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Battle Droids - Star Wars
Sideshow Collectibles

Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles


We see many different things at the San Diego Comic-Con, but at last summer's event, we saw many of one thing - Sideshow's Battle Droids! Filling up a couple cases were large groups of droids, done up in different colors and styles.

The first pair of Battle Droids has shipped - two fairly standard Infantry Droids. There's a regular release of 5000, plus an exclusive release of just 500. The exclusive release contains a special backpack with the number 1138 on it.

Because the droids have the opportunity for lots of re-use, these sixth scale figures are a little cheaper than something like a Trooper or alien. You can get the two pack for $100 - $120, depending on the retailer.

If you like these guys, remember - the Battle Droid and S.T.A.P. go up for pre-order tonight! I suspect we'll see lots of variations on these guys during 2012, and I wouldn't be surprised if folks pick up more than one two pack of the standard guys to give them a fighting chance against the horde of Sideshow Clone Troopers on the shelf.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sideshow can claim changing the face of modern sixth scale packaging with their very first Star Wars boxes. They went completely collector friendly, and the switch to magnets as closures instead of Velcro was a huge plus. While other companies, including themselves, have expanded on these concepts with other lines, their Star Wars boxes have remained fairly constant in style and design. That's due in part to the license of course - not much can change without approvals from George himself - but it's also to provide consistency to collectors, a plus in my book.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles
Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles
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Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles
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Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles
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Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles
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Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles
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Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles
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Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles
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Sculpting - ***1/2
Yep, these are Droids, no doubt about it. I don't check out threads on figures I'm going to review to avoid coloring my own opinion in advance, but I'm betting that if I did, there'd be someone complaining about the shape of the head or the size of the yes, or the length of the legs...trust me, it's always something. But when I compare this final result to stills online, it looks pretty damn accurate to me.

He's slightly shorter than a Sideshow Clone Trooper, coming in at right around 11 1/2", depending on the stance and how far extended his neck is. He seems even smaller at first because of his lack of bulk and volume, but when you stand him next to another figure, the scale looks just about right.

With a figure like this, getting the appearance right isn't nearly as impressive as getting the sculpt and articulation to work together. This isn't quite at the level of a Hot Toys Iron Man in terms of engineering, but this is one of the better designed robot action figures I've seen. I was surprised by how well the two areas worked together, and by how seamless it all appears.

Paint - ***1/2
Both of these are darker than these pictured on the box, but I suspect we'll see plenty of variation in the general light brown color over the course of the various droid releases.

There's some hand painting going on too, adding in some of the damage and dirt, which makes each of these slightly unique. It's not a major thing, but they aren't cookie cutter exact, either.

While the palette is pretty simple and basic, what colors are here are clean and neat.

Articulation - ****
Wow - I wasn't expecting anything this well articulated. Sure, they looked pretty sweet at SDCC, but we all know that the realities of production costs often cause final figures to be less articulated than the prototypes.

Here, that's not the case. There's really only one missing joint that would have been great to have, and the fact that it's missing is clearly due to the basic design of the character.

The two figures come folded up in their 'storage' pose in the package. The head is fitted tight to the body and the legs folded all the way up, making them compact and transportable, just like in the film. Very cool!

The head pops up on a long neck, and has a ball joint at the top. The head can also move forward and back quite a bit further thanks to a second joint on a pin. The ball joint is a little restricted when the 'chin' of the face is tilted down, since the head then bumps into the neck, but it's still a much more mobile joint than I expected.

The shoulders are ball joints too, and there's cut joints at the biceps and forearms. The wrists are a peg that enters the arm, but the hand can turn and move back and forth. The thumb is on a ball joint, and there are two more pins in the hands - one above the wrist and one at the bottom of the two 'fingers'. Oh, and there's pin elbows too of course. All this arm/shoulder/hand articulation works great, and several of the pins are metal not plastic, to make them even more durable.

The hips are ball joints too, and the coverings you see in the photos are actually a soft material, so that they don't restrict the hidden joint. You can't get super deep stances, but the legs can move in and out a bit from straight center.

There's a pin knee, and a ball jointed ankle as well. The ankle is a little restricted by the sculpted discs, but they still work better than I anticipated.

The only real area where articulation was needed but wasn't present is the waist. The design of the character just doesn't allow for any real movement here, and I'd be careful when posing him not to put too much pressure on the thin waist.

Accessories - ***
There's not a ton of extras, but both have key pieces.

With the regular release, there are two packs, one for each Droid. These attach by way of pegs on the packs and holes in the back, and the fit is tight and clean. While they are similar, they aren't identical. Each has a different number design at the very top.

For the exclusive, there's a third pack, this one with the Lucas specific 1138. It's a cute touch, but if you missed out on the exclusive version it's no huge loss.

There are two blasters of course, both pretty much identical. They fit in the hands well enough, and have the usual high quality sculpt.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
I was surprised at how sturdy these were, although you'll want kids to know that the waist shouldn't be twisted. At $60 a figure, they aren't that much more expensive than some recent mass market 12" figures, and the quality is quite a bit better.

Value - ***
At $50 - $60 each, these are pretty reasonable sixth scale figures these days. Obviously, Sideshow can make up for it with quantity, since they can do a million variations on the theme, and suckers like me will gobble them up. I'm hoping to find a sale on this first set at some point to grab a couple more sets and fill out the ranks a bit.

Things to Watch Out For -
I mentioned taking some care with the waist when posing him, since that's the one area where he's a little weak. Otherwise, I found all the joints to be surprisingly sturdy, and the use of the metal pins was much appreciated.

Overall - ***1/2
There's a reason it's called the Clone Wars and not the Clone Milk and Cookies Party. Up til now though, having both sides of the war represented has been a little tough to do.

With these Droids however, you can build an army to face off against the excellent Sideshow Troopers, and do it a sight cheaper than getting the clones. Sideshow has been doing a great job with the license, and working to their strengths, a trend I hope we see continue through 2012.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ****
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Fanboy Collectibles has the pair for just $108.

- Sideshow has them of course, where they are $120 for the pair. And don't forget the S.T.A.P. goes up for pre-order tonight!

- Urban Collector has the pair for $120.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Sideshow has done their fair share of Star Wars figures, including:

- I love the big Dewback and Trooper, but it's a lot of cash.

- late last year I checked out Figrin D'an.

- speaking of Troopers, there's the Sargeant Clone Trooper.

- just before that was the dimunitive Jedi, Yoda.

- I also liked the recent Gammorean Guard.

- it was awhile before that for the previous review, Admiral Thrawn and his command chair.

- prior to that was Lando Calrissian, and the Shock Trooper.

- Darth Vader was perhaps Sideshow's best Star Wars release.

- then there's the Utapau Trooper, the Imperial Stormtrooper, and Captain Antilles.

- I wasn't as thrilled with Ki-Adi-Mundi, but Obi-Wan in Clone Armor is easily one of their best. Then there's Aayla Secura, Tatooine Luke and Han Solo.

- Sideshow had a strong year in 2008 with Commander Praji, the exceptional Palpatine/Sidous and ANH Obi-Wan, and the not quite so exceptional Ilum Padme.

- also in the sixth scale line, I've reviewed Leia and Bespin Luke, the Holo-chess set, Sideshow's Asajj, a terrific figure, Yavin Luke, the Endor Troops, Jabba the Hutt and his throne, Bib Fortuna, Jedi Luke, Darth Maul, Obi-Wan, Bespin Han Solo, regular Anakin Skywalker and Kit Fisto.

- I also have guest reviews of the SDCC Anakin Skywalker, Mace Windu, Emperor Palpatine and his throne, and Qui-Gon Jinn.

- in the premium format line, I've reviewed Darth Talon, Jedi Luke, Yoda with the Clone Trooper, Slave Leia, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Boba Fett, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Han Solo.

Discussion:
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Batlle Droids Star Wars action figures by Sideshow Collectibles


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

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