While nerds worldwide eagerly await the initial thrust into a new series of live-action Star Wars films starting with Episode VII The Force Awakens, Disney/Lucasfilm are currently keeping fans amused with the new animated series Star Wars Rebels on Disney XD. Now that’s a fine show with a cast of likable characters and stories which turned out better than most fans ever gave credit it for. Fanboys who haven’t been won over by Rebels are still chewing sour grapes given that Star Wars: The Clone Wars got scrapped in favor of Rebels. Star Wars: The Clone Wars being a show, which, is arguably the best thing to have happened to Star Wars since Carrie Fischer donned that metal bikini.
Some of the best stories to come out of Star Wars: The Clone Wars dealt with Stormtroopers and their adventures during the Clone Wars. Those weren’t your father’s stormtroopers though, they were specialized troopers and very specific skill sets. You certainly didn’t want to get an angry call from one of those guys.
Our friends and Sideshow were kind enough to send Nerd Bastards one of their latest additions to the Storm Trooper infantry – the Bomb Squad Clone Trooper. If I said this review was explosive, I wouldn’t really be lying now would I? So let’s check out this orange armored centurion of the Republic and have a blast!
Clone Ordnance Specialists, also known as Bomb Squad Troopers, were specialized clone troopers in the Grand Army of the Republic, trained in ordnance disarmament and disposal. In other words, they make things not go BOOM. They’re deco’d in a bright orange to signify their dangerous occupation. They first appeared in “Blue Shadow Virus,” the 17th episode of Clone Wars first season.
The box is sexy. Simple classic grey on black 6 panel flip lid covered in manufacturer deets, logos, and spiffy product photography. Under the cover we can see the figure and multiple layers of clam shell style trays for storage and protection. The latter is always a major selling point, as there are no twist ties, tape, or boards that need to be shot out like a womp rat. Very collector friendly, allowing you to remove and restore your figure and accessories. So, if you wanted to sell or trade your piece in the underworld… you can! And the best part about that is you typically won’t lose much, if any, value on your purchase.
If a Storm Trooper’s armor isn’t battle worn and torn, then he isn’t doing his job right. This Bomb Squad Trooper looks like he has seen some shit. His armor is scuffed, paint chipped, and covered in a wash of dust and dirt. I think “weathered” is the word I’m looking for. If the figure was made as if he came straight out off the clone assembly line on Kamino, looking all mint and freshly painted, then it wouldn’t look as bombastic. Suffice to say, its got character!
There’s a lot of articulation with the trooper, but he does have a hard time staying in any one pose on his own. There is a stand included, which serves its purpose keeping the figure upright, but if you’re like me, you hate using them. Stands remind me of dolls and this isn’t a doll, it’s a high-end collectible! So says the 33 year old man in his underwear with a toy in his hand…
If you want to put the clone in any of the action poses, it’s a pain in the Rancor balls. Unless you’ve got him leaning on something else for support, it’s nearly impossible to keep him in a kneeling pose. Oh, and that armor? Yeah… have fun with that. You want to swap out a pair of hands and have your figure hold a long rifle? Well prepare to get trained in the art of juggling, because the gauntlets on the forearms or shin guards come flying off when you remove the hands/feet from the socket joints and they will ding around your room like a misfired blaster shot. I’m exaggerating a bit but not by much.
All the armor pieces are independent and unfastened to anything. Legs, thighs, forearms and elbow armor pieces all just sort of float in place and will spin around off centered if touched in the slightest of ways. It’s rather frustrating when you want to get your figure in a crouched or take-a-knee positions and see the kneepads or thigh guards be all cockeyed. You try to readjust then…. BOOM…now the gauntlets on the forearms get spun around backwards. But remember anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
Having to futz with the armor is not Sideshows fault. In fact it’s rather a compliment to how accurate it is to on-screen Stormtrooper armor. I dunno if you’ve ever cosplayed (or know someone who does) as a Stormtrooper, but that armor is for aesthetic appeal only, it’s not a very wearable piece of attire. All the armor pieces are really just stacked in place on each limb, and with spandex body suit underneath it’s like oil and water. So it is what it is. True to form in every sense.
It’s disappointing that this figure doesn’t come with a sculpted clone trooper head (w/ Jango Fetts face) or alternative modern helmet, which quite a few other Trooper figures in the line come with. This just has a lone early prequels style (aka Phase I) helmet. Phase I Helmet means that the events occurred after Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones but before Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith as the clone troopers were wearing the Phase II helmets by then. Personally, I don’t fancy the Phase I helmets and stick mostly to the Phase II clone troopers.
Helmet gripe aside, there’s something about that design and color scheme on this figure that just look so cool, which you’ll notice is a recurring comment in this review. He truly stands out from the rest varied squadron of Troopers.
Unless you’re a diehard Star Wars fan that knows the rank and class of each Trooper, choosing a figure to own is kind of like picking best friends – there’s many to choose from but only a few you like most. With Storm Trooper 1/6 scale figures it comes down to either character or color, and this is a hot looking Trooper. Because, well, the color orange. The figure stands out for sure, you can spot him from a mile a way! Not to mention how cool those bombs are.
Included with the Bomb Squad trooper is the familiar DC-15S Blaster Carbine with collapsible stock, the DC-15A Blaster Rifle with Optional Spear Attachment, a pair of wire clippers, and two Blue Shadow Virus bombs. There are also 13 different hands, two sets of feet (one for standing, one for “action” poses) and a backpack with adjustable straps and magnetic harness.
I never understood why this on-going line of Trooper figures come with multiple hand sets rather than articulated fingers. Is tooling that much more expensive than all the extra plastic? Don’t get me wrong, the hand sets allow for a nifty display or Rock, Paper, Scissors, Spock (oops wrong franchise), but I get mildly miffed having to swap out hands at risk of damaging figure and having to deal with those gosh darn gauntlets when they come flying off.
It’s been noted that due to a manufacturing error that the label/logo on the bombs were mistakenly inverted, but had I not been told, I never would have noticed.
I do, have issue with the wire cutters. Like, are they really necessary? They weren’t used/scene in the show. The bombs are diffused by rotating the cylinders (which actually slide in and out on these #itsthelittlethings) so what good are wire cutters gonna do? I guess the more accessories the better, right?
This figure isn’t as in demand or recognized as lets say Commander Cody or Captain Rex. And yes, it’s more or less just a gussied up repaint, but hey, that’s Clones for you, right? He is, though, distinctive in his own right. Talking about that color scheme again, it’s striking beyond all accounts. If you have a growing collection of Storm Troopers or just starting out, then this is the figure that your eyes may gravitate to the most. As an army builder myself, display-ability is an important factor for the figures I dedicate my shelf space too and this figure has it! Also, consider the odd observation that the less screen time a character has, the more fans want a figure to commemorate its obscurity. Having only been seen in two episodes, this figure is a MUST!
Orange you glad you read this review?
The Bomb Squad Clone Trooper is available for pre-order now for $149.99. You can find it at Sideshow Collectibles here: http://bit.ly/buyBombSquad
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