Commander Ponds
Hasbro Star Wars

Commander Ponds Clone Trooper action figure Star Wars by Hasbro

   "The following is a guest review.  The review and photos do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Michael Crawford or Michael's Review of the Week, and are the opinion and work of the guest author."

Dan Levine brings us tonight's review of Commander Ponds from the Hasbro Clone Wars series. Actually, he brought it quite awhile ago, but I misplaced it in my in box - sorry about that one!  Take it away, Daniel!

Hi, this is Daniel Levine! It’s been an excruciatingly long time since I had an opportunity to do a review for Michael (in fact, I haven’t done one since 2007!), so some of you might not remember me. Anyway, I’m a huge Star Wars buff; so of course, this review is on a Star Wars product.

Hopefully, most of you are familiar with the Star Wars: The Clone Wars TV series and I hope you got to see the excellent three-part Ryloth episode, because if you didn’t, you’d have no idea who Commander Ponds is. He was Mace Windu’s clone commander in the episode, and, although he did survive, has yet to appear in another one. (Here’s his Wookiepedia page.)

Ponds has been given a figure by Hasbro in the form of a Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive. The single figure has just started showing up in stores now.

Packaging - ****
The new late-2009 packaging is a huge improvement on the terrible 2008 Stormtrooper/Clone Trooper helmet cards. Man, those were disgusting with the blinding white and blue motif, plus the tape.

The new red/white design looks better, but what I love is the 100% glued down clam shells. Having to take out scissors to open the package is annoying. I want to just rip open my toy!

As this is an exclusive to Toys ‘R’ Us, there is a bullet sticker that lets the everyday kid know that he can only get it there. On the back, there’s a paragraph about the character. I’d really like to see Hasbro put the specific episodes that the character appeared in on the card, but that’s just me. Also missing is a list of a few current figures so instead, the card is taken up by one giant picture of Ponds. 
Commander Ponds Clone Trooper action figure Star Wars by Hasbro

Commander Ponds Clone Trooper action figure Star Wars by Hasbro
Commander Ponds Clone Trooper action figure Star Wars by Hasbro

Sculpting - ****
Hasbro has been doing a fantastic job with the Clone Wars clone troopers, especially since they are all pretty much built on the same sculpt. For most figures, the only thing unique about them is their head sculpts and whatever the trooper needs on his belt.

Ponds gets the standard commander gear, which is the plastic kama around his waist that has holsters for the pistols. His head is pretty standard, too, considering how most of the commanders usually have some funky hair-do.

Personally, I think Hasbro was able to hit the nail on the head. (It also helps that the Clone Trooper armor design is simple as is.)

Paint - ***
As a mass market toy, there is always going to be some slop and uneven lines. Somehow, I managed to get a relatively clean figure, but I have seen pictures of other figures on the web that are pretty messy.

A clone’s armor color is the number one thing that distinguishes it from another one, so Ponds’s color scheme is close to a rust color. Hasbro is pretty consistent with keeping that color on the armor and the pattern is certainly unique.

Another cool feature is the stubble painted on the clone’s head. I guess there’s no time to shave in the middle of war.

Articulation - ****
Ponds features the now-standard array of articulation on clones (that is, ball-jointed neck, shoulders, wrists, chest, knees and ankles plus swivel hips). With ball-jointed hips starting to appear on clones (supposedly the new ARF Trooper has them, but I haven’t picked that one up yet so I’m not sure) it’s a little disappointing not to have them here. If you’re wondering, the kama is flimsy enough that it doesn’t completely restrict the hips, although it does make posing them a little difficult.  

Accessories - ****
Hasbro gives the figure everything he needs, so it comes with the removable helmet, two small pistols and the rifle. I really wish Hasbro would always throw in the standard blaster that regular clones carry, but since we see Ponds (and all the other commanders) with the long rifle, it’s not too necessary. Surprisingly, Hasbro cheapened out on giving us some useless firing weapon, since all the regular clones and commanders come with one. It’s not entirely missed. It just means I have one less huge weapon that I have nothing to do with.
The helmet is the second generation helmet, meaning that it’s different than the one that came with Commander Rex in 2008. The only real difference is the thinner ‘face’ and it’s great to see that all clones are now being made with it, since it is more accurate. It also features writing on the back. In the series, it said “Some guys have all the luck” in Aurebesh (the Star Wars in-universe alphabet). Hasbro just painted some doodles on the back, since at this scale, it would be almost impossible to reproduce that.  

Also, the pistols do fit in the holsters, so you won’t have any problems with losing them. (Ponds does not come with the stand in the pictures.)

Value - **
Being a Star Wars collector is tough, with regular figures now close to $8. As a Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive, Ponds will run you $9.99. That’s not that bad, considering that previous Toys ‘R’ Us exclusives have been running at $9.99 since 2005, when a regular figure only cost $5. Still, that doesn’t make spending $10 on a single figure any easier. 

Like previous single figure exclusives at Toys ‘R’ Us, Ponds will be part of a ‘Spend $30/Get Exclusive Figure For Free’ deal, but that’s not supposed to start until at least the middle of September.
Fun Factor - ****
Oh come on…He’s a clone trooper. He’s fun and he’s incredibly articulated. Clone troopers fly off the shelves wherever you go, so obviously someone thinks these are fun.

Overall - *** 1/2
I love this figure. I would love to see Hasbro get to the point where their paint jobs can be consistently clean, but as long as Star Wars is a mass market property, it isn’t going to happen.  Again, that price tag is a little annoying. If you can wait until the deal starts, I would definitely do that. More often than not, Toys ‘R’ Us stocks up on their exclusives, so it should hang around until then.

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

Where to Buy -
As a Toys ‘R’ Us exclusive, you can only get it there, unless you feel like spending more than necessary on eBay.

Commander Ponds Clone Trooper action figure Star Wars by Hasbro

This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Daniel Levine.

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