An elite unit of clone troopers, and later stormtroopers, that came to symbolize the might of the Galactic Empire, the 501st Legion were the soldiers under the command of Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith. Also known as "Vader's Fist," they continued to enforce order and Imperial rule well after the death of Vader.
The 501st began just as any of the other initial clone units that blazed across the rocky deserts of Geonosis in the first historic battle of the Clone Wars. They were indistinguishable from the the other clones that infiltrated the Separatist stronghold and pushed the Confederacy forces off-planet.
Over the duration of the Clone Wars, the 501st Legion was split into special mission groups, often to supplement other clone missions. In some cases, they operated independent of the command structure already in place. There were 501st troopers protecting the skies over Coruscant during General Grievous' bold strike against the capital. Others provided support to clone units on worlds such as Felucia, Mygeeto, Utapau and Kashyyyk.
Is there a better symbol for Order 66 or even better yet, the newly created Galactic Empire, than the 501st Legion Trooper? We’d safely venture to say not as the group of clones that make up Vader’s Fist is pretty much the consummate representation of the newly reorganized evil dictatorship. Some may feel that the Imperial Shock Trooper may be more closely related to this symbolic status, but the actions of the 501st Legion are certainly much more etched in the minds of Star Wars fans. Let's not forget they heartlessly murdered younglings along with Darth Vader. And they do have the direct link to Darth Vader which really helps most of all. Sideshow has released to date no less than four unique clone troopers from Episode III and they include all the main ones placed in the various scenes of the film. For all intents and purposes, they all have the same armor, but we’re not taking Sideshow off of the hook until we get the others. We still need the 91st Recon Corps Clone Trooper (the Saleucami clones), the plain white Clone Trooper (Coruscant) and the 327th Star Corps Clone Trooper (the Felucia clones) before we can wrap up all of the cool clones from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith and call it a day. And yes, we personally want them all and as soon as possible. Sideshow Collectibles has stolen the show with providing collectors with affordable (“affordable” is of course in the eye of the beholder) quality figures that are expertly crafted to be faithful beyond expectations. And they know how to give the armored characters we see in the films the most incredible paint jobs we have ever seen. We know Commander Cody is the first clone commander on tap and we really can’t wait to see how they go about developing the others. Simply put, we really want Sideshow to beat out all of the clone troopers from the prequels and then if the spirit moves them, start attacking so clones from the Expanded Universe. The 501 Legion Clone Trooper is right on par. This is the level of craftsmanship we expect from Sideshow and they have carried forward some of the enhancements they gave the Republic Clone Lieutenant to this figure as well.
He has a few minor issues that we noticed, but overall, this is a 1:6 Scale Figure you may just want to army build should you have the fluid income to do so. The most noticeable thing about this figure is the incredible art aspect it possesses. They have also once again delivered a stellar product for our collections that has a paint job of a lifetime. If you own the Imperial Shock Trooper, 41st Elite Corps Clone Trooper (Coruscant) or the Republic Clone Trooper (212th Attack Battalion: Utapau) then you really know what to expect with this figure. However, Sideshow decided to go with the improved “soft-goods” fabric body suit with real ribbing instead of the vinyl body suit with painted-on pinstripes. The results are extremely fascinating and the only thing that bothers us is that he doesn’t “match” the other three Episode III clones thanks to his enhancements. But progress must trump uniformity at some point and it starts with the 501st Legion Trooper. The figure is covered in hash marks from the various battles he has seen and the blue color flashes on his armor look simply splendid. The insignia on the chest is perfectly matched to the onscreen look and the blue doubled parallel lines running up his legs could have been placed with better precision. It is our opinion that the blue that fans up from the center of his helmet to the top is too thin in the “nose” section. We would have preferred to see stronger or thicker line here. It has some effect on the aesthetic but not enough to make the determination as strongly as it’s not accurate. Also, the prototype of this figure had a much dirtier paint job. While we really loved its extra dirtiness, we think a slightly cleaner 501st Legion Clone Trooper was the way to go. The extra hands, blaster pistol and rifle and other details are just amazing as usual and complete the figure very nicely. It’s hard to believe that Sideshow’s first San Diego Comic Con exclusive (in 2006) was Darth Vader (Sith Apprentice) (the Anakin Skywalker version of Darth Vader) and here are over four years later and have his army to finally join him. Needless to say, they look fantastic posed next to each other. Sideshow Collectibles certainly allowed some anticipation to build up in us for this figure as they released the other clone troopers first, but it has certainly been worth the wait.
Another point we feel compelled to make is that Sideshow has really gone through a learning curve that has reached near perfection with their armored body form. Remember some of the earlier figures like the Imperial Stormtrooper or the General Obi-Wan Kenobi (Jedi Master)? They could barely stand unassisted thanks to their very loose joints. Now those same joints have been tightened and the figures maintain their poses quite well. And the newly revised ribbed soft-goods body suit creates some resistance and the armored pieces (especially the thighs) stay up much better now.) And the way they decorate the figures has taken a whole new positive turn for the better. The armor is aged and distressed as it should be and the figures in general are looking better than ever before. And the good news is that this new standard will of course be carried over as they delve into some of the more difficult clones to make like the various commanders or those that wear kamas and other similar things. The 501st Legion Trooper is one of the bets products Sideshow has yet to produce (we are still fans of the 41st Elite Corps Clone Trooper (Coruscant) figure more) and it just elates us that future figures will be coming to us with the new quality controls measures in place. While it was quite grueling not to get any 1:6 Scale clone troopers (except for the concept art Saleucami clone) in the Hasbro Revenge Of The Sith line (especially of Sideshow’s immense quality), the long wait has been made worthwhile because we are getting these characters developed at such high standards. These figures truly look like they were pulled right off of the screen and placed in a box to be shipped. It makes us extremely thankful and while the audience for 1:6 Scale Figures has certainly diminished over the years, we think that they have included some of the best figures ever seen. There are just some points of detail that just cannot be included on a Hasbro 3.75” figure. That doesn’t mean Hasbro’s figures are inferior because they aren’t, but what a joy to see something of the 1:6 Scale magnitude that can indeed capture it all. This is the best 501st Legion Trooper collectible there is. The Medicom version is sadly inferior by a mile (check out the comparison in our photo gallery) and the clone trooper from the Premium Format Yoda And Clone Trooper figure is gorgeous but is essentially a polystone statue that has no articulation. Sideshow’s 1:6 Scale Figures version has it all and it just needs a home in your collection. Answer the call!
501st Legion Clone Trooper
Announcement Date: March 25, 2010
Pre-order Date: April 2, 2010
Status: 501st Legion Clone Trooper utilizes the Armored body type.
Articulation Count: 31 points
Articulation Details: ball-socket head, ball-jointed neck, double ball-jointed shoulders, double ball-jointed elbows, double ball-jointed wrists, double ball-jointed torso, ball-jointed waist, ball-jointed hips, swivel upper thighs, double ball-jointed knees, 2 swivel shins, 2 ball-jointed ankles, 2 swivel feet
Accessory Count: 6
Accessory Details: bodysuit, fully detailed armor set with helmet, clone trooper carbine blaster, clone trooper long rifle, interchangeable left hand, interchangeable right hand
Sideshow Exclusive: 501st Legion 12-inch Figure Display Base
Retail: $89.99 USD
Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on listings.