Greetings all....been a while.
Thought I'd pop in with some thoughts on the recently released deluxe versions of the Clone Troopers from Sideshow.
So far, I've picked up the 501st and the 212th Battalion clones.
At first glance, these seem like just a quick way for Sideshow to turn a quick buck and re-use the clone armor for another round of figures....but that is so NOT the case here. Everything involved with the Clones has gotten a "tune-up" here...from the armor (new and much sharper detail) to the deco (really upped the game...much more distressed and multi-layered looking) and especially the helmets have had a complete re-tooling, The helmet is now composed of several separate pieces and has much better proportions than before. Really noticeable is the visors on both versions (the Phase I & II). That one detail really adds to the look of the figure.
The bodies seem tighter (maybe I just got lucky) and the armor fits and positions on them better, helping create the look of the armor "hanging" more naturally on the body.
Even the weapons have had a once-over...with the long rifle getting an new rappel-line feature and the additon of two new ones. The Gatling Gun and several "droid poppers" (the baseball-sized shock bombs featured many times on "The Clone Wars")...these can be stored in the new "backpack" that comes with these clones.
Now the packaging is a bit of a slap here... a single-fold box with ill-fitting trays that hold the figure and all of the gear. Once removed and separated, the trays don't fit back together well and the gear is really tightly packed in there. I'm sure this is a way for Sideshow to conserve on the rising costs of production here...making a cut in the packaging rather than the figure seems the better way to go, but since these figures are billed as "Deluxe", something a little more user-friendly and substantial would have been good. Not even any bios this time...just the Clone name/designation and the word "Deluxe".
The final (minor but irritating) issue is...what happeded to yellow-lettered "Clone Wars" logo'd stands that are still featured on the product pages for these? They just have the standard silver SW logo emblazoned stands we've seen with all of the SW figure releases. A small thing, but since they are still pictured, it would have been a nice variety for display to included them....
Having said all that....I'm still pleased with the actual figures here. I held off on getting then until after some reports and "in hand" pictures started surfacing and It could be seen that these are clearly a step up form the previous clone trooper releases. I may continue with this line and get the Vet and the "Shiny"...but having the two I have now, I really want to see Sideshow re-visit the Shock Trooper with this deluxe treatment...we'll just have to wait and see....