Something I hear a lot of people talk about and ask for is for Hasbro to hash out all the vintage figures with a modern counterpart. There really are not a ton of figures left to do, though the total depends on your point of view ultimately. Myself, I think a lot of figures made that are counted as being updates to vintage figures, really just don’t cut it. For instance, the vintage Hoth Rebel Soldier is a specific uniform from the films that is yet to be made (technically the vintage line never had a “soldier”, but rather a variation of officer in the brown vest). Or, another example would be the vintage “Death Squad Trooper” (Or Death Star Trooper for you later version fans) is based on the possible shots of a Death Star Trooper with a grey tunic.
Myself, I’d like to see these disputed figures, and the extensive list of figures clearly not made in the modern line, to be hashed out by Hasbro eventually. And low and behold, along comes Hasbro with the OTC Line, and they whip up a nifty Cloud Car Pilot to clear out yet another vintage figure, and at the same time give us a figure that really has a lot of appealing aspects to it as a toy and army builder.
While I’m going to give you the skinny on this figure, and just why I think you should pick one (or two) up, I think it stands to reason that we REALLY want a Cloud Car for them to fly in. I’m going to just use this moment as a selfless plug for the often-rumored and debated Cloud Car. I think that, after getting this dandy figure, that we get a nice little orange twin-podder for a couple of him to buzz around in. Hell, this is one of the rare times that I actually think the vintage mold (if it still exists) is completely accurate for this craft.
With my little request asked, it’s now on with the show.
-Sculpt: Hasbro partly takes some liberties here, and partly they don’t. It’s debatable that the Cloud Car Pilot has a “complete” character design for Hasbro to have sculpted the figure by. Ralph McQuarrie sketched a design for the pilot, which the Hasbro figure is mostly accurate to, and there was also a small doll or “maquette” inside the Cloud Car model, but of course all you see is his head in the film.
With that in mind, Hasbro’s sculpt is really a mix of them paying homage to the vintage figure (very close to original, even in pose), and the McQuarrie sketch. The colors, the overall design, even the grey patch sculpted on his left chest... They all represent the concept that made it to the vintage figure, and Hasbro kept the ball rolling with the modern figure.
Hasbro then went the extra mile by making the helmet removable, and sculpting a nice, simple, generic, human male head underneath with a grey hood around it. The head is expressionless, and simple, but effective for an army builder. Quite perfect really for an army builder. The hood around his noggin’ is pretty neat too, as it is ribs, ridges, and little earpieces on the sides. It’s like it is part of the helmet, or like the helmet attaches to it for the pilot. Very cool!
The uniform features raised lines for its stitching/seams, little orange sort of padding marks on the shoulders, ridges on the boots, fabric texturing, and other tiny details that really bring the figure to life. Also, the pilot sports a nifty belt that’s sculpted separately from the rest of the figure, and has some little pouches on it, and the holster hangs off the figure’s hip as another separate piece (Like Vintage OTC Han’s holster does).
In the end, this is a nicely done figure. Even the right trigger finger is separate for holding his blaster. Detail, detail, detail! This figure’s got lots of it, and for someone who most people blink and miss, it’s really an appreciated aspect to the figure from Hasbro. Every aspect of the sculpt is nice, right down to the neutral pose (early photos had me thinking he had a “lean” to him like some figures have had). Good job Hasbro!
-Paint/Deco: Lots of color adorns the Cloud Car Pilot. I almost get a feeling of a Push-Pop or sherbet from him, but that’s just me. If I was hungry enough I think I would be tempted to eat the figure, the color is that tasty looking.
The colors are great though, as the figure’s uniform is a nice clean white, like Cloud City predominantly was as a place. The figure’s gloves are a creamy yellow color, as is the central stripe on his helmet, and his shoulders and sides of his helmet are a bright orange color. Grey then covers the details of the figure, like small marks on his helmet, his chest patch, or his belt/holster.
The paint on my Pilot’s head is good, and the grey of his hood is painted cleanly so that none of the grey smears onto the flesh color of his face. That’s good because it would really show on this figure and look terrible. The figure’s eyes and eyebrows on his head are also both even and cleanly painted. This means no cock-eyed figure here, which is great to me. I have a couple now actually, and none of my Cloud Car Pilots have crossed eyes, or poor paint applications.
-Accessories: I like figures with removable helmets. If you know me, you know that’s a beef I have with any figure, especially any army builder, that it has a removable helmet. If not, it’s a big negative towards the figure’s final grade from me. I’m pleased to say, the Cloud Car Pilot does.
But, not only does he have a helmet that pops off, but he has a working holster for his blaster pistol, and a communicator that also can find a spot on his belt for when he’s not talking on his intergalactic cell phone. Pack on the little “Star Wars” stand that’s slowly become standard for all figures, and you’re sporting a home-run figure as far as gear. One of the things I liked about the POTJ Bespin Guard was the number of accessories he came with, and for some reason it seems these Bespin guys just get a ton of stuff, and Hasbro makes it so it can be stuck onto the belt or on their head as well. That’s great stuff!
Another thing I like about this figure’s accessories is the fact his blaster is almost identical to his vintage blaster pistol, so that’s a nice nod to the vintage product right there. Also, his communicator is almost identical to the vintage one as well… Maybe a bit more detailed.
The helmet is the highlight though, as it has the see-through goggles from it being cast in clear plastic, and then the whole helmet is painted on the outside. It fits snuggly on the figure, and the other accessories fit nicely into the holster or on the belt, so the figure really looks great with all his gear. Great job here!
-Articulation: The Cloud Car Pilot actually is a figure that Hasbro took articulation a little beyond their norm and gave him some additional points. This is a nice gesture from the company who isn’t known for articulation, and it took what could’ve been an average army builder and made him a good bit better really.
Sporting articulation at:
-2 standard shoulder joints
-2 wrist joints
-2 hip joints
-2 hinged knee joints
-2 boot-top swivel joints
-1 standard neck joint
-1 standard waist joint
This figure’s doing pretty well with a 12 articulation point count. He can take some pretty good poses, however Hasbro neglected to do a ton with his arms, and that translates to some negatives later on in the review. Irregardless though, his articulation is more than I would’ve expected, and it makes for a better figure overall. I give the figure a thumbs up for the effort. Two more points (one at each arm) would have gone a long way on him though.
-Availability: Army Bulder figures, especially good ones, usually come and go with ease at retail. Army Builders like me tend to gobble these figures up happily. Some go all at one time while others tend to sell slowly over time. The morale to the story is that, unless an Army Builder is completely terrible as a figure (IE: Saga Hoth Rebel Soldier), it tends to sell well one way or another.
The Cloud Car Pilot’s been a figure I have seen multiple times in multiple stores. That means he’s not tough to find, but he does seem to sell all the time I’ve noticed. I pick one up every now and then, and have a modest little army going, but the figure doesn’t really linger on the pegs, especially if there’s a sale that hits the stores he is found at.
Hasbro seems to have found a nice mix of getting these Pilots on the shelf, but not to the point they’re backed up like they could have. They sell slowly over time then, and in the end just represent a nice mix of availability and steady sales. Figure distribution perfection really, which is a rarity in the modern Star Wars line.
-Arm Articulation: The Cloud Car Pilot is really nicely articulation, but is he perfect? Well, given what we’re seeing with the ball/socket joints that Hasbro is using with the VOTC and some other figures, I really don’t believe that the Cloud Car Pilot was everything he could have been.
The figure’s right elbow is bent, and it looks great resting on his holster/blaster, but unfortunately it can only hold the gun in that bent pose, and not much else. I’d personally like to have seen at least a cut joint at his right elbow, or for both his left and right arms to have been sculpted in the bent pose, and featured the cut joint on each. This would have allowed the figure to hold his communicator to his mouth, or maybe to have held his arms “at ease” behind his back, or to hold his blaster in a more menacing manner like he’s blasting his way out of Cloud City with the rest of the inhabitants.
Unfortunately Hasbro didn’t see fit to do those articulation points, even though they did extensive articulation on his legs.
-No Cloud Car: We have the figure, now we need the ship, and without it the figure looks a little naked. Hopefully Hasbro’s got this going in the near future. It’s often rumored and equally often pushed back. I’m sure I’m not the only one hoping that this vehicle’s day in the sun is a short time away.
For those not wanting to wait though, the vintage sculpt is pretty solid, featuring even a nice amount of pop-rivet details on the armor, and the ship is at least very close to-scale if not dead on accurate. The right paintjob from someone talented, and it could look great. It’s not the most expensive vintage vehicle out there either, so finding one shouldn’t be too hard.
Other than the arms really needing some articulation for more dynamic poses, I really am pleased with the Cloud Car Pilot. For the basic OTC line, this guy’s actually one of my favorite figures. The Bespin figures have gotten some nice treatment over the years, and the POTJ Bespin Guard set the tone that the CCP would later follow, especially with all the accessories.
Being that the OTC Line is winding down, I don’t see Cloud Car Pilots as much now, but I do run into them now and then. I just got one the other day at a local Wal-Mart actually, so keep your eyes open if you’re still searching for one. Pick him up because he really stands out in the line-up and looks good on your shelf. Or even pick up two since they ride in their little orange cars in pairs!