Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: Clone Wars Figures Waves 9, 10, 11!

Yes. I collect Star Wars figures. And if you've seen my recent Princess Leia photoshoot (which is NSFW and  available here) then you'll know I have a lot of them. But despite the fact that the quality of the figures is steadily on the rise, they have become increasingly difficult to find, not just here in Australia, but also in the US, and even online!

So about a month ago I surrendered. I signed up to online seller Brian's Toys "One of Each Figure Club" and took myself out of the hunt! And, as a collector, I'd be nuts not to right now as they are half the Australian retail price, thanks to our mighty Australian dollar, and I don't need to look like an idiot trawling K-Mart.

If you didn't know, Star Wars line is currently split into realistic, detailed figures based on the movies and aimed at collectors (and packaged on vintage cards); and Clone Wars figures that are based on the animated look of the TV show.

When I signed up I was informed that my first wave would be a vintage movie wave (including man-eating ewok medicine man, Logray!) but that turns out not to be the case! I received a big box of Clone Wars figures this morning - in fact it contained waves 9, 10 AND 11, which is pretty much everything that will be released for that line this year. When they said "one of each figure" I didn't expect to receive them all at once!


Join me after the jump for my commentary, but it's image heavy so you might want to make yourself a cup of coffee!


We'll start with the not-so-exciting stuff and work our way to the pick of the litter! Wolf down these vegetables - there is pie at the end!

First up, no Clone Wars waves would be complete without a generous serving of titular clones. Guffaw! "Titular":


Left is the Arf Trooper who is inexplicably riding Biff's hoverboard, and to the right is Commander Jet who I don't really recall. Nothing too exciting here but they're nicely done. But the biggest thing I noticed that has changed with this new batch is they are all laden with accessories - mostly kid orientated stuff that fires deadly projectiles into unsuspecting cats and eyeballs.

Hasbro has to achieve a difficult balance here because they have to make them compelling enough for kids to play with, but also have to appease us 30+ hyper-critical man-children. They've done this buy making most of the crazier accessories removable so that you can display them with or without. And some of the accessories this round really do get crazy...

Look at these guys:


Left is the Stealth Ops Trooper who I didn't even know had been made until I saw him today. Despite his infeasibly ridiculous missile firing jet-pack (which I will indeed remove) the rest of his custom armour is pretty badass. I especially like the holster built into his chest-plate. To the right is the new version of clone luminary Captain Rex. You're thinking, "Well that one's pretty subtle. He doesn't look over-accessorised to me!" Then check this out!:


Chest-holster, jet-pack with wings, and shoulder mounted swivel cannons! It's like Star Wars is slowly morphing into Transformers. This is more of a tank than a stormtrooper. He can't walk any more, but he can turn into a jet! I sure hope that Lando's bald aide Lobot appears in the Clone Wars so they can attach missile-launchers to his earphones! Han Solo can have a blaster that pops out of his pants!

Next up are some revised versions of some hero Jedi:


To the right is Plo Koon, now in cold-weather gear!? From an appearance that wasn't even in the show but some kind of comic?! I have to read now?! Those spiky ice-shoes he's wearing are actually clip-on so now Star Wars is steadily morphing into Polly Pocket. He also has that clip on mask but it makes him look so goofy I have left it in his hand. I mean come on! HE'S ALREADY WEARING A MASK! That's like wearing a hat and then putting on another hat and then everyone stares and points and calls you "Johnny Two-Hats".

To the left is Plo-Koon's droid. I forget his name. Let's call him Greasy Steve.

Here's another couple of cool customers:


Grinning Rastafarian frog-man Kit Fisto (left) also has clip-on shoes and some stylin' clip-on sunglasses (snowglasses?). And to the right is Saesee Tiin who has never been released in this line before. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Well, he's fine! He's just dressed like a regular, classic Jedi!" So check out this noize!:


WTF is going on here!?! I dig the mask (he wore it in an earlier series) but I've never seen him with half a plane welded to his back! The Hasbro designers must have a free-reign and a case of tequila right now! I'm not even complaining - as long as it's all removable I don't mind what they add! In fact I encourage it and will continue to give them free ideas! How about a Grand Moff Tarkin figure where his boots are steam engines?! Or what about an Obi Wan Kenobi who is wearing a nacho sombrero and is being mauled by a mechanical tiger?

Okay, now we're getting into the stuff I really like...


This curmudgeonly little bugger is Even Piell. It's also his first appearance in the line and I think they've done a bang up job with his face sculpt! He looks like Dobby's surly uncle that used to hit him with a bottle. What did Evan come packaged with? Rocket rollerskates? A giant pinata?


A backpack with a grappling hook and line! That's pretty cool, and pretty old skool. It reminds me of Webstor from Masters of the Universe, and the way it attaches is not dissimilar to the backpacks seen on the old M.A.S.K. line.

We're nearly there! Now the stuff I really love...


CHEWBACCA! GRRROOOARRR! Yes! If you didn't know, Chewbacca appeared at the end of season 3 of the Clone Wars and this figure is based on his animated appearance. He's really nicely sculpted and articulated, probably better than what we've seen in the more realistic movie line. No batshit insane accessories here, but he did come with an additional large missile firing kiddie crossbow which I haven't photographed here.

And it gets even better...


It's Darth Maul's baby brother - Savage Opress! Yes. Darth Maul really has a brother. Yes. His name is really Savage Opress. But if you've seen the trilogy of episodes where he was introduced then you'll know that he's totally awesome. He's even voiced by Clancy Brown! He came packaged with a second missile-firing axe (not pictured) and - OH WOW! - you know, I only just realised that the markings on his chest look like Darth Maul's face! How cool is that? Oh. You don't think? Well I think it's cool.

This character is, in fact, so great, that they gave me another one as well...


Nope, that armour isn't an accessory. That's a whole new figure based on his later appearance. Here's the two of them side-by-side for comparison:


Notice there's different head-sculpts as well. I think the one on the left might be my favourite though.

And you probably think that's it, because how could we get better than Darth Maul's savage brother? Well there is one more figure that I like even better...


Meet Seripas, a new bounty-hunter introduced in season two. He's a large, bulky figure, very unique in his design and he's the stand out of the wave for me. He has hidden blasters that pop out of his forearms and a new rifle that we haven't seen before. I love everything about his look, but the best thing is hidden away inside him (spoilerz):


Seripas is actually that tiny dood inside that's driving him! The minuscule alien is removable and even has some basic articulation. It's a very nice touch and the crowning achievement of this particularly crazy set of figures!

Overall, I love these! There were some I would have skipped if I'd been buying individually, but I think I would have missed out. Everything here has something to recommend it. Well... except for maybe Greasy Steve. If you see a Seripas, Savage or Chewie particularly then grab them because (unlike me) they're going to be hard to get.

4 comments:

  1. It bothers me that Dobby and Savage Opress have their hands touching the 'blade' of their lightsabers. Please fix that.

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  2. Seripas is fucking awesome! That's how I feel sometimes, under my forbidding exterior.

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  3. YEAH! TEAM SERIPAS!

    My favourite thing about the Clone Wars line is that we do indeed get brand new characters whereas the vintage line can only keep revamping main characters or mining the background cast. It's very cool to get a while new bounty hunter or sith lord in this line - I just wish they'd make realistic versions of them as well!

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