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BigBadToyStore.com

Clone Troopers:
#6 - Quick Draw Attack
#41 - Super Articulated

Flashback to 2002 and what was there to pick from on the pegs as far as Clone Troopers were concerned? Not much but an awkwardly posed and fairly poor looking Clone Captain. A figure that wouldn’t get an update for quite some time, and that update would be nothing short of a pain for the majority of people to find, much less to find in any quantities they’d like.

Now we jump back to present-day collecting and our current Clone situation. Hasbro and retail have proved to misjudge demand on Clone figures (how they did this, I don’t know, as the demand for Clones was like standing on the tracks watching a train coming. You knew it was there, why not move?). Still though, Hasbro has given us something in the Revenge of the Sith line that we didn’t get in the Attack of the Clones line. TWO distinct sculpts of Clone Troopers that were nicely made, nicely articulated, and would feature a variety of repaints down the road. The first is the #6 Clone Trooper (Quick-Draw Attack, and the second is #41 Clone Trooper (Super Articulated). The fact two figures of the same character(s) saw almost a simultaneous release makes one wonder just how Hasbro and retail didn’t get distribution on these adequate immediately, but at least it’s picking up some recently.

How do these figures stack up against each other though, and within the modern Star Wars line overall? Well, I’m pleased to say they’re so good that people still can’t get enough of them and Hasbro can’t seemingly produce them fast enough! There’s a lot to compare here so I’ll break these two down, and you can decide if you like one, the other, both, or neither. There’s definitely a lot to like though, so can I get a “hell yeah” for Clones? No? Meh, fine… Just read the review.

PROS

-Sculpt: While the two Clone Troopers aren’t identical (no pun), the sculpt variances aren’t terribly different so that you wouldn’t want to display them together. There are differences though and one figure is a clear winner over the other due to mostly the action feature on the #6 Quick-Draw figure.

Quick-Draw Clone’s sculpt features all the sharp details in the white clanking armor that we’ve come to expect in this style of figure. The VOTC Stormtrooper and Clone Wars Clone Trooper put expectations high, and Hasbro met them well. The little details like the neck collar of the body suit being sculpted with texture, the exposed bodysuit at the armpits, elbows, knees and such also features ribbing sculpted into it. There’s also a bit of detail on the armor like at the torso, the details on the belt, and the back “panel” as well, that all stand out well and look like a little extra effort to make them look crisp and realistically raised from the armor’s surface. The trooper’s helmet is also a nice sculpt with the details around the visor, brow, “mouth”, “nose”, and the panel-like marks on the back of the helmet all sticking out quite well.

The flaws on this Clone’s sculpt are subtle enough that they don’t totally ruin the figure, but one notices them almost immediately, and definitely when comparing the two Clone figures. The wider hips and shoulders (due to the action feature), as well as the molded-on belt, are parts of the figure’s sculpt that we’ll touch on in the “Cons” portion later though.

Super Articulated Clone’s sculpt is just as crisp as the #6 figure’s, though I’d say it’s even a little sharper in some areas, as I noticed a bit more prominence in the mold lines on the #6 as opposed to the #41. They’re a minor point but there is a slight edge going to the #41 there for a bit more smooth lines.

The same great details the #6 has though are shared by the Super Articulated Clone, like the treads sculpted on the bottom of the shoes for instance. A nice little detail both figures share that many might overlook due to how minor a point it is. The #41 Clone also doesn’t suffer from the negative aspects to the sculpt that the Quick-Draw figure does since there’s no action feature. Thus the shoulders and hips are noticeably more proportioned and don’t stick out on the figure at all. The #41 figure’s belt is also a completely separately sculpted piece which gives it a fair bit more realistic look as though it is actually hanging on the figure’s hip and could be unbuckled and removed. A very nice job on Hasbro’s part.

The helmet of the #41 Clone is virtually identical to the #6 Clone, and so there’s no contest between the two there. I notice slight variances in height between the two sculpts out of the multiple samples of both that I have. It seems to depend some on how the helmet sits on the neck more than anything though, but in general I’ve noticed the #41 is SLIGHTLY (I mean very slightly) shorter than the #6. No big deal though and I just thought it was kind of funny to point out.

The only flaw I’ve seen with the #41 is that his back has a slit open for one of his accessories (an unexplainable one at that). A flaw we’ll touch on in the “Cons” portion later as well.

If anything though, I’d think these two figures could’ve shared some parts and saved some money for Hasbro as they are both relatively equal and nicely done. But that also would seemingly cut into Hasbro’s production capabilities that the company has on Clone Troopers, and they’ve recently lamented as the reason they can’t get enough to retail. So two separate sculpts seems somewhat advantageous to them right now as they try desperately to meet collector-demand on this trooper (though many have allied with one sculpt over the other and would prefer only the one sculpt they feel is better actually be the one used for repaints).

-Articulation: A major flaw in Clone Troopers in the AOTC toy line was lack of articulation. The one figure we got was not too swift of an army builder and as such he wasn’t well received at retail. During the ROTS line though, Hasbro seemingly learned from their mistakes (and their success of the Clone Wars Clone) by packing in the articulation on both the #6 and #41 figures. A nice nod to even the action-feature-laden version of the Clone Trooper as he’s not quite super poseable but he’s pretty damn close!

The #6 Clone Trooper features articulation at:

-2 ball/socket shoulder joints
-2 ball/socket elbow joints
-2 standard wrist joints
-2 standard hip joints
-2 ball/socket knee joints
-2 ball/socket ankle joints
-1 ball/socket neck joint

With a total of 13 points of articulation, this figure’s a waist joint away from being “Super Articulated” as Hasbro has defined it. That’s pretty spiffy even if he’s got some sculpt flaws and things. A waist joint’s nothing to short-change in importance though, so once again the action-feature has proven to damage the figure’s overall result and we’ll comment on that one later of course.

The #41 Clone Trooper features articulation at:

-2 ball/socket shoulder joints
-2 ball/socket elbow joints
-2 standard wrist joints
-2 standard hip joints
-2 ball/socket knee joints
-2 ball/socket ankle joints
-1 ball/socket waist joint
-1 ball/socket neck joint

So with a total of 14 points of articulation, the clear-cut winner in this race is the Super Articulated Clone Trooper as opposed to his #6 counterpart. It’s not a huge victory for this trooper though as their articulation is fairly even. I will say though that the #6’s left shoulder is slightly hindered in movement by the removable shoulder pad feature he has, so he has another slight handicap.

Still, both figures excel as army builders. If I’d have gotten a Rebel Fleet Trooper with the #6’s articulation points, you’d see someone with a different signature at all the forums he visits, know what I mean? Still though, the vast range of motion that the #41 Clone’s waist articulation point gives him is really fantastic for a number of poses.

Both figures can hold a gun with 2 hands though, which is sadly something that needs analyzed on many figures these days, and that’s something I’m happy to see both figures capable of. They’re also both capable of great running, walking, “dead”, and prone (lying down) poses. I’ve gotten them in sniping poses, “commanding” (pointing/ordering) poses, shooting from the hip poses… You name it and they’re both pretty much capable of it! I even got the #41 Clone up on top of a Deluxe Crab Droid shooting it in the head just like the one Clone did on Utapau, and it was ONLY the vast amount of articulation that this figure has that made it possible for me to pose one unloading a clip into the droid since he was easy enough to get posed so he was balanced up there. That’s about the best visual argument that anyone can make for the FUN and FUNCTION of a poseable action figure when you’re playing with them.

On a weird note in the two figure’s poseability though, I noticed that they have a major difference when trying to get either of them to be in a kneeling pose on one knee. The #6 Clone actually is slightly better than the #41 Super Articulated Clone since the #6 has slightly wider hips more suited to this specific pose. The #41’s hips cause the armor of the lower torso to push on the leg/thigh armor and while I can get the figure into a kneeling pose it’s a little tough. This same issue on the Clone Wars Clone Trooper actually caused some people to tear their figure’s hip joint as the plastic was forced outward while trying to get a kneeling pose and it stretched and broke. That problem seems fixed on the #41 Clone as I’ve not personally noticed any stretching or tearing on ANY sample I have (and I have quite a few so far), but that’s not to say it couldn’t happen as it’s definitely tougher to get the #41 to pose kneeling. So in a sense the #6 has a slight edge at least on this one minor point.

-Paint Aps/Decoration: The paint application of both figures is fairly smooth and well done. They’re not identical though, as one figure features a little extra that some are ok with while others dislike it.

The #6 and #41 Clones both feature a lot of black details for the body glove under the white armor. The under-armor’s black details are even on both figures as near as I can tell, and neither of my samples has paint straying to the white armor, so no major flaws there that I can see.

There is a series of grey dots on both figure’s mid-torso. On the #6 figure they’re more prominent as they’re covered by the belt on the #41, but on both figures they’re even and well applied which is good. Also both figures feature a similar grey color applied to the soles of their boots. The detail this adds to the feet is actually pretty nice and shows that there’s something there to make those plastic looking shoes stick to the terrain. Very sci-fi looking and a nice extra effort in the paint department.

The helmets of both the #6 and #41 Clones are virtually identical in their paint applications. There’s a series of grey/black marks on the nose area, grey and black striping around the back dome of the helmet, a black visor, black and silver “mouth” pieces, and a series of grey strips around the “cheeks” on the helmet. The details are all very smooth and equal in detail. The “ears” are a little different on both figures I noticed where the #6 has a grey and black detail painted on while the #41 has just a black mark painted on. I’m unsure which is accurate over the other, but both look nice. A very strange difference. You’d think the same paint orders would pretty much go to whoever was manufacturing each figure.

The only major, and subsequently noticeable difference to the casual eye, is that the #41 figure features a lot of “scraping” or battle damage painted onto his armor. Anyone who saw ROTS noted that no Clone seemed pristine white. I guess all the boys we saw were veterans of the field and no replacement troops had made it on-screen at that point. The #6 Clone then is a pristine white trooper while the #41 seems to have some damage.

People either hate the damage on #41 or they didn’t even notice it. To me, the damage looks ok. It’s a little better than the #6’s very clean look in my view, and it is miles ahead of the “burn marks” that other battle damaged troopers have had in the past with Hasbro figures. Remember that POTJ Biker Scout? Right, I do too. So I’ll take the little scrapes of brown on the #41 Clone as they look ok. I’ve seen some customizers who’ve really shown that great, film-accurate battle damage marks can be painted on and really make a figure stand-out too though, so hopefully if Hasbro tries it in the future it’ll be more professional looking.

A weird difference in the paintjob on these figures though, is that the #41 Clone does not feature 2 grey slashes on his right chest while the #6 Clone does. This makes the #6 Clone slightly more accurate, but it’s a minor detail at best. Both are pretty good paintjobs and I’d say I prefer the #41’s a bit more than #6’s, but that’s me. They’re very similar and mix quite well.

-Accessories: Neither figure is going to win any awards because of his accessories. The Clone Commander holds that crown right now I think, but these two do come with some nice gear generally though I think Hasbro owes us some rifles right now.

The #6 Clone Trooper has a nice double-pack of weapons. You get not only the Carbine that Clones were seen using and that has been forced on us since 2002, but you also get the Rifle that the vast majority of Clones are seen using throughout the two films they are featured in. It’s the dominant weapon on-screen so it’s the weapon I’m most happy to see packed with any Clone figure since Hasbro’s seen fit to short us on this important gun. The Entertainment Earth 4-packs didn’t have it, nor did the Clone Wars Clone, so a lot of people are looking for extras.

The carbine’s cast in black, as is the rifle, but the rifle’s got a nicely painted shoulder stock for a little extra detail. The guns are both well scaled and sculpted, featuring lots of detail, so they’re both quite adequate.

The #6 Clone also features a removable shoulder pad. There are two pads included with the figure. One is a plain white while the other is decorated with an emblem of the Empire. The pads fit snugly into the figure’s shoulder though if you try to raise the figure’s left arm too high then the shoulder pads are prone to popping off. That’s a bit frustrating, especially since I didn’t see any Clone sporting an Imperial logo on his shoulder at any point in the film. It’s a bit of a confusing feature to have on the figure then.

The #41 Clone actually suffers Hasbro’s frustrating habit of not giving him the gun you saw most prominently in the film. He only comes with one weapon, the carbine that the #6 figure also had, and it’s the same sculpt and details. It’s a nice weapon, but it’s not the weapon most people wanted really. I’d have been happier to have only seen the rifle, so it’s not an issue of people wanting two guns, but rather they just want the “right” gun as they see things.

The #41 Clone also features a weird antenna array that slips into a slot cut into the figure’s back. The slot’s not attractive really from an aesthetic point of view, and the antenna isn’t something that was seen in the film so just like the interchangeable shoulder pads on the #6 Clone, the #41’s non-film feature of an antenna is distracting from the figure and could just as easily have been left off and made more people happy.

For what it’s worth though, I like to keep my Clones in “Squads” and since this feature is here I have given every Clone “squad” a “radioman” just as in real life. I figure that’s what this little extra item is for anyway. Still it wasn’t in the film and since it detracts from the figure slightly it should’ve been left off.

The #41 Clone’s lack of a rifle is his major downfall compared to the #6 here. Neither figure is poorly equipped though, as both have some appropriate gear plus some “extras” too. I would say the #41 deserved the rifle though, as it’s only increased people’s desire for extra Clone rifles. I’ve picked a couple up at the local Toy Show where some people were selling collections of loose stuff or had a bag of modern weapons. I still need a LOT more of that rifle though.

-Duel Clone Availability: While I don’t feel that Hasbro did well to get Clones on the pegs via their case assortments, and I still feel they’ve got some adjustments to make to satisfy demand, I have to applaud Hasbro’s efforts to put out an Action Feature Clone for Kids, and one with Super Articulation for Adults.

This is a first I think, where Hasbro put out two of the same figure (basically) at the same time, but seemingly for two different demographics.

The good news for fans is that they’re very similar and complement each other well in my opinion. I think they mix quite well, and the efforts Hasbro made for them not to be terribly different was only a positive for army building. The differences they do have are subtle but enough that some folks in the adult collecting community are definitely leaning towards the Super Articulated figure more now while the #6 is becoming a bit more available. That’s good so that kids are able to pick up a Clone should they want.

It seems like a positive situation overall now that stuff is starting to show up in a bit heavier quantity. That’s not to say demand is satisfied, but it’s at least starting to get where people have a chance to find these figures. Better late than never, and Hasbro’s plan to have Clones for all ages gets a major thumbs-up from me.

CONS

-Availability: Hasbro didn’t seemingly grasp the desire adults, kids, and collectors of all ages would show for the Clone Troopers after seeing Episode 3. From April 2nd on, the Clone Troopers have been tough finds for many, and speaking from a point of view where I’m trying to track down stuff for kids, I can say that finding Clones for them hasn’t been easy.

I’m pleased to see Hasbro making strong efforts to replenish Clone supplies at retail. Just recently I’ve seen the #6 Clone start to at least sit for a short while before selling, whereas the Super Articulated Clone is still moving off the pegs quite steadily. A while to go before Hasbro seems to satiate demand, and with the company introducing repaints/variations of Clones now, they’re going to have even longer to go while people build all new armies of Clone paint variants. Plus they’ve made it clear they want to keep the white Clones coming, which is a good thing to me.

The major flaw in the availability of the figures though was not having them in sufficient numbers during the film’s release. At the time, the Clones were non-existent at retail in many areas and this is a point in time when retail sales had their 2nd peak since the April 2nd release date. The lack of certain figures on the pegs makes for a “turn-off” to potential buyers like kids, parents, etc. and Hasbro potentially loses potential sales by the inability to hook people through available products. Nobody likes a frustrating hobby after all.

Clones only starting to surface in quantity in August is a sign that obviously more should’ve been packed in various case assortments initially. It’s really amazing when you think about it because there was also the Clone Commanders and AT-TE Gunners that sold incredibly well and are still not easy finds at retail. That’s testament to the popularity these characters had in ROTS and how they should see some continuous repacking in the modern line.

Hasbro’s got a ways to go with case packs though, but they’re constantly evolving/improving as we’ve seen this past year.

-Sculpt Problems: While the sculpt of both figures were pretty good overall, there are still a few problems plaguing both versions of the Clone Trooper that were somewhat minor but worth mentioning as a negative. They’re the kind of things you see and you just chalk up to irritating because they’re minor and unnecessary.

For instance the Super Articulated Clone’s got the hole in his back for the antenna. It’s a minor thing, and overall it doesn’t bother me really but it’s there and I don’t recall seeing Clones with these Antenna’s on their back in the film. So I’d just as soon gotten the rifle than this antenna and a hole in his back.

On the Quick Draw Clone, his broader shoulders to accommodate the action feature are a major downfall. The sculpt suffers for the feature. Not to mention the shoulder pad on his left arm being a bit bulkier looking due to its removable feature. Again, I don’t recall Clones putting on new shoulder pads with Imperial logos so the interchangeable pads are really useless and unwanted features that hurt more than helped.

The #6 Clone’s suffer the most by sacrificing it’s sculpt for a feature though in the single-piece waist. The lack of a separate belt is a noticeable difference between the two figures, and it looks a bit worse than the #41 Clone’s separately sculpted belt. Aesthetically the #41 Clone is the winner despite the hole in his back.

-#41 Clone’s Lack of Rifle: The frustration many felt when they saw that the Super Articulated Clone’s lack of a rifle accessory was noticeable. Hasbro’s very strong-willed about not packing that accessory too much, and it truly does become annoying to army builders who want the larger and more commonly seen rifle being carried by their troops.

Hasbro should be packing an extra rifle in with future Clones I think to make up for the lack of them in the past actually. A nice way to give fans the gear they want the most. This is the same weird decision on accessories as the Commtech Stormtrooper had. He came with the longer rifle that few Stormtroopers were ever seen carrying anywhere but on Tatooine. Hopefully Hasbro will consider an extra rifle with figures here and there though, even if they’re unpainted. This would be a good way to remedy the issue I think.

-#6 Clone’s Action Feature: Coupled almost directly to the problems with the figure’s sculpt is the Quick-Draw Attack Clone’s action feature. While the feature works, it’s a point that brings this figure a notch below the #41 Clone in my opinion. The feature is the cause of several of the #6 Clone’s bigger flaws.

The lack of waist articulation would be the #6 Clone’s most glaring flaw due to the action feature. It’s amazing what that point of articulation can do for a figure, and his poseability. Right up to that point, we’ve got a super articulated Clone and that’s pretty great, but with the #41 being that slight bit better than I just can’t help but list this as the #6 Clone’s “Con”.

The action feature also is a hindrance to the way the figure’s sculpt turned out, as noted above. The shoulders are a bit broad to accommodate the feature, as are the hips. Both look just that slightest bit worse than the #41 Clone’s overall appearance, and it’s enough to knock the Quick-Draw Clone down a peg below the Super Articulated Clone sad to say.

The funny thing is that I still do like the #6 Clone. But with him compared to the #41 he’s just not as good in my eyes. That hasn’t stopped me from amassing a nice army of #6’s though as they’ve been a bit easier to find for me.

OVERALL

Well, that’s a long read, I know. Believe me, it wasn’t a short thing to type out in a coherent fashion either, all the while these two Clones getting in my way while I type this up. But I’m glad to get a nice comparison of the two out while still getting to the meat and potatoes of the Clone Troopers in the ROTS line, and what Hasbro did right and/or wrong with them. Basically though, Hasbro did a lot right with the figures, and a lot wrong with getting them to the stores in droves like they should have.

My opinion (obviously) is that both figures are pretty great though. Short of the AT-TE Gunner’s ball/socket hip articulation, the #41 Clone is really close to perfect. So of course I can easily say though that my favored Clone is the #41 sculpt and if Hasbro used ONLY that sculpt for repaints, I’d be a pretty happy camper. The articulation wins me over most any time it’s a factor, and here the Super Articulated Clone won by a single point of articulation.

Beyond that though, the sculpt of the #41 Clone was generally better as I noted the #6’s flaws. I’m still disappointed in his lack of a rifle though, and with that, my #6 Clone army has been quite handy to at least pass off some equipment to my #41’s. The Quick-Draw Clone definitely mixes into the ranks quite well though and I probably do have more of that figure since it’s definitely been the easier of the two to find on the pegs. I’m sort of on #6 Clone burn-out right now though unless he’s a repaint, but I’m picking up Super Articulated Clones as I see them here and there. Both figures are great and worth having multiples of though. The fact Hasbro got us two nicely articulated and generic looking Clone Troopers at the beginning of the line is a plus. With the variations coming out, the hunt for Clones is still on for most of us yet, in one fashion or another. It feels never-ending, but that isn’t all bad, right?

So, hats off to Hasbro for a job well done on two good army builders. And again more props to Hasbro for seeing the positives in having two unique sculpts of the Clone Trooper, aimed at basically two different demographics of collectors, released almost simultaneously. It was a nice attempt to make everyone happy in a movie year. If only case ratios and distribution would’ve been adequate enough!

Anyway, buy more Clones… Support the Empire! Well, the Lucas Empire anyway.

 

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