Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Driver Without His (Cloud) Car: The Cloud Car Pilot Is Still Pretty Cool!

The Good: Great articulation, Cool accessories, Decent balance
The Bad: Still a little light on the painting details, Where's the cloud car?!
The Basics: Obscure, but surprisingly cool, the Cloud Car Pilot action figure is one of the better Star Wars figures Hasbro released in the last decade!

Sometimes, it surprises me when I have not already reviewed something. In the case of Star Wars action figures, it shocked me initially to find that the only figure from the Original Trilogy Collection that I had reviewed was the Bespin Princess Leia. This surprised me because that line was the last one I actively collected and arguably the last big growth at Hasbro in the Star Wars line where the figures took a qualitative leap forward. And some of the figures most worth getting from that line were the obscure supporting characters. For example, this was the line where Hasbro finally released at Cloud Car Pilot action figure!

For those unfamiliar with the Cloud Car Pilot, this was the driver of the flying ships around Bespin. Seen only at a distance in the late moments of The Empire Strikes Back (click here for my review of the film!), the cloud cars harassed the Millennium Falcon as it tried to land. The Cloud Car Pilot was not even a real person; it was part of a model for the cloud car, so there has never been a rush to make the figure, despite the fact that the early 80s line of The Empire Strikes Back toys did include one!

The 4" Cloud Car Pilot figure is pretty impressive and it makes the collector wish there were a cloud car for the character to go into!


The Cloud Car Pilot is a good support figure for anyone's Star Wars action figure collection as it is a neutral character. This incarnation makes a good addition to one's collection because it is well-articulated and looks exactly like it is supposed to. The figure stands 3 7/8" tall and he is dressed in the white, orange and yellow flight suit of the cloud car drivers. He looks like a futuristic race car driver, without advertisements all over his body. The outfit is clean, which is realistic considering the Cloud Car Pilot ought to have a pretty clean environment inside the cockpit of his flying car. The Cloud Car Pilot figure is cast with the intent that he will most often be sitting down. As a result, his legs are splayed out in a somewhat awkward "A" shape. The figure is made almost entirely of soft plastic, most notably the holster for the gun, which rides low on his hip.

This toy is a decent sculpt, looking precisely like the flying car driver (one supposes, they are only actually seen in the background from the shoulders up!). The Cloud Car Pilot is well-detailed in his coloring detail, except when it comes to his skin tones. There is no shading on his face, and his lips are not colored at all. On the plus side, the Cloud Car Pilot does have intense little eyes with appropriately black pupils. There is no hair on the figure because the Cloud Car Pilot has a helmet and a hood underneath.

The costume is adequately detailed and includes insignia on the figure's chest and helmet. As well, the wrists have commlinks, like Lando used on Cloud City. The figure is even appropriately colored in that his belt buckle is silver! This is a surprisingly cool figure, despite his awkward stance.


The Cloud Car Pilot is surprisingly well armed, given that he is a pilot. Some of the accessories are not obvious, like the helmet which actually may be removed from the figure's head. The helmet comes right off and reveals the hood beneath! As well, the Cloud Car Pilot comes with a communicator, blaster pistol and stand.

The blaster pistol is a small gun unique to this figure. Smaller than most, it seems designed mostly to fit in the figure's right hand and go into the holster on his right hip. The gun is perfectly proportioned and looks like a neat little weapon with a good amount of surface details etched in, but monotonally colored. It is small, though, and not recommended for small children; despite being cast in soft plastic, it still has a bit of a point.

The communicator is also unique to the figure, though it looks a lot like the binoculars the rebels used on Hoth. It fits nicely in the Cloud Car pilot's left hand and also attaches to the figure's belt thanks to a small peg in it! This is a simple, 3/8" block with a cylinder on the end that forces collectors to use their imagination some. Still, it is a pretty cool device and fits the sensibilities of this toy.

The Original Trilogy Collection figures come with stands, including the Cloud Car Pilot. The stand is a two inch long by one and a quarter inch wide by one-quarter inch tall gunmetal colored plastic stand. It features tabs which allow it to connect with other stands in the set and a peg which fits the hole in either of the Cloud Car Pilot's feet. On the stand, the figure is completely stable and posable. The stands make these figures into display pieces and the Cloud Car Pilot is a worthy one!


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Cloud Car Pilot is a little better than average in that regard. The figure is incredibly articulated, but he has mediocre balance when off his stand. Cloud Car Pilot has wonderful articulation and it makes one wish Hasbro would come out with an environment for this figure as it may be seated! The only real problem is that if the feet are moved out of a flatfooted position, this figure tips over. Still, when the figure is posed flatfooted, he is fairly stable, and on his base, he is solid! The Cloud Car Pilot figure comes with ten points of articulation, all of which are simple swivel joints, except the knees which are a proper hinge joint! He has joints at the knees, groin socket, shoulders, wrists, neck, and waist.

The elbows do not extend, but the figure rotates at the forearm (wrists) and this makes up for the inability to extend his arms. Otherwise, the joints are great. The knees bend appropriately, so if Hasbro ever comes out with a Cloud Car, this figure will no doubt fit perfectly within it at a seated position.


Cloud Car Pilot is part of the 2006 Original Trilogy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not very common at all, but largely recast figures that had been previously released by Kenner. Hasbro sought to improve the old figures by having a greater attention to detail, coloring and accessory detail and proportion. However, the Cloud Car Pilot was one of the few unique figures in the line and he was gobbled up by collectors, despite the fact that there was no Cloud Car for him to drive! Only released the one time as Original Trilogy Collection figure #19 and it seems to have appreciated in value nicely as a result. This turned out to be one of the better investment figures from this period in Hasbro's history! Even though there is a new (2010) Cloud Car Pilot figure, the 2006 one has maintained its value!


Even lacking the vehicle he drove in the few frames he was in in The Empire Strikes Back, the Cloud Car Pilot is a decent action figure and one that will enhance any collector's collection of Star Wars figures!

For other 2006 Original Trilogy Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
001 Princess Leia As Boushh
003 Bib Fortuna
005 Luke Skywalker X-Wing Pilot
031 Momaw Nadon


For other toy reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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