Star Wars: The Clone Wars
3 3/4 Scale
$7.88 (at Wal-Mart)
Star Wars is a strange subject for me overall, I grew up loving it and that love held on to me firmly all the way through my teenage years and into high school. I actually spent the night outside the theater to get tickets to the first showing of The Phantom Menace then did the same to be among the first into the theater at the first midnight showing. My love of Star Wars started to fade after that, I wasn’t among those that instantly hated The Phantom Menace but I was underwhelmed to say the least, and the next 2 movies did nothing to help.
Even though Star Wars as a brand faded into the back of my nerdy mind I continued to pick up all kinds of collectibles basically at random. I’ve owned Legos, Models, Action Figures, cloths and of course all kinds of DVD’s and Video Games over the years all tied to Star Wars in different ways. It’s because of my tendency to look at Star Wars toys that I ended up with this Aqua Droid, a character I’ve never seen from a TV show I’ve never watched.
I own a pretty solid little contingent of Clone Wars toys from Cad Bane to a squad of Mandalorian Troopers all bought purely on a whim and cause I thought they looked cool. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by most of them, I love the overall “look” of the Clone Wars figures, but some of them have been worthless lumps of plastic with minimal joints. The Aqua Droid, thankfully, falls mostly on the positive end of these figures.
In general I find all of the non-vintage style Star Wars packaging to be a blue nightmare. I don’t know if I’m alone in this, but the Saga collection and especially the Clone Wars figures’ packaging does nothing for me. I find the card art to be barely there while all the decoration causes them to all blend together.
The window that displays the figure does a good job of showing off the goods, our Aqua Droid looked a little tightly squeezed in but in my experience that’s usually the sign of a good figure. The back of the card explains the Aqua Droid’s purpose shortly and in the context of the Clone Wars story, it’s not much of a bio but I’m not bothered as most buyers will already know the role the droids played in the cartoon.
The Aqua Droid is sculpted in the stylized, stripped down looks of the Clone Wars cartoon. He has a lot of great flat lines and is painted in a non-glossy paint that gives him a great animated look. He has a cool top-heavy design that’s very imposing in the right poses but looks very awkward in others.
His head comes packaged in “down” mode, a protected or travelling position where it’s sunk into the shoulders and neck of the body. He looks alright in this mode but really comes alive like Johnny 5 when you extend his neck. I think of him as kind of a Robot Attack E.T. who’s coming after the government for stealing his Reese’s Pieces.
The legs come off as just a little bit stubby, partially because they really are quite short compared to his arms but mostly because of the bulk of his upper body. Mostly the Aqua Droid’s legs work for me because I’m a fan of this style and some may not feel the same way. I had initially thought that these would make nice attack robots for my Cobra troops but I’m not sure they would fit in with the slightly more realistic Joeniverse.
Just like most Clone Wars (and Star Wars in general) figures, the Aqua Droid has some very strange articulation that will take you some fiddling to get used to. The head is on a swivel with a little side to side motion while his legs have swivel hips and hinge knees along with opening and closing jet feet to help him get around in the water. He also swivels at the waist.
The arms are where things get strange. The shoulder joint is a kind of a swivel/hinge that ends up functioning like a very fiddly ball joint. His elbows hinge and his “wrist” swivels to allow some cool poses with his rifle arm. Because of the way the Aqua is assembled with his shoulder pads overlapping the arms it takes a little finesse to achieve poses that other figures get into smoothly.
I was able to get some very neat looking poses out of him mostly thanks to the arms. His legs are pretty limited by the sheer bulk of his upper body, it was a bit of a chore at times to keep him upright without using a stand.
Lastly I want to mention the “retracting head” action feature, it works very smoothly and gives the droid a bit more versatility in his look. You can see the roots of his design lie in the Super Battle Droids from Ep. 2 and I think it’s neat to follow the progression from all purpose model to a specialized water version.
The Aqua Droid did not come with much in the way of extras. He has a cool little gun that can be clipped on to his right forearm as well as the usual stand, dice and game card that have been included with the last few waves of Clone Wars toys. The lack of gear is offset somewhat by the bulk of the figure itself, but it still would have been nice another weapon for variety’s sakes.
The gun is a nice, elegant design that matches the thinness of the rest of the droid well. It stays in the pegs solidly and makes sense as a weapon that could be stored in a water-tight compartment in the droid’s arm. The plastic it’s made from is a bit thinner than the rest of the droid so be careful how you store it! Mine fell over one day while I was at work and when I got home the barrel looked like a bananananananananananananana!
The stand is the STANDard (sigh) model that comes with all Clone Wars figures and the dice….well the dice went into a bin with all the rest of mine. One of these days I’m going to come up with an art project involving dozens of weirdly marked little dice and then I’ll be glad I kept them. Until then, please don’t call Hoarders.
Oh, post Christmas Price Hikes, we know ye all too well. I picked up most of my Clone Wars figures for between $5 and $6 right before and around Christmas time at Wal-Mart and Target and then snagged a couple more right after for less. At that price, these are hard to beat.
Unfortunately, Target and Wal-Mart have raised their prices to match Toys R Us at the disgusting cost of just under $8. I think this is just a little bit too high for a 4” scale action figure, especially one that’s clearly aimed at kids. I know a big part of my problems swallowing these prices comes from my first purchased being at a much lower price. I don’t know if they used to be this high and the holiday prices were actually a sale but it’s firmly lodged in my mind that these should be a bit cheaper!
My biggest problem with the cost is that I know it’s being inflated a bit by the dice and game card that’s included with every figure. While I think it’s pretty cool that Hasbro is trying to throw a little something extra in there I don’t think it makes sense to include the exact same dice with every figure to make that possible. I’ll admit to never trying to play the game myself, but I know when I was a kid I sure as hell didn’t need cards and dice to play with my Star Wars toys!
The Aqua Droid is a very neat, unique looking robot that can only really stand up in one pose without help. I guess that leaves me a bit in the middle about this fella overall, which isn’t bad considering I bought him without any real love for the character.
For people who liked this droid on the Clone Wars cartoon I think this is going to be an easy purchase even at the slightly high price. Kids may not be as interested because they tend to focus on the named, main characters more than the armies of troops. If you’re not into Clone Wars but you like cool robots you may even wanna check him out the next time you’re in the toy aisle.