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Never Forget - The ICMG Petition

Brian's Toys

Commander Gree
(Battle Gear)

Hasbro’s Clone-Happy in 2005 and that’s meant no shortage in the various flavors of Clone Troopers we get to see in Revenge of the Sith. Well, no shortages in individual figures Hasbro says they’ll make but a distinct shortage at retail for a lot of the year! And the Clone trends continued right into the final 12 figures of the ROTS line as we’re given the 501st Trooper and 2 unique Commanders seen in the film. This review is going to focus on the Commander unfortunate enough to be told to take out Master Yoda during Order 66’s execution.

The review of Commander Gree (Battle Gear) takes us on an interesting journey of just how repainting figures, while a good idea in many respects, can go horribly awry. It’s definitely a quick way to make enemies with your fans, especially if there’s no resculpt on the horizon to appease the angry masses. But that’s not to say Gree is completely without positive marks. There are just some figures that a repaint won’t do though and Gree fits the bill. So read on and get the scoop… but maybe, just maybe there is some salvation for you to buy a Gree or three if you see him.

PROS

-Sculpt (Mostly): The Commander Gree figure is based off of the #41 Clone Trooper and all his Super Articulated glory. The figure’s sculpt is a dandy, featuring the best proportions of any of the Clone figures to-date. The armor’s crisp and smooth, and the figure’s lack of an action feature and well hidden articulation all make for a more believable looking figure than the comparable #6 Clone’s sculpt, so this is the ideal base to use for Clone Trooper repaints if they’re going to be made.

Gree’s armor basically is the same in most all respects as the basic Clone Troopers however there are suspender type additions hooked to his belt. The suspenders are a flaw and we’ll touch on that later but the rest of the figure matches up quite perfectly to the #41 figure’s sculpt so that’s a plus. The #41 has a slot cut into the back for one of his accessories to fit into, and while it’s not the most attractive thing it is a small gripe overall on the figure’s looks.

Features on the #41 sculpt like the sculpted treads on the shoe soles, the crisp details, and every point of articulation being hidden almost perfectly make it simply ideal in most circumstances for repainting. Any basic troop should be based on this sculpt, be they 501st, Shocktroopers, or grey trimmed Coruscant Troops… Those suspenders will come to bite this particular figure in the rear though.

-Articulation: Utilizing the #41 Clone sculpt means that the Commander Gree figure is among Hasbro’s most poseable, and there’s nothing wrong with that in my book. All Clones should be this fun to set up and play with if you ask me, and Hasbro’s done a knock-out job in articulating figures when they want to. It’s still a matter of getting the big H to just articulate more than the armor-clad guys like this!

Commander Gree 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
- 1 ball/socket torso/waist joint

With a total of 14 points of articulation, the real test is in all the ball/socket joints. Like the Clone Trooper, this figure can take just about any pose you want him to. The hips are a little tough to pose for a crouching pose because the armor of the legs and waist presses together too closely. That’s not much of a detractor to the way you can pose Gree though. I’ve had him just in running poses, “Commanding” poses pointing around at his troops, and a nice dead pose where he fell to his knees after a beheading by Yoda. Hasbro’s got a winner with their super articulation and I truly do hope they spread this across the line overall some more.

-Accessories: Gree comes with a bit of gear. It would’ve been nice had he come packed with a miniature hologram of Palpatine to have for on his arm, or something genuinely “new” to make the figure seem more of a value than simply a repaint, but the figure does come with the gear he needs and some extras as well.

First Gree comes packed with the AT-RT Driver’s “Firing Cannon”. This maybe has some appeal for the younger audience, but it basically is just an oversized Clone rifle with a firing mechanism and a translucent red projectile. It’s nothing a collector wants but easily amused children may enjoy it so that’s why it’s there I suppose.

Next Gree also comes packed with the #41 Clone’s standard gear. There’s the Clone carbine, which Gree was seen with in the film so it makes the ideal accessory, and Hasbro saw fit to include the antenna accessory the #41 Clone uses as well, so it’s a nice little bonus packed in there. These are the two pieces that’ll keep the collectors happy as they’re all Gree really needs at all. So yeah, the gear’s not particularly inspiring on this figure but it covers what you need and that’s at least a positive mark.

-Potential Army Builder: While the figure fails for being a good Commander Gree, it’s got a paintjob that’s unique and even differs enough from what a GOOD Commander Gree would look like that you could reasonably justify having a couple of these guys as basic Clone Troopers on Kashyyyk.

Yeah, the concept is a tad far-fetched to give the figure another positive mark, but the thought is there, and for me I’m able to accept it and enjoy having a couple of the figure in my collection. The paintjob’s a little sloppy though and not up to Hasbro’s standards, so it’s a pretty big negative overall and you have to stretch to make this figure “fit” with your collection I believe.

CONS

-Paint Aps/Deco: To say that the paint application is bad isn’t entirely true. The paint application is bad for a Commander Gree, but it’s not overall terrible. So to that end there may be a use in buying the Gree figure if you aren’t opposed to having “Expanded Universe” stuff in your collection. Like I said, you can always call it a “Kashyyyk Trooper” or some such and justify having a couple, but a Commander Gree this figure’s paintjob is not.

The details on this guy are just off, and you have the photo-insert right there to use as a reference if you need it. Hasbro failed miserably. The first, most noticeable differences are on the helmet. There’s a specific pattern of whites, greys, and 2 shades of green on Gree’s helmet in the picture and the Gree action figure has some blotchy green, grey, and white as well as the “dirty” looking white of the plastic the helmet is actually cast in… The pattern isn’t accurate at all and the helmet’s dome is missing the white on the ridge and sides that it should have which does stand out. Lots of detail is missing right from the top of the figure and this trend will continue right on down the rest of him unfortunately. It was nice, however, to see little things caught like the vent marks on the “cheeks” of the helmet, the silver tips of the mouth pieces, and Commander Gree’s trademark neon green lenses. Too bad about the rest though.

The Commander’s body seemingly is not accurately painted either. Most noticeable is the figure features black paint on the sides of his torso whereas the character’s picture shows 2 shades of green again such as on the helmet. The camouflage painting on the green portions of the armor is sloppy as well, with no real pattern but rather just looking like brown and green smeared together.

Some nice detailing did make it look like the paint was “worn” off the edges of the armor, and smears at certain points made it look like the figure had some believable Kashyyyk wear and tear, but given all the inaccuracies of the paintjob compared to the reference picture, Hasbro still owes us a Commander Gree I’m thinking. And that’s not even mentioning the painted-on suspenders, which are just really a half-hearted attempt at making this figure in an obvious rush.

-Missing Suspenders: And that takes us to the point where the suspenders become an issue with this figure. Why, oh why, would Hasbro think that painting a piece like this on him would suffice? Well, it doesn’t sadly. The painted on white lines are not only uneven and oddly contoured to the figure’s armor (they are paint after all so they are flush to the chest and back with no realism), they are even so thin in application that you can see the black of the armor underneath them!

The suspenders also don’t connect to the figure’s belt, making them look just that much more awkward and unrealistic. As painted on accessories rather than separately sculpted, these look cheap and more like a decoration for this Clone’s specific legion than an actual piece of the character’s uniform. Cool for a trooper if you want to go that route, terrible for a Commander Gree though, or at least an accurate one.

My thoughts on the suspenders are that Hasbro could have sculpted them as a separate accessory you can actually remove from the figure. They could snap on over the armor and there’s a lip around the figure’s waist where the belt separates from the figure leaving room for you to tuck the ends of the suspenders down into the belt. This would’ve left Hasbro to re-use the #41 Clone Trooper’s sculpt entirely saving them money still, but they would’ve simply had to sculpt one unique accessory for him. Given that Hasbro didn’t sculpt any new accessories for Commander Gree this suspender accessory idea seems fair to me.

OVERALL

Commander Gree’s been a weird figure for me to review. First I’ve already covered the #41 Trooper so this review’s really a retread to cover what went wrong with Commander Gree more than the sculpt this figure is based off of. It’s a shame that Hasbro felt compelled to, as it seems to me, rush this figure out the door and onto shelves. I think an Utapau Trooper repaint, or releasing the 501st Troopers utilizing 2 unique sculpts would’ve been better options to get Clones on the shelves in different flavors but that would inevitably still sell well.

Gree fails on two separate, but equally important levels. First, he’s not accurate in one specific uniform detail, and that’s the suspenders. The painted on ones are just a sad attempt on Hasbro’s part and I’m surprised they were even given the green light to go into production like that. The level of realism I’ve come to expect from Hasbro far surpasses this, and Gree’s uniform variances are what make him unique, so hopefully Hasbro’s working on either an all-new sculpt or some removable suspender accessories for a future Gree figure we can all be proud to have in our Kashyyyk dioramas.

Gree’s second point of failure is his paintjob though, and to me the two are definitely equally ugly aspects to this guy. The inaccuracies are made more glaringly apparent by the fact you can compare him to his photo-insert right there. They maybe matched early Gree images Hasbro had but fall short of the final character’s design in the film. The splotchy camouflage doesn’t help at all either, and leaves a certain cheap look to the figure. Hopefully this too can be fixed on a future Gree.

Like I said though, can you accept this guy as a grunt in Gree’s army that’s just off-screen? Perhaps defending areas other than the beach on Kashyyyk? If you can, this figure’s one you may want to army build with, but if you’re a fan of only that which you see in the films, then this figure may not even fill your Commander Gree void. I know I am really hoping for Hasbro to give this figure a go again when they have perhaps a little more time. A second failed attempt would be excuseless to me.

My advice is to buy him if you can accept mediocrity for the time being, or if you’re a completist… or if you think this is the only Gree you’ll ever have a chance of buying. Otherwise he’s actually maybe the first passable Clone in the line other than the atrocious Deluxe Clone 3-packs. The only other suggestion for buying this guy is to make that Clone Army of troops you never even saw in the movie. Otherwise this figure isn’t too hard to pass on.

 

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