Sunday, September 22, 2013

Another Clone Trooper, The 501st Legion Clone Trooper From The Vintage Collection Is Good, Not 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, Yellowing helmet (already!)
The Basics: Clone Trooper (501st Legion) is great for enhancing one’s clone army, though it suffers the same problem as many of the other Clone Troopers from the Star Wars Vintage Collection.

When I briefly managed a comic book and toy store, I became intimately acquainted with how popular Clone Trooper action figures actually are and how many exist in the marketplace. One of the last Clone Trooper figures I picked up was the Vintage Collection 501st Legion Clone Trooper. This blue-accented Clone Trooper is an efficient looking Clone Trooper, but it is basically a repaint of one of the other Clone Troopers. It’s good, but not a terribly original figure.

For those unfamiliar with Clone Trooper (501st Legion), they were the standard Clone Trooper seen briefly in Revenge Of The Sith (reviewed here!) on Coruscant under the command of the newly-minted Darth Vader. The 501st Legion Clone Troopers are the blue-accented Clone Troopers seen on Coruscant and when Order 66 is received, they are the Troopers who help kill the Younglings!

The Vintage Collection casting of Clone Trooper (501st Legion) is exceptionally articulated and would be absolutely perfect, were it not for the details of the head underneath the figure's already-yellowing helmet.


The Clone Trooper (501st Legion) is incredibly detailed both in the sculpt and the coloring. Standing at 3 7/8" tall with his helmet on, the Clone Trooper (501st Legion) looks like an ideal soldier. The Clone Trooper (501st Legion) was released in 2012 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 blue 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 (501st Legion) 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 (501st Legion)'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 (501st Legion) 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 (501st Legion) is a blue and white Clone Trooper and this one looks pretty amazing.


The Clone Trooper (501st Legion), efficient Clone Trooper who is ready to 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 (501st Legion) 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 (501st Legion) 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 (501st Legion) is exceptional in that regard. This Vintage Collection figure has great articulation and wonderful balance. The Clone Trooper (501st Legion) 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 (501st Legion) comes with fourteen points of articulation, most of which are not just simple swivel joints. The Clone Trooper (501st Legion) 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 (501st Legion) 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 (501st Legion) is part of the 2012 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 (501st Legion) is VC60 in the Vintage Collection.


Outside the helmet and what is under it, the Clone Trooper (501st Legion) is a pretty wonderful Star Wars figure. It is worth picking up by anyone making a full clone army, but somewhat unnecessary for the more casual collectors.

For other Vintage Collection figures from Revenge Of The Sith, please check out my reviews of:
VC15 Clone Trooper
VC17 General Grievous
VC29 Kit Fisto
VC38 Clone Trooper (212th Battalion)
VC39 Super Battle Droid
VC43 Commander Gree
VC46 AT-RT Driver
VC51 Barriss Offee (Jedi Padawan)
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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