Round 1, fight!
Here’s a feature I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time, the Arbitrary Toy Comparison Review. This is where I arbitrarily compare two (or more) toys whilst reviewing them. They could be from the same line, similar kinds of toys or in the case of the Mandalorian Clone Trooper vs Longview, they could have nothing in common at all (aside of coming from Hasbro). So here we go.
Mandalorian Clone Trooper
The Mandalorian Clone Trooper (MCT) comes from the Mandalorian 7-Pack. There are two versions of this 7-Pack, one gives you 3 Mandaloarians (Boba Fett knock-offs) and 4 black colored troopers (Omega Squad) while the one MCT comes from gives you those same 3 Mandalorians (in different colors), 2 Mandalorian Clone Troopers and 2 black Arc Troopers. The story is basically that Jango Fett needed help to train all the Clone Troopers being manufactured, so he enlisted the help of 3 fellow Mandalorians. Since the Mandalorians were essentially extinct by that point, it was easy to round up a posse of them on short notice. After all, this is fiction, and in the world of fiction, extinct races outnumber overpopulated dominant races.
Anyway, MCT is a typical Clone Trooper toy, meaning he’s one of best 3.75″ Star Wars toys around. His sculpt looks great thanks to the toyetic-ness of the Clone Trooper design, which is more sleek and generic (in a good way) than even the Storm Trooper. And the Mandalorian symbol on his chest adds a lot of spice to an otherwise very widely used design. It’s certainly better than giving him blue stripes and calling him Commander Jeff or something.
Articulation is the same as always. Great from the waist up and the knees down. He’s got a balljointed head and torso, and swivel hinged balljoints for shoulders, elbows, knees and even ankles. MCT also has cut wrists. BUT, alas, he has swivel hips. The dreaded swivel hips which look good, but basically kill any truly dynamic posing you might like for him. A remnant from the old days that Hasbro has already moved away from for most of their 3.75″ figures, but still persist in their Star Wars line. It’s understandable, since if they switched to balljointed hips for new figures, they wouldn’t be able to recycle the hips and lower torsos of their older toys. Mattel has no such excuse for their new 3.75″ toys, but that’s a rant that’s neither here nor there. The point is, MCT has a fair amount of articulation, but he’s not going to wow you. Especially since his thigh guards severely restrict his forward leg movement, so this guy’s pretty much relegated to guard duty or maybe the occasional firing squad.
MCT comes with a laser blaster and that’s it. Slim pickings in the accessories department, but he’s from a 7-Pack, so at least the overall price per figure will be justifiably low. His fellow pack-ins have better stuff to compensate anyway.
2.9 out of 4.0
Longview’s a Real Gear Robot (RGR), which at first, occupied the Basic class of toys for the 2007 Transformers movie. Originally, the RGR were meant to be in the Cybertron line of toys (Galaxy Force in Japan), as evidenced by the early releases of some RGR having Cybertron stickers. Longview himself has a sticker of Cybertron Crumplezone in his display panel. The RGR were on a whole, awesome, and it’s sad that they’re not to be properly revisited for the 2009 Revenge of the Fallen movie.
Longview in his alternate mode is an undersized pair of binoculars. It’s a modern type with lots of switches and such, presumably it has zoom and focus or whatever it is modern binoculars have. Undersized as he is, you can still actually look through the lenses, which is a pretty neat bit of engineering. A display panel flips out to show a sticker of Cybertron Crumplezone/Galaxy Force Landbullet.
Another cool thing about Longview’s looks is in regards to his color, “Bumblebee Yellow”. Given that BB’s a spy and Longview’s a spy, and they both share the same yellow, Longview certainly evoked a very neat Bumblebee feel when he first came out, especially since the actual movie Bumblebee was such a departure from the usual perception of the character. One could almost consider Longview to be a Goldbug of some sort, or just Bumblebee’s younger brother or something.
Transformation is straightforward but nonetheless cool. He’s one of those TFs that I’ve transformed back and forth on a very regular basis. It’s just neat how everything just comes into place perfectly.
Robot mode is where Longview truly shines though. He has a very DC the Animated Series look with his broad chest and generally heroic proportions. His feet look like they’re on the wrong side each, but that doesn’t especially detract from his appearance. He just looks cool and is beautifully articulated for what amounts to a Basic figure. Probably my favorite part about Longview are his hips, which is very Marvel Legends style and therefore offer a full range of motion.
Anywho, Longview’s got what amounts to balljointed shoulders, though slightly restricted by his shoulder kibble; his elbows have a high degree of bend, and owing to his transformation, both his wrists and knees can also bend all the way through. His feet are on hinges and his hips, those beautiful swivel hinged balljointed hips with swivel thighs offer a vast array of posability, enhanced by those extremely bendable knees.
If there’s any problem with Longview, it’s that his broad chest does limit some of his posing options, and he has no peg holes in his hands to hold any weapons in.
3.7 out of 4.0
Appearance-wise, both MCT and Longview are equally good looking in their own way, however, whereas the MCT is essentially just another inevitable rehash, Longview was one of the most human-like Basics of the time. Maybe it doesn’t matter now, but Longview certainly had more impact when he first bursts onto the scene.
On the articulation front, although the MCT’s swivel hinged balljointed elbows give him rotational movement in his arms, and he’s got head and torso movement on top of that, Longview’s the clear winner in terms of dynamic posing. Hip and lower leg articulation are a major component of dynamic posing, although due to his good upper body articulation, the MCT has somewhat better emotive posing. Still, I give this round to Longview as well.
As for playability, the Mandalorian Clone Trooper has a laser blaster, but Longview’s got a good transformation and alt mode, and you can get all sorts of fanmodes from Longview as well.
Individually, Longview is easily the better toy. He looks great, plays great and is a good novelty item for the office desk. But the Mandalorian Clone Trooper’s also cool for that, is more recognizable, and is part of a pretty decent multi-pack. But if you can only get one guy, get Longview; who beats out the MCT in every department.
0.0 – 0.0 = I’d pay to get rid of it
0.1 – 0.5 = I’d give it away
0.6 – 1.0 = I wouldn’t take it for free
1.1 – 1.5 = Very Bad
1.6 – 2.0 = Bad
2.1 – 2.5 = Average
2.6 – 3.0 = Good
3.1 – 3.5 = Very Good
3.6 – 4.0 = Excellent