Monday, 12 November 2012

MH11: Movie Heroes Clone Trooper Review

As I've mentioned before, I find the period between the Prequels and the OT a fascinating time in Star Wars lore - there's a lot of ground to be covered with many of the 'big' characters in their prime, and a wholesale change in the style and look of the galaxy. This is where the Clone Troopers come into their own, having been on a pretty clear path of evolution from their introduction in Episode II. I have to say, with hindsight and a softening demeanour towards the Prequels as a whole, I'm actually rather fond of the ROTS 'Phase 2' look. With that in mind, it's time to review... The Movie Heroes Clone Trooper!

star wars hasbro clone
Clone Trooper and his Gear
Basic Training

This figure is a re-pack of 2005's Clone Trooper with Firing Jet Backpack, a deluxe figure that was based on unused concept art for Revenge of the Sith. As far as I can tell it's a straight-up repack, with no change to the paint apps. The figure features 12 points of articulation and the aforementioned Firing Jet Backpack (essential for anti-Separatist missions!), and a rifle with a sight. It also comes packed with a Star Wars display base, a Galactic Battle Game Card and Game Die.

For the Republic!

Firstly, it's a decent sculpt. A lot of detail has been crafted into the armour, with lines in all the right places and an impressive level of detail on the belt and the right-wrist controls. The paint apps are really well done, with great detailing on the helmet in particular. The ball-jointed head is the right size, and the waist joint, swivel hips and ball jointed knees and ankles allow for some well-balanced poses (although posing is an issue that will be discussed further below). Even with the heavy weight of the firing jetpack plugged into its back the Clone Trooper can still stand up well. The jetpack itself looks very cool, and both the spring loaded wings and missile firing feature work well enough as play features for me; I'm sure that a kid would absolutely love this toy for that alone!

For the Empire!

As you may have noticed so far however, I've avoided talking about the arms. And if you look at the pictures above, you may notice they're all in the same position - and that right there is the serious flaw with this figure, ladies and gentlemen: swivel elbows. Without any kind of hinge action (and nothing like a ball joint), this Clone Trooper is eternally stuck in either a rigid, double-handed gun holding pose, or with his arms out in a 'what ya gonna do?' kind of stance. I know how he'll sit on my shelf, but it's not a great choice. Another problem I've found is seriously loose joints, and a lower left arm that came off straight out of the packet. The former isn't a huge problem because as yet the Trooper's had no difficulty holding a pose, but the arm has dropped out a couple of times since. The rifle is incredibly under-sculpted as well, but it serves its purpose well enough.

"Why me?" bemoans the MH Clone Trooper as his SL counterpart stretches w-i-d-e...
For Some Ball-Jointed Arms!

My overall impression is that this is a very solid toy with one big minus point; however, the good almost counteracts it. There's a decent sculpt, a very good paint job, great lower-body posability that can make the upper-body poses seem less static, and a very cool and well-made action feature that keeps the spirit of the character whilst also providing a great toy. The arms aren't great, but at least the pose they hold looks natural and appropriate, and I'd have absolutely no second thoughts about putting this guy on display next to my Saga Legends Clone Trooper. In fact, I'd say they look pretty swell together...


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