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View Full Version : SideShow Twelve Inch Battle Droids 2-pack!



Tycho
07-12-2011, 11:05 AM
This is a great value - and useful, too. I ordered the exclusive with one of the droids having a 1138 backpack.

Hope they do Super Battle Droids and Destroyer Droids, not to mention General Grievous and his body guard droids, too!

JediTricks
07-13-2011, 03:38 PM
I'm not sure about the value thing. I did also order the exclusive thanks to your text yesterday, but I wonder why such an uninspired exclusive. I guess a commander or a geonosian red model would cut down on reusing the design later. These look good, but they better look awesome in person because if they cheap out on the deco, it'll look worse than the Hasbro 12" and that'd suck at $60 a figure. In fact, examining the pics they have up now, I can see a little of that Hasbro-style cheapness coming through, plastics that don't look up to snuff, and joints in the wrong place, so I hope it looks tighter in person.

I really want to ask them what's up with the neck for transformation though, it looks like they pulled a Hasbro and had it telescope in rather than fold forward - if that's the case, I'm going to be cross with them, that's nonsense!

jedibear
07-26-2011, 08:40 PM
The one main thing that came across in all of the photos of these was how well they stood unassisted, which gives me hope that the material being used is a better grade plastic than Hasbro used. Plus, they fold up! How cool is that?

Something that made me chuckle though....if folks are feeling a little "Clone Fatigue" from all of the various clones that have hit over the past few years, wait until we see the umpteenth paint scheme/variation on these as Sideshow milks these for as long as possible... :)

JediTricks
07-27-2011, 02:38 PM
The one main thing that came across in all of the photos of these was how well they stood unassisted, which gives me hope that the material being used is a better grade plastic than Hasbro used. Plus, they fold up! How cool is that?

Something that made me chuckle though....if folks are feeling a little "Clone Fatigue" from all of the various clones that have hit over the past few years, wait until we see the umpteenth paint scheme/variation on these as Sideshow milks these for as long as possible... :)You are not kidding. I wanted to ask them if all the droids in the booth were actual releases or customs, they've been known to do that, but I suspect they're all actual releases. Geonosis Droids, Commander Droids, Geonosis Commander Droids, Security Droids, Pilot Droids, I think they're going to try to milk this mold to death.

The piece looks nice, but the plastic on the samples I saw them setting up definitely didn't have the level of color integrity that the prototype photo version does, they had that Hasbro plastic look. I'm hoping that's not the case though. The joints seemed to be clicky which hopefully will help with wilting. Folding up is nothing impressive to me, they use the same cheaty telescoping neck that Hasbro does, the rest is simply cut-aways in the backs of the calf pieces and full range on the elbows.

Jayspawn
08-12-2011, 07:08 PM
These look great, and no doubt there will be a plethora of variations to come. Unfortunately, as expensive as SW collecting is these days, this product doesn't make the cut.

Tycho
08-14-2011, 02:19 PM
I'm not sure if I'll buy any more beyond the exclusive 1138 pack I signed up for.

I have 4 Hasbro E1 battle droids (2 are Hasbro OOM-9s) and they suffice.

I am setting up a lot of my figures now.

I think for those that do not buy the 3 3/4" line, these droids will find a market. The mainline SW collectors have more financial constraints, what with 3 3/4" vehicles like the Republic Attack Shuttle and army-building figures, etc.

jedibear
09-03-2011, 09:25 PM
The STAP with BD piques my interest...we'll see if they still look good around PO time ...

JediTricks
09-05-2011, 01:27 PM
I think the STAP is being sold separately from the BD as an environment piece (probably required licensing issue), and it looked good, but I don't remember its price tag.

Tycho
09-11-2011, 09:45 AM
I didn't know about a STAP.

I think I'll have to order that. It's on my want-list I believe.

JediTricks
12-30-2011, 02:45 PM
Just got my ship-warning email, and it's 1 week out, Jan 6th, 2012. :rolleyes: Yeah, great, right after xmas I get to decide whether I will scrape up $140 with shipping and tax or cancel my order, awesome timing. This is one item I would have preferred to have seen more of the production versions of before deciding, it's a lot of scratch.

Tycho
12-31-2011, 01:13 AM
I want to have them in hand and examine the articulation. But I did order them.

I will not be buying variants (paint schemes) however.

You're right about the timing, JT.

I have a lot of other things I want to spend money on:

-whale watching is good right now...a touring cruise

-speed boat rental (because I need to go out from Oceanside and don't wan to spend all day going up and back from SD) and there will be a pirate ship battle out at sea the following weekend.

-A San Diego Writers' Conference - my first priority

-My Padres' season tickets as I'm charged an installment every month (while they trade away any good players with talent on my team).

-My Spring Training trip to Arizona coming up.

-A Vegas trip to see Slicker with Chuxter in another week

- various trips up to L.A. to pitch my work in Hollywood

Who knows what else? While Star Wars is less a priority these days, I started threads about SideShow characters I definitely want (which JT responded to).

But a full life is expensive. SideShow need not be ridiculous with their prices and offerings if they want to keep their customers.

STAR WARS GENERATION 1 (that's most of us) have been collecting stuff for over 35 years - over half our lives (almost all our lives). There are other ways to live!

STAR WARS GENERATION 2 - thinks Ahskoa Tano is comparable to Hannah Montanah and will not be able to afford SideShow for still some years for the most part. Note Captain Rex's sales. (However, I kind of want him and wished I'd ordered that CW Armored Obi-Wan a while back).

JediTricks
01-09-2012, 03:02 PM
My 2-pack has shown up at my mailbox place, so now I have to get it. It shipped on Saturday.

JediTricks
01-10-2012, 01:52 AM
Battle Droids: Sideshow Exclusive - the review!

They come packed in a thin box that seems a little off from the outside, it's a flat-board 5th-panel like some others which don't have many accessories, but maybe a bit wider. The bio text and line text are sideways because the figures are packed folded up horizontally, there's even a printed bar behind them to suggest they're being held up - clever, but not that visible through the tray. Inside the exclusive are 2 droids enrobed in plastic sheeting side by side, 2 E-5 blasters side-by-side to the left, 2 backpacks to the right packed sideways one above the other, and the 1138 backpack on the left beneath the E-5 blasters packed sideways the opposite way. What you won't find packed in there is a stand. Yes, $120 these days won't even get you a friggin' stand from Sideshow.

I'll start the comments with articulation... The droid uses a telescoping head which drops into the chest, it's not film-accurate, Hasbro's chief sculptor told me that on reviewing the ILM files on the droid, they cheated with the little panel that withdraws into the chest, that panel actually pushing through the back in the CGI, and I bet that's why Sideshow used a telescoping neck the same way Hasbro's new 1:18 figure does -- that said, Sideshow didn't even try to hinge that panel, instead going for an internal joint that, once fully-exposed, can hinge forward and back quite a bit, but nowhere near film accuracy (a note on this joint, it looks like it rotates, but careful examination proves that it does not). There's a rotation/double-hinge joint at the top of the neck where it meets the head, the joint is tight enough that at first it wouldn't move at the top, but once I got it to move, the head gets all its movement from this 3-in-1 joint.

The shoulder is a lightly-ratcheted rotation/swing-out hinge joint with a hinged panel to cover it and due to joint lock it's not even initially clear that the main joint is at the outer edge; that cover panel's hinge is film-inaccurately external but small enough to be forgivable, although I do think the panel itself is slightly too long. Many of the joints have a bit of initial joint-lock, and with parts as thin as these, each instance is worrisome, but I'll only note the real troublemaker instances from here on in. Just below the shoulder joint is a rotation from the film, it's a crucial joint for gun poses. The elbow is a simple 2-half light-ratcheting hinge but crafted to look like the sandwiched joint in the film. Just below the elbow is the forearm rotation, I think it's in the film and it's a welcome one, but it's almost an extravagance since the wrist is on a rotation joint that also hinges 180 in and out, so that forearm rotation is really best for angling the wrist hinge. The hand is a hinge at the rear joint, a hinge at the mid-finger-cluster, and the thumb is on a ball-joint.

The mid-torso is its own ball joint, and the first mixed-media usage of several, a rubber receiver joint in the torso; the outside of the torso also sports simple hinges at the top and bottom of the "rib" of either side, and the top of that "rib" is I believe a fully separate piece which slips into a receiver of the bottom half of the "rib". The mid-torso joint is a bit more limited than it sounds though, the figure can bend forward and back about 10 degrees total, and can rotate maybe 20 degrees either way, although the last few degrees are eaten by the rubber itself. Unforutnately, while the figure can tilt a little side to side at the joint, it will not stay tilted one little bit. One of the droids in my set had really bad paint lock on the rubber ball joint, so bad it twisted off some of its paint inside before finally moving free - and I still am not terribly sure if it moved free or is failing slowly.

The hips are the next point of mixed-media, using a looser type of rubber to simulate the hard metal hip area while covering the double-ball-joints in each hip, surprising that there's a ball joint on each side of the hip -- the maximum leg spread is considerable thanks to the hip joint design. Next up is the knee, a lightly-ratcheting hinge. Just as the lower leg reaches the ankle, there's a rotation joint that is very easy to miss, especially when some of its job is taken up by the ankle joint, and I don't even think it's film-accurate, but it's not unwelcome. The final joint is the actual ankle, a ball joint that leads into the foot where it meets a rubber receiver, and unfortunately the ankle joint is a point of frustration as it is a pretty light joint, while both joints can hold the figure up in a balanced pose, individually neither ankle joint can come even remotely close to holding its own weight, so more extreme poses are entirely out unless you max the joint out and rest plastic on plastic.

All in all, the articulation is about 95% what I could have hoped for, only suffering limitations at the torso joint, problems at the ankles, and only really misses the rotation joint at the base of the neck which is a very slight thing. The poseability is pretty good, although there's a loss of dynamicism from the mid-torso and the limitations of the ankles (both their weakness and their actual physical limited range).

Sculpting of the body is good overall, but not quite as sharp as the pricepoint suggested to me, there aren't a lot of ultra-crisp lines or pistons except at the mid-bicep where the middle of the piston is a separate piece, and at the mid-hip where it's rubber instead of plastic. The heft of the figure just barely skates by being too light, it's a mere 4 ounces compared to the 12 ounces of my Commander Bly figure, but it gets away with it by being a skeletal design. I already mentioned the shoulder covers being too long and having that external hinge, the latter is acceptable in my book but the former is a tad odd, especially when that panel ISN'T too long on the prototype - did Lucasfilm require a change to something which looks more like the current CG cartoon model, or did the factory blow it, or...? There are some areas where seams show a bit too much, though about half of those I'd say are forgivable due to the constructed nature of the figure. The lines are generally accurate, exceptions I'd say are the panel beneath the neck which is a touch larger than the film and rounded instead of flat; also the facade-hinges at the ankle are a bit bigger than the film and the connective piston at the front ends prematurely, though that I think is allowable due to being fairly small AND the joint having to work within the limitations of reality. The inside cavity of the torso has no additional details. The figure's back gets a little more business, including small cutaway holes for the backpack and a third on the left above them for a command antenna which isn't included in the set (I'd say that's all the confirmation we need for that set to be coming soon). The sculpting cutaways at the back of the lower legs lets them fold down about 155 degrees, enough for the folded-up design in the film. The bottom of each foot sports a metal plate at the heel and at the forefoot, although this may be to increase weight to help offset the topheavy nature of the figure, they seem more like points to attach something magnetic, and then I remembered seeing the STAP in their Comic-Con display, so I bet that's to anchor the feet to that STAP. The plastic used for the figure is a very hard one, I highly doubt it'll ever droop or have any sorts of problems (well, unless they fall, then plastic this hard will likely break as the harder it is, the more brittle it is, but such is life). The figure's height is maybe a scale half-meter short, but it's a little hard to compare since my Clone Trooper figures gain a little height from their helmets, which the Battle Droid standing straight juuuust barely reaches to -- it's hard to tell, but seems close enough, "about right".

The neck and head get their own sculpt comments, the neck being very good work for a relatively simple layout, it gets the thin separate posts layout right and looks quite nice. The head is ok, but gets a few knocks, the most notable being the eyes being sculpted too large - these also seem like they're taken from the current cartoon's animation model and I think that layout looks better in some ways, but Sideshow putting it on the movie figure is just inaccurate. While the back of the head is a separate piece and looks good for it, the front of the head is also a separate piece - you can see the seam cut away. The "mouth" panel at the very front (or is it a "nose"?) is a bit too wide and short, although I think too that the width issue is more about the whole head being a bit wider side-to-side and/or thinner top-to-bottom than movie-accuracy allows -- it certainly doesn't jump out as a major problem, but I keep catching that angle when I look at it and being unable to shake it.

The overall sculpt I'd say is 85% there, almost entirely that is due to the lack of sharpness at panel lines and the like. I know some of the droid's outer lines aren't terribly sharp, but the inner lines are and this figure doesn't hit those.

Paint is where things don't quite live up to the prototypes Sideshow showed. Each of the 2 figures is vastly differently painted, one is actually slightly redder than the other, and they each sport different wear. The elbows, hips and knees get quite a bit of wear paint detailing, each quite different from the other. Each also has runny oily spots in different places on the chest, and little silver marks here and there. But what I find lacking is the complexity of the overall tan tone (which is a bit too dark even on the lighter of the 2 figures) and the heavier grime at the shoulders and at each meeting section's lines, something which Sideshow's Clone Troopers have gotten right. There's just something a bit Hasbro about the paint work here, and the lack of complexity, which a $120 2-pack really should be striving to be better than, especially considering they're going up against the high detail work on their own Clone Trooper figures -- it gets a meager pass just based on the scale and the general concept of a droid army, but it barely passes muster in my book. The eyes are painted in fairly well, only the tiniest underpainted slop in their corners. The hands and the head have several black hinge-pins showing, and this is a deco whiff in terms of movie-accuracy, and the ones at either "ear" stand out as a problem outside of that, while the others don't bother me.

The deco I'd say is about 65% of what I'd want to see for this money, I was really hoping for a strong hit the way Commander Bly or Cody delivered, but these simply ground to first with a limp bunt, enough to get on base but nobody in the stands wants an autograph after the game.

If that were the end of the figure, I'd be pretty happy and call them "fairly good", though I would still feel like they're overpriced or under-realized for the money. But then there were the 2 accessories, and that's a tale of annoyance all its own.

Each backpack gets its own unique code and paint, so there are 3 unique numbered backpacks in the set, that's good. The backpacks each use 2 telescoping metal antennae with unique topper, that's cool. The E-5 blasters have a great metallic paint job and then the silver rings at the midpoint, that's quite nice. So that's several good things about the set's only accessories.

NOW FOR THE ANGER! The E-5 is sculpted so the trigger-guard doesn't quite go around the 2 forefingers of the droid's hand -- that is UNACCEPTABLE! We're talking a couple millimeters off, enough that either the guard could have been lengthened or the hands shrunk ever so slightly without any visual problems, but NOOOOO! As I look at the prototype pics on Sideshow's site, it's clear this was always an issue. Also, I'd say the blaster is about 5% too small, not a major deal but the figure wielding it does look a bit cramped.

Then there's the backpack, oooooh that damned backpack! It looks great in the package and in the hand, what could be wrong? Well, first off, there's no way to attach the blaster to the side - that's one of the first things shown in the first Ep 1 teaser trailer, the friggin' droids pulling their blasters off their backpacks, yet it's nowhere to be seen here, no clever magnets, no simple notches, no rigged up cheapness, no nothing. Then there's the simple notched peg attachment system to the back which holds on with just the friction of the paint inside the holes, so one of my figures drops his backpack at a strong breeze -- whatever, I've dealt with crap like this from Hasbro, some clear nail polish will bolster the friction, but c'mon, $60 each figure and this happens? The sculpt on the backpack is ok, but at the meeting point where it hits the back it's entirely plain and simple, while in the film it has some business going on, a minor quibble but it means something to me. Since the neck uses the telescoping cheat instead of the fold-down, the inside area is cut away to accomodate the back of the head where it drops down (the "hair", I guess), but it doesn't cut in enough so it doesn't actually WORK when you fold the head flat against the chest, and you end up with the hair stressed at its connection or the backpack launched.

All that is just gravy for the real true problem I have with the backpack - its sculpt is entirely wrong, it's WAY too tall above the shoulders. In the film it reaches between 1/5th and 1/3rd the way up the neck at the backpack's highest point, on the figure it reaches OVER HALFWAY UP! The backpack hits the head's lower points at some poses, it's towering above the shoulders, the antennae are sent an inch higher than they're supposed to be. The pack's not set too high from the bottom, I think the sculpt is just over scale, or sculpted taller the closer it gets to reaching the shoulders then takes off for the heavens. I know, I know, I sound so dramatic and yet it doesn't look crazy bad in photos, but in person it changes the dynamic of the figure entirely, it's just dead wrong, and a mistake that Hasbro's never made with their cheap little 1:18 figures. The height of the backpack de-emphasizes the skinny neck and high head, which are so important to the look of the character. I'll take photos when I next have free time, give you comparison poses to movie examples (even Clone Wars doesn't do this), but right now I just feel like a cool item has been shot in the face by something relatively trivial and yet vital to the character.

Bottom line is that this set is alright, the figure is good with great range of motion, but it doesn't deliver as strongly in sculpt or deco, the lack of a stand hurts especially at the pricepoint, and the accessories make a few blunders I don't know if I can get over, with the backpack fully letting the ball slip through its glove. I'd call it a very mixed review, some great, some good, some very frustrating.

jedibear
01-13-2012, 08:59 PM
Quite the review there, JT...

Just got this set in today. Gonna open them up (carefully) and check them out. I'll bear your comments in mind as I unpack them. They look pretty cool in the package...darker than I expected.

One thing to bear in mind is these droids are going to be like the Clone Troopers for Sideshow...we can expect many releases with different decos and some changes with each successive release.

The back packs look a little larger, like the ones in Episode One...maybe newer versions will feature more compact ones like they featured in AOTC and ROTS. Interchangable hands might become an option (with ones that can effectively grip/trigger the blasters or hold binoculars. One thing Sideshow's shown with the clones is they do change and improve so it's safe bet we'll see the same with these Battle Droids.

I'll post more thoughts/reactions once I've opened them up...


....and got one up and opened today. My initial impression is good. Not gonna rush opening and dealing with these guys though, it's readily apparent that breakage is pretty easy if one doesn't take extra time working with the joints and articulation points here.

More thoughts later after experiencing these droids some more....here's a couple of quick shots...

25820 25821

Tycho
01-15-2012, 07:48 AM
Still haven't opened mine, but feel inclined to write a list of possible battle droids out:

WHITE

clean
slashed
blasted
swamp / smoke dirtied (maybe with grass stains on the feet)

blue - Lieutenant / Pilot
red - security captain
yellow - commander with variant backpack for OOM-9

BURGANDY (Geonosis coloring)

clean
slashed
blasted
yellow - commander with variant backpack for OOM-9

CAMAOUFLAGED (Kashyyyk - and not sure if this wasn't just Hasbro's invention in 2006)

So that's 12 Battle Droid variation possibilities.

Now there are the:

Destroyer Droids
Super Battle Droids
IG Magna Droids
Commando Droids (CW)
IG-88 (made)

all to be made. The Destroyer could have the sniper variant (CW) and the Supers could have color and rocket launcher arm variants. The Magna Droids, color and cape variants. Commando Droid color variants and Republic and Clone Army uniform variants.

It's scary.

However, I'd buy 1 Destroyer, and 2 IG Magna Droids (with capes).

If they make Ahsoka and the Commando Droids, I'd get those and Rex (whom I never ordered) - possibly.

preacher
01-15-2012, 10:07 AM
Battle Droids: Sideshow Exclusive - the review!

They come packed in a thin box that seems a little off from the outside, it's a flat-board 5th-panel like some others which don't have many accessories, but maybe a bit wider. The bio text and line text are sideways because the figures are packed folded up horizontally, there's even a printed bar behind them to suggest they're being held up - clever, but not that visible through the tray. Inside the exclusive are 2 droids enrobed in plastic sheeting side by side, 2 E-5 blasters side-by-side to the left, 2 backpacks to the right packed sideways one above the other, and the 1138 backpack on the left beneath the E-5 blasters packed sideways the opposite way. What you won't find packed in there is a stand. Yes, $120 these days won't even get you a friggin' stand from Sideshow.

I'll start the comments with articulation... The droid uses a telescoping head which drops into the chest, it's not film-accurate, Hasbro's chief sculptor told me that on reviewing the ILM files on the droid, they cheated with the little panel that withdraws into the chest, that panel actually pushing through the back in the CGI, and I bet that's why Sideshow used a telescoping neck the same way Hasbro's new 1:18 figure does -- that said, Sideshow didn't even try to hinge that panel, instead going for an internal joint that, once fully-exposed, can hinge forward and back quite a bit, but nowhere near film accuracy (a note on this joint, it looks like it rotates, but careful examination proves that it does not). There's a rotation/double-hinge joint at the top of the neck where it meets the head, the joint is tight enough that at first it wouldn't move at the top, but once I got it to move, the head gets all its movement from this 3-in-1 joint.

The shoulder is a lightly-ratcheted rotation/swing-out hinge joint with a hinged panel to cover it and due to joint lock it's not even initially clear that the main joint is at the outer edge; that cover panel's hinge is film-inaccurately external but small enough to be forgivable, although I do think the panel itself is slightly too long. Many of the joints have a bit of initial joint-lock, and with parts as thin as these, each instance is worrisome, but I'll only note the real troublemaker instances from here on in. Just below the shoulder joint is a rotation from the film, it's a crucial joint for gun poses. The elbow is a simple 2-half light-ratcheting hinge but crafted to look like the sandwiched joint in the film. Just below the elbow is the forearm rotation, I think it's in the film and it's a welcome one, but it's almost an extravagance since the wrist is on a rotation joint that also hinges 180 in and out, so that forearm rotation is really best for angling the wrist hinge. The hand is a hinge at the rear joint, a hinge at the mid-finger-cluster, and the thumb is on a ball-joint.

The mid-torso is its own ball joint, and the first mixed-media usage of several, a rubber receiver joint in the torso; the outside of the torso also sports simple hinges at the top and bottom of the "rib" of either side, and the top of that "rib" is I believe a fully separate piece which slips into a receiver of the bottom half of the "rib". The mid-torso joint is a bit more limited than it sounds though, the figure can bend forward and back about 10 degrees total, and can rotate maybe 20 degrees either way, although the last few degrees are eaten by the rubber itself. Unforutnately, while the figure can tilt a little side to side at the joint, it will not stay tilted one little bit. One of the droids in my set had really bad paint lock on the rubber ball joint, so bad it twisted off some of its paint inside before finally moving free - and I still am not terribly sure if it moved free or is failing slowly.

The hips are the next point of mixed-media, using a looser type of rubber to simulate the hard metal hip area while covering the double-ball-joints in each hip, surprising that there's a ball joint on each side of the hip -- the maximum leg spread is considerable thanks to the hip joint design. Next up is the knee, a lightly-ratcheting hinge. Just as the lower leg reaches the ankle, there's a rotation joint that is very easy to miss, especially when some of its job is taken up by the ankle joint, and I don't even think it's film-accurate, but it's not unwelcome. The final joint is the actual ankle, a ball joint that leads into the foot where it meets a rubber receiver, and unfortunately the ankle joint is a point of frustration as it is a pretty light joint, while both joints can hold the figure up in a balanced pose, individually neither ankle joint can come even remotely close to holding its own weight, so more extreme poses are entirely out unless you max the joint out and rest plastic on plastic.

All in all, the articulation is about 95% what I could have hoped for, only suffering limitations at the torso joint, problems at the ankles, and only really misses the rotation joint at the base of the neck which is a very slight thing. The poseability is pretty good, although there's a loss of dynamicism from the mid-torso and the limitations of the ankles (both their weakness and their actual physical limited range).

Sculpting of the body is good overall, but not quite as sharp as the pricepoint suggested to me, there aren't a lot of ultra-crisp lines or pistons except at the mid-bicep where the middle of the piston is a separate piece, and at the mid-hip where it's rubber instead of plastic. The heft of the figure just barely skates by being too light, it's a mere 4 ounces compared to the 12 ounces of my Commander Bly figure, but it gets away with it by being a skeletal design. I already mentioned the shoulder covers being too long and having that external hinge, the latter is acceptable in my book but the former is a tad odd, especially when that panel ISN'T too long on the prototype - did Lucasfilm require a change to something which looks more like the current CG cartoon model, or did the factory blow it, or...? There are some areas where seams show a bit too much, though about half of those I'd say are forgivable due to the constructed nature of the figure. The lines are generally accurate, exceptions I'd say are the panel beneath the neck which is a touch larger than the film and rounded instead of flat; also the facade-hinges at the ankle are a bit bigger than the film and the connective piston at the front ends prematurely, though that I think is allowable due to being fairly small AND the joint having to work within the limitations of reality. The inside cavity of the torso has no additional details. The figure's back gets a little more business, including small cutaway holes for the backpack and a third on the left above them for a command antenna which isn't included in the set (I'd say that's all the confirmation we need for that set to be coming soon). The sculpting cutaways at the back of the lower legs lets them fold down about 155 degrees, enough for the folded-up design in the film. The bottom of each foot sports a metal plate at the heel and at the forefoot, although this may be to increase weight to help offset the topheavy nature of the figure, they seem more like points to attach something magnetic, and then I remembered seeing the STAP in their Comic-Con display, so I bet that's to anchor the feet to that STAP. The plastic used for the figure is a very hard one, I highly doubt it'll ever droop or have any sorts of problems (well, unless they fall, then plastic this hard will likely break as the harder it is, the more brittle it is, but such is life). The figure's height is maybe a scale half-meter short, but it's a little hard to compare since my Clone Trooper figures gain a little height from their helmets, which the Battle Droid standing straight juuuust barely reaches to -- it's hard to tell, but seems close enough, "about right".

The neck and head get their own sculpt comments, the neck being very good work for a relatively simple layout, it gets the thin separate posts layout right and looks quite nice. The head is ok, but gets a few knocks, the most notable being the eyes being sculpted too large - these also seem like they're taken from the current cartoon's animation model and I think that layout looks better in some ways, but Sideshow putting it on the movie figure is just inaccurate. While the back of the head is a separate piece and looks good for it, the front of the head is also a separate piece - you can see the seam cut away. The "mouth" panel at the very front (or is it a "nose"?) is a bit too wide and short, although I think too that the width issue is more about the whole head being a bit wider side-to-side and/or thinner top-to-bottom than movie-accuracy allows -- it certainly doesn't jump out as a major problem, but I keep catching that angle when I look at it and being unable to shake it.

The overall sculpt I'd say is 85% there, almost entirely that is due to the lack of sharpness at panel lines and the like. I know some of the droid's outer lines aren't terribly sharp, but the inner lines are and this figure doesn't hit those.

Paint is where things don't quite live up to the prototypes Sideshow showed. Each of the 2 figures is vastly differently painted, one is actually slightly redder than the other, and they each sport different wear. The elbows, hips and knees get quite a bit of wear paint detailing, each quite different from the other. Each also has runny oily spots in different places on the chest, and little silver marks here and there. But what I find lacking is the complexity of the overall tan tone (which is a bit too dark even on the lighter of the 2 figures) and the heavier grime at the shoulders and at each meeting section's lines, something which Sideshow's Clone Troopers have gotten right. There's just something a bit Hasbro about the paint work here, and the lack of complexity, which a $120 2-pack really should be striving to be better than, especially considering they're going up against the high detail work on their own Clone Trooper figures -- it gets a meager pass just based on the scale and the general concept of a droid army, but it barely passes muster in my book. The eyes are painted in fairly well, only the tiniest underpainted slop in their corners. The hands and the head have several black hinge-pins showing, and this is a deco whiff in terms of movie-accuracy, and the ones at either "ear" stand out as a problem outside of that, while the others don't bother me.

The deco I'd say is about 65% of what I'd want to see for this money, I was really hoping for a strong hit the way Commander Bly or Cody delivered, but these simply ground to first with a limp bunt, enough to get on base but nobody in the stands wants an autograph after the game.

If that were the end of the figure, I'd be pretty happy and call them "fairly good", though I would still feel like they're overpriced or under-realized for the money. But then there were the 2 accessories, and that's a tale of annoyance all its own.

Each backpack gets its own unique code and paint, so there are 3 unique numbered backpacks in the set, that's good. The backpacks each use 2 telescoping metal antennae with unique topper, that's cool. The E-5 blasters have a great metallic paint job and then the silver rings at the midpoint, that's quite nice. So that's several good things about the set's only accessories.

NOW FOR THE ANGER! The E-5 is sculpted so the trigger-guard doesn't quite go around the 2 forefingers of the droid's hand -- that is UNACCEPTABLE! We're talking a couple millimeters off, enough that either the guard could have been lengthened or the hands shrunk ever so slightly without any visual problems, but NOOOOO! As I look at the prototype pics on Sideshow's site, it's clear this was always an issue. Also, I'd say the blaster is about 5% too small, not a major deal but the figure wielding it does look a bit cramped.

Then there's the backpack, oooooh that damned backpack! It looks great in the package and in the hand, what could be wrong? Well, first off, there's no way to attach the blaster to the side - that's one of the first things shown in the first Ep 1 teaser trailer, the friggin' droids pulling their blasters off their backpacks, yet it's nowhere to be seen here, no clever magnets, no simple notches, no rigged up cheapness, no nothing. Then there's the simple notched peg attachment system to the back which holds on with just the friction of the paint inside the holes, so one of my figures drops his backpack at a strong breeze -- whatever, I've dealt with crap like this from Hasbro, some clear nail polish will bolster the friction, but c'mon, $60 each figure and this happens? The sculpt on the backpack is ok, but at the meeting point where it hits the back it's entirely plain and simple, while in the film it has some business going on, a minor quibble but it means something to me. Since the neck uses the telescoping cheat instead of the fold-down, the inside area is cut away to accomodate the back of the head where it drops down (the "hair", I guess), but it doesn't cut in enough so it doesn't actually WORK when you fold the head flat against the chest, and you end up with the hair stressed at its connection or the backpack launched.

All that is just gravy for the real true problem I have with the backpack - its sculpt is entirely wrong, it's WAY too tall above the shoulders. In the film it reaches between 1/5th and 1/3rd the way up the neck at the backpack's highest point, on the figure it reaches OVER HALFWAY UP! The backpack hits the head's lower points at some poses, it's towering above the shoulders, the antennae are sent an inch higher than they're supposed to be. The pack's not set too high from the bottom, I think the sculpt is just over scale, or sculpted taller the closer it gets to reaching the shoulders then takes off for the heavens. I know, I know, I sound so dramatic and yet it doesn't look crazy bad in photos, but in person it changes the dynamic of the figure entirely, it's just dead wrong, and a mistake that Hasbro's never made with their cheap little 1:18 figures. The height of the backpack de-emphasizes the skinny neck and high head, which are so important to the look of the character. I'll take photos when I next have free time, give you comparison poses to movie examples (even Clone Wars doesn't do this), but right now I just feel like a cool item has been shot in the face by something relatively trivial and yet vital to the character.

Bottom line is that this set is alright, the figure is good with great range of motion, but it doesn't deliver as strongly in sculpt or deco, the lack of a stand hurts especially at the pricepoint, and the accessories make a few blunders I don't know if I can get over, with the backpack fully letting the ball slip through its glove. I'd call it a very mixed review, some great, some good, some very frustrating.

Wow. To quote Vader's line in Rotj, "the emperor (that would be you jt) is not as forgiving as I am." My one and only complaint is the flimbsiness of the hands. Those really should have been made from the same sort of material as the hands from just every other sideshow character that has been released up to now. I get they wanted the droids packaged in their fetal position as a Tie in to the 3d release of the phantom menace, but the look could've been achieved just as well with the softer plastic and changeout hands. Other than that, I thought this was a good first attempt.

JediTricks
01-16-2012, 03:59 PM
Quite the review there, JT...

Just got this set in today. Gonna open them up (carefully) and check them out. I'll bear your comments in mind as I unpack them. They look pretty cool in the package...darker than I expected.Yeah, they are darker than they should be. I think Sideshow was trying to capture the movie lighting look, the actual droids are "bone white" but in-camera they come off tan, just not this tan. Is one of yours darker than the other?


One thing to bear in mind is these droids are going to be like the Clone Troopers for Sideshow...we can expect many releases with different decos and some changes with each successive release. IMO, with Battle Droids, they cannot afford to get it wrong since there won't be as big a market with successive releases. Plus, I don't like paying $141 with shipping to be their guinea pig.


The back packs look a little larger, like the ones in Episode One...maybe newer versions will feature more compact ones like they featured in AOTC and ROTS. I was comparing the the backpacks to the Ep 1 versions, I did a lot of research to help me figure out why I wasn't feeling what I was seeing. Here are the images I think show you what I was getting at:
http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/a/aa/B1BattleDroid-SWI128.jpg
http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/5/55/DroidArmy.jpg

The Hasbro backpack is also oversized like the Sideshow one, so I'm suspecting either the ROTS file is the one that has the larger backpack, or Lucasfilm pulled a "make a change!" rule. The AOTC backpack remains the same size as the TPM version, as seen here:
http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/a/a0/Battledroids.jpg



Interchangable hands might become an option (with ones that can effectively grip/trigger the blasters or hold binoculars. One thing Sideshow's shown with the clones is they do change and improve so it's safe bet we'll see the same with these Battle Droids. I don't think these hands will have any difficulty holding electrobinoculars, although the thumb joints probably will be the weak link in that. Still, there's utterly no excuse for getting the E-5 trigger guard and/or the hand size wrong on the first try.



I'll post more thoughts/reactions once I've opened them up...


....and got one up and opened today. My initial impression is good. Not gonna rush opening and dealing with these guys though, it's readily apparent that breakage is pretty easy if one doesn't take extra time working with the joints and articulation points here.

More thoughts later after experiencing these droids some more....here's a couple of quick shots...

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Cool shots.



Wow. To quote Vader's line in Rotj, "the emperor (that would be you jt) is not as forgiving as I am." My one and only complaint is the flimbsiness of the hands. Those really should have been made from the same sort of material as the hands from just every other sideshow character that has been released up to now. I get they wanted the droids packaged in their fetal position as a Tie in to the 3d release of the phantom menace, but the look could've been achieved just as well with the softer plastic and changeout hands. Other than that, I thought this was a good first attempt.I am not seeing flimsiness on the hands, to what are you referring? Or is it just that the hands won't grasp the blaster properly? That drives me nuts, but I don't think the hands are really at fault, it's the blaster that's too small. The design could have worked fine if the trigger guard had been the right size, as seen in the photo above.

preacher
01-16-2012, 05:27 PM
Yeah, they are darker than they should be. I think Sideshow was trying to capture the movie lighting look, the actual droids are "bone white" but in-camera they come off tan, just not this tan. Is one of yours darker than the other?

IMO, with Battle Droids, they cannot afford to get it wrong since there won't be as big a market with successive releases. Plus, I don't like paying $141 with shipping to be their guinea pig.

I was comparing the the backpacks to the Ep 1 versions, I did a lot of research to help me figure out why I wasn't feeling what I was seeing. Here are the images I think show you what I was getting at:
http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/a/aa/B1BattleDroid-SWI128.jpg
http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/5/55/DroidArmy.jpg

The Hasbro backpack is also oversized like the Sideshow one, so I'm suspecting either the ROTS file is the one that has the larger backpack, or Lucasfilm pulled a "make a change!" rule. The AOTC backpack remains the same size as the TPM version, as seen here:
http://images.wikia.com/starwars/images/a/a0/Battledroids.jpg


I don't think these hands will have any difficulty holding electrobinoculars, although the thumb joints probably will be the weak link in that. Still, there's utterly no excuse for getting the E-5 trigger guard and/or the hand size wrong on the first try.


Cool shots.


I am not seeing flimsiness on the hands, to what are you referring? Or is it just that the hands won't grasp the blaster properly? That drives me nuts, but I don't think the hands are really at fault, it's the blaster that's too small. The design could have worked fine if the trigger guard had been the right size, as seen in the photo above.

I said hands and meant thumbs. Was a looooong week.

JediTricks
01-17-2012, 03:35 PM
I said hands and meant thumbs. Was a looooong week.Oh, I see. The thumb just needs to be a tighter fit, the design works with how they hold the barrel:
http://www.myfreewallpapers.net/starwars/wallpapers/battle-droid.jpg

And the main fingers are doing most of the grip holding, I think. No, I think Sideshow got the design of the hands right, they're versatile enough for any movie pose (although the AOTC link I posted above shows a type of wrist movement that the movie design simply cannot accommodate, that bent-forward wrist is from a bullcrap CGI rotation joint added to the mid-wrist area that defies the layout -- but the figure can reproduce it simply by rotating the forearm 90 degrees), it's the gun that fails the design.

jedibear
01-19-2012, 08:32 PM
Really digging these guys...the more I move them around, the more I really like them. JT, I think mine are both the same color...it's just the lighting..really cool detailing though.

A couple more shots...

25844 25845

Have anyone checked out that STAP preview? I want to see more shots, but what I see, I really like...

JediTricks
01-21-2012, 06:13 PM
I read someone pointing out that there's a gap between the spine and the "waist" piece which Sideshow didn't include. To be fair, I barely noticed it, but it's a pretty good piece of detail and it didn't get used (I don't think Hasbro's ever used it either), that's the sort of thing I think helps take Sideshow stuff over the top.

JediTricks
09-25-2012, 03:31 PM
After the earthquake earlier this month where my 12" Battle Droid standing at attention fell down, and then I had a miserable time getting Sideshow Indy onto his waist stand, I decided I'd had enough of the crap and used the Sideshow gift card I got at Comic-Con to get 5 of their new stands - originally I was going to get 15 and just replace every figure's, but then they had a nice $50 SW coffee table book which seemed like a more rewarding use of my card, 5 stands and a big book was nice.

Anyway, I used one of the stands on my standing Battle Droid, and I really have to wonder why Sideshow hadn't included these with the figure in the first place! They obviously don't cost Sideshow much at all, they retail for $5, and the figure's weak ankle joints and top-heavy design scream for a stand. The standard stand they use goes under most figures' crotches, here you can use it that way and it'll work for vertical stabilization, but because there's so little crotch here AND it's made of rubber it didn't seem like an ideal anchor point, so I started fiddling.

Turns out this stand design can go up pretty high, so I used it to hold the figure up under the gaps in its torso. It barely shows in natural light, I took a quick snap with flash to show what I'm talking about, and even there it barely affects the look. It anchors towards the front and a point at the bottom of that torso as well, and there's enough gap to clear the backpack as well.

26627

Anyway, I think if you guys have any extra gift card codes lying around (they were giving them out in July on their website) then this is a great use for them, get a few stands and rectify Sideshow's oversight, stabilize your Battle Droids.