By Julian H. Betancourt
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EXAMINED KITS: OVERALL VIEW

The sculpt of both pieces is phenomenal and the likeness just stunning. The size of the body parts and weaponry is precise and well proportioned. Details seem not to be overlooked either and except for the Clone Trooper's base, perfect color application has been given to all pieces.

VADER: In Vader's case, for instance, the textured plastic of his outfit offers a feel of leather and stitches under your fingertips. There is proper shine of his boots, helmet and gloves greatly contrasting with the more dull, less shiny rest of his clothes. The gadgetry on his belt such as the system function indicators and system function box and all the indicators on his chest plate were painted using the right colors. Not a single sign of color bleeding among sections was spotted.

CLONE TROOPER: The Clone has been weathered and stained properly. His blaster has been given a rusted luster and detailed with precision. One can even see the rusted bolts and screws on the weapon. Breath filter, T visor and lines on the helmet are exact to the film. The utility belt with spare blaster igniters and grappling hook has been accurately rendered also.

Just one last word will resume the impression on these kits, best describing them: BREATHTAKING!

LIMITED EDITION CLONE TROOPERS: 2003

Kotobukiya released a special edition of a Red Clone Trooper Captain in 2003. The kit was limited to 1,000 pieces worldwide with a retail price of 7800 Yen, approximately $63.50 U. S. It was distributed by Toys R Us Japan only.

Later on a third Clone (keep in mind the previously release White Clones as a first offering), limited again to 1,000 pieces and retailing for about $64.00 was released. This time around it was the Yellow Clone Trooper Commander, sporting the same pose and weaponry as the previous White and the Red Clone Troopers but of course, showing all the yellow markings associated with his rank. Both kits, the red and the yellow, were never offered outside of Japan.

The picture of the Red Clone you will see below was taking from a Japanese collectors magazine and it was shown for the first time on the Web by me in 2002, despite the fact it was quickly stolen by a Variations website with a tendency to execute this practice and posted in their forums. This was the very first picture shown on the web of this exclusive.

To commemorate Art of Star Wars Exhibits, Kotobukiya's ART-FX made available a Blue Clone Trooper Lieutenant in limited quantities and for a limited time, from August 12 through 18 of 2003. Applications to obtain the kit were limited to one per household and taken through the Art of Star Wars Exhibit's official website, and their online market link. The kit retailed for just about $65.00 USD and was delivered around September of the same year. It was the same mold as the previous three Clones. Today the Blue Lieutenant has gained more value than any of the other Clones due to its rarity, selling in the secondary market anywhere between $250.00 to $400.00 USD.

BASIC KIT DESCRIPTIONS:

DARTH VADER: A fantastic pre-painted vinyl figure of everyone's favorite baddie, Darth Vader! Extreme attention to detail brings him to life in 1/7 scale, holding his lightsaber, ready for combat. A really well-done sculpt and casting assure quality. All the pieces snap together neatly and easily.

Measurements: Approx. 13" tall

CLONE TROOPER (all four colors): Sleek and deadly looking. That sums up this fantastic pre-painted vinyl figure of the Clone Trooper! A really well-done sculpt as previously explained. Some minor assembly is required as he's apart for safe transit. Don't forget they come in an array of colors.

Measurements: Approx. 13" tall (From the base to the tip of his rifle)

ANAKIN SKYWALKER: From his intense expression to the dramatic sweep of his robes, this pre-painted vinyl figure of Anakin Skywalker is tremendous. A really well-done sculpt and good likeness of the actor, considering Koto isn't really that precise on faces.

Measurements: Approx. 13" tall

OBI-WAN KENOBI: Jedi master Kenobi is dynamically posed and lavishly detailed. A really well-done sculpt, and casting by Kotobukiya assures quality. Obi is posed as is he was running to get right into a fierce duel against the Dark side forces. Some minor assembly is required, of course.

Measurements: Approx. 11" tall

MACE WINDU AND YODA: Lightsabers at the ready, Yoda and Mace Windu are captured sweeping into action in this set of two pre-painted vinyl figures. A base simulating the Geonosis arena floor is included for display purposes, and can be separated to display Yoda and Mace individually.

Measurements: Approx. 11.4" (Mace) and 4.7" (Yoda) tall

JANGO FETT: About to launch into deadly action, bounty hunter Jango Fett takes Kotobukiya's line of pre-painted vinyl Star Wars figures to even greater heights! Fantastically crafted sculpt presents the bounty hunter in "Flight mode" The fire coming out from his backpack's thrusters serves as the base to keep the sculpt standing.

Measurements: Approx. 11" tall

STORMTROOPER LUKE: It's Decapitated Luke! An oddly charming entry into Kotobukiya's Star Wars lineup, this beautiful, prepainted vinyl Stormtrooper can be built two ways: With the traditional Stormtrooper helmet, or with the head of Luke Skywalker.

Measurements: Approx. 11" tall

DARTH MAUL: In line with their previous amazing releases, Kotobukiya brought us a positively stunning Darth Maul! Pre-painted parts snap together easily and voila -- you've got a terrific 1/7 scale Darth Maul to put on display. A fabulous action pose captures the popular Sith lord as he's about to do combat with Obi-Wan, his spectacular double lightsaber in hand; the included display base is part of the floor of the generator room in Theed.

Measurements: Approx. 13" tall

BOBA FETT: A truly stunning kit of Boba Fett, as he appeared in the latter part of the "classic" Star Wars Trilogy! All the scuffs and scrapes on his armor and helmet are meticulously applied. When completed, the whole statue is remarkably convincing.

Measurements: Approx. 13" tall

HAN SOLO:  Distinguished Corellian Bloodstripes on his trousers, and armed with his trusted blaster, Han Solo is posed to take on the Empire and bounty hunters alike. He comes with a base recreating the docking bay of the Mos Eisley spaceport from Episode IV: A New Hope and what appears to be some sort of crate. The base is designed to connect with the base of the Kotobukiya Chewbacca model kit so that the inseparable couple can be posed together.

Measurements: Approx. 13" tall

YODA: A well achieved likeness of the old Jedi Master, as seen in The Empire Strikes Back, giving a real sense of his presence. There is superb detail all over as wrinkles and folds all are excellently molded, painted, shaded and highlighted. His wise old eyes appear to be watching you from anywhere in your home. An old tree stump base, where the master can rest, is included.

Measurements: Approx. 5" tall

SCOUT TROOPER: Continuing with the maker's tribute to the diverse classes of the Imperial Troops, Kotobukiya released in 2005 the striking soft vinyl kit of the Scout Trooper. Containing easy to assemble parts and being a thrilling piece on its own, the sculpt also added dimension to any Star Wars collection

 As usual, their skilled artisans recreated this popular character with realistic details such as a wore out armor and boots. The pose given to the figure (as if getting up, gun in hand after crashing and being thrown out from his speeder bike), was a very dynamic one. The base he kneels down on was realistically crafted showing the broken nose of a speeder bike, grass, dirt and terrain irregularities as those found in the forests of Endor.

Just as the speeder bike chase on Endor (ROTJ) left a lasting impression on many Star Wars fans, Kotobukiya's rendition of the Scout Trooper surely is bound to cause the same exciting effect.

Measurements: Approx. 9" tall  (12"scale kneeling down)