| This month's Featured Review is for 7655 Clone Troopers Battle Pack by Nighthawk leader.
Still the best Battle Pack ever
This was one of the two original Star Wars Battle Packs, released back in 2007. To this day, I still think of it as the best there has been so far. Here's why:
The minifigures are for most people the main reason why people buy battle packs. In this set, there are two standard Phase II Clone Troopers, a Shock Trooper and a Star Corps Trooper. Both the Shock Trooper and Star Corps Trooper are exclusive to this set (although Shock Troopers with white legs were released in the AT-AP, and a Star Corps Trooper with a pauldron was released in the original Turbo Tank), and this was the only cheap set with regular Phase II Clone Troopers in it (the other set being the Turbo Tank. Also, there are slight differences between the clones in these sets with the helmet printing). To this day, Phase II minifigures are still very rare, although that's likely to change very soon in 2012 or 2013 at the latest, with the Phase II armour changeover happening in Season 4 of The Clone Wars. On the whole, all of these minifigures look great, with well designed printing on both the front and back of the torso. The only thing not so great is the black face which I've never really been a fan of- I much prefer the new The Clone Wars helmets with a printed visor and an actual face.
Another great thing about the minifigures is the number of each type in the set. We have two "regular" troopers, with two different "specialised" troopers, a ratio that I've found to be the best. If you buy multiple Battle Packs, your regular troops will easily outnumber any other single type of trooper, but you'll also have a good number of nice-looking specialised guys as well. When this ratio is different, I tend to feel things are a bit off, for example, take the 7913 Clone Trooper Battle Pack- what are you going to do with a huge army of bomb diffusers?
Along with this is the that the minifigures are all meant to be on the "front lines" (as you'd expect from a Battle Pack), something that doesn't happen in some of the later Battle Packs, the above mentioned 7913 being an example, Zev Senesca in the Rebel Trooper Pack and an AT-AT Driver along with an Imperial Officer who didn't even have a gun in the Snowtrooper Battle Pack being others. I just think a Battle Pack with troopers and only troopers works best.
Apart from the minifigures, there are the accessories to consider. 2007 was the year where moulded blasters and blaster rifles were brought in, and this set was the easiest way to get them. I've got no problem with the old megaphone piece acting as a gun, and at times having a minifigure with a megaphone standing next to another with a moulded weapon can look a bit odd, but I do think that this was a great idea and that the pieces are well-designed. In this set we get 3 blasters, a rifle, and a pair of binoculars.
The set itself was also appears to be very well-designed to me. I like the fact that you get two things to build as opposed to the normal single item, I know the piece counts are usually similar, but having two things adds much more to the playability to me. The gun platform is a nice design, with one or two rare pieces in there (and they were much rarer back in 2007). The way to mount the gun is simple (just stick it into the hole on the top of the cone). Sure, there may be better ways to design this so it looks a bit better and can move up and down while mounted, but I definitely can't see a better way if you need to use around however many pieces are in the platform.
The speeder is for two troopers, one to drive/shoot facing the front, and a gunner facing backwards. A nice overall design, not as sleek as the more recent speeders, but still looks pretty good to me. It has a rare piece or two, and is armed with two laser cannons.
- The minifigures- what they are depicting, their design and the ratio
- New moulded weapons- both rifles and blasters
- Two models contained in the battle pack
- Black heads on clones (not specific to this set though)
Overall, I really can't fault this set. Great minifigures, great models for the number of pieces in the set, I only regret not buying more of them.
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