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Turbo Tank/Commander Cody

Star Wars Transformers
by yo go re

As one of the Republic's elite clone troopers, Clone Commander Cody is the natural choice to command this advanced turbo tank. Huge, fast, and bristling with weapons, the turbo tank is already an unstoppable force. Little do the Separatists suspect, however, that with a single order, Commander Cody can morph the tank into an awesome fighting robot with enough power to level a city.

According to the Expanded Universe junk, the turbo tank (aka the HAVw A6 or the Juggernaut)
was built by Kuat Drive Yards, which seems to be the #1 supplier of Star Wars vehicle tech. They built the turbo tanks with very little government oversight, and even tried delivering them directly to the battlefields where they were needed, rather than directly to the Galactic Republic - which unfortunately allowed enemy forces to capture sometanks before delivery. It would be like General Dynamics building Abrams tanks in Lima, Ohio, then shipping them to Iraq on company-owned boats instead of US military transports.

in the beginning Of course, the real origin was during the development of Empire Strikes Back, when Joe Johnston designed a multi-wheeled tank for the attack on Hoth. Eventually the wheels were replaced with legs, creating the famous AT-AT. The scrapped design was adopted by various Expanded Universe sources, but was revived for Revenge of the Sith.

The detailing on the turbo tank is very good - you can really see the stylistic connections which way are we going? to the AT-AT when you look at it. There's the small forward cockpit connected by a"neck" to the larger body, and the general blocky, angular shape is the similar, as well. The tank is 6½" long, 3" wide and 2½" tall, though the antenna on the back tops out at 4" high. All ten wheels roll freely,and even have a bit of "wiggle room" in the axles - so they can adjust to uneven terrain, of course!

The A6 Juggernaut is so large that it requies two cockpits to operate: one at each end. Otherwise, it turns around so slowly that it would be easy to attack from behind. However, because of that, there's no real consensus on which end is the "front," since it can be driven from either side. It's also supposed to be able to hold up to 300 Clone Troopers, but the scale isn't even close.

Commander Cody Like all the Star Wars Transformers, the turbo tank includes a pilot figure. Like the paragraph at the top of the page suggests, in this case it's Commander Cody, a fanboy favorite from Episode 3. Cody's wearing his modified clone armor, painted with all its orange details, and he stands 1¼" tall. The figure is actually detailed fairly well, considering its size, and moves at the shoulders and hips - not individually, but as one. The limbs are molded as a single piece, with a bar runnning through the figure's hollow torso to connect them.

Cody can sit comfortably in the tank's rear cockpit - in that circle? an in-scale Cody the roof snaps open to let him in - but that just underscores how far off-scale the turbo tank is. That "antenna" rising off the top is actually a spotter's tower: a clone rides up there! The one on the toy is facing the wrong direction (the "notch" should be pointing the other way), but that ribbed section that runs down the length? Those are actually retractable ladder rungs, so someone can climb up to the observation pod. Extrapolating from the size someone would need to be to fit in there, we can tell that the turbo tank is seven times too small for the Commander Cody figure - for a 1¼" figure to fit properly, the tank would have to be nearly four feet long. I wonder why they didn't do that?

Transformation is pretty good, but there are a few steps that aren't included on the instructions. Commander Cody First of all, the wheels by his feet slide back toward his heels. It's not a necessary step, since it changes very little, but it's easy to move the wheels accidentally; if you don't realize they're supposed to move, your tank might end up with its two front tires just floating in mid-air. More importantly, the waist joint doesn't just fold over, but slides into place. If you don't do that it the right order, the tab that holds the figure together in the middle is going to break - believe me, I speak from experience.

The Clone Trooper armor's asthetic works pretty well for a Transformer: white, mechanical, slightly blocky... it's like they were made for each other. TF Cody has wheels running down the outside of his arms and legs, and a giant pair of wings on his back, but his unique helmet and all those orange highlights keep him looking right. The figure stands 6 ½" tall, but the antenna on his shoulder adds to that.

The tank's main gun becomes Commander Cody's weapon, guns and ammo but there's more than that, as well. The wheels on his shoulders open to reveal gun barrels, and he's got a pistol holstered on his right hip. No, really, he does; it's hidden inside one of the wheels. The left hip opens as well, but doesn't have any removable bits.

The figure's articulation isn't very good. Oh, he's got all the right joints, but a lot of them are rendered almost useless by the kibble. He can't bend his arms because the tires get in the way, and his backpack manages to limit both the shoulders and the waist. He can't stand with his legs together because of the bits that hang off his calves. You can manage some good poses, but you have to work at it.

The vehicle mode may be undersized, but it still looks good. The robot is cool (despite the articulation issues), and has more of a resemblence to its source material than the average SW TF. Just watch out for that waist, and everything should be good. There are certainly a lot worse figures in this line, both in terms of design and fun.


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