Yodasnews Review: Commander Gree (30th Anniversary Collection)
Review and Photography by Jeffrey A. Gouse (SithLord0498)
Review Date: April, 7 2008
Hasbro is notorious for their innumerable and often-frustrating re-releases and revisions of core characters. Quite honestly, the modern line is oversaturated with Skywalkers, Vaders, and Kenobis. But how often does Hasbro go back to the drawing board for minor characters? Today’s review looks at one such double-dipping, but it is a unique one. Rather than trying to capitalize on the character’s popularity, Hasbro revisited Commander Gree with the express purpose of creating a figure that truly represented the character rather than cranking out a pale imitation.
The relevant questions here are: Did Hasbro achieve their goal and is it worth your money?
Today’s review will examine and answer each of those questions.
HELMET: Excellent (Bordering on “Above Average”)
The main selling point behind this new Commander Gree figure is that the sculpt is entirely new. The original version was nothing more than a repainted super-articulated Clonetrooper from the Revenge of the Sith figure line. With regards to the helmet, this is an overall significant improvement from the previous version. Unlike the uniform color used on the domed section of the old helmet, the new helmet has a pattern that is very close to that of the CGI character—although the whitish-gray areas should be a darker metallic gray. The best part though is that it is a superbly done removable helmet. All too often, the helmets are made from extremely soft and “gummy” plastic that not only fails to adequately hold its shape but also has a tendency to stick to the underlying clone portrait, resulting in the portrait being pulled off along with the helmet. Instead, Gree’s helmet is made from a harder plastic that fits snugly over the clone portrait (which is the standard clone portrait seen on previous figures) but comes off without incident.
Aside from a much more accurate camoflague pattern and more effective battle damage and scraping, a quick glance suggests few differences between the armor on the original Gree and this figure. Closer inspection, however, reveals many changes that make this new Gree the more definitive version. The white suspender straps are now sculpted onto the armor rather than merely painted. This version has the previously omitted holster now strapped to Gree’s left thigh, and his communications backpack is character-specific rather than the recycled version from the Episode III Clonetrooper. In fact, the only point of contention with the armor on this new Commander Gree is that the green paint should be metallic in order to match the CGI character.
What is most impressive about Commander Gree is that all 14 points of articulation are ball joint-based with the majority of them having an ample range of motion. The inclusion of ball-jointed hips allows the figure to easily get into a one-knee pose as well as a range of open-legged stances, and the ball-jointed torso serves primarily to adjust the figure’s center of gravity. The ball-hinged wrists allow for subtle variations when holding the DC-15 blaster and macrobinoculars. However, there is one peculiar design element to the wrists: the hinge on each hand is placed differently. The right hand swings vertically while the left hand swings from side-to-side. The remainder of the articulation is on par with what one would find on most figures with corresponding joints.
The dark lining to this silver cloud is that Hasbro has once again set such a high bar for themselves that they will undoubtedly fall short many times in the coming months.
Commander Gree comes packed with only two accessories, but they are the only two used by the character in Revenge of the Sith. The DC-15 blaster is the standard version issued with the majority of clonetrooper figures. The other accessory is Gree’s macrobinoculars, and they are extremely faithful to the cinematic version in terms of sculpting and paint deco. While the oddly-hinged wrists make it difficult to get the binoculars lined up with the figure’s eyes, they do fit snugly into Gree’s left hand.
OVERALL RATING: Excellent
The 2008 version of Commander Gree is by far among the best trooper figures in recent years. The articulation is as good as it can be within the constraints of Hasbro’s design preferences, and the choice to revisit such a relatively minor character shows a promising level of commitment on Hasbro’s part toward rectifying previous gaffes. The inclusion of the macrobinoculars gives the figure a solid and complete set of film-specific accessories, and the execution of the removable helmet feature sets a standard to which all future uses of that feature should aspire.
Commander Gree is a definite must-buy for 2008.