Clone Pilot / Republic Gunship (blue 501st legion version) Toy Review

Individual Review

Name: Clone Pilot
Series: Star Wars Transformers
Allegiance: Galactic Republic
Alternate Mode: Republic Gunship

Thanks to Goktimus Prime for loaning me this Clone Pilot for this review

Height: 7cm Length: 18cm Width: 19.5cm

   A white and navy blue vehicle with some black on the sides and a distinctive shark mouth theme on the front, reminiscent of a WWII fighter plane. There is a small cockpit window at the front and a cavity in the middle of the fuselage. I won't go into too much description of the shape - the picture can do the thousands words thing - but this is the flying vehicles seen in the climactic battle towards the end of Attack of the Clones, with a new paint job replacing the original off white colours. This colour scheme is essentially the same as the repainted Starfighter, both represent the 501st of Clone Troopers. The open mouth is red while the teeth and eyes are cream coloured. There's a single black gun at the rear, facing down, and black missiletips on top. There are two red guns at the front, protruding from "within" the mouth. The asymmetrical elements of the original are gone - since that was achieved through the paint job, but this version places emphasis on being visually striking.

   There are a few distinctive features of the gunships which are present here. The chainguns on top are missile launchers, the rounds in the rear section are sculpted on top, with those on the fuselage itself painted gunmetal. The wings attach at the top and angle down, with partially transparent gunpods embedded near the tips. There are two more gunpods on either side, protruding from the cavity on white arms. The two guns at the front point out to the sides at a 45 angle - these are composed of a soft plastic, along with the similar black gun at the back. The cockpit is a peanut shell shaped affair with a small transparent canopy at the front.

   Unusually for a Star Wars Transformer, this vehicle is noticeably out of scale. The pilot figure takes up the entire cockpit yet towers over the single-manned gunpods. He should be about 1/3 the height he actually is, although this would put the toy itself out of range of the Deluxe pricepoint of most Star Wars Transformers. Still, the vehicle itself looks great on its own. The mini figure is white with some cobalt blue details, I'm happy to just leave these in the cockpit permanently.

   The play value here is decent for a vehicle that displays so well. The cockpit opens to the pilot, as mentioned, but I find it clips in so firmly that opening will often cause the hatch to pop off. There are four little notches inside the cavity, designed to clasp the bar between the legs of SWTF minifigures, so that they can stand inside as seen in the film. While it takes a little work (and half a transformation) to get them in, once in place they'll stay in place. While the cockpit might be a waste of time, this feature is really nice. Oh for a SWTF Yoda. The gunpods within the wings rotate, those protruding from the cavity can swing back about 160 and the arms lift up maybe 80. The black missiles fire well, they'll easily travel halfway across the room.

   Aside from the tight cockpit, this is a good vehicle mode. There's a lot of attention to detail, enough play value to keep things interesting and a striking paint job. The ability of this vehicle to hold other SWTF minifigures is the clincher for me - this is a great vehicle mode. The colour scheme is essentially the same as the earlier Starfighter, so while this is a great colour scheme, it's not new.


   Detach the missile launchers and set aside. Lift out the rear side panels, swing back the cavity floor and fold up. Unfold the legs from within the rear section and pull right back, flip out the heelspurs. Split the lower front, fold out to the sides, fold the cockpit down into place as the chest, flip back the section of the fuselage covering the head. Swing the wings back, extend and rotate the forearms, fold down the fists. Place the missile launchers in either hand, position the gunpods on the shoulders as desired.

Height: 17cm Width: 19.5cm

   A white robot with a navy blue chestplate, black fingers and patches on the upper arms, beige legs and red guns sticking out of the wrists. The face is that of a Clone Pilot, with a black T-shape dominating what is essentially a permanently fixed helmet - it's worth nothing that the head is slightly resculpted, including a lead coloured antenna on the right side. The colours aren't as nice here as the vehicle mode, since the colour scheme centres itself on that mode - this mode is essentially white with some elements carrying over, the colour scheme is a little muddled as a result. I'm very glad that the designer kept the robot mode elements white, then, to prevent clashes with the carry over colours.

   As is common with SWTFs, this is really the secondary mode. The legs are small and spindly - indeed the torso itself is quite narrow as well. The wings push out to the side quite noticeably, which looks good, but is still essentially kibble. There are a few plates and such on his backpack, although the wings are the only part of the backpack with really come into play here, which is a good thing. The head sits tilted back slightly, an awkward angle really, because for this mech to look dead ahead the torso will be leaning forward slightly. Not much, but enough to be visible. The arms look quite good, with the red cannons sticking out on the wrists and the gunpods over the shoulders - not only do these elements look good, they ensure this mech is well armed.

   The play value here is okay, but there are some limitations. The head turns, the shoulders lift out to the sides but don't swing. The elbows rotate and lift up while the wrists are essentially static. The waist is fixed, the hips swing and lift out to the sides while the knees bend. There are rotators above the knees, but the ratcheting prevents them from being much use - it's either 50 our to the side or straight ahead, and 50 is an awkward angle. The ankles are hinged which is very useful since the vast majority of the toy's mass is above the waist. Standing involves balancing, so the ankles are useful. They're also fairly tight, although you do need to pay attention when you pose the toy. The heelspurs help to some extent, too. The missile launchers can either be held in the hands or just left aside, and again fire the black missiles. I'm not too impressed with the look of an almost entirely white robot holding two giant navy blue missile launchers.

   An acceptable robot mode which doesn't really shine but does enough to support the vehicle mode. The skinny legs and awkward knees hold this robot back to some extent, although the arms and wings look very nice. Really, there are better robot modes out there in this line, but it does what it has to, and is far from the the weakest robot mode within the Star Wars Transformers. The colour scheme is a little muddled - moreso than on the original, which I guess had the advantage of being designed to work with the colours of the vehicle mode, whereas this one has to accept the colours assigned to the vehicle mode.


   None as such that I'm aware of, although this is a repaint and minor retool, as mentioned.


   A nice toy, mainly on the strength of the vehicle mode, but also assisted by a robot mode that manages to avoid the worst of the problems seen in SWTF robot modes. The cockpit, knees and skinny legs are all limitations, but the vehicle mode looks great and plays well while the robot mode works. The repaint is striking in vehicle mode but is a regression in robot mode. I'm not sure if I could recommend this one if you have the 501st Starfighter & the original gunship (I skipped this one), but you could do a lot worse. One for fans of both franchises - 6.5/10

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