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Never Forget - The ICMG Petition

Entertainment Earth

#33 - Clone Commander
(Battle Gear) - Red
#49- Commander Bacara
(Quick Draw Attack)

So you want Clones? Well Hasbro has arguably dropped the ball with the launch of Revenge of the Sith and being able to satisfy the perceived Clone Demand… The characters play such a vital role in the film that it would have definitely been a tough task to have gauged just how popular these guys would be, not to mention the sheer variety of trooper types/styles seen in the movie (much less who is the seemingly more important/desired style of Clone over the next design). The big issue with Clones has simply been finding them though. Between their obvious army building appeal, incredible hype among the collecting community, their popularity from the film, and then the obvious profiteers who create false-demand so they can play the middle-man to make a buck… Well Clones just haven’t been put out as much as many of us would have liked for Hasbro to have done.

Still, Hasbro has managed to dish out 2 Clone Commanders in their line-up. One, a rather non-descript Clone who has some surprisingly ARC Trooper-ish features and the other, who’s scenes with Ki-Adi Mundi gained him a spot high on fan’s wish lists after catching the film… Yes, everyone’s favorite SnowClone Commander Bacara.

I’m going to take an in-depth look at both figures in a little compare/contrast to see what positives and negatives of both have, and how they stack up against each other. Unfortunately there’s one figure that’s clearly better than the other and that sort of bites since I really hoped for greatness out of both the figures. For now though, on with the show...

PROS

-Sculpt: Both figures are winners in the sculpt department, with neither really outdoing the other. The armor is crisp on both Commanders, and each headsculpt is unique and detailed fitting to his specific look but not really outdoing each other.

Each figure features multiple points of articulation that are well hidden by the sculpting of the armor plates, so the sculpt actually helps another positive in regards to how it leaves a figure poseable without distracting visible joints. That should keep carded and loose collectors happy on both the aesthetic front and also keeping the figure fun to play with and set up, and it shows how armored figures should always be articulated to the fullest just because it’s so easy to hide it. It makes for one sweet looking, and fun, figure then.

The helmets on both figures feature a ton of crisp detail, from the vents along the nose, to the sharp lines of the eye-slits, to the little raised dots down around where the mouth would be. Bacara’s helmet is a little more striking as it does stand out more from the normal Clonetrooper’s helmet it seems, but for what they are, both helmet’s are fantastic looking. Plus the Red Commander’s helmet features pegs to hold a visor/binocular accessory on as well, and securely at that, so a nice little addition was made there for an interesting feature on the character.

A negative for Bacara, however, is the sculptor’s choice of making his left arm significantly more pre-posed in its sculpt than his right. This is partly the fault of the articulation lacking, but also the arm is permanently bent at the elbow, at a 90 degree angle. Your Bacara won’t be standing at attention any time soon with that arm’s permanent sculpt.

-Accessories: We’ve got winners on both sides again, as both figures feature a number of accessories that snap onto them and whatnot. However, the Red Commander is the superior figure as he features just a plethora of gear while the Bacara figure is noticeably lacking (but only in comparison).

The Red Commander’s gear list includes:

-Removable Skirt-Piece/Belt
- Visor/Binocular Piece
- Removable Shoulder Pauldron
- Clone Rifle
- 2 Small Pistols (with working holsters)
- “Zip Line” with Rope
- Hook (to ride the “zip line”)

I mean, holy guacamole - that’s a lotta stuff folks! Now, that’s not to knock the Bacara figure, who does feature the proper gear any Clone Commander should have save for perhaps some binocular accessory, but he just doesn’t hold up to the Red Commander figure. Score one for the non-descript guy!

In contrast then Bacara has:

-Removable Skirt-Piece/Belt (though not meant to be removed as it’s glued down in spots) - Removable Shoulder Pauldron
- Clone Carbine
- Clone Rifle

Which that’s not a bad tally for Bacara, he just looks like he got the shaft when it was time to dish out the gear. I guess he has bad supply lines maybe. And Bacara comes with the Clone Rifle, which is more than I can say for some Clones I see being sold here and there. (Clone #41, Clone Wars SA Clone, and Clone 4-packs.... I’m looking at you guys!)

So really, both figures are doing well for accessories, but you have to admit that the Red Clone just comes armed to the teeth; even if it’s gear nobody really ever wanted. I rather like the line with the hook though, as it’s a neat little extra if not a bit ugly and oversized.

-Paint Aps/Decoration: While neither Clone is a clear-cut winner with the paint application, my nod would go to the Red Clone Commander as being the superior figure for two reasons. One, he simply has more applications of paint than the Bacara figure. And two, the Bacara figure has a very sloppy paintjob on his belt that sticks out like a sore thumb. Take that belt away though and I’d probably rate them equal.

Bacara’s helmet details are fantastic. From the silver on his mask to the black lines of his eyes, Bacara’s got a lot of good painting going on with his helmet. He also features blue, grey, and red details on the faceplates of his mask as well as circling around the back of his helmet. Very intricate lines with little in the way of paint straying or bleeding so he has a nicely painted helmet.

Bacara’s body is rather simple with black being painted to highlight the body glove underneath the armor, and no real painting needed anywhere else. His accessories (Pauldron and his belt/skirt-piece) have some paint details as mentioned previously. The pauldron is incredibly nice with burgundy and greys mixed together. It really stands out on his shoulder nicely. The skirt would be ideal again, if it weren’t for the sloppy, overly glossy, and thin looking paintjob applied to the belt to make it match the white of the armor. The paint just looks cheap and it really does stand out.

The Red Clone Commander on the other hand features a lot of red markings around his armor. From his feet, to his kneepads, to his chest, arms, hands, and shoulders… He has markings that set him apart and the paint is applied well in every spot. On the paint on his feet, they even left 2 small white circles that look like where the foot armor snapped on, in the center of the red paint markings. The paint is flat, doesn’t look thin (IE: you can’t see the white underneath it whereas on the Bacara belt you can see the burgundy under the white paint), and just looks like a nicely done paintjob.

The Red Clone’s helmet is much like Bacara’s in that it features clearly painted black markings for the visor, the binocular accessory, and details all around the helmet. There’s absolutely no paint bleeding or straying from any lines on my sample so that’s nice, and there’s little blues and greys used to detail other areas of the helmet that are also very well applied. The Red Clone’s accessories (his skirt and pauldron) also feature painted details. The pauldron has painted ammo pockets as well as red/grey details on the pauldron itself. If you look very VERY close too, you notice that the black portion of the pauldron (around the neck) is a series of squares that are painted the faintest shade lighter than the black plastic as well. It’s something Hasbro could’ve just left solid black but they went the extra mile to paint it to stand out BARELY.

The belt on the Red Clone’s skirt is painted white, as are his holsters for his 2 pistols, and while there’s a little straying of the paint onto the skirt it is minor. In the end, the red Commander takes the cake in paint, while Bacara gets a notch in the negative column, and that’s a downer.

-Articulation: It’s at articulation that we hit a major impasse with the two figures. Bacara, by comparison, is tough to even list in this as a positive so we’ll just focus on the Red Commander.

The Red Commander’s articulation is a-plenty, with borderline “super articulation” featured on numerous other figures. He’s not perfect however, and his one point of articulation that’s missing is normally standard, however it’s not a huge deal.

The Red Commander 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

The missing point of articulation is his waist, and since there’s no action feature to cause this point of articulation to be missing in the first place, it’s disappointing for him not to have it. With a total of 13 points of articulation though, the Red Commander’s a nicely made figure worthy of leading anyone’s Grand Army of the Republic. So he deserves his credit where it’s most certainly due...

Bacara, we’ll touch on in the Cons portion because he just was a letdown.

-Both Have Rifles: Minor? Yes, but with Hasbro shorting us on Clone Rifles (the long rifle the troopers predominantly use in the films) as pack-ins with figures such as the #41 Clone, the Entertainment Earth 4-pack, and the Clone Wars Clone, well it’s just nice to see extra weapons packed in with troopers.

It’s a little plus, but a good one, and Hasbro deserves a nod for making sure the Commanders at least had both the Clone weapons seen in the film. Now if they would just pack the Clone rifles with the regular Clonetroopers all the time, then we’d be set. Right now there seems to be an outcry for just bags of those guns though, and I can’t blame the army builders out there for wanting them.

CONS

-Bacara’s Articulation: While the Red Clone shined with his articulation, Bacara is almost his polar opposite. That’s not to say that he doesn’t look well on paper, and that his articulation allows him to do some nice poses, but he is a huge step below every Clone out there so far, including the Clone Pilot figure littering the pegs of most retail establishments.

Bacara features articulation at:

-1 ball/socket right shoulder joint
-1 standard left shoulder joint
-1 swivel left elbow joint
-1 ball/socket right elbow joint
-2 standard wrist joints
-1 ball/socket neck joint
-2 standard hip joints
-2 ball/socket ankle joints

With 11 points of articulation on Bacara, he’s actually not too bad on paper, and in reality you can pose him holding his blaster with 2 hands, and some other ok poses. He just loses a lot with his left arm being stuck in his pose and not having a ball/socket in his left elbow as he has in his right. Hasbro’s seemingly reverted to their lop-sided articulation for a moment, and that’s not good.

Probably the biggest disappointment on Bacara is his lack of ball/socket knee articulation like the Red Commander (and every other Clone in the ROTS line-up) has. This is especially true for a Clone we see in a heavy combat situation with his Jedi General. Makes the imagination start pumping and his lack of knee joints really do hurt the poseability of the figure. Tough to get that running pose out of him that you want him to have as Ki-Adi Mundi urges him and his troops to move forward. This is probably the point where Bacara really gets his articulation chalked up as a negative feature.

Beyond all of that though, Bacara also features no waist articulation much like the Red Commander. While it’s no more distracting than the Red Commander’s lack of waist articulation, it’s just one more negative in a column already mounting up with negatives. Bacara just didn’t “be all that he could be”, to steal the military cliché. Had it just been the missing waist articulation, I’d gladly have overlooked this and thought much higher of this figure.

The irony of Bacara’s articulation is that under his pauldron, his helmet, and his belt/skirt-piece, Bacara just a regular Clone body. He has no special armor or paintjob even; he’s just all white Clone armor under there. Why Hasbro didn’t use the #41 Super Articulated (or even the #6) Clone as the base for this figure, and just pop the new head, the pauldron, and the belt/skirt-piece onto him then… Well that’s anyone’s guess. The end result was a Clone inferior to the rest of the bunch though, and that really is disappointing about this guy.

-Bacara’s Belt: This is actually a two-fold “Con” on Bacara. First is the fact his belt on his skirt-piece is sloppily painted at best, as noted in the paint applications area. The figure shines as an example of nice paint application till that belt just pops out at you as looking cheap. Almost like a bad custom or a knock-off really.

Second though, the Bacara figure’s belt/skirt-piece is actually GLUED to his butt/waist. It has a snap/buckle you can undo it and everything, just as if it was meant to be taken off… Yet, it is literally glued to the figure, so basically Hasbro took an accessory that was already a separate piece and they (for reasons nobody can seem to explain) glued it to the figure making it permanently stuck to him… That seems like one step forward and two steps in reverse if you ask me. Why go to the efforts on this, only to render them useless?

Much like the lack of use of the Super Articulated Clone’s body in the first place, which would’ve been great, it really makes no sense to me.

-Bacara’s Action Feature: As a fan of articulation, I detest action features, and my dislike of the Bacara Action Feature is two-fold. I dislike it first because it’s a cause for the figure to not have the waist articulation that should be standard on all figures… Bacara, like the #6 Clonetrooper, is short that point of articulation and while not a huge deal, it’s a negative nonetheless and I’d take the articulation over the lame feature any day.

My other reason for disliking Bacara’s feature in particular is that his Quick Draw mechanism leaves a large gap at his left shoulder’s point of articulation, at least on my figure, and it’s very unsightly. For some reason this doesn’t bug me on the #6 Clone, and maybe that’s because I feel it’s not as noticeable even though his shoulders are slightly larger than his #41 counterpart, but on Bacara I just see that gap and it sticks out so much. Not very swift looking for sure.

-Availability: As I write this, the Bacara figure only recently became available at retail so this is a little premature of a gripe about that figure. However, the Red Clone Commander has been released to retail since April 2nd, and for a while he was non-existent for most people.

The Red Clone Commander has even since reshipped, but still not in quantities that can even remotely satisfy the demand for him it seems. The figure is hot, like almost everything Clone, and Hasbro grossly miscalculated the demand on reverse dominoes. Hopefully they’re working hard to fix that problem and get these wonderful (and highly poseable) Clones out to the shelves in droves. The basic Clone Troopers still are the hottest sellers but the Commanders still do incredibly well themselves at retail as well, so hopefully more of all of them are on their way out to your local store.

The lack of Clones on the pegs has been one of the only negatives on the Revenge of the Sith line-up though overall. And the sheer demand is nothing but a complement to Hasbro and the fine figures they made if you ask me!

OVERALL

Well, I think my like for the Red Clone Commander is obvious, and my dislikes about the Commander Bacara figure are also apparent. Bacara just didn’t live up to what his previous Clone Officer counterpart was able to attain and so it makes a weaker figure out of Bacara. For your $6, would you rather have a highly articulated, well armed figure, or Bacara who lacks articulation, accessories, and has an action feature. Yeah, me too.

Obviously I go for the Red Clone Commander myself. I think Hasbro should’ve used him as the template even, and merely put new accessories and a new headsculpt on him. That or use the super articulated Clone’s body. I mean, hey, I’m all for saving Hasbro money if it makes sense, and not having to sculpt a whole new figure for Bacara makes perfect sense to me.

But on Bacara there were just too many things lacking, which other comparable figures obviously have, and that knocks him pretty far down. He’s currently the worst Clone figure out at retail I’d say, and while he’s up against stiff competition he still lost a lot of points with me. Time to customize a nice articulated one I guess.

Now I hope Hasbro does his SnowClone grunts some justice is all. Those guys just looked freakin’ sweet!

And with that, so ends another review… Tune in for the next one whenever. And buy up some Clone Commanders. I even say you should pick up a Bacara, but only because you need one anyway. Make a nice squad of the Red Commander though, they look great. I use them for ARC-Troopers (E3 style) by the way. A great excuse for wanting a small army of them if you ask me!

 

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