's finest, nearly perfect, and a great promise of a line that didn't quite turn out like I expected.
Collector's Notes: While more Bust-Ups of the Episode II Clone Troopers would eventually hit stores, they were slightly different in appearance when compared to this one. As such, this Bust-Ups release-- Gentle Giant's first-- remains somewhat scarce and still commands a bit of a premium. For those who haven't had the pleasure of buying any of this line, they're roughly the same size as Hasbro's action figures, minus the legs. Today, it's been quite some time since Gentle Giant has announced a new wave of Star Wars Bust-Ups and while they insist the line hasn't yet ended, it certainly seems like it doesn't have too much of a future.
Day 691: March 27, 2008