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Halloween Edition Clone Trooper

Star Wars
by yo go re

After taking 2021 off, the Star Wars Black Series Holiday Edition line is back - with a twist! This year there are "Halloween Edition" figures, too!

Celebrate the season with specially designed Star Wars figures from The Black Series.

Unlike the five Holiday Edition figures, there are only two Halloween Editions: one for Walmart, and one for Target. Target got theirs out first, though still not until after Halloween; but just like we said last year, this isn't the last Halloween ever; there'll be another one next year, and a spooky toy will look just as spooky then as it does now. Would I rather have had this in time to review it for Horror Month '22? Naturally. But Star Wars fans know what happens when things get rushed out.

Back when 3¾" Star Wars toys were a thing, I collected variant Stormtroopers - if there was someone in non-standard white space armor, I bought that toy. This habit broke around the time of Episode 3, because just putting a little bit of colored paint on the figure wasn't really enough to get me to open my wallet, but I was planning to do the same with The Black Series. That didn't happen, because the toys were simply too hard to find. On the plus side, that means that as Hasbro repaints Troopers in seasonal colors, most of the molds are new to me! This mold, for instance, is a Phase II Clone Trooper: the halfway mark between the original Clones and the Stormtroopers. The only time Hasbro ever released a plain (ie, no special division coloring) Clone Trooper like this was in an exclusive four-pack in 2014, but this one doesn't use that mold anyway. A new Phase I Clone Trooper was introduced in 2020, and that body has been the basis for all the Clones since (since the only difference between Phase I and Phase II armor is the helmet). Its bio text read: The Republic Clone Troopers represented the future of galactic warfare. So symbolic were they of the times, the galaxy-wide conflict that saw their debut took its name from their ranks: The Clone Wars.

The Halloween Edition Clone Trooper is, admittedly, not that exciting as a design. Like, it's just black armor, and we've seen similar before, though this one has minty green bones painted on it: the tops of the feet, the fron of the legs and trunk, the outside of the arms, and the front of the helmet. It's basically a Clone Trooper painted with bones. A Bone Trooper! The bones are only on the front of the armor - he doesn't even get bones on his back like Fortnite's Skull Trooper! They did think to make it at least a little Star Warsy, though: product designer Eric Franer based the skull on the logo worn by Clone Force 99, aka The Bad Batch! Okay, that's pretty nifty.

Being fairly new, this mold gets the improved articulation: swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljointed chest, swivel/​hinge wrists, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge shoulders, a balljointed neck, and barbell-jointed head. The shoulder pauldrons are soft PVC so they can flex enough to slide up over the torso when you raise the arms, and the knee- and elbow-pads are made from the same stuff, though they wouldn't be in the way of the joints anyway.

Rather than repainted weapons, like the Giftsmas figures had, the Bone Trooper includes Maz Kanata's crate molded from matte black, with caramel-colored junk inside it and a white Jabba the Hutt ghost tampoed on the inside of the lid. Not really sure what this is supposed to be. A candy bowl someone set out on their porch? A giant piece of candy itself? It's not particularly clear. On the other hand, the five loose bars of beskar that have been painted to look like chocolate bars are both inventive and fun!

The Holiday Edition figures all come with a small pack-in, because they're expensive and that at least makes you feel slightly like they're worth the price? The Bone Trooper is paired with a porg - the seated/perching mold - and it's been given just as much of a Halloween makeover as the Trooper.

This is a vampire porg. More specifically, it's a Dracula porg. Its body is mostly black, with the white section on its chest coming to two distinct points at the bottom; in other words, it's painted to look like an old-timey tuxedo and dress shirt. They eevn painted the inside of its wings red, to suggest Dragula's cape! Outstanding! Oh, and the light blue face? Absolutely a reference to the popular "off-model" Universal Monsters merch of the 1970s. He's even got a black widow's peak. This feels like the equivalent of buying your pet a Halloween costume.

The figures are sold in the new plastic-free packaging, with a folded cardboard frame holding the toy inside. Just like we've seen with Marvel Legends and Fortnite Victory Royale releases, the actual figure is wrapped in paper inside; but Hasbro has kept with the Halloween theme, eschewing plain white paper for a seasonal orange wrap with black patterns printed on it: skull, spiders, bats, and ghosts. But because this is Star Wars and not just any product, even those things are thematic, meaning Bad Batch skulls, Maldo Kreis ice spiders, mynocks, and ghostly Hutts! How fun! And though you'd never be able to tell under normal lighting conditions, those same monsters are painted on the outside of the candy-chest.

Of the two Halloween Edition figures available in 2022, the Clone Trooper is the worse offering. He's only got bones on one side of his body, one of his accessories doesn't make sense, and he's overshadowed in the creativity department by his porg. Maybe if they'd used glow-in-the-dark paint for his deco, it would have made him more desirable. As it is, he does not feel worth the $27.99 Target is asking.

-- 11/05/22

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