As many of you may well know by now, a 10 pack of bootleg clone troopers has been circulating through toy shows, comic shops, and online auction sites. This 10 pack of Cloned Clone Troopers consists of 5 shooting and 5 marching posed figures. Before we start, I have put the bootlegs into our Visual Guide Format for your viewing, just click on the thumbnails to see the detailed images.
It is obvious that these bootlegs are nothing but mass produced customs and are no way licensed or endorsed by Hasbro or LucasFilm. I to this date have never customized a figure for myself, so I admittedly would be a poor judge as to how good a custom these figures are. However, from the emails and discussions in our forums have shown, people are more interested in finding out how the bootleg clones measure up to Hasbro's clones, and I intend to try my best to give an unbiased and critical review of the bootlegs. I will be using Hasbro's Preview Clone Trooper as the measure for this review.
Articulation: Both versions of the clone troopers have 3 points of articulation, the head and one point for each shoulder. If you're looking for a multi pose figure these are not the clones your looking for. They are basically statues with legs and arms that are posed into their respective postures. The only thing the shoulder articulation is good for
is making sure that the guns are held correctly. While this isn't a major problem for the marching clones as they would all be in step together in any kind of diorama, the shooting clones may be a problem for some as a diorama with 20 or 30 figures all shooting the same exact way might not look right.
Balance: Balance? What is that you ask. Well to me balance is basically if the figure has been thought through far enough that it balances itself out enough to stand on its own. This usually is an overlooked feature when most reviews are done for the figures Hasbro produces. This is because most if not all the time we don't have to worry about this aspect of a figure, as Hasbro puts the figures through a strict quality control process where if the figure stands on its own or not is a major concern (even though a handful of figures have seemingly squeaked by quality control in this standard). More than likely any kind of quality control is missing from the manufacturer of the bootlegs production process so the Balance issue is important. First the Shooting Stance, I can sum it up pretty easily with him, no problems at all. He stands as well as any Figure Hasbro has released. It's a different story however for the marching clones.
When I first opened the Marching clones I couldn't wait to line them all up in formation to check them out. However when I tried it was like trying to stand bowling pins upside down. The feet on the marching clones are not spaced correctly causing them to fall as soon as you take your hand away. Luckily there are fixes that work. First there are peg holes in both the marching and the shooting clones. I use Real Stands and the pegs from their Type 1 stands fit perfectly into the peg holes on the troopers. The other fix for the Marching Clones is that the legs can be flexed into position, it takes a little work but with some patience you can slightly bend the in step leg into a position where the clone will stand on his own with no assistance.
Detail: Are you looking for a highly accurate Clone Trooper that you can stand up next to your Hasbro clone? Are you looking for a movie accurate clone trooper? Well might want to look somewhere else. While the detailing on the bootlegs are not bad at all, they are not great either. Problems? Well first there is no detailing whatsoever in the figures' midsection. On Hasbro's Preview Clone there is detailing in the midsection, this detailing is non existent in the bootlegs. A little movie accuracy is lost in the chest armor as well. The chest armor has a square look to it where the preview clone and the actual movie clone has a more humanistic shaped chest armor. While on the topic of armor, the detailing on the armor isn't as nice as it is on the Hasbro Clone. In some spots where the armor is suppose to separate, the Bootleg uses black paint to show the separation instead of an actual molded separation.
Obviously with a bootleg you aren't going to get the same attention to detail as with Hasbro's product, another difference to point out is that the mouth area is a skinny painted line and isn't a nice detailed groove as on the preview figure. Overall the armor is not as detailed and movie accurate as the preview figure. When it comes down to it, the bootleg shows us just why it's called a bootleg, the detail is not quite as good as the Hasbro version.
3 3/4"?: A lot of people are saying that the bootleg clone troopers are in line with the 3 3/4" Hasbro figures. Well, they are, but, they don't match up to the Hasbro clones, there is a noticeable size difference as far as build goes. The bootlegs are proportional to themselves, but, they are thicker than the Hasbro Clones. The bootlegs seem to make the Hasbro Figures look like scrawny runts. I mention this because a lot of people want to make a diorama where they mix the bootlegs and Hasbro clones together, well, the bootlegs do stick out from the preview and the red clone troopers. One other thing to point out is that the bootlegs do fit nicely in the republic gunship!
Overall: Nowadays people should see that something is a bootleg and already understand that it won't be as good as the original. How good or bad are the bootleg clone troopers? Well, that's going to be up to the individual. There are some that think these bootlegs are garbage and can tell just by looking at the pictures, and then there are others that will think they look great in the pictures, get them home, and be totally disappointed. Simple fact is that no one should be caught by surprise if you like them or hate them. What's going to make or break this for you is more then likely the price. I can't put a value on the bootlegs for anyone, all I may suggest is that you use the preview clones as a starting price. The Preview clone retailed for around $6.00 and if the Bootlegs are a lesser quality product then that should give you a starting point for price.