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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Utapau Clone Trooper - Star Wars
Sixth Scale Action Figure

Sideshow Collectibles
Date Published: 2009-05-18
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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Introduction

Napoleon had his Waterloo - and General Grievous had his Utapau. Obi-Wan Kenobi killed him on this planet, ending his involvement in Palpatine's master plan. Because of Order 66, Utapau is almost Obi-wan's final battle as well, but he barely escapes this fate.

The Clone Troopers here had fairly interesting paint schemes which makes them stand out, and it's not too surprising that Sideshow has selected this as their first true Clone Trooper. They did the earlier Obi-Wan in Clone Trooper armor, and have since released their Stormtrooper, but this is their first of the earlier military clones.

This guy comes in the usual regular and exclusive versions, but I have to say that this is easily the lamest exclusive ever produced by Sideshow. Both versions cost $90 from them, but the exclusive (limited to 1500) includes a different deco'ed base, done up with the 212th Attack Battalion and colors. Ugh. This is one of those rare times when you can skip the exclusive and pick up the regular from another retailer at a lower price - I have suggestions at the end of the review of where to grab him.

Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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Packaging - ****
Smokin' hot as always. The interior gives some nice background on the 212th division, as well as some nice graphics. All the usual extras are here, like the magnetic closures, and the figure can be easily removed and replaced without any damage to the packaging.

My only complaint is actually with the shipper box, not the package itself. They used a different shipper box this time, much thinner, and much more likely to end up allowing the inner box to get damaged.

Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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Sculpting - ***1/2
When the prototype first hit the web, there were lots of complaints about the shape of the helmet. It looks to me like the helmet got tweaked along the way, and I think it looks quite good now.

It's still a little off, particularly if you compare directly against a still. But without that exact comparison, you'll be hard pressed to notice any issues.

The sculpt is very sharply cut too, with nothing too soft or round. That sharpness extends to the rest of the armor too, as well as the belt and pouches.

The included hands are sculpted to hold the weapons, which they do well. The extra set is sculpted in fists, and the scale on these is very good.

Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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Paint - ****
What sets this version apart is the exceptional paint job. This is not just a 212th trooper in his special colors, it's a trooper who's seen his share of combat.

The armor itself is done in an off white color, much more realistic than the bright white. The painted striping is even and neat, with just the right amount of battle damage. In fact, the battle damage is what takes this paint job from good to excellent.

Areas like the visor, vents, and have clean, sharp cut lines, with no slop or stray marks. The battle damage is done in a random way, but with great precision, giving it a tremendously realistic effect.

Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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Articulation - ***
I've heard some reports of floppy bodies on this figure, but I was spared, thankfully. The joints here are all tight enough to hold pretty much any pose, including deep stances. The new armored body hangs quite naturally too, and I had no trouble getting him to stand on his own.

I did have an issue with the left arm though, and it's quite the opposite of loose. The bicep was too tight to turn, making some arm poses that I wanted to do impossible. I also couldn't get that arm to hang in toward the body as naturally, and clearly something is gummed up with that overall shoulder joint.

That was the only joint to give me conniptions, and the best joints were the ball jointed neck (which allows for lots of personalized expressions), and the new ball jointed (pin/post style) wrists. These wrists really do have a very good range of movement, and worked much better than even the newer Hot Toys wrists.

Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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Accessories - ***
The figure comes with two blasters (a pistol and rifle), as well as an extra set of fisted hands. The hands are in scale and swap easily, but I would have liked to get another set in some sort of motioning poses.

The guns are good, but not quite up to the usual Sideshow quality. The sculpts are solid, but the paints seemed a bit spartan this time around. There's some weathering as well, but it wasn't quite as realistic as we've seen on some of the other Star Wars blasters they've produced.

If you bought the exclusive, you ended up with the different stand. I've included a shot of it...you decide if it's worth holding out for the exclusive version. Personally, I think it's lame, but I'm not a fan of using stands with sixth scale figures anyway.

Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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Outfit - ***1/2
The key to the outfit is the armor, and I've already stated how much I like both the sculpt and the paint.

The fit is also fairly good here, tighter than it was on the Clone Obi-Wan. That's particularly true of the thigh armor, which will stay up high on the legs on its own.

I'm not a huge fan of the rubber under suit though. It's not that it's not particularly screen accurate (it's not, and the painted 'seams' look a bit silly), but rather that it fits oddly this time, particularly around the shoulders where it bunches up quite a bit. I think I may have to take off most of the armor and see if I can't get the suit adjusted a bit better on his torso.

Fun Factor - ***
While not designed for kid's, this is one of those figures that retains it's fun. If you have a kid in the 8 - 12 range who's a huge fan and is looking for a collectible that *might* end up kicking a little toy box butt too, then this guy just might do the trick.

Value - ***
At $80 - $90, you're getting a figure that's superior to Medicom's troopers, and costs $70 or more less. I can't really argue with that.

Things to Watch Out For -
The smaller blaster has the two half 'rings' on the top of the barrel, and these can be easily broken if you don't take some care.

Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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Overall - ***1/2
The figure still has a handful of issues, and hopefully you'll get one with joints that are tight. Sideshow needs to make sure that the bodies are coming out consistently to avoid having more customer backlash.

But I'm very pleased with mine, and the weathering and paint job really make this figure stand out. You can also get some great poses out of him with the larger blaster, giving the display shelf some much needed variation.

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

Where to Buy 
You can get on the wait list for the regular and exclusive versions, but I think this is one of those rare times when picking up the regular is a much better idea. You can always search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered plenty of the Sideshow Star Wars figures:

- the most recent was the new Imperial Stormtrooper.

- I really like the Captain Antilles - he grows on me more the longer I have him.

- I wasn't as thrilled with Ki-Adi-Mundi, but as I mentioned earlier, Obi-Wan in Clone Armor is easily their best to date.

- then there's Aayla Secura, Tatooine Luke and Han Solo.

- Sideshow has 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.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
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Star Wars Utapau Clone Trooper sixth scale figure by Sideshow

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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