Target has seen its share of Star Wars exclusives from Hasbro. Some, like the Super-Articulated Target Clone Trooper and the Utapau Shadow Trooper, were such hot sellers that they were hardly seen on shelves by anyone. Others, like the "Lava Reflection" Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader figures, sat on pegs for so long they had to be clearanced. Despite the hit or miss tendency of these exclusives, Target doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon, and two new exclusives are just hitting the retailer: the "Demise of General Grievous" exclusive figure and the "Skirmish in the Senate" battle pack.
If the previous history of exclusives is any indication, this will be a hot seller for one reason and one reason alone: despite the fact that the focus of the battle pack is intended to be the duel between Yoda and the newly christened Emperor Palpatine, everyone knows that the real reason people will want this pack is clones, clones, clones. This set comes with two of them, plus a nifty little Senate pod.
But first, let's get the crap no one cares about out of the way. The Yoda and Palpatine figures seen in this pack were both previously seen carded in the Revenge of the Sith line, and there's little if any change I can see on these figures. However, if you don't have these figures (which I don't) then they're decent additions to your Star Wars collection. Rustin already reviewed the Palpy fig, so you can check out that review for a more in-depth look, but I'll just say that the figure is decently done, if not particularly impressive.
He's got peg joints at the wrists, waist and ankles, and a balljointed neck and shoulders, so he's not totally static, and he comes with a lightsaber, a removable hood, and two "sith lightning" accessories. One is sculpted to look like generic force lightning, while the other is shaped like a U at one end, presumably to capture other figures. There's a hole in the figure's right sleeve where either lightning accessory can be inserted, and the horseshoe lightning works as a spring-loaded projectile.
The Yoda is also serviceable in sculpt and paint, with nothing that really stands out, good or bad. His articulation is quite good for such a small figure, however, and he boasts a balljointed head and shoulders, peg wrists, t-crotch hips, and balljointed ankles. He comes with a light saber and a removable cloak made of hard plastic.
There. Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the meat. The two clone figures included in this set are done up in the bright red and white "shocktrooper" paint scheme. These elite clones are the Emperor's personal bodyguards and serve as Senate security. The Shocktrooper color scheme showed up initially on a repaint of the "Quick Draw" Clone trooper figure in the RotS line, but many people had trouble finding it. These clones, while they feature the same paint scheme, are actually based on a different clone mold, originally released as the "Super-Articulated" Clone Trooper, which is not to be confused with the Target Exclusive Super-Articulated Clone Trooper). Confused? Let me clarify.
The "SA" mold and "QD" mold differ in several subtle but notable ways: the SA mold is slightly taller and lacks the namesake action feature of the QD mold (squeeze its legs and its right arm would raise to draw its weapon), and also features a balljointed torso (the QD mold lacks any waist movement of any kind), and a small antenna that plugs into the figure's back.
The QD figure also has a removable shoulder pad that can be switched out with a shoulder pad bearing the Imperial insignia; the SA mold lacks this. The most notable difference is that the two prominent pouches on the front of the Clone Trooper's belt are upside down on the SA mold. Perhaps the least notable (but in the case of this set, maybe the most important) difference is that the QD mold has very shallow holes in the bottoms of its feet to accommodate foot pegs, while the SA's peg holes are quite deep.
So this figure gives collectors another crack at the Shocktrooper, albeit not exactly the same one that was released before. The clones feature balljointed heads and torsoes, pegged and hinged shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles, peg wrists, and t-crotch hips. Each trooper includes the aforementioned antenna, and each gets a single blaster: one gets a rifle, the other a pistol. The paint jobs are pretty clean for such a complex application on such a small figure, and overall these two babies are arguable the prize of the set.
I say "arguably"
because there's one more accessory in this set to mention: the Senate pod. The sculpt is nice, although the whole shebang is much smaller than the pods seen onscreen in the movie. But really, in the history of the Star Wars line, when has any vehicle truly been in scale? The pod has two foot pegs, and a railing for Yoda to grab ahold of. There are some benches in the pod where Senators could theoretically sit (if any Senator figures had knee joints), and two figures will fit comfortably in the pod; and three if you don't mind it getting a little crowded. It would have been nice to have a little clear plastic base to make the pod look like it was hovering above the ground, but no such luck.
Overall, you get four figures and one pod for $20. Not bad when you consider Target normally charges $12.99 for single exclusive figures. However, if you have the Emperor or Yoda already, you're pretty much just buying dupes. The Clone Trooper mold is nothing new, and neither is the paint scheme, although this particular paint scheme on this particular mold has not been seen. In the end, this set is for the Clone lovers, but if you missed out on any of these figures the first time around, this set is a nice way to round out your collection. Plus, you get a nifty little Senate pod to stage your boring Senate debates or your crazy lightsaber battles.
Can anyone get a Shadow Trooper for yo go re? He keeps pestering everybody. Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.