ANAKIN SKYWALKER and ARC Trooper
30th Anniversary Collection Order 66 Series 2
Item No.: Asst. 87356 No. 87667
Number: 2 of 6
Includes: Lightsaber, cloth shirt, companion figure
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: March 2008
Appearances: Clone Wars, Revenge of the Sith
Bio: As a general in the Grand Army of the Republic, Anakin commands highly skilled Advanced Recon Clone troopers during the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.
Commentary: I've often heard familiarity breeds contempt, and Hasbro's seemingly now annual Order 66 series is a generally very familiar thing. In year 1, we were given 12 figures from existing molds with minor modifications, and generally nothing really stood out about them as being brand new-- sure they were different, but not "new." Hasbro tried to make up for this in 2008, and I don't hold any contempt for these guys as a whole-- especially not Anakin Skywalker. It's a figure that's hard to completely admire on its own merits, because it's pretty neat for what Hasbro managed to do here. They took a shirtless figure from 2007 covered in tattoos, repainted him, gave him a new tunic, and presto-- new figure. It's a very different looking figure with a wonderful range of movement, and I daresay my new favorite non-scene-specific Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker figure. The only things he's "missing" are the blast-off stump for an arm and the gloved hand. Other than that, he's pretty much got it all.
Hasbro took the 2007 figure and recolored the pants to match the movie, and with its soft goods shirt, this figure has a big edge over other releases in that it can sit. Yes friends, Hasbro actually made an action figure perfectly designed to sit in a vehicle without distorting any plastic, stressing any joints, or otherwise ruining it. I'm scared too. This amazing release also has a redecorated head which makes it one of the friendliest Anakin Skywalker releases since the first prequel. While we all know this character will eventually turn into Darth Vader, an awful amount of time is spent making him seem a little off, a little evil, which is counter to the story's real need of making him into a great hero too so you can actually feel bad for him when he gets trapped in the armor through his own poor choices. The figures typically look a little dark and a little angry, but this one looks almost like it stepped out of a disney film. Dig those baby blues-- even though he has a scar, it looks distinguished and not like the sign of a guy who signed up to be a super-villain. He's a little paler than some other Anakin releases but his darker costume and softer features actually make him look like a hero for once, something that a lot of licensed products didn't always do very well. This isn't Darth Vader without the armor, this is Anakin, the good man that Obi-Wan told Luke about on Dagobah who we'll hopefully get to see a lot more of in the new cartoon. I know he's a brooding villain-in-the-making, but he's a kid with decent motivations and generally means well-- despite being a bit of a hothead and a whiner. It's a nice overall figure which feels more like an action hero, and even though this is essentially a glorified repaint I really, really like it a lot. As I'm a big sucker for "realistic" Clone Wars toys this figure will probably be in permanent display rotation whenever I get new stuff, I just totally dig it. Good luck outdoing this one, Hasbro.
Collector's Notes: Today is in theory the "official" release date for this figure, but I picked mine up a couple of weeks ago. I opted to review it now as it's based on a figure I really like and for some reason I'm initially very much drawn to this figure. I'm curious if this will change later.
Day 710: April 15, 2008