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Review of Captain Rex 501st Clonetrooper 1/6th action figure
Star Wars

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Introduction

The animated Clone Wars was a great series, adding some interesting back story to the Star Wars universe, and fleshing out some of the EU concepts. Now that Disney is revisiting everything in terms of what's canon and what's not, it will be interesting to see what survives, but if we lose Captain Rex, it will be too bad.

Rex is the leader of the 501st, a tough, no nonsense Trooper who might be a clone, but is a person all his own as well. He let's everyone know that by customizing his armor, creating his own unique look.

Sideshow has just added him to their terrific line up of Troopers, and included an extra un-helmeted head.  This is NOT a cartoon figure, but a real world interpretation of the character.

An exclusive and a regular are available this time around. I'm looking at the exclusive, but the only extra is a specific base with artwork just for Captain Rex. Otherwise, the regular and exclusive are identical.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Packaging - ***1/2
When Sideshow first developed their Star Wars packaging, it was pretty cutting edge stuff. Completely collector friendly with a stylish simplicity, it remains a terrific design. The magnetic closures on the flap are a big plus over Velcro, and they manage to fit a lot of stuff in a little space with some creative use of the plastic trays.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Sculpting - ***1/2
Captain Rex is not a character from a live action movie or show - he's an animated creation, part of the Clone Wars series. That means they've taken the liberty of translating his cartoon appearance into a life-like, realistic version.

This was a bit tricky, but I think they did a fantastic job pulling it off. It's clearly Rex, yet this is one of Sideshow's best human sculpts I've seen, certainly in recent memory.  The paint helps big time of course - more on that in a minute - but the skin texture, finely detailed eyebrows and lips, and glassy eyes are a huge part as well.  I even see a lot Jango Fett in there, particularly with the nose and lips. That makes complete sense, considering the genetic lineage of the clones.

The majority of this score is for the nicely sculpted armor, however. Everything looks fantastic, and while I'm betting hard core trooper nerds will be able to find some issues with scale, detail, or shape, all the armor (including the helmet) looks fantastic to me. Remember, this is a slightly modified Phase II outfit, and includes the soft cloth 'skirt'.

If I were grading this figure on the armor and face sculpt alone, he'd be a four star figure. But the hair is the one area where they had some trouble, although it's really minor. Rex has blond hair in a buzz cut, and they did an admirable job replicating the look. That is until they got to the hairline. Here, they have a very specific break point, with a slight groove in the sculpt right at the edge. This, along with the paint work, makes the edge really, really obvious, even in hand. Had they simply left the edge undefined, with the hair sculpt and face blended together, it would have looked much, much better.

Still, it's a fairly minor nit on an otherwise solid job.  Don't let that one line color your opinion of the more critical work on the overall armor.

By the way, he's sixth scale of course, and stands just a hair over 12" tall.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Paint - ***1/2
If I were grading this figure on the armor paint work only, it would be an easy four stars. Everything comes together perfectly, from the bright blue to the battle damage to the special markings specific to Rex. I particularly like the tally of 'victories' on the side of his helmet, a very warrior-like touch.

If I had one complaint, it would be that the feet - both sets - are much dirtier than the rest of the armor. While I get the general concept (your feet are going to be dirtier, natch), the difference is a bit too stark and obvious. Still, this is a very minor nit in an otherwise fantastic paint job.

But there's also the extra head, and I have an issue there that pulls this down overall. It's not the skin or eyes, as both of these are very realistic and clean. In fact, this is one of Sideshow's better human likenesses, and a good part of the reason for that is the paint work on the face. The lips, the eyes, the skin - very natural.  It's still not quite as good as Hot Toys on their best day, but it's comparable with some of their more average pieces.

No, it's the hair. In the sculpting section, I mentioned that there's a groove between the hair and the face, right along the hair line. This groove is very shallow, but it's there, and it's a very abrupt break between the two.  Unfortunately, they made this situation worse by giving it a dark line, making the border all the more obvious. Just as with the sculpt, if they had left the edge skin tone with no clear demarcation, it would have looked much, much better.

Still, the outstanding work on the armor overrides my dislike of that one line - and if you go with the helmeted look, it won't make any difference anyway.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying body has all the articulation you'd expect, like a double ball neck post, ball shoulders and hips, double pin elbows and knees, ball ankles and plenty of joints in between. While the body doesn't quite have the same natural flow as the TrueType, it's very close, and you should have no trouble finding a pose - or many poses - that you'll like.

The body is a little loose, but not floppy bad. The one area where Hot Toys may have an edge on Sideshow when it comes to their release of the various troopers is in the underlying body.

The hands and feet swap cleanly, and stay in place pretty well. You should try to get the ball joints in the position you want, relative to the hand or foot, before popping them in place, however. 

Working with the head is a bit tougher, and popping Rex in place will take some force - or some hot water. I went with force, but you'll want to take extra care with the suit if you go that route.

And if you were wondering, yes, the range finder on the helmet is articulated and can move downward into position, or up out of the way.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Accessories - ****
This guy is loaded, and you should be quite pleased with his assortment of extras, particularly if you like swapping hands.

That's because he comes with 6 full sets, everything from fists to specific poses. Add in one extra left doing the peace sign, and you've got 13 hands to choose from, each with their own post.

Rex wouldn't be much of a trooper without weapons and he has three - a blaster rifle and two pistols. The pistols fit in the holsters at his hips, while he has to carry the rifle. He has the appropriate hands to work with these, and can pose battle ready in an unlimited number of ways.

He also has two silver grenades, which is a nice add, but not something most people will use in the display. Now that we have a 'bat armory' we need a trooper armory to store all these deadly extras. I wonder if there's a jewelry box out there that would work...

Getting back to Rex, he has more than just extra hands - he has an extra set of feet too. These are half bent, better suited to crouching or running poses. The feet all have their own posts as well, and swap easily. Both sets are a little too dirty, but I already complained about that.

I mentioned the sculpt and paint on the extra head, but it's worth noting that including it really helps boost this category score as well. I'm a big fan of extra portraits, and this is a perfect example.

However, one negative is that the swapping process is very difficult. The Rex head is a tight fit, and you should take extra care in where you are holding and squeezing the body when pressing the head unto the neck post.

Also worth noting is that he comes with an extra chunk of material around the neck post, padding it up over the basic body suit. This extra 'neck tube' bulks up the black material enough with the unhelmeted head. Without it, the neck would look too skinny.

I'm not counting the shoulder armor as an extra, although it is very easy to remove once you pop off the head. However, I am counting the backpack, which is held in place with magnets. He looks equally good with or without it, and it gives you another option when displaying him.

Finally, he has his display stand. I'm assuming the regular release includes the standard black stand, but for this exclusive, there's this white base with a colorful logo specific to old Rex. While it's a nice add, it really isn't a big extra, certainly not one that's worth paying a lot more for.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Outfit - ***
I've already raved about the sculpt and paint work on the overall armor. And yes, it's terrific. But there's a couple other issues with the outfit that pulls the score down in this category.

The underlying body suit looks terrific, and including the extra piece for the neck that I mentioned in the preceding section was a great idea.

But the wear and tear that we see on the armor doesn't translate to the soft skirt. Instead, it's completely clean and pristine, an obvious mismatch to the eye.

That's a more minor point though, less of an issue than the holsters. These are attached to the skirt itself with two posts, as well as to the belt with straps.  The holsters sit too high on the hips, so that the guns and belt get in each others way. Dropping them down just another 1/4" would have made a huge difference.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Fun Factor - ****
These figures are a lot of fun, and are built well enough to handle posing and re-posing, time and again. While the overall body could be just a smidge tighter, this is still a terrific toy, even if it's one that's too expensive to really be a toy.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Value - ***
While other manufacturers are charging $220 and more for high end sixth scale, Sideshow is keeping their Troops fairly reasonable. Most of the time they come in around $150, but because Rex is special - what with the extra head and extra personality - he runs $170 retail. You can find him a bit cheaper though if you search around, and are willing to skip the exclusive.

Remember, the first Hot Toys Stormtrooper is already priced at $200, and has far fewer accessories. Now's the time to pick up a few of the Sideshow troopers to fill out the display, and do a little army building.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Things to Watch Out For -
I've already mentioned that you should take care with swapping heads, particularly if you don't soften up the Rex head with some hot water or a hair dryer first.

Also, take care with the holsters. The two posts can break or pull free from the material if you put too much pressure on them.

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Overall - ***1/2
Sideshow has done a very strong job with their Troopers over the years, and Captain Rex is another excellent addition. Translating his look from cartoon to live action was a smart choice, but it had its risks. They've pulled it off nicely, and given us a well outfitted trooper at a price well below the competition.

In the end, there were really only two things that held this guy back from getting a four star review. First, it's the obvious hair line. Even in person, without the macro lens, this sculpted and painted border is way to obvious. 

The other issue that bugged me in particular was the high riding holsters. This is another spot where a slight adjustment on their part up front would have made all the difference in the world.

But those are still pretty minor nits, and I have to say that there's some very positive things here for the future, including the realistic sculpt and solid skin tone paint job. I'm hoping we can see Sideshow repeat this quality on some of their other licenses in the coming months.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ****
Outfit - ***
Fun Factor - ****
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Sideshow has him (the exclusive) at $170.

- has the regular for just $160.

- has the regular release for $170.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered a number of the Troopers, including the 501st, Veteran, and 'shiny, the Sandtrooper with the Dewback, the Sargent Clonetrooper, the Shocktrooper, the Utapau Trooper, the Imperial Stormtrooper, and even Obi-Wan in his trooper armor. And one of my favorites - the Snowtrooper.

And if you'd like some other troops, remember there's also the Droids, the STAP, and the Rebels!

Discussion:
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Captain Rex Star Wars 501st action figure by Sideshow

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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