Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hiding In Plain Sight, The 2008 Legacy Collection Commander Gree Is Just About Perfect!

The Good: Amazing articulation, Great coloring detail, Good sculpt for certain poses, Great accessories, Great balance.
The Bad: Facial sculpt/coloring is not exactly right.
The Basics: Commander Gree is easily one of the coolest Clone Troopers and one that ought to be added to anyone's Star Wars toy or display collection!

I had not heard of Commander Gree until I started unpacking action figures for the store I used to work at. Actually, my wife found him and she rushed over before she put him on the peg and enthusiastically asked, "Do you have this one?!" I did not, but before I left that job, I was sure to buy the figure. I bought the 2008 Legacy Collection Commander Gree action figure and this one followed the Revenge Of The Sith sculpting of the figure and appears to be identical in every way to the new Vintage Collection Commander Gree (VC43). And it's easy to see why the newer one would simply repackage this figure; it is near perfect.

For those unfamiliar with Commander Gree, he was a pretty standard Clone Trooper seen briefly in Revenge Of The Sith (click here for the review of the film!). Commander Gree is one of the camouflage Clone Troopers seen on Kashyyyk and when Order 66 is received, he is the Trooper who is supposed to kill Yoda!

The Legacy Collection casting of Commander Gree is exceptionally articulated and would be absolutely perfect, were it not for the details of the figure underneath the figure's helmet.


Commander Gree is incredibly detailed both in the sculpt and the coloring. Standing at 3 7/8" tall with his helmet on, Commander Gree looks like an ideal soldier. Commander Gree was released in 2008 as part of Hasbro's Legacy Collection with the Droid Factory bonus (and later as Vintage Collection figure VC43). Commander Gree from the Legacy Collection appears on the Stormtrooper helmet-shaped card with the rounded plastic bubble.

This toy is a very cool sculpt, which is the standard Clone Trooper sculpt with an additional harness sculpted to his chest and back. The figure has a removable helmet and has a backpack with antenna which may be pulled out of his back as well. The figure's armor looks strong and durable and this sculpt features a softer plastic utility belt, which is not actually molded to the figure's waist. Beneath the helmet, Commander Gree is revealed to be a pretty loose interpretation of a Clone Trooper in the head and face sculpt. The head looks only slightly like Temuera Morrison and there are no molded-on details that are unique to Commander Gree's face that define him as Gree.

The coloring is what separates Gree from other Clone Troopers and that is largely what makes Commander Gree is great. Unfortunately, the head underneath the helmet is not painted in realistic fleshtones. Instead, this figure's face is cast in a monotonal brown plastic and it is not highlighted with any other shades. The lips are uncolored, which is odd. Mine has eyes that are painted with a disproportionately high amount of white to them, so the placement of the iris and pupils - otherwise beautifully detailed as brown with black dots - make the figure look like he is rolling his eyes.

But the armor and helmet is an amazing work of coloring detail. Commander Gree is a camouflage Clone Trooper and this one looks pretty amazing. Commander Gree has armor that is accented with at least eight shades of green and brown in addition to the standard black and gray accents for the joints and straps inherent to the Clone Trooper's armor. This is an awesome looking shock trooper and while it is hard to imagine his usefulness in a room full of white-clad Clone Troopers, it is easy to imagine his lethal precision in practical environments like a wooded planet!


Commander Gree, efficient Clone Trooper who is ready to assassinate Jedi, is granted only two pieces of equipment: a blaster and a pair of electrobinoculars. The blaster pistol is a clone trooper staple and this version is the 1 1/4" long blaster with the flattened barrel end which allows Commander Gree to hold the gun in a two-handed grip and look realistic while doing it! The monotonal black color the blaster makes it look clean and unused which makes Gree look new to the field, despite how cool the armor looks. There is nothing that makes this particular blaster distinct to this character.

Commander Gree also comes with electrobinoculars. Electrobinoculars are digital-scan binoculars which help Gree to anticipate problems at a distance. In the toy world, these are a 11/16" by 11/16" by 1/4" (thick) plastic block molded to have an scanning screen on one side and a pair of eyeholes on the other. This accessory is ribbed on the sides to allow Commander Gree to hold the electrobinoculars in a one or two-handed grip and they are pretty stable there. Unfortunately, despite the articulation of this figure, it is exceptionally hard to get Commander Gree to hold the electrobinoculars in a manner that makes them look like he could actually look through them and see anything, even with the added wrist articulation on this toy.

This figure was part of the "Droid Factory" line of the Legacy Collection figures and the basic premise was that for every four figures you bought, you'd get a fifth which would be assembled from parts in each of the four toys in the collection. Commander Gree comes with the left leg of the R4-D6 droid. This is a black and navy blue R2 unit with a more conical, as opposed to domed, head. The left leg is a side leg which presses easily into the top left side of the barrel of the droid. R4-D6's foot is articulated, rotating at the ankle joint, though it does feature a tiny wheel which allows it to help the droid roll along. Rather nicely, this 1 3/4" tall accessory may only fit into the droid one way, so inserting it into the barrel is idiotproof. The front of the droid's foot has brown tubes, so it truly is impossible to get it wrong. The leg piece is accented by silver-gray highlights and they match the barrel portion of the droid nicely.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and Commander Gree is exceptional in that regard. This Legacy Collection figure has great articulation and wonderful balance. Commander Gree is able to stand in some pretty outlandish poses, as well as stand in more standard poses. For additional support, he has holes in both feet which may be plugged into pegs on vehicle or playset toys!

Commander Gree comes with fourteen points of articulation, most of which are not just simple swivel joints. Commander Gree has joints at the ankles, knees, groin socket, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck, and waist and he twists at any of those points. The shoulders, elbows, wrists, ankles, groin socket AND knees are all ball-and-socket joints. The head joint is also on a ball-and-socket joint and because of how the armor is designed on the sides, this is a more useful joint than the groin socket having the added articulation. The groin socket is designed to allow Commander Gree to open his legs wider, presumably to straddle something like a Speeder Bike, but because of the raised portions on the upper outside of the thighs, the armor prevents much in the way of articulation from that joint. Even so, this is the most articulated and poseable Commander Gree made!


Commander Gree is part of the 2008 Legacy Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was not incredibly common. Even so, Commander Gree has been done several times before and the same essential sculpt (with accessory) has been used since. As such, this is not an ideal investment figure, though Commander Gree figures still tend to do better than most clone troopers in the secondary market.

Commander Gree is GH1 in the Legacy Collection.


Commander Gree is a wonderful action figure and anyone looking for a Clone Trooper outside the standard one will quickly find this to be one of the most desirable on the market. Pick up multiples; this one is worth it when building a diverse Clone Army!

For other 2008 Legacy Collection Build-A-Droid figures, please check out my reviews of:
GH4 EVO Trooper
BD7 Bane Malar
BD20 Saleucami Trooper
BD35 Pons Limbic
BD40 Captain Needa
BD43 Ugnaught Engineer


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please visit my index page!

© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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