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Review : Star Wars Black Series Clone Trooper (Kamino), The Clone Wars


In Summer 2020, Hasbro moved to the 4th Phase of packaging for the Star Wars Black Series with the launch of the Galaxy Collection. With this new packaging came the news that the Hasbro team would also be revisiting and redesigning the often used bodys for the Imperial Stormtrooper and the Republic Clone Trooper - improving the articulation and overall look of both figures vs the original bodies that were now 5 years old or more. The first Clone to use the new Trooper body was the slightly unusual choice of the Kamino Security Clone Troopers as seen in the Season 6 Conspiracy story arc, under the command of Jedi Master Shaak Ti.

Packaging 4.0


I am now almost fully sold on the new Galaxy Collection Packaging. The box dimensions remain identical to the Phase 3 packaging with the side cut out and angled to house a full art panel that is done in grey scale but then uses a coloured accent glow to the bottom half of the image. This colour accent is specific to the movie or series from which the figure is taken and each movie or series has its own numbering system - when corresponding figures are lined up the side artwork combines into a bigger collage piece. The Clone Wars colour is a very vibrant yellow.


The colour is used in the Trooper name, which is simply listed as Clone Trooper with the "Kamino" in brackets underneath. The artwork panel shows the Kamino Trooper holding his heavy blaser and with the Kamino cityscape in the background behind. The art panel is repeated on the back along with some background text. The text is surprisingly generic and does not cover any detail of this particular Clone section and its role on Kamino.


"The Republic Clone Troopers represented the future of galactic warfare. So symbolic were they of the times, the galaxy-wide conflict that saw their debut took its name from their ranks: The Clone Wars "


One of the disadvantages of the new box shape is the volume of tape strips needed to seal it, and they can be quite visible and detracting for boxed collectors. For openers like me you will need to cut your way through these either on the top or bottom flap to extract the figure. The entire box contents come out as one including the window which is now part of the inner tray and not attached to the cardboard of the box. This allows for the plastic and card to be separated for recycling purposes.



Paint & Sculpt 4.0


The Kamino Trooper features an all new Phase 2 Clone Trooper body and helmet. It is well publicised that Hasbro are now doing all helmets as softer plastic pieces over a sculpted head underneath. This can mean the helmet can arrive warped and I have seen some pretty poor examples of this - mine thankfully arrived fine. You can't take off the helmet immediately to see the head underneath (which is unpainted) the helmet is spot glued in place. Be mindful any attempt to remove will need patience and some heat to soften the glue and could warp or damage the helmet.


The helmet itself is OK, but arguably the previous version for the Mk2 clones was a much better proportioned piece. The new one is quite slim with narrow eye lenses and a lack of volume at the base of the helmet leaving the sides quite flat. It is very neatly painted with a gloss black visor and the grey trim around the ridge piece the forehead and the nose & mouth areas.


This grey trim continues onto the white armour of the body with decals added to the shoulders to represent the badge of the Kamino Defense Force. The new body uses more segmented parts cast in their base colour and this means there is no significant painting required of black over white cast parts or vice versa. We therefore do not have a repeat of those very unsightly joints as seen on the old figure, and the gaps between armour and black undersuit are crisp and without the risk of paint bleed.



Accessories 3.5


Like all Clone's to date, the Kamino Trooper is armed with the DC-15A and DC-15S blasters. Both are cast in black plastic, and this is a harder plastic than has been used in the past which gives a glossy finish and a crisper level of detail on the blaster.

Both weapons are designed to fit in the right hand where a trigger finger slots into position. The barrels can be cupped and held by the left hand for two handed posing. It is also possible to have a weapon in each hand if your Clone is feeling a bit gung ho, although the left hand grip is a little less natural without a trigger finger.


Both weapons could have benefited from some paint detail to some degree. I've seen these in the past done in plain black, with a gunmetal wash and also with silver detail on some of the parts and I think one or both of those options would have added to the overall look. The DC-15S, the smaller of the two, also looks a little warped with the barrel almost bent upwards from the the grip?



I had assumed both blasters were direct re-uses from the older Clone figures, but on closer inspection they are not. They are either new pieces or have been slightly resized and tweaked - perhaps to engineer them better in scale to the new body. The smaller blaster features that strange bend in the middle and is a touch smaller than the older version.


The larger DC-15A rifle is also a touch smaller than its predecessor and has some sculpt changes at the barrel and on the central piece as shown below.



Articulation 4.5


One of the main reasons for a redesign of the Clone body was to improve the articulation. The older figures suffered from blocked elbow joints - even though they had a double joint - and some clunky movement around the legs.


The new Clone Trooper has an articulation count of 18 points of articulation with the new butterfly joint added at the shoulders to aid in posing.


Head : ball joint neck

Body : ball joint torso

Arms : butterfly shoulder, ball joint shoulder, single rotating elbow, wrist pivot

Leg ; ball joint hips, thigh swivel, single rotating knee, ankle rockers


The head is the first improvement on the previous release, sitting higher on the neck and open to a wider range of motion. The arms too are now no longer restricted at the elbows - so even though it is now a single joint, it is much more responsive and can bend much further. The elbow pads are no longer fixed on the joint and are executed as soft plastic that moves over the joint rather than blocking against it.


The shoulders were also a previous issue where the hard cast pauldron struck the chest armour and stopped all motion. This is not fully alleviated, but the pauldrons are now soft cast plastic and can bend more against the armour as the arms move upward.



The legs now have a full range of motion with the hips opened up and a knee joint that can bend fully, albeit on a single joint. The knee pad, like the elbow, is soft plastic and floats over the joint and does not impede it. The ankle rockers are secure and tight and the figure will stand pretty well in most poses where both feet can be planted - you do have to learn to use the knee rotation to help keep the feet secure which is a little odd but this ultimately works and looks better than over turning the thigh swivel that then turns the thigh armour too far out.



Summary


I think Hasbro have achieved what they set out to do and have given us a nice looking and well articulated Clone Trooper body that can then go and be utilised for multiple characters and troopers over the coming years. There has been some noise about the proportions being stylised and towards the animated look of The Clone Wars, but I do not see this personally and there is no immediate difference visually if you put the new Clone with any of the old ones apart from the helmet that looks a little slim. In fact the Trooper would have looked better combining the new articulated body with the old Phase 2 helmet.



The new packaging, in my opinion, is much more visual than any of the older formats and the angled side art does allow for some variation in display - allowing you to display face on to show the figure and the art, or side on in the montage layout. All in all the new Kamino Clone Trooper is a very solid release and I score it 4.0 overall.




For more news, reviews and a checklist of releases visit our Star Wars Black Series Database





About Me : As a child of the 70's and 80's I grew up in a golden age for action figures and in my youth bought and sold myself through collections of Star Wars, G.I. Joe (Action Force) and M.A.S.K. while also dabbling in He-Man, Transformers and Ghostbusters. Roll forward and I am now reliving that Youth with the action figures of today and am a collector and fan of the larger 6-8 inch figures from my favourite movie and TV licences - including the ones mentioned above, but also the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Doctor Who and the Aliens. I launched The Mephitsu Archives in 2015 with a view of creating a UK focused site or these figures where fans can pick up the latest action figure news, read reviews and get information on where to buy their figures and what is currently on store shelves. I hope I am delivering that to you guys...

action figures, reviews, review, articulation, Star Wars, Black Series, The Clone Wars, Kamino, Clone Trooper

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