Released September, 2003
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on October 15, 2003
An armored white trooper on the side of the good guys? A fan's dream come true, in a sense, is the ARC Trooper (Advanced Recon Commando). Bringing in elements of the troopers to come before and after him, he manages to reference no less than five Imperial and Republic troopers.
An ARC Trooper is packaged with a a blaster as well as a removable shoulder pauldron, removable waist coat, and a removable rangefinder.
New, super-smart Clones with personality and personally trained by Jango Fett? Apparently LucasFilm and Hasbro sat around a table long and hard to come up with this one, which really seems like a valentine to fanboys everywhere. Except when it falls apart.
From a design standpoint, this references dozen of fan favorites, and as such Hasbro's probably banking it'll be a big seller. While it doesn't have the universal appeal of regular Clones, as this one never appeared in a movie, it's still quite cool.
The ARC uniform is based on a standard clone, but with some additions. First, there's a blue-grey paint added to him to designate, at a glance, his rank. Second, there's the rangefinder on his head.
While the helmet and its coloring are both quite fine, the addition of the rangefinder seems gratuitous, but it is mean to be a nod to Jango Fett, and as such it's somewhat neat. The main problem fans will most likely have with it is that it tends to fall off almost immediately upon being removed from the package, so take care when opening this one. It moves up and down, as it should, meaning that other than its ease of loss, it's a nice feature.
The basic design, of course, references the Clone Troopers and Stormtroopers that have come before. But if you look at his legs, you can see some Scout Trooper elements thrown in there that, while subtle, are a nice addition. Wrapped around those legs is a removable waist coat that doesn't come off as easily as the other accessories, and of course references the Imperial forces from the Battle of Hoth. Lastly, there's the grey shoulder pauldron, which brings to memory the Sandtroopers. This accessory is also very easily removed, but not as easy to misplace as the rangefinder.
The figure's articulation is above par but at the same time disappoints. Ball-jointed shoulders cap off regular joints at the neck, elbows, waist, and hips, and it's obvious that just a little more work would have made it great. It's difficult for him to grip and aim his weapon like on the package, but the quantity of articulation does allow for more poses than the average Trooper.
Paint on the ARC Trooper varies from figure to figure, with some being painted in a clean manner while others are a little sloppy. As such, your mileage may vary.
The figure sculpt is what it should be, and that's a tricked-out Clone Trooper. Anything more or less probably would have been disappointing.
Aside from the aforementioned removable extras, the figure also includes a weapon that vaguely resembles the rifle of Boba Fett.
Like the other figures in this line, he has a lot of removable parts. Also like other figures in this line, he can't be posed in too many great poses because while the articulation is ample, it isn't necessarily good articulation.
The ARC Trooper can holdhis rifle to his side, carry it as seen above, or have it over his shoulder. The weapon itself is a little bendy, but the original design is pretty good and it fits in with the figure nicely. While more deco would have been nice, it's out of character for Hasbro to add in such things to a weapon of a $5 figure.
New for 2003, the Clone Wars package theme.
The same figure was also packaged in a Wal-Mart exclusive Bonus Pack with a white Clone Trooper.
He seems to sit more than the other Clone Wars figures, but he isn't exactly common yet. Be sure to check out the bigger toy stores for this one.
Overall, it's a nice figure, but with limited appeal due to its Expanded Universe status. Still, it's good and worthy of buying by the bushel. Be sure to snag a few if you're an army fan, otherwise one or two should do the trick. It's neat, and fun to mess with, but as it's not a movie toy it doesn't have the same appeal.
Our regular sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in September 2003. Our bonus pack sample was purchased at a Scottsdale, AZ Wal-Mart in September, 2003.