Monday, 31 March 2008

Gentle Giant Mini Bust : Exclusive Clone Commanders

When you have plenty of options it is very tough to choose an item to start the reviews with. I’ve decided to go with my Clone Commanders, hope you’ll enjoy them.

I had the chance to purchase three of the five exclusive clone commanders. The question is do I consider my self lucky?

Yes, I have three commanders that I absolutely love.
No, I’m not sure if I can buy the remaining two.

Actually that resumes the problem here. I understand and support the idea of having some exclusive items for some exclusive occasions, such as conventions. But I can’t accept the fact that the products chosen to be exclusive are the ones that are desired most by the collectors all over the world.

Commanders are the most exciting characters of the last movie apart from the leading actors. That’s why they should have been sold through retailers. But let the past be the past, I sincerely hope that Gentle Giant would never make such odd choices again.

As you would guess Clone Commanders are also clones, but they differ from the rest of the army because of the training they’ve had. If you are familiar with the “expanded universe” you would know the story behind them. But let me make a brief summary for the ones whose Star Wars knowledge is limited to the silver screen.

Actually the clone troopers were all the same; same physic, same mentality, same skills... But a few were trained by the original host himself; Jango Fett. These troopers were the Advanced Recon Commandos, or Arc Troopers, elite infantry trained for the special tasks.

Only a few ARC troopers were trained and one of them (Alpha) continued to train clone commanders during the Clone Wars. Thanks to this program we had notable characters and brilliant mini-busts such as Cody, Gree, Bly, Bacara and Neyo.

Well you have the picture on the top, so you know which ones I own. Let’s start reviewing them.

I’ve purchased Gree, Cody and Bly from three different friends in Turkey. I was extremely lucky to find them with exceptionally reasonable prices.

Clone Commander Gree, designation CC-1004, led the Elite Corps stationed on Kashyyyk during the Clone Wars. He tried to kill Yoda within order 66 and couldn’t succeed. He was my first love.

Other than the color and the straps Gree is almost an ordinary trooper. These commanders are all about customized helmets & armors, there are lots of lovely details. The paint job was brilliantly done as if Gree painted the armor himself. There are some small scratches but nothing too excessive. What I liked most is the shiny green, t-shaped visor. At the back you would notice a small back-pack which is some sort of a communication device I guess. It has a tiny antenna which looks really fragile. That means you have to be extra careful when taking this guy out of his box. The arms are fixed but you have to attach the hands and the DC-15S blaster.

Cody was the second commander that I’ve received, but non-arguably it is the most famous one. After the release of the movie, I clearly remember everyone stating how a Cody bust with a Sidious hologram would be so cool. Gentle Giant delivered this dream and for that I’m thankful.

Clone Commander Cody, also known as unit CC-2224 served General Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker by leading the 212th Attack Battalion. He was with General Kenobi on a mission to find General Grievous who later succeed. As I’ve said before this mini-bust captures one of the most important moments of the entire saga; the order 66.

Let’s start with the most important feature, light-up Sidious hologram...It is very well crafted with precise detaling. The light is very powerful. When we look at Cody we see that he has a very distinguished helmet, with additional devices. Arms are fixed but you can remove or rotate the head a bit. Honestly this a useless feature because positioning the head piece in a direction other than the Emperor himself would be pointless. The man himself has the battalion’s orange paint on his helmet and armor. This guy has lots of battle damage on his armor but basically all of it is paintjob. There are no deep scratches at all which is a bit disappointing for me, but after all Cody is the best of them all.

And the last one of the three is Commander Bly of the 327th Star Corps or as it is also known as CC-5052. Although I’ve always liked the design of this commander, I couldn’t love him because of the assassination of Aayla Secura. The flip-down macrobinoculars is the most distinctive feature of this guy. It is not fair to say "I'm disappointed with Bly", buy unfortunately this is how I feel. The macrobinoculars are fixed on the helmet at one position which shouldn’t really be. I personally would have preferred them up and I don’t think that it would have been a big issue for Gentle Giant to make it that way. But hey, maybe they are planning on putting out an extra head as a more “extended ultimate exclusive” for some convention at the North Pole.

Both arms and hands are fixed to the body on this one and because of the open arms pose it has a bigger box than the other two. The pose is still a question mark for me. For the moment I’m not sure if I like it or not. I love the idea of two DC-17 hand blasters but at the end I believe it could have been better. Like Cody, Bly has lots of scratches. But the damages on this one seemed more realistic to me.

Overall I must say that I am mostly satisfied with these guys and recommend you to get them if you had the opportunity. If I should rank these three it would go like; Cody, Gree and Bly. Wish me luck for Neyo & Bacara and prey that Gentle Giant wouldn’t release such desirable exclusives next year.

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