Clonetrooper/Speeder Bike


Another Star Wars guest review, but this time it's from Raymond van Putten, a long time collector.  Raymond went with his own style for the review.  Check out Raymond's super cool Jurassic Park site, called In Gen Ops. Take it away!

In every Star Wars line a few EU vehicles tend to show up. With the new Saga/AOTC line of toys this tradition continues. Clone Troopers on Speeder Bikes weren't seen in the last Star Wars movie, but since they are present in numerous comic books and a couple games about Episode II, these simply couldn't be left out. Or could it?

The packaging is the same as the other deluxe. A big plastic bubble on a too small card. This results in stress lines on the back and cards that warp very easily due to the pull of the plastic bubble. The graphics on the card are nice, but nothing exciting.

One of the most important factors when it comes to toys is the sculpt. Articulation coming second and paint third. Sculpt-wise this figure is really top notch. The boots, the arms, the little details (ranks?) on the arms, down to the details on his clip-on armor. When i first saw this figure and the different parts of armor, i wasn't expecting much, but they clip and stay on very well and leave no ugly gaps. Especially the chest armor and helmet are a great fit. You are probably wondering why i put this in this category and not in the accessory department. Well, since these parts make-up the figure, i am not considering these as such. The only problem sculpt-wise are the big shin-guards and the hands which can't hold squat.

Not much to say here. Every bit of detail was applied with great care and only a few minor paint splotches or bleed can be seen. Two thumbs up!

If a figure is supposed to be deluxe, i expect it to be quite articulated for the price point. I know I bought it really cheap, but i need to consider the original price point here. The figure has only 10 points of articulation. I am saying "only", because what is there simply isn't enough nowadays for a deluxe figure. Add to that the fact that the points are poorly chosen and you get something below standards. This figure has regular swivel joints at the neck, shoulders, one wrist and 2 right above the boots, which are perfectly concealed. The fig also has cuts at both knees (how would he ride the Bike without them?) and a cut joint at the elbow, but this is action feature orientated so I'm not counting it. What is missing here are ball jointed hips, a wrist joint in his right arm and regular elbow cuts. Since only one wrist is articulated, you'll have a hard time getting him to stay on his bike. Really disappointing for such an expensive figure.

This Clone Trooper comes with only 3 extra's. While this doesn't sound like much, you have to know one of these is fairly big: a newly sculpted Speeder Bike! On close inspection however, you'll notice that 95% of this vehicle was taken from the old mold created eons ago. IN fact, the only new part on this Bike are the authentic control handles. Sure, there are other parts that look new, but believe me when i say they are merely retooled. There was also a similar bike released in the POTJ line which was included with the AT-ST and Paploo, but since i don't own it, i can't be sure how identical they are. The one included here looks great and unlike using the same materials all over, the piping/wiring was made completely out of rubber, giving it a more realistic look and feel to it. Paint apps do not apply here since it looks like this was molded in red and in black and simply screwed together. The only paint which i can find is the Republic symbol on the side of the seat and the control panel. The Bike displays very well alone, but it sags immediately when you put the figure on. Unlike the old Speederbike issued in 1995 and 1997, this one doesn't have springs in the pedals and it shows. I'd also like to mention the handles are made up of a very soft material, so watch out they don't tear. The other two accessories present is a blaster and an electro grenade. These are both great sculpts, but i think a larger rifle should've been included as well, since it's the signature weapon used by the Clones on Geonosis.

Action Feature
Lately Hasbro has been on the right track action wise, but is having problems getting them sorted out. It has happened quite often they thought up actions that simply didn't work because of a) the usage of bad and cheap materials or b) the truly stupid way the feature should work. The throwing feature is a very good example of this shoddiness. The Clone is supposed to lob the electro grenade with the push of a button. Instead, the Clone either drops the mine instantly or throws it right in front of himself. Ok, now onto the next action feature....hey wait, that was all! The only action feature Hasbro thought up in this set with lots of potential, something simple like throwing an item and they didn't get it to work. How pathetic. If they had put a decent string and a magnet into this figure and the grenade it would've worked great. A better action feature in this set would've been electronic lights and sounds. Wouldn't that be cool?

Overall - **
While this set looks promising, it fails to deserve being categorized as a deluxe figure in my eyes. The articulation or lack thereof is embarrassing and the use of shoddy plastic in the bike and the fact the Clone can't hold it's weapons is truly insulting. With such an important line with so many fans and consumers, you'd think Hasbro would put more thought into their toys and make it functional. I bought four of these for army building and unfortunately I already opened one, so i won't be able to take all of them back to the store. I recently saw a topic about the worst 2003 toy released to date in the Rebelscum forums and i finally know what i can pick: the Clone Trooper with Speeder Bike. My advice to everyone out there is to skip this figure if you're an opener. It will only annoy you while trying to get it to hold the accessories. If kids play with this guy, they'd better glue his bottom down to the bike, otherwise they'll have hunches by the time it's Christmas. If you keep your toys packaged, get just one and no extra's to open (got mine in The Netherlands at a Blokker store for just $5.70). Truly a waste of good plastic. Hope Hasbro revisits this vehicle and figure a little later this year, but in an undrunken state. 

Figure from the collection of Raymond van Putten.

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