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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Figure Review: Sideshow Utapau Clone Trooper


The Utapau Clone Trooper was introduced to fans of the Star Wars films in the 3rd film of the Prequel Trilogy; Revenge of the Sith.

As troopers of the 212th Attack Battalion, the Utapau Clone Troopers served under Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi and Clone Commander Cody.


Accessories

This figure from Sideshow Collectibles is the company’s first take at releasing a 1/6 scale Clone Trooper. It was however not the first so-called Armored Figure by Sideshow from the Star Wars franchise. The first Armored Figure is technically the Obi-Wan in Clone Armor figure which is followed by the Stormtrooper.

This Clone Trooper comes with 2 different blaster rifles. These are a standard carbine blaster and a long rifle. Compared to the more pricey Medicom Clone Trooper from the RAH series, the inclusion of the long rifle is a plus point as the Medicom RAH figure only comes with the carbine blaster.

Head Sculpt

The head sculpt basically consists only of the helmet. Like the Medicom Clone Trooper, there is no head sculpt behind the helmet. This is fine for me because I never intended to display my Clones without their helmets anyway.

The original prototype helmet for the Utapau Clone Trooper had many inaccuracies. But after numerous feedbacks from collectors, Sideshow did take the initiative to correct the errors and the final product is admittedly a good improvement over the prototype.


Overall Figure

The main issue with Sideshow’s armored body is still present. This is the “loose-joints” syndrome. The joints are so loose that the figure can hardly hold its pose or stand on its own.

A figure stand is thus a necessity and although Sideshow does provide such a stand with this figure, I know of many collectors of 1/6 figures who prefer to display their figures without the stand. As the figure has difficulty holding poses for long due to the weak joints, I have to resort to creative means to let my Utapau Clone Trooper hold its pose. An example is to have the figure lean against the glass wall of the display cabinet and in this way, having the glass wall anchor the figure’s legs and arms.

A personal dislike of this figure is its intense weathering. Of course, I must admit that this is a personal preference because while there are many collectors like myself who prefer a “cleaner” version, there are also many other collectors who love the weathering that this Clone spots. My main gripe about the factory weathering that was applied to this figure is that the white part of its armor is hardly white at all. When displayed with my Medicom Clone Troopers, the yellowish tint of its white armor is even more apparent. Weathering is one thing. Over-doing it is another.

Overall, this is an average figure. Sideshow should seriously take issue with their contract manufacturers for the poor quality figure body and their now notorious “loose-joints” syndrome. Fix that and this will place the figure’s overall quality higher by several notches.

With my general dissatisfaction with this figure, I am seriously reconsidering my decision to purchase future clone troopers from Sideshow. It is with this in mind that I recently canceled my pre-order for the upcoming Shock Trooper.

Overall Rating

This is at best an average figure. And it certainly doesn’t come cheap at a retail price of close to $90, excluding shipping.

I reckoned this figure only deserves a rating of 2.5 out of 5 (2.5/5). It barely passes the mark.


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