There's no shortage of Clone Trooper action figures to choose from in Hasbro's Revenge of the Sith toy line. So which one is the best overall choice? Some might choose the Super-articulated Clone Trooper for its well-rounded depiction of the generic foot soldier. Others might like the AT-TE Tank Gunner for its removable helmet. Perhaps you'd pick Commander Bacara for his awkward articulation and crappy paint apps. Or maybe you're just an idiot and your favorite is the horrible peg-warming Clone Pilot figure. But if you're like me, there's one that's much better than the rest: The Clone Commander.
The Clone Troopers were cloned from bounty hunter Jango Fett to create an Army of the Republic to fight the Separatist movement. While they fight alongside the peacekeeping Jedi Knights, they are ultimately loyal to Chancellor Palpatine. Similar to the ARC Troopers, Clone Commanders have special equipment to help them on their missions and differentiate them from their subordinates.
Like most of the Clone Trooper figures, the Clone Commander is nicely detailed and well sculpted. The helmet design represents an even further progression from the Mandalorian-inspired helms of the soldiers in Attack of the Clones to the familiar helmets of the troops seen in the original Star Wars trilogy. He's covered in belts and pouches, along with a shoulder pauldron and a nifty skirt (both of which are removable).
There's also a set of adjustable macrobinoculars integrated into his helmet. However, under all that extra gear, there's a pretty standard Clone Trooper sculpt here, which is a good thing. If you want a more generic-looking trooper, all you have to do is pop off the head and remove the shoulder pieces, and unbutton the skirt/belt accessory. The neck is a little long to accommodate the shoulder gear, but it's forgivable.
The paint on mine is good, but it took some searching to find one without some noticeable flubs. Since most types of Clone Trooper figures seem to be some of the fastest sellers of this line, it may be hard to pick and choose (unless you want the aforementioned ubiquitous Clone Pilot figure). The paint is mostly black accents on a white body, with some red highlights unique to the Commander. There's some very subtle gray on the shoulder pauldron that looks particularly nice. The skirt fares less well; its brown paint looks a little shiny and not very much like cloth, but on a mass market figure this is a minor nit to pick.
The articulation on this figure is particularly stunning, especially considering how long it took for Star Wars figures in general to catch up with the rest of the action figure world in terms of movement. The Commander has a balljointed head, pegged and hinged shoulders and elbows, peg wrists, t-crotch hips, and pegged and hinged knees and ankles. No waist, which is pretty disappointing, but compare this to almost any pre-VOTC Star Wars trooper figure and the difference is remarkable. It's nice to see that the high articulation of the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection figures is being assimilated into the standard line of Star Wars figures.
Accessories are another place where this guy shines. In addition to the removable gear, he has a large rifle (a common Clone accessory) and two nifty little blaster pistols that fit into holsters in his skirt. I can't say it enough: I'm a huge fan of dual identical pistols that can be used to create those awesome "blaze of glory" poses. I also love working holsters, and these work great.
There's also one other accessory: a sort of grappling rope consisting of a string with two plastic claws on either end and a removable plastic handle that loops around the string. I suppose the idea is that you can hang the trooper in various places and have him swing into action, but the cord is really too short to be of any use. It's a nice gesture, and it's good to see so many accessories with one basic figure, but it's ultimately useless.
Of all the glut of Revenge of the Sith merchandise flooding the market today, I must say that a lot of it doesn't do much for me. I liked the movie, but most of the figures are less than stellar in my opinion. Clones are the exception. I can't get enough trooper figures, and of all the different troop variations out there, this is the most well-rounded, and the best bang for your buck in terms of accessories.
If they're all clones, why did Bacara have a name? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.