Friday, June 8, 2012

Two Badass Figures In One, The Vintage Collection ARC Trooper Commander Is Near-Perfect! (My 200th Star Wars Action Figure Review!)

The Good: Good coloring detail, Good accessories, Wonderful articulation, Great balance and poseability
The Bad: Cloth element bunches up problematically.
The Basics: The ARC Trooper Commander is an impressive enough Clone Trooper variant that is robbed of perfection by its “skirt” bunching!

I always hope that those who read my many reviews of toys, specifically Star Wars action figures, and note my dislike of cloth elements on plastic figures do not think that prejudices everything I write about a figure that contains both. No, I try my best to come to each toy fresh and with an eagerness equivalent to how excited I was when I originally purchased the figure I am reviewing. With the Star Wars Vintage Collection Expanded Universe ARC Trooper Commander, I was actually pretty psyched when I found one in the store to buy. But removing it from its package reveals the figure has a flaw not entirely evident when looking at it.

For those unfamiliar with the ARC Trooper Commander, this is yet another variation of the Clone Troopers seen in Attack Of The Clones (reviewed here!) and Revenge Of The Sith (reviewed here!). The package implies that this was one of the specialized Clone Troopers during the Battle of Geonosis, but the back indicates the figure is based on a character from the first The Clone Wars television series. Regardless, this is a pretty generic, but beefed-up, Clone Trooper.

The 4" ARC Trooper Commander appears to be an entirely new casting with exceptional articulation.


The ARC Trooper Commander figure stands 4 1/8" tall to the top of his helmeted head. He is a clone trooper who is specialized for warfare and is given some extra armor as a result. This clone’s armor is painted with red accents to the usual white and black armor.

This toy is a pretty wonderful sculpt, which is easy enough to do because the ARC Trooper Commanders were entirely digitally created characters. As a result, the standard Clone Trooper armor is modified slightly in that the helmet has a sensor scope, reminiscent of Boba Fett’s. Otherwise the big difference between this ARC Trooper Commander and most Clone Troopers is the armor's coloring and the shoulder guard. This Clone Trooper also features a gray and red cloth skirt that is independent of the gun belt on the toy. The cloth element is fair, but once one starts swapping the gun belt with the shoulder harness accessory, it is virtually impossible to keep the skirt from bunching up in an awkward fashion.

The ARC Trooper Commander is colored with the standard black and white coloring of Clone Trooper armor, but this one has red accents on the knees, hands, forearms, elbows, shoulders and helmet. Oddly, the red on the ring around the ARC Trooper Commander’s neck is a slightly darker shade than the rest of the figure. There is little other coloring detail on the main figure. However, the ARC Trooper Commander'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 very clean Clone Trooper's armor!


The ARC Trooper Commander is a clone trooper and comes heavily armed and originally outfitted as a Commander. However, the ARC Trooper Commander comes with enough accessories to essentially reconfigure the toy as a standard ARC Trooper. As a result, this ARC Trooper Commander features a shoulder guard/sling, an ARC Trooper helmet and two blaster pistols. The ARC Trooper Commander's shoulder guard is an alternative to the full neck guard the figure comes outfitted with. With the helmet removed, the neck guard may be removed. One must then also unfasten the ARC Trooper Commander’s belt and remove that as well. The shoulder guard includes a single holster, instead of the two that the Commander’s configuration has. The shoulder guard is connected to the belt by a diagonal sling that is detailed to look like a belt. This accessory perfectly fits the ARC Trooper Commander and is even colored the same (down to the fact that the shoulder guard is a darker shade of red!).

The helmet is virtually identical to the helmet that comes on the ARC Trooper Commander. It has additional red detailing and a different breathing apparatus, making it look a bit cooler in the one respect, but the sensor scope is pretty cool on the other!

The blaster pistols are identical and fit all three of the possible holsters. Both blasters are monotonal black plastic guns with cylindrical barrels and they do fit in either of the ARC Trooper Commander’s hands (though the figure’s left hand takes a little bit of wrangling to accept the gun. These guns match the very clean look of the rest of the figure.


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the ARC Trooper Commander is very impressive for that. First, the figure has great balance. Flatfooted, the ARC Trooper Commander is pretty solid, and because of the lower half articulation of the figure, he has incredible posing options, on par with the latest and best Star Wars figure I've 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 ARC Trooper Commander holds up even better in the articulation department! He has hinged ball and socket joints at the ankles, knees, groin socket, elbows, wrists and shoulders, as well as a ball and socket joint which allows a great range of motion for the head. The bust also has a ball joint for enhanced upper body articulation. This is one of the most poseable Clone Trooper-style figures on the market!


The ARC Trooper Commander is part of the Vintage Collection line that was released in 2011 and it is one of the harder ones to find, despite making a resurgence in the primary market at the moment. The ARC Trooper Commander is Vintage Collection figure VC54 and because Clone Troopers are so mass produced, there is no real need to use it to replace any prior ARC Trooper figure. That said, this one is far more articulated than the original one. At the current depressed price due to being available once again, this looks to be a strong investment figure and one suspects they will not last on the shelves long (the concept figures never do)!


Despite the ARC Trooper Commander’s skirt looking ridiculous when it bunches up that the top, the ARC Trooper Commander is a worthwhile investment and a figure that is exceptionally easy to recommend!

For other Vintage Collection figures, please check out my reviews of:
VCP03 Boba Fett
VC01 Dengar
VC05 AT-AT Commander
VC10 4-LOM
VC11 (Twin Pod) Cloud Car Pilot
VC14 Sandtrooper
VC17 General Grievous
VC22 Admiral Ackbar
VC30 Zam Wesell
VC33 Padme Amidala (Peasant Disguise)
VC37 Super Battle Droid
VC41 Commander Gree
VC46 AT-RT Driver
VC48 Weequay Skiff Master
VC49 Fi-Ek Sirch
VC50 Han Solo (Bespin Outfit)
VC53 Bom Vimdin
VC58 Aayla Secura
VC61 Boba Fett (Prototype Armor) Mail-In
VC65 TIE Fighter Pilot
VC82 Daultay Dofine
VC85 Quinlan Vos
VC86 Darth Maul
VC87 Luke Skywalker (Lightsaber Construction)
VC88 Princess Leia (Sandstorm Outfit)
VC89 Lando Calrissian (Sandstorm Outfit)
VC90 Colonel Cracken (Millennium Falcon Crew)
VC91 Rebel Pilot (Mon Calamari)


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

© 2012 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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