These highly trained tactical ops clone troopers accompany Darth Vader on a mission to destroy the Jedi. Vader and the troopers storm the Jedi Temple and, with crack marksmanship and coordinated team maneuvers, quickly eliminate the Jedi inside.
The 30 (77-07) Saga Legends line was so much more than a "greatest hits" assortment of figures. It actually gave us a couple of "new" figures and updates to ones we received previously a long time ago in a Star Wars collection far, far away. It also reissued some of the hardest to find figures as well. One of the most eagerly anticipated figures was the super-articulated 501st Legion Trooper. But he didn't get into the line easily. Actually, he was first shown during Comic Con 2005 utilizing the hyper popular 2005 ROTS Clone Trooper (III 41) mold with a beautiful and very accurate paint job. See this figure HERE. While most collectors were drooling over this figure anticipating its release, our excitement quickly waned when we discovered that Hasbro utilized the 2005 ROTS AT-TE Tank Gunner (III 38) body sculpt with a revised paint job. They also gave the 501st Legion Trooper a clumsy name. Even despite this setback, most of us remained steadfast and clamored for the eventual release of the super-articulated version to Hasbro. We all wanted the figure as it was originally shown. Thankfully, Hasbro said our dream would become a reality in the 2007 30 (77-07) Saga Legends line. Hasbro said they would revisit the 501st Legion Trooper as a super-articulated figure. But we were once again disappointed when Hasbro re-released a repainted version of the 2005 ROTS Tactical Ops Trooper (III 65) figure instead (the one with "Vader's Legion" emblazoned on the packaging) again! Hasbro finally made things right in early 2008 and released the best version of the 501st Legion Trooper to date (utilizing the 2005 ROTS Clone Trooper (III 41) sculpt.
Sadly, they messed up the paint operations on the helmet (the blue color flash didn't come down to a point) and all Saga Legends versions to date have this error. We'll get into that more in a moment. Since all of you know how awesome the ROTS Clone Trooper (III 41) figure is, the same awesomeness applies to this figure. But the release wasn't free of issues. Simply put, Hasbro did a pretty good job on the figure, but there were two glaring errors with the paint operations that didn't get revised. As mentioned, the blue stripe that goes up the nose to the top of the helmet doesn't fan out as reflected on the onscreen character. And the double blue stripe going up and down both legs is in a lighter blue that just doesn't match the rest of the blue on the armor. These distractions definitely detract from the figure's authenticity sadly. It will likely go unnoticed by many collectors which may be a blessing. For us, the figure still scores high marks pretty much everywhere else. There are flecks of carbon-scoring throughout the figure's armor and the color flashes elsewhere on the frame are brilliantly painted. It may be hard to believe, but we didn't get a fully super-articulated 501st Legion Trooper until 2008 in the 30 (77-07) Saga Legends release. It's not like we were without any 501st Legion Troopers action figures though. Hasbro issued a few over the years, but in retrospect they pale in comparison. The very first one was released in the 2005 ROTS Jedi Temple Assault Battle Packs set which was a Kmart exclusive. The figures were great for the time but since they utilized the 2005 ROTS Clone Trooper (III 6) figure, they all had terrible action features.
This version of the 501st Legion Trooper is a long overdue figure in the line but will clearly remain a key candidate for release in whatever Saga Legends or "greatest hits" line Hasbro chooses to continue with to keep their best tooled gems at retail as frequently as possible. A corrected paint application would be sublime. Note: If you take the head from the 2006 TSC Commander Appo (SAGA 064) figure and place it on this figure, you will almost have a perfect 501st Legion Trooper. It's not perfect, but it's a closer fit to the costume in Episode III. "Why don't you just use the Commander Appo body in full" you ask? Well, you technically can, but Appo's chest stripe doesn't go all the way up his chest and there s a white space in between where the color stops and the head begins. It seems you will hit a wall no matter which way you turn. The flaws we have pointed out are easy to overlook and no matter what we pick at we will be the first ones to admit what an awesome figure this is and that we have bought an armies worth for our collections. At this point, we need a whole new figure at this point. These older sculpts are beginning to look tired. And it's time to get a newly approached version. We'd like to see ball-jointed hips and other premium types of articulation. It's our opinion that clone troopers serve collectors best by having this type of ultra/hyper articulation. While we wait and see if this ever happens, we know that the 501st is a fan favorite flavor of clone trooper and we will continue to pass on our comments to Hasbro that we need an enhanced version of the action figure before we can call it "definitive."
501st Legion Trooper
Status: 501st Legion Trooper is a slight repaint of 2007's TAC 501st Legion Trooper [Version 2] Saga Legends figure.
Articulation Count: 23 points (14 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket neck (1), ball-jointed left shoulder (2), ball-jointed right shoulder (2), ball-jointed left elbow (2), ball-jointed right elbow (2), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right elbow (1), ball-jointed torso (2), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: DC-15 blaster
Date Stamp: 2005
Assortment Number: 89148/87995
Retail: $7.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.