Thursday, February 21, 2013

Outside The Unfortunately Yellowing Helmets, The Vintage Collection 212th Battalion Clone Trooper Is Wonderful!

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, Yellowing helmet (already!)
The Basics: Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) is easily one of the coolest Clone Troopers and one that ought to be added to anyone's Star Wars toy or display collection!

You can never have too many Clone Trooper action figures, at least that is Hasbro’s theory. For my money, I tend to agree, but if I am shelling out dough for figure after figure that is essentially a repaint of a previously released toy, I want it to be wonderful. The Vintage Collection Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) action figure is very close and my main gripe with it is that Hasbro returned to using inferior materials and the helmet for this Clone Trooper is already yellowing and looking worn. While I understand that the die-hard fans might be psyched that this particular figure – in addition to having orange highlights to indicate it is part of the 212th Battalion – has a slightly recast belt to properly place it, it is essentially a recoloring of a prior figure and given that there are so many Clone Trooper figures, it is unfortunate when they feel like they are churned out for the dollars. In the case of the Clone Trooper (212th Battalion), using substandard plastic for the helmet insinuates that is what happened.

For those unfamiliar with Clone Trooper (212th Battalion), they were the standard Clone Trooper seen briefly in Revenge Of The Sith (click here for the review of the film!) on Utapau (where Obi-Wan Kenobi almost met his unfortunate demise!). The 212th Battalion Clone Troopers are the orange-accented Clone Troopers seen on Utapau and when Order 66 is received, they are the Troopers who attempt to kill Obi-Wan Kenobi!

The Vintage Collection casting of Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) is exceptionally articulated and would be absolutely perfect, were it not for the details of the figure underneath the figure's already-yellowing helmet.


The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) is incredibly detailed both in the sculpt and the coloring. Standing at 3 7/8" tall with his helmet on, the Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) looks like an ideal soldier. The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) was released in 2011 as part of Hasbro's Vintage Collection, with a classic-looking card.

This toy is a very cool sculpt, which is the standard Clone Trooper sculpt with a slightly different sculpt to the belt accessories and with orange accent paint on various points on the armor and helmet. The figure has a removable helmet. 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, the Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) 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 Clone Trooper (212th Battalion)'s face that define him as a specific Clone Trooper that viewers might recognize.

The coloring is what separates 212th Battallion Troopers from other Clone Troopers and that is largely what makes the Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) distinctive. 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. The eyes are white and beautifully detailed as brown with black dots to add a level of realism the earliest Star Wars figures lacked.

But the armor and helmet is an amazing work of coloring detail, save that the white plastic of the helmet is already beginning to yellow. The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) is an orange and white Clone Trooper and this one looks pretty amazing.


The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion), efficient Clone Trooper who is ready to capture General Grievoius or assassinate Jedi, is granted only two pieces of equipment: a blaster and a blaster rifle. 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 the Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) 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 and matches the clean coloring of the rest of the figure. There is nothing that makes this particular blaster distinct to this character.

The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) also comes with a blaster rifle, which is twice as long as the standard blaster. While cast in monotonal black plastic, and not accented, the long weapon has amazing molded details to its surface, like the power pack, scope and second hand grip. This figure looks great with the Trooper holding this blaster rifle in two hands, much like the picture on the package!


The four inch toy line was designed for play and the Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) is exceptional in that regard. This Vintage Collection figure has great articulation and wonderful balance. The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) 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!

The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) comes with fourteen points of articulation, most of which are not just simple swivel joints. The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) 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 Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) 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 represents a vast step-up in articulation for fans of the Clone Troopers!


The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) is part of the 2011 Vintage Collection four-inch series, a series of Star Wars action figures that was a bit more common than many of the Vintage Collection lines. Because of the yellowing helmet and the prevalence of plenty of other Clone Trooper figures, this is not an ideal investment figure; it is one that has lost some collectible value on the secondary market already.

The Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) is VC38 in the Vintage Collection.


Outside the helmet and what is under it, the Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) is a great action figure. But, because of the yellowing problem and its overproduction, it earns a much softer “recommend” than many of its peers!

For other Vintage Collection figures from Revenge Of The Sith, please check out my reviews of:
VC17 General Grievous
VC39 Super Battle Droid
VC43 Commander Gree
VC46 AT-RT Driver
VC54 ARC Trooper Commander
VC58 Aayla Secura


For other Star Wars toy reviews, please visit my Toy Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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