The Good: Good coloring detail, Good accessories, Wonderful articulation
The Bad: Mediocre balance, Poseability is problematic for some poses.
The Basics: The AT-RT Driver may be an obscure choice for a Vintage Collection recast, but it is still a remarkably cool figure worth using to beef up one's clone army!
Those who have been following my many Star Wars figure reviews of late might have noticed that I have been searching for a figure who could appropriately ride the speeder bike which came with the AT-AT my wife bought me for our recent anniversary. As I was preparing to review the AT-RT Driver figure, I discovered articulation at the groin socket in the figure which allows him to do just that! He might not look great while doing it, but the AT-RT Driver can ride the speeder bikes and that is a nice fringe benefit for a figure that gets so much right.
For those unfamiliar with the AT-RT Driver, this is yet another variation of the Clone Troopers seen in Revenge Of The Sith (reviewed here!). Piloting the personal two-legged walkers on Kashyyyk, these troopers are seen in the background as Yoda flees the planet and Chewbacca prepares to attempt to liberate his people.
The 4" AT-RT Driver was completely recast from the Revenge Of The Sith figure to include a removable helmet, slightly less armor and a great deal more articulation.
The AT-RT Driver figure stands 4" tall to the top of his helmeted head. He is a clone trooper who is specialized for warfare on jungle planets. As such, his clone armor is painted green and olive green and Hasbro did so many things right with this one that it might seem like nit-picking to not consider it a perfect figure.
First, this toy is a pretty wonderful sculpt, which is easy enough to do because the AT-RT Drivers were entirely digitally created characters. As a result, the standard Clone Trooper armor is modified slightly in that the helmet has descending flaps as if to filter the air. Otherwise the big difference between this AT-RT Driver and most Clone Troopers is the armor's coloring. As well, the helmet - which fits perfectly over the human clone head of the figure - also features an antenna, which is cast on in soft plastic to prevent breakage!
The AT-RT Driver is colored with pretty amazing attention to detail. His green and olive green armor looks exactly like the picture on the package and it is appropriately accented. So, for example, the Driver's belt features silver accents for the belt buckle and tools. Moreover, the AT-RT Driver's head looks pretty much like it is supposed to, looking mostly like Temuera Morrison, though it lacks realistic shading. The lips, for example, are not red and the eyes are barely brown around the black pupils. Still, the sculpt and coloring are great, though this is a very clean Clone Trooper's armor. The AT-RT Driver apparently works in a very clean vehicle!
The AT-RT Driver is a clone trooper and comes heavily armed. This AT-RT Driver features a backpack, blaster rifle and a smaller, two handed blaster gun with a sling. The AT-RT Driver's backpack is a 1/2" tall black and green plastic pack which plugs into the back of the figure and provides the AT-RT Driver with supplies when it is not in the AT-RT or near his unit!
The blaster rifle is a pretty standard Clone Trooper rifle which is 2 11/16" long and looks like a rifle. It is black but features silver highlights on the side and bottom of the barrel where presumably there are controls and/or a power cell. The gun fits in either of the AT-RT Driver's hands, though attempts to get it to hold the gun with the two-handed grip it looks like it ought to be able to handle often makes it look ridiculous.
Similarly, the AT-RT driver has a tough time with the two-handed grip on the other blaster. The blaster with the sling is made of soft plastic which makes the bandoleer flexible and allows for realistic carrying of the weapon when slung across the figure's back. This other weapon is just under two inches long and is solid black, though the sling features silver accents for the explosive molded onto it.
The four inch toy line was designed for play and the AT-RT Driver is very impressive for that. First, the figure has great balance. Flatfooted, the AT-RT Driver is pretty solid, and because of the lower half articulation of the figure, he has incredible posing options, more than virtually any other Star Wars figure I've yet reviewed. As well, the holes in the bottom of his feet allow him to stand tall on any number of playsets in outlandish poses or attach to pegs on vehicles like the AT-AT or Republic Gunship!
The AT-RT Driver holds up very well in the articulation department, despite having wrists inadequate to the rest of the toy. He has hinged ball and socket joints at the ankles, knees, groin socket, elbows and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows a great range of motion for the head. The wrists and bust both have simple swivel joints. Unfortunately, while the elbow and shoulder articulation allows the AT-RT Driver to almost hold his weapons in realistic poses, the wrists do not finish the job and the final result is that two-handed weapons positioning makes the AT-RT Driver still look a little awkward.
The AT-RT Driver is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2011 and it is one of the harder ones to find at the moment. The AT-RT Driver is Vintage Collection figure VC46 and because Clone Troopers are so mass produced, there is no real need to use it to replace the Revenge Of The Sith AT-RT Driver, though this one is far more articulated than the original one. Right now, this looks to be a strong investment figure and one suspects they will not last on the shelves long!
Despite having trouble getting the AT-RT Driver to hold either of its weapons convincingly in a two-handed pose and having missed whatever AT-RT walker was once on the market, the Vintage Collection AT-RT Driver is still a strong addition to the Star Wars action figure universe. Mine is currently acting as a gunner in the 30th Anniversary Collection AT-AP where its increased articulation and leg flexibility is a real asset! Well worth the buy, despite its few problems!
For other Vintage Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
VCP03 Boba Fett
VC11 (Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot
VC22 Admiral Ackbar
VC48 Weequay Skiff Master
VC49 Fi-Ek Sirch
For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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