I know I've said this before, but obviously given the nature of this review, I suppose it bears repeating -- I like Clone Troopers, especially those based on Episode III. I like them better than Stormtroopers. I like the overall design of the Clone Troopers, and especially with regard to the Super-Articulated version, I like what Hasbro has done with the figures.
And there seems to be no shortage of Clone Troopers for Hasbro to turn out. Setting aside the good, basic, "all-white" Clone Troopers, by the time of Episode III, the Clone Wars had been waged for a long enough period of time for the vast Clone Army of the Republic to be divided down into assorted Legions, Divisions, Platoons, Corps, and whatever else, each one rather distinctive if not by armor design, which in most cases was pretty much identical, but by the markings on that armor.
And for Hasbro, this had to be a sweet deal from a standpoint of action figure production. While I'm not trying to minimize any aspect of the cost of creating the necessary tools and paint masks for a given action figure, if there's a whole range of different color schemes that can be applied to one basic figure, i.e. the Clone Trooper, even though several different sets of molds exist, then it still largely comes down to a matter of just designing the needed stencils or whatever for those markings.
Which brings us around to the newest entry in my Clone Trooper collection (which if it doesn't already qualify as a separate subdivision of the Star Wars collection, probably should), the 7th Legion Clone Trooper.
Now, I would imagine that Hasbro has made up a number of different Clone Trooper types and Legions -- with LucasFilm's permission, of course -- that don't really have any precedent anywhere else. Some do exist in various media forms, certainly. The 501st Legion were the blue-trimmed Clones that accompanied Anakin -- excuse me, the newly-minted but not yet armored Darth Vder -- in his raid on the Jedi Temple. The red- trimmed Clone Troopers were the Shock Troopers, whom we saw largely in the direct company of Emperor Palpatine.
The 7th Legion...? Well, I certainly TRIED to find out something about them. Who their Jedi General was, what planet they were primarily assigned to -- anything. Pretty much struck out. No information. Now, I'll admit, while I regard myself as reasonably knowledgable about the world of Star Wars, I'd be a flat-out liar if I called myself an expert on it. I am sure there are plenty of people who can quote chapter and verse on the most obscure characters, and have virtually memorized the contents of not just the movies, but the novels, comic books, video games, and whatever other media forms may exist that Star Wars has impacted. I am not one of those people.
That having been said, a basic search of some reasonably reliable sources and a couple of direct inquiries turned up nothing on the 7th Legion. Now, that's not to malign the basis for this figure. It's a big galaxy, and the Clone Wars were waged far and wide across it. I have little doubt that over the course of it, somewhere out there, there WAS a 7th Legion, and I'm sure they comported themselves well on the battlefield. We just didn't hear much about it.
Finally, I found a good source online, and it mentioned that the 7th Legion Clone Trooper was largely a recoloration, using a different set of molds, of a "Concept" Trooper (in other words, something Hasbro made up) that was part of a series of multi-packs from a couple of years ago. That particular Clone Trooper had very similar markings, but they were in dark red. I remember passing on those multi- packs, because the figures in them were too pre-posed and rather limited in their articulation.
So, let's consider the 7th Legion Clone Trooper figure. What sets him apart, visually? Well, he's been designed as pretty much a basic Clone Trooper. There's nothing all that unusual about the basic form of his armor. There's no special enhancements or variances here. Just the markings, of course. For the 7th Legion, they chose a tan color for their markings, and a rather unusual and distinctive pattern.
There are large ovals on the outside of both legs, right at the midpoint, that goes from the top leg armor, across the knee, and ends on the boots. There is a long streak of tan on the inside of their lower arms, and a portion of the bit of armor on the back of their gloves. Their equipment belts are tan. There is a tan oval on the upper left side of the chest, which stretched over to the left shoulder piece. And there's a sort of half-oval on the top right of the helmet, which looks like it has a bite taken out of one edge, and a very tiny white circle in it. Definitely some very distinctive markings.
How's the figure itself? Well, it's not bad, although I might have preferred a different version in some respects. I have heard it commented that Hasbro has been quoted as saying that the "Super- Articulated" Clone Trooper molds are still running at full capacity. That means that other sets of Clone Trooper molds are going to have to fill in. Most of these are acceptable. And on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the "Super-Articulated" mold, and 1 being something where they didn't even bother to articulate the elbows and knees, and he's pre-posed and can't even stand up on his own, I'd give the 7th Legion Clone Trooper a 9.5.
The figure does have an excellent range of motion. He is poseable at the head, arms, elbows, ankles, waist (in this case actually the waist, not the mid-torso point that the Super-Articulated version has), legs, knees, and ankles. Most of these articulation points have a rotational in them as well as the usual back and forth motion.
The only significant visual difference in this figure's armor from the usual is a molded strap of some purpose which appeatrs on the upper left arm.
Now, there are two things which knocked that half-point off this figure. One is the fact that he was pretty heavily dirtied up, not only with imprinted scuffs on his torso, but with a wash of watered down grey paint on his arms and legs. While I'll admit that Star Wars can get away with this practice better than some action figure lines, it's still not a procedure that I approve of.
Secondly, the figure has the "Jango Clone" head underneath a removeable helmet. While this isn't that unpleasant, it does tend to result in the need for a larger helmet, it IS visually noticeable when you place a "Jango head" figure next to a Clone Trooper whose head IS the helmet, and even just on its own, it looks a little disproportionate. I realize that some people applaud the removable helmets, but I suppose my comment here would be -- okay, we KNOW what they all look like. Just give them all helmet heads. It looks a lot better, okay?
Also, for whatever reason, whether it's because the helmet is molded from a very flexible plastic as opposed to the more rigid plastic, I tend to see more paint goofs on the removable helmets, especially with regard to aiming the stencil for the black visor.
However, these are relatively minor issues. They're issues which I do wish would be looked into, and frankly I'd be a happy camper if every Clone Trooper in the future used the Super-Articulated molds, but I'm not going to gripe all that much. The 7th Legion Clone Trooper is still a very cool figure.
The profile of the character on the back of his package -- well, it only lends to the mystery of precisely who the 7th Legion are and what their history is, because it's a pretty generic background of Clone Troopers in general. It reads as follows:
CLONE TROOPER - 7th Legion Trooper
Species: Cloned Human
Status: Grand Army of the Republic
Weapons of Choice: Blaster
Characteristic: Super Soldier
Clone Troopers are the bulk of the Republic's military might during the Clone Wars. They're the perfect soldiers: focused and efficient, even when they are ordered to instantly change from allies to enemies upon receiving a single command.
Boy, that Order 66 scandal JUST won't go away, will it?
Just a random thought here, and this review seems as good a place as any to mention it -- I wonder how much of what we've experienced, in the movies, the animated series, the forthcoming CGI animated series, the comic books, the novels, the video games, and everything else that has been specifically dedicated to this particular era of the Star Wars timeline -- I wonder how much of it George Lucas had the slightest clue about when, in the first Star Wars movie way back in 1977, he had Luke Skywalker utter those now-famous words to Obi-Wan Kenobi, "My father fought in the Clone Wars?!"
It was almost an offhand comment -- and look at what it's become.
Anyway, if you're looking to build your own Grand Army of the Republic,
and really, you can't have too many Clone Troopers, then here's a new
recruit. His particular group may be something of a mystery, but he's
a worthy addition to any Star Wars collection. The 7th LEGION CLONE
TROOPER definitely has my enthusiastic recommendation!