So I picked this up this afternoon at my local Wally... I figured since I'd nabbed most of Wave 2 Vintage now, and wasn't really expecting anything else on the immediate horizon, why not?
I waited till I got home to open it up... Some thoughts:
-The RC Mechanism functions really quite flawlessly. It's a LITTLE sensitive with the steering, but full-tilt speed surprised me. It motors for something this size, and with what I'm guessing aren't the most powerful motors inside.
It functions like a tank used to, which gives you a significant ammount of control on the turning, which can take a little getting used to. One wheel works for one joystick on the controller, and another wheel for the other. It turns by either not moving one wheel, or by pulling the stick opposite on one wheel which will give you the ability to make the Hailfire do a 360 degree spin.
-The missile firing mechanism is neat, and functions on a staggered firing operation. The missiles fire in 3's out of their launcher (as near as I can tell), and go a decent distance, though not much of a height arc to them, which I was hoping for a little better there. They give you 4 extra missiles too, assuming you'll wind up losing them (which I can see easily happening).
I will say, I wish the firing button were a little more convenient on the controller, as it's tough to fire and have the vehicle moving forward ala the Geonosis Battle in Attack of the Clones.
-The vehicle is similar in size to the AOTC styled tank from the Clone Wars line. This makes it fit in well enough with that one. It has chunkier wheels and drive mechanisms to house the electronics, bbut it's not as different as I thought it would look, once they're side-by-side. The paintjob is 100% Clone Wars 3D EU though.
-A cool surprise to me was that the droid's red eye actually lights up. I hadn't realized this till I fired it up and that allows you to clearly see the tank is on. I found that neat littl eextra. I also liked that Hasbro apparantly went the extra mile to hide the vehicle's whip antenna. I don't know how it exactly picks up signal as I've not taken it apart, nor do I know the range on it, but mine was going a decent distance away in the house without interruption, and there's no visible antenna which is nice. That took some design effort for it to work.
-Traction is something of a mystery right now as I have only run it on carpeted flooring. It gripped well though, moved very nicely, even over some thicker carpeting. Lumped up thin rugs in the kitchen caused it to do a little wheel spinning though, so I'm not sure how it will react to pavement or grass. I'm guessing pavement and hard packed dirt will both work fine for it though.
-No clue on how the wheels will "wear" over time. They feel pretty rigid though, so I'm thinking they'll be ok.
-The missle pods aren't poseable at all... Again this goes to my gripe about them not having a high firing arc, and I wish that was a possibility, but with the RC firing mechanism it's probably just not feasible for the design.
-The pods fir all 18 missiles by the way, which I thought only 6 missiles in each pod fired, so that was a pleasant surprise.
-The tank plowed through some Stormtroopers on my floor that were lined up and waiting to be put into storage, and it's exactly what I always envisioned the "play pattern" to be on this toy... Just something sort of sizable for the Separatists to crush Clone figures running at them full tilt. This is basically a toy to be the antithesis to the "big Clone stuff".
-The Clone pack-in lacks a lot of deco, but so do some other CW3D Clones it seems. I don't know if this is the first one, but I'm guessing not, as I believe I have a CW3D Clone around here from something I bought that lacks pretty much anything but black bodyglove and visor decoration. That's all this figure has on it.
That's basically it... I think the Clone Wars Hailfire is a nicer display piece due to the less "chunky" look to it, but they're more similar than I realized once they're together. I prefer the movie deco though, myself. I do, however, love the RC mechanism. I was thinking Hasbro maybe wouldn't do well with this, as RC can be something tricky for companies to master if they don't make toys likek that often. This one works well, and the missile mechanism works great.
I think it'll be ultimately fairly easy to pick one up on sale. This is prime for a discount at Target, though my Targets don't seem to have as many of these as Wal-Mart does, who are more reluctant to drop prices on anything. Wal-Mart has at least 8 of them on my last stop... Well, 7 now I guess. Target only has one last time I was there.
I think for "fun", it's a good toy. For "collectible", it's not so good. It's not attrocious, but it's just not as nice as the original Clone Wars sculpt of this vehicle. For having something to actually use though, and drive around outside or just messing with the kids, it's pretty neat.
Oh, and I don't believe they can be run together. I'm assuming the frequencies are all the same, so if you bought 2 you'd have to run them one at a time for find a way to change the crystals. I'm going to take this for a tear outside after work while I've got some good weather. I'm going to run it on a tank obstacle course I have outside on my property for RC tanking. This should be an interesting challenge as the controls are a little sensitive on the Hailfire, but I was getting pretty good at firing the missiles reasonably accurately in 5 minutes. I'm curious to see it perform on hard packed dirt, as well, and also see how it climbs various grades and some mild obstacles and varying sized paths.