Begun the Clone War has!" – Jedi Master Yoda
On the remote planet of Geonosis, the growing conflict between the Republic and its foes explodes into all-out war. The Republic's Jedi Knights lead a massive Clone Army into battle on hundreds of planets. The Separatists, led by the powerful Dark Lords of the Sith, fight back with their own formidable droid armies. As this terrible conflict rips across the galaxy, Anakin Skywalker, Padmé Amidala and Obi-Wan Kenobi are swept into the turmoil of war and the rising shadow of the dark side.
One of the biggest surprises in 2003’s Clone Wars line was the release of the Clone Wars Value Packs which included a bonus figure. The packaging was just as clever as the concept. They created exclusive packaging for the two figures, but they presented the two-pack like two basic carded figures side by side but with a seamless backer card and two distinct bubbles; one for each figure. Hasbro produced three sets of Value Packs. ARC/Trooper/Clone Trooper, Yoda/Clone Trooper Commander and Anakin Skywalker/Clone Trooper Lieutenant entered the line with open arms from collectors, and these Value Packs allowed us to army build for a more-than-fair MSRP. The sets retailed for the same price as the standard Clone Wars basic figure. You received two for one. Mostly available at Walmart, collectors found the Clone Wars Value Packs at various retail chains, including Kmart. But the bulk ended up at Walmart where they were scooped up by collectors binging on the latest toy consumption. Because each Value Pack came with an exclusive clone trooper, the demand became increasingly high for these. Many collectors never saw these in their local retail stores at all, while many other collectors bought the entire display in one purchase. If you think about it, why would anyone buy the Clone Wars Anakin Skywalker ('03 #42), ARC Trooper ('03 #43), or Yoda ('03 #44) figures by themselves when you could get them and another whole figure for the same price (or less) than a single figure? The Value Packs were a marketing genius. Too bad they didn’t come close to meeting demand.
It’s our strong opinion that the bonus figure here might singlehandedly be Hasbro’s smartest move to date. Collectors want more clones for their collections, and this is the perfect way to deliver them to collectors. Hasbro utilized the sculpt of 2002’s SW [S - P1] Clone Trooper (’02 #17) figure (which happens to be a Clone Trooper Captain) and repainted it three times for the Value Packs sub-line. From it, they created the Clone Trooper (which also was a planned but cancelled running change for the Star Wars “Saga” [Phase I] line), a Clone Trooper Commander (the one with the yellow color flashes), and a Clone Trooper Lieutenant (the one with the blue color flashes). While they all look uniform, thanks to the same tooling they share, the colors make them different enough to keep your interest. And thanks to some useful articulation, all three can be positioned differently and make a fine display in your collection. Hasbro paired the ARC Trooper with the Clone Trooper, Yoda with the Clone Trooper Commander, and Anakin Skywalker with the Clone Trooper Lieutenant. The pairing makes sense across the board. We see the infantry “all-white” Clone Trooper working alongside the ARC Troopers in Tartakovsky’s Clone Wars micro-series. We see Yoda communicating with Clone Trooper Commanders in Attack Of The Clones. And while we don’t see the Clone Trooper Lieutenant in any source battling in war, we think the blue makes sense because of Anakin’s lightsaber and Jedi Starfighter. The figures look wonderful side by side in the extended packaging, and getting a “freebie” is always a great thing.
We’d like to focus on the details of the bonus figure a bit more. The figure comes with 14 points of articulation. There aren’t any ankle joints present, and the only ball-jointed articulation is in the knees. The rest of the figures’ points are swivel articulation. As you know, swivel articulation limits the range of motion to only one 180-degree plane. So, you’re not going to get a whole heck of a lot of movement out of the action figure. You’ll probably find that it is more limiting than articulated. We don’t get all of the accessories that the base 2002 figure came with, but Hasbro did carry-forward over the DC-15 blaster rifle with all of the “speckles” on it to outfit the figure for war. Despite the figure’s limited movement, the Clone Trooper, Clone Trooper Commander, and Clone Trooper Lieutenant can achieve some pretty impressive and warlike poses. They especially look fantastic next to the figures packaged alongside them. Right now, the only way to get fairly articulated versions of the Clone Trooper officers is through these Value Packs. The Clone Trooper Army Deluxe packs offer all of the officers, but the figures are pre-posed and stagnant and don’t offer much other than their permanent positions. The Value Packs are a great idea. And we hope that Hasbro continues them for future line looks, or for when army-building is essential. We’ll be seeing Clone Troopers for the foreseeable future, and it might be in everyone’s best interest if Hasbro finds ways of introducing them into multiple formats in the Star Wars toy line. In the meantime, enjoy the Value Packs sets. They’re a great deal of fun!
Yoda/Clone Trooper Commander
Collection: Army Of The Republic
Assortment Number: 84753/85205
Retail: $4.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.
Status: Yoda is a straight repack of 2003's CW Yoda ('03 #44) figure.
Articulation Count: 4 points (4 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel head (1), 2 swivel left shoulder (1), swivel right shoulder (1), swivel waist (1)
Accessory Count: 3
Accessory Details: lightsaber, bandolier, hoverchair
Date Stamp: 2003
Clone Trooper Commander
Status: Clone Trooper Commander is a rework of 2002's SW [S - P1] Clone Trooper ('02 #17) figure. This time the figure has yellow color flashes denoting him as a Clone Trooper Commander officer.
Articulation Count: 14 points (12 areas of articulation)
Articulation Details: swivel 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), swivel waist (1), swivel left hip (1), swivel right hip (1), ball-jointed left knee (2), ball-jointed right knee (2)
Accessory Count: 1
Accessory Details: DC-15 blaster rifle
Date Stamp: 2001