The phase II Clone Trooper Deluxe Collectible Mini Busts didn’t fully meet the expectations of the collecting community. There really isn’t any other way of saying it. While it goes without saying that we desperately wanted to see these characters made in the Mini Bust format, it seems that the process by which they were developed wasn’t heartily considered and as a result they feel incomplete, that further tweaking was needed before they were approved for production. Efforts were indeed made to bring a decent product to the the table, but the modularity in particular left a lot to be desired. When you open up the box you’re overwhelmed with how many parts are included. You may think that the unique permutations of how the Clone Trooper are endless, but it’s quite the opposite. And there aren’t enough arm attachments to truly give the sense that you can configure this Mini Bust in different enough ways to develop an army of them. You may not care about his. Perhaps you bought one and that’s all you need. But if that was the case, then none of the parts should have been removable.
Moving along, Gentle Giant Ltd. decided to make the all-white clone troopers, the 501st Legion and the 212th Attack Battalion part of this release. Generically billed as “Clone Trooper” in each and every box, the sides of the box specifically call the “variants” as 501st Special Ops Trooper and Utapau Trooper. With a total of 15,000 pieces, 7500 were reserved for the all-white Clone Trooper, 5000 were set aside for the 501st Special Ops Trooper and the remaining 2500 pieces were for the Utapau Trooper. (Sadly, the shortest run piece, the Utapau Trooper, ended up turning out to be the nicest of the three.) Thankfully, the most popular clone from Revenge Of The Sith, the 501st Special Ops Trooper, had a healthy 5000 pieces produced. What is tragic about this Mini Bust however is that Gentle Giant Ltd. painted it the incorrect color blue. The blue used is much too light and it looks like they made a mistake. Although they did manage to get the shapes of the color flashes perfectly, it still feels like they missed the boat because you notice instantly that the wrong color has been used. It stands out like a sore thumb.
All is not lost with the 501st Special Ops Trooper. The piece looks marvelous when utilizing the DC-15 blaster rifle. It’s only when you use the interchangeable left arm attachment that you’ll run into trouble. You may also be interested in knowing that the 501st Special Ops Trooper has a specially colored blue printed base designating it as such. If Gentle Giant Ltd. went through all of this trouble to give the clones their appropriate names, then we wonder why they just didn’t get their own boxes complete with artwork showing their characters on it. For example, since they all have the same box, all 15,000 pieces show the Battle of Utapau on the back of the box. This means that they all show the 212th Attack Battalion, which also means that the 501st Legion clones will also be in this box. It all gets murky and a bit too confusing. If you don’t care about such things than you won’t mind how these collectibles come to you. You should have relative ease acquiring them for your collection. But as with any army builder, it’s possible that they will disappear more quickly than other characters.
Clone Trooper (501st Special Ops Trooper)
Status: Laser scanned in three dimensions directly from original costumes and props in the Lucasfilm archives whenever possible, this collectible is unmatchable in its level of authenticity. Digital modelers process the raw data, sculptors perfected the design, and painters brought the piece to life. The talented artisans at Gentle Giant each contribute in their own unique way to the quality of this piece. We hope you enjoy it.
Assembly: (9 total parts) Mini Bust, helmet, 2 interchangeable left arm attachments, left hand attachment, right hand attachment, left hand holding DC-15 blaster attachment, right hand holding DC-15 blaster attachment, right hand holding DC-15 blaster rifle attachment
Date Stamp: 2006
Retail: $49.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.