An ARF Trooper in the elite 501st Legion pilots an AT-RT into combat against Battle Droids commanded by TX-21 Tactical Droid. An AT-RT (All Terrain Recon Transport) is a one-man walker armed with a repeating laser cannon. With its height, mobility and speed, the walker allows the trooper to support the Republic forces during battle.
The first products available in the 2013 “Yoda” line look were four newly approached Class I vehicle with figure(s) sets. Note the plural form of the word “figure”. The newness here is that Hasbro has added another action figure which we imagine is really more of an effort to provide kids with an instant “good versus evil” play environment rather than more value for your dollar. But it’s a change that will change this sub-collection for the time being. Take it or leave it as you will, we believe that this new approach may be the very thing that will pique interest in more potential buyers (as long as Hasbro finds ways to keep cost down). Lower cost is key or we feel the line is facing certain doom and they need to manage the line from this perspective. We’re in the danger zone now. First found at Toys R Us, the price point ranged anywhere from $23.99 to $26.99 depending upon the area, but if you do the math you’ll see that $7 more (than the standard $16.99 with one figure) doesn’t really off set your price per item that much. This line won’t appeal to most hardcore Star Wars collectors anyway because Hasbro (with very few exceptions) is using figures with the most minimal articulation. Some already feel that we’re getting the wool pulled over your eyes. As you can see, we’re on the fence with the revised presentation of this line. Would we have preferred if Hasbro just kept the simpler “one smaller scaled vehicle and one figure” format and the retail price for around $16.99? Yes. That would have been most ideal for us and would like to see this line head back in that direction, but we’ll do our best to speak on the facts rather than our personal feelings so that you can make the best judgment call for yourself. All three products in this set have been recycled from the "red phase" of the 2009-2010 The Clone Wars line, so you'll know that the sculpts will be nice and the articulation... well... the figures will have articulation.
Admittedly, the Class I assortment is something we genuinely have loved in the past. And the new 2013 sets aren’t half bad either. It seems however that they’re lacking some of the mojo of previous releases. This sub-collection is the modern Mini Rig – a collection that original Kenner collectors have loved since its inception – so it is definitely awesome to get these “off screen” vehicles this way. But with all of the yet-to-be-made on screen vehicles that Hasbro could do instead, we really wish they would change their focus a bit more. We would really love to see a focus on some form of screen accurate presentations of the smaller vehicles with figures. So the 501st AT-RT set is right up our alley for sure. The 2013 Star Wars [Attack Of The Clones/Revenge Of The Sith 3D] line look will contain mostly products that won’t pertain to movie (and adult) collectors. Hasbro has made this abundantly clear. So you’ll find a mix of stuff from the films (or creatively based on the films we should say) and The Clone Wars intertwined in the case assortments. Specifically, the 501st AT-RT With ARF Trooper & TX-21 Tactical Droid is one of these sets. Out of the four Class I sets from the first wave, this is also the only one based on screen accurate characters and vehicles (although not all from the same episode) across all the films and The Clone Wars television series. If you’re a fan of The Clone Wars, this set will be a real treat for you. Expect this set to be the first to go as it arrives at retail as well. Fans of The Clone Wars have been praying for more action figures based on the 501st Legion, so here it is. The set looks fantastic as a whole, but we bet that the kids and the big kids are going to be favoring the ARF Trooper in this set the most.
The 501st Legion AT-RT and its ARF Trooper rider are based from the Season 4 Episode 7 episode entitled Darkness On Umbara. Both the vehicle and figure have been made respectfully accurate to their onscreen counterparts. It’s actually pretty neat to see the “fan favorite” 501st Legion color flashes added to the standard ARF Trooper sculpt (2009’s TCW ARF Trooper (CW10) sculpt), but it’s evident that this tooling has become “tired” in that the fine details and the parts that make him up aren’t as sharp and clean as they used to be, especially around the ball-jointed articulation. And for those keeping track, this is the ninth unique paint job for the ARF Trooper tooling. What’s especially strange here however for the ARF Trooper is that the plastic feels and looks EXACTLY the same as the plastic and color of 2005’s ROTS Tactical Ops Trooper (III 65) figure. The familiarity is uncanny. Paint operations on the ARF Trooper however are sloppily applied and the joints are not nearly as tight as we had hoped. It would be nice to see an improved version of this figure see release in the basic figure lineup one day, but who knows if Hasbro will ever allow that to happen since they’ve been bombarded with calls from parents complaining why Hasbro makes such cheap action figures because of the super-articulation. (That’s sarcasm folks.) TX-21 Tactical Droid looks really fantastic. He has ornate designs on his body that have been replicated beautifully. We find it interesting that Hasbro included this Season 2 Episode 6: Weapons Factory character along for the ride in this Class I set, but we’re thankful. If this is how Hasbro has to go about getting character out from older seasons of The Clone Wars, then fire away! And with 12 points of articulation, the action figure has plenty of movement for varied poses as TX-21 Tactical Droid is a rework of 2010’s TCW Commander TX-20 (CW46) figure. This set is great. Don't expect the rest to be this good.
501st Legion Trooper AT-RT With ARF Trooper & TX-21 Tactical Droid
Assortment Number: A0919/A0918
Retail: $23.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
501st Legion AT-RT
Status: 501st Legion AT-RT is a repaint of the AT-RT from 2010's TCW AT-RT With ARF Trooper Deluxe set.
Articulation Count: 8
Articulation Details: 2 swivel handlebars, double swivel chin gun, 2 swivel "hips", 2 hinge-jointed "feet"
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: removable antennae
Date Stamp: 2009
Status: ARF Trooper is a rework of 2009's TCW ARF Trooper (CW10) figure. This particular tooling is "tired" now, meaning the details aren't as crisp as on the original figure.
Articulation Count: 14 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-jointed shoulders, 2 ball-jointed wrists, ball-jointed torso, 2 ball-jointed hips, 2 ball-jointed knees, 2 ball-jointed ankles
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: DC-15 blaster
Date Stamp: 2009
TX-21 Tactical Droid
Status: TX-21 Tactical Droid is a rework of 2010's TCW Commander TX-20 (CW46) figure.
Articulation Count: 12 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, 2 ball-socket shoulders, 2 hinge-jointed elbows, 2 swivel wrists, swivel torso, 2 ball-socket hips, 2 ball-socket ankles
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: droid blaster
Date Stamp: 2010