These clone troopers accompany Darth Vader on a mission to destroy the Jedi. Vader and his highly trained tactical ops troopers storm the Jedi Temple and show no mercy to whomever may cross their path.
In less than one year, one of the most popular action figures in the Revenge Of The Sith line got a re-release and a new (and more accurate) name. The 501st Legion Trooper has been released in The Saga Collection’s The Episode III Greatest Battle Collection and this figure just so happens to be a straight repack of 2005’s ROTS Tactical Ops Trooper (III 65) figure. There is literally no differences that exist between the two figures (that we can see). But that makes sense because the whole point of The Episode III Heroes & Villains Collection and The Episode III Greatest Battles Collection was to get some of Hasbro greatest hits from the Revenge Of The Sith line back into retail to supplement The Saga Collection’s basic figure line. Originally part of a very fancy “Repack & Repaint” wave of figures, it’s great to see the 501st Legion Trooper with an updates name and packaging. And in all frankness it looks better than ever. Still, it isn’t perfect. At 2005’s San Diego Comic Con, Hasbro showed off a prototype of the original 2005 Tactical Ops Trooper (III 65) figure (in addition to the other figures that made up the last dozen for the Revenge Of The Sith line). The figure was a repaint of the earlier released 2005 ROTS Clone Trooper (III 41) in 501st Legion colors. Sadly, this version did not get made and Hasbro utilized 2005’s ROTS AT-TE Tank Gunner (III 38) figure instead. The rest is history.
The figure works, but is much better from the waist down because of the enhanced articulation that exists there. It’s upper body is still in need of a lot of updating sadly. If you decide to pose this figure in your collection holding his DC-15 blaster, it doesn’t look half bad. Still, it could be better. Hasbro has managed to fix the crossed eyes that we saw plague the AT-TE Tank Gunner (III 38) figure and as a result the portrait looks significantly better than ever. Despite coming with having 19 points of articulation, the figure is rather static from the waist up. In fact, the figure has no waist joint. What makes this worse however is that he also have swivel shoulders and swivel elbows (in addition to swivel wrists). Despite this limited movement however, the figure can be posed in an array of action poses that to incredible movement throughout the hips and the rest of his legs. The figure can spread his legs far from each other, kneel, and lean forward thanks to incredibly fluid joint movement. Whether you’re displaying him simply at attention or positioning him taking out the Jedi during Order 66, the 501st Legion Trooper is a great addition to any basic figure line as is, even if he could use some much-needed enhancements. We believe that he will be a successful release for Hasbro in The Episode III Greatest Battles Collection. Clone troopers are proving to be very successful figures for Hasbro even with multiple re-releases. It seems that collectors’ clone fetishes just cannot be met.
The same “features” and accessories (even including the environmental action figure display stand) have been carried forward for this release as was done for the Revenge Of The Sith version. The left shoulder armor is removable (for reasons assumed but ultimately unknown). The 501st Legion Trooper also comes with a DC-15 blaster. And as we’ve mentioned earlier, he does look pretty cool holding it with both arms. Don’t forget, the shoulders and elbows are both articulated with swivel joints, so it borders on “maddening” to manipulate them. But thankfully they rotate in directions that make holding the DC-15 blaster very realistic. This is something we’re grateful for with this figure. And even despite this very limiting articulation, we have to admit that the figure looks absolutely fantastic displayed on a shelf. Yes, its articulation limits the figure very much, but it’s hard for us to discredit what good the figure would bring to your collection. One things that does bug us however is that Hasbro screwed up blue color flash pattern on his helmet. Instead of the blue color fanning its way out as it makes its way up the helmet, it goes straight up from front to back. Obviously this is incorrect and almost impossible to correct once things get into a production rut at the factory. The 501st Legion Trooper also comes with a miniature hologram but these things are proving to be tiresome. You’re going to get very bored with these, trust us. But we don’t think that the figure won’t bore you.
501st Legion Trooper
Status: 501st Legion Trooper is a straight repack of 2005's ROTS Tactical Ops Trooper (III 65) figure.
Articulation Count: 19 points (13 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: ball-socket head (1), swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel left elbow (1), swivel right elbow (1), swivel left wrist (1), swivel right wrist (1), ball-jointed left hip (2), ball-jointed right hip (2), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2), ball-jointed left ankle (2), ball-jointed right ankle (2)
Accessory Count: 4
Accessory Details: removable helmet, DC-15 blaster, removable left shoulder armor, environmental display stand
Date Stamp: 2004
Assortment Number: 87246/87181
Retail: $6.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.