I have a bad feeling about thiBANG!
Now onto the review proper. This is actually my first foray into the world of 3.75” Star Wars figures. I wanted to try them out for awhile now, I always thought I’d pick up a Darth Vader and see if he’s any good. If he is, I’d get into Star Wars, but the version of him I wanted, the one based on Episode IV: A New Hope with a removable helmet, was no longer available. So I was waiting for a new version to be inevitably released. Anywho, while perusing a shop, I chanced upon this Republic Elite Forces: Mandalorians & Clone Troopers multipack. Since each individual figure would only cost slightly more than a Motion Revive Series figure, I figured I’d give them a shot.
I’ll review them from left to right, based on the illustration on the back of the box. But before I get into these guys in detail, I should mention that my experience with 1/18th scale figures have been primarily based on the figs from the Motion Revive Series. I’ve got Indy from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull though, as one might infer from an earlier review. Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is, that articulation-wise, none of these guys are on the level of Motion Revive Series. So there ain’t no chance of a perfect five stars. Aww…
As you can see, the Arc Trooper is a black clone trooper with red bits here and there. Beneath the removable helmet, is also a pretty great head sculpt. It’s got loads of personality, and would work well as either a minion or an independent merc or something. I can totally see this guy as a Sith Lord in training. Just hand him a red lightsaber and we’re in business! Basically he looks good with or without the helmet.
Speaking of the helmet, it’s basically the Clone Trooper helmet, but with a Boba Fett/Mandalorian antenna attachment. He also comes with shoulder pad thingies with a forearm attachment that rebelscum.com calls a pauldron, and a really neat gun with a strap you can sling over him. It’s probably the nicest big gun of the set.
Articulation wise, he’s got hinged balljointed shoulders that let him raise his arms almost straight up. The Arc Trooper will have no problem forming the “Y” during a YMCA dance. Otherwise, he’s got hinged balljointed elbows, knees and ankles. He’s also got a swivel waist, wrists and hips, and of course, his head is balljointed. He’s pretty articulated, though hinged balljoints will only let him bend his elbows and knees 90 degrees as opposed to the near 180 of the MRS. This isn’t so bad in and of itself, but unfortunately for the Arc Trooper, he also comes with this tattered skirt thing around his waist, it looks cool, but it severely hinders his leg movement. In addition, the sculpting of his thighs restrict him from moving his legs forward. He can do a big step forward, but this guy is not going to be kneeling before the Emperor or Pope Palpatine anytime soon. Unlike Indy, this is one figure that could have done with balljointed hips, as his appearance wouldn’t be overly hindered by such a design.
Despite the legs problems, the Arc Trooper is still a really good figure, and arguably the best of the bunch. So it totally doesn’t hurt that you get two of them in this set. In theory, you can pop the waist off and remove that skirt of his, thereby giving you a Shadow Trooper.
Looks: ***** Accessories: **** Articulation: *** Overall: ***3/4
In every litter, there’s the pick of the litter, and then there’s Mij Gilamar. If you ever come across this multipack and you’re dividing up the price vs the number of figures you’re getting (7), feel free to cut Mij’s value by half, or detract him from the calculation altogether.
While not a bad figure in his own right, Mij is definitely the pile of plastic they throw in to make sure you don’t get too much value for your money. Even his bio at the back of the package reeks of laziness to bother giving him an interesting background. Apparently this guy’s made mostly from the Kamino Escape Jango Fett. Consumer tip: Don’t buy Kamino Escape Jango Fett.
So onto the figure itself, sculpt wise, this guy’s pretty good actually, and I certainly think his tan color scheme looks neat. In fact, his head is on par with that of the Arc Trooper’s. Only he’s got even more personality.
As a Mandalorian, Mij comes with a Boba Fett helmet, a backpack and a nice laser shotgun. This is the same stuff that Dred Priest, another Mandalorian from the same set, comes with. So yeah, even here, Mij is made just a tad less important. It’s not that his selection of accessories is bad, but having less than Dred just makes Mij even more of the brother no one wants to talk about simply because he’s accomplished less than his siblings.
Articulation is where Mij falls apart though. His leg articulation is good. It’s the same as the Arc Trooper’s, but without the skirt to get in the way, and it can move almost all the way up. But his arm articulation is pretty horrid. For god’s sake, he’s got swivel shoulders! That means his shoulders can only move up or down. Alright, maybe that’s not the end of the world… but then we come to his elbows, of which he has none. Instead, his right elbow is permanently slightly bent, while his left is permanently bent at a 90 degree angle. He has swivels just above his elbows, so… yeah, he can pull off being handcuffed from behind pretty good, and his left arm is made to wait on tables. Y’know, if he had wrist articulation to help better balance your order of spaghetti bolognaise and a bottle of white wine. Yeeah… this guy can’t even do a decent job of bringing you a beer and sammich.
Again, not a bad figure in his own right, but you get the feeling Hasbro put him here out of some strange illogical spite toward their customers.
Looks: *** Accesories: *** Articulation: ** Overall: **
Not familiar with the Expanded Universe of Star Wars, the naming conventions of the Mandolarians thus far is giving me the impression that they were named by in the spirit of fanfic writers… bad fanfic writers. But oh well, Isabet Reau is sorta nice, it’s almost like a real name, but not. At least it’s not something silly like Dred Priest or something, yeah, I’ll trust ‘em to have more sense than that.
So onto Isabet, she’s the token girl of the group. She’s Mandalorian, and presumably one of the few left. It’s really no surprise why the Mandalorians have mostly died out though, if this is the kind of chickage they have to deal with. Comparatively bright colors aside, this is overall a nice sculpt. Sure, it’s got a breast plate with actual breasts, but hey, all breast plates worn by chicks have breasts, so that’s acceptable. The thing about Isabet though, is that she totally looks better with the helmet ON. She’s got this funky long neck that’s protruding forward that’s just plain freaky. That she has lame-o pigtails (although they work well) and a face that is drag queen-ish at best, her eyes are painted looking up. Like she’s perpetually rolling her eyes. Even with the helmet on, she still looks like she’s pushing her neck forward, which is kinda weird.
She has the Boba helmet, backpack and two rather nifty silver pistols.
Articulation wise, she’s pretty good. Same stuff as the Arc Trooper and the rest of the multipack (except Mij), she can’t raise her arms up as high as the Arc Trooper’s though. But she does better than the others. She’s also got a skirt, but it gets in the way less because it’s shorter, and she can kick up all the way. Like all the other figures, she’s got swivel hips, so she can’t do the splits like a MRS would.
Looks: ** Accessories: ***1/2 Articulation: *** Overall: ***
He took up bounty hunting due to the rage and trauma of being called Fatty Fatty Fat Face back in kindergarten. Dred Priest is… well, first thing I did was pop the helmet off, and this guy’s kinda chubby. This is not helped by the fact that the shotgun shells wrapped around his waist gives him the impression of a potbelly. In time, the head sculpt grew on me, but he still looks like he has a potbelly.
Other than that, Dred Priest is easily the most solid of the Mandalorians in this pack. Granted that’s not saying much, but he’s still the full package. He’s as well sculpted as either Isabet or Mij without Isabet’s neck problem or Mij’s articulation problem. He doesn’t even wear a skirt to get in the way of his legs, though his thighs prevent him from moving his legs forward too much. He’s also got some nice funky design elements, like the tubes around his right elbow and the shotgun shells on his left shoulder and potbelly.
Accessories wise, Dred’s got the helmet which also looks great on the Arc Trooper, he’s got his Fett Pack, the same laser rifle shotgun as Mij and an additional gun which he can put in his holster to boot.
Dred is the best of the Mandalorian lot, but that still puts him at #3 in a 5-mold 7-pack.
Looks: *** Accessories: ***1/2 Articulation: *** Overall: ***
I’m callin’ these guys Stormtroopers, since they’re wearing the more cumbersome helmets.
They’re Stormtroopers, what can I say? They’ve got presumably Mandalorian tribal markings (the eyebrow markings are embarrassing though) and other little details. Otherwise, they’re Stormtroopers. Yeah, they look good.
Articulation-wise, they’re the same as the Arc Trooper, only without the skirt to restrict backward movement. I tried moving their legs up, but their thigh guards seem to get in the way, which is why I think the forward leg movement problems of the Arc Trooper can’t be pegged solely on the skirt. I’m sure that if I force the issue, they can move their legs forward, but I wouldn’t want to accidentally break or make their legs floppy. While the Stormtroopers do not have waist joints, they have something better, a torso balljoint. The positioning seems a tad weird, it’s such that while they can bend backward, they can’t bend forward a whole lot, but that’s fine by me, considering their leg problems, being able to bend backwards would probably be better for poseability anyway.
The Stormtroopers’ helmets aren’t removable, but that’s fine, they work best as faceless minions anyway. They come with an antenna that can be attached to their backpacks, and a space magnum. Not a whole lot, but adequate. You can always lend them a rifle from one of the other figs anyway.
In all, the Stormtroopers are up there with the Arc Troopers, and both sets put the Mandalorians to shame. Even Dred Priest, who wouldn’t have to hang his head, still can’t hold his head up high against them… literally, ’cause they’re actually noticeably taller than the Mandalorians. I guess they had a growth spurt in those accelerated cloning tubes.
Looks: ***** Accessories: **1/2 Articulation: *** Overall: ***1/2
Republic Elite Forces: Mandalorians & Clone Troopers
Closing thoughts. While this was not a bad purchase, and these figures are all good in their own right, I probably won’t buy anymore Star Wars figures of this scale unless they upgrade the body types. Especially the hips. I might get a Darth Vader somewhere along the line, simply ’cause he’s Darth, but as nice as these guys are, they’re just comparatively inferior to the Motion Revive Series in terms of playability. Sure, they have nice sculpting and paint apps, and they display well. But as fun action figures, they could be far better.
Taking into account that for most people, these are probably the best 3.75″ figs they’ll be able to find, these toys are recommended. But since I have access to other avenues and types, I wouldn’t recommend them unless you’re a fan of the franchise or you really dig the sci-fi look and aren’t too much into (uber) articulation.
Overall: **** out of 5, for the set.
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