With all the contraversy, and all the hype The Republic Elite Forces (Madalorians Omega Squad and Clone troopers) have begun shipping out to the masses. In the begging I thought this set was going to be chalked full of Mandalorian goodness, but after I found out what the set was I became quite dissappointed, which from what I read on the net I wasnít alone, but I gave EE and Hasbro the benefit of the doubt and purchased this set. So lets take a look at the Mandalorian and Omega Squad set first...
Omega Squad and Mandalorians
Awesome packageing, looks pretty much like the Death Star briefing set that EE offered a while back, a very long box with a window so that you can see the figures very clearly, which if youíre a carded collector this set looks great sitting on your shelf or anywhere else you display your collection. Of course EE slapped their brand on the front of the box, in the lower left hand corner, though thatís not a big deal. The nicest detail they added on the packaging for this set has been the foil stamped Mandalorian skull on the right hand side of the boxes, a really nice touch that goes well with the TAC logo on the box as well.
The back side of the box offers up details about each character held within, and has a small write up in the upper right hand corner of the box telling the EU story of both sets. Over all this is a great set just to have displayed in the box, and it was a real tear jerker to open this puppy up, but I found a very pleasent surprise when I did so.
The guts of the packaging isnít held with wires or tiring bubbles glued to what could be other wise a great diorama background piece, but instead hasbro used the small clear rubber bands to wire the figures to the bubble tray insert, which was very easily cut with a small knige or other sharp object. This is the easiest battle pack Iíve ever opened from the star wars brand, which was a welcomed surprise.
The Omega Squad
If you liked the Republic Commando figures then the Omega squad figures will be right up your ally. I donít have a scorch figure or any of the other Republic Commando figures for that matter, but I can see that hasbro reused the mold from Scorch and company to make these figures, but thats not a bad thing since all four of these guys have some decent weapons, back packs and articulation.
Omega Squad: Essentially these guys are all the same figure just with different back packs and guns, so Iím not going to break each one of them down into separate characters. The Omega Squad sculpt has removeable back packs, and a large blaster rifle (And other large guns). Heís got articulation in his neck, torsoe, waste, both upper legs, shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Overall this figure isnít bad but isnít great. If he had knee articulation he would have been a super figure. Paint Apps. On this figure was great, not much to it, but utilized really good. Other members of this squad have other removeable gear such as breath tubes (?) On theri legs, and motion sensors on their back packs, really cool visual characters. I give these figures a 7 out 10 on the cool action figure scale just because they look so great next to other ROTS Clone Troopers, that and they can be posed in a wide variety of poses.
Llats Ward: Wow, what can I say I expected the VOTC mold from Fett to be used on these figures...I was wrong. Llats comes with a removeable helmet, a plastic cloak, a heavy blaster rifle, and a blaster pistol which goes into the holster nicely. Heís got articulation in the neck in the form of ball jointed., shoulder, elbows, wrists, forarms, waste, legs, knees, and ankles. Which is a great deal of articulatiuon if I might add. The sculpt of this figure is cool in the face, the guy looks like he could be realted to Jango, but in the same breath I was a little in blah mode when I looked at this figure just because he looks like he should be selling me a used car, not training my grand clone army. The color scheme of the character is really cool, I like the skull on his chest plate, that was a great touch to add to the character, the use of washing and other higher end paint apps was also a nice touch given to us, but the use of hard plastic cloaks killed the look of the character I thought, and he should have had soft goods given to him. Iíd give this figure a seven out of 10.
Bíarin Apma: the coolest looking human face sculpt in the entire series belongs to this guy, he just looks like he should be a Mando. (I think itís the facial hair). Apma here has the silver armor, and two blaster pistols, though no holster (Which hurt this figure I thought.) Unlike Llats Apma has a jet pack, which was a nice touch since this character wouldnít have looked right with a cloak be it plastic or soft goods. Unlike Llats, Apma also has vert limited articulation! He has a ball jointed head, normal shoulders movement, swivel elbows, waste, legs, knees, and feet. Paint Apps. On this figure could have been a little better, but they could have been a lot worse as well. The silver scar or marking on his chest plate is a little confuseing, Iím not sure what itís supposed to be but itís there. The figure could have used some washing around the belt area, and around the black parts of the suit going around the armor. Another bad thing about this figure and only this figure in the set is the use of the removeable helmet, since when I put it on, the head comes off with the helmet whenever I take it off...and trying to pop this figureís head back on every time I change my dioramas is a little pain staking... Overall I give this figure a 5 out of 10, because itís an average Star Wars figure...maybe even a little to average. The face sculpt is really the only thing going for this figure.
Rav Bralor: YAY!!! Female Mandalorian figures!!! What more could any horny fan boy want for christmas? Rav while has a great look for her armor, and over all feel, lacks a little in the coolness factor when you pop her helmet off. Here we got a normal middle aged looking female with a white stripe going down the side of her hair...I do like the braid of wookie hair holding her cloak on though but much like Llats Rav could have faired better from a soft goods cloak. The hard plastic is a little annoying. Rav has a decent amount of articulation, being a ball jointed head, shoulders, elbows, wrists, waste, legs, knees, and feet. She has great movement, possiably the best articulated figure in the set goes to the female mold. Rav gets the shaft in the arms department though she has a very stock lookinh star wars version of a Oozie, and what looks to be a modified Jawa blaster? (WTF) Or a blaster carbine if youíre really a true star wars nerd. The paint apps on this figure are amazing, the detail of design going into this armor is stellar and should be appriciated by an Star Wars collector. I give this figure 8 out of 10.
The Omega Squad Set of Elite Forces is a great set mainly for Omega Squad and Rav, the other two Mandoís arenít really stellar figures, but llats isnít a bad figure either. I would suggest this pack to anyone who likes EU video games like Republic Commando, or any die hard Mandalorian fan. Movie or OT fans for that matter would find really nothing in this set except maybe the use of Llats Ward as Judo Kast, and thats only if youíre a OT era collector who doesnít mind EU influences on their holy triology. Overall this set gets a very solid 8 out of 10.
The Clone Trooper Set
The Clone Trooper: Basic TAC/ Saga Legend Clone Trooper (ROTS) except with a painted Mandalorian skull painted on the chest piece of the armor. Thereís nothing special about this figure other than the paint job of the skull, so if you have a ROTS trooper you have this figure, and odds are if you check your local Wal-Mart you can find one of these hanging on the pegs still...Though I do like the SA sculpt of the trooper so I gotta say 6 out of 10...(If it would have been a AOTC clone, it would have gotten higher.) (Opinion based there...)
Arc Troopers: If you liked Alpha from the EU comic packs then youíll like these figures as well. Thereís nothing different from Alpha and these guys except for the paint apps. Personally this was a great surprise to find when I cracked these sets open, so 9 out of 10 for this figure, just because hasbro used the superior sculpt when they made this set.
Mij Gilamar: He looks like Kal Skirta...but wait heís not... The most boring of all the Mandos in both sets, possiably ever is this guy. Personally I would have rather had another Arc Trooper than this blah sculpted figure using a horriable mold for the body. (He has the same articulation as Bíarin Apma) And If that doesnít make matters worse he comes with the old Clone Wars Realistic line Clone Trooper Blaster Rifle...(Yuck) I give this figure a 2 out of 10...Itís lucky it got that.
Dred Priest: This figure is like Rav Bralor in the design is really cool, but this figure is the male sculpt of the Mandalorians for this set. Priest has a great paint apps, washing, and other forms of shading on him, in fact the only bad part about this figure is that the hasbro employee looks a little to fan boy like to be a Mandalorian, but other than that a great figure. He uses the same sculpt has Llats Ward for those of you keeping score at home. 8 out of 10, because of paint apps. This figure would have gotten a nine if he had not came with the Clone Wars Realstic era Clone Trooper blaster rifle...
Isabet Reau: I canít say anything about this figure that I didnít say about Rav, except hasbro did a better job on the sculpting of the face, since Isabet is a little more posh looking than Rav, but she wears a suit of yellow armor, which is a little cheesey...but other wise really cool and interesting character. She and Rav share the same mold by the way. 8 out of 10.
Over all the Clone Trooper set I felt was a little weaker, but it had several strong points in the Arc Troopers, Isabet, and Dread Priest, but visually this set lacks the coolness factor, but it has the kiddie factor in the toys are a little more toy like and child friendly. I would suggest this set for anyone whoís a fan of the Clone Wars, be it EU or not, just because who couldnít have anoiugh black arc troopers!? I gotta give this set a 7 out of 10, if the sculpt would have been a little less plain jain on Gilamar then this would have been the best set to get out of the two.
Ending Comments: It has been a journey with these sets, ever since they came out I thought about Jaster, Kast, Mandalore, just to name a few Mando characters I thought could grace us this holiday season, and when I found out hasbro people was the basis of the set...It felt like I got punched in the balls to be honest about it, but after I intergrated these figures into my collection I gotta say it was worth it just because they add something visually to the scenes I have, so there you have it I hope I may have answered questions about the sculpt and quality of each of these figures.