Monday, March 15, 2010

Joker Squad Review

The website Entertainment Earth has had some interesting exclusive sets in recent years, most related to Star Wars. There were two sets that featured a variety of Astromech (R2-D2 type) droids. One of the most recent is a set called Joker Squad. Joker Squad is based on a comic series that covers the story of the Stormtroopers of the 407th Division.

“The Stormtroopers of the 407th division-- Anson Trask, Sergeant Harkas, Jes Gistang, Hondo Karr, and Vax Potorr-- are sent to take down one of their own. The 908th division is going to defect to former Emperor Fel's side against the current Sith regime. The 407th is ordered to stop the defection, and Sith Lord Maleval joins them to ensure that they finish the job.”

So I stumbled upon one of these sets at Ross for only $14.99, $25.00 lower than Entertainment Earth’s price. How Ross got these sets and at such a low cost was a bit of a surprise. I did see the set again at a different Ross store. The stores Marshall’s, Ross and TJ Maxx have been known for getting some GI Joe stuff in at some great prices. Supposedly the elusive GI Joe DVD set #5 has been spotted at Ross for only around $12.99 – I haven’t had that kind of luck!

I thought I would take a look at this set and give my two cents on the quality and value of the figures. So here goes…

Lord Maleval, a Quarren Sith Lord armed with a red lightsaber and a lightwhip. Loyal to Darth Krayt, this Quarren villain features a cloth robe with wires inside so you may pose it any way you see fit along with loads of articulation.

Okay, a Quarren Sith Lord? Really? He/it is actually an interesting figure. Decent articulation – swivel shoulders, elbow and wrist movement, ball & socket neck, waist movement, hips, thighs, knees, and feet. Decent sculpting as well. The fabric cloak is interesting with the wire to assist in posing the robe. Overall, I’m not really impressed with him/it and he may wind up on eCrater.

Sergeant Harkas, or "Hardcase" as his men call him, has uniquely decorated armor indicating his rank. This tough-as-nails trooper leads his men against the opposition in the name of the Emperor!

Jes Gistang handles the heavy weapons in Joker Squad, and she's the first-ever female Stormtrooper in the Star Wars action figure line! With slicked-back red hair and a weapon nearly as big as she is, this amazing figure is ready to rain down the pain on her enemies!

Vax Potorr was born on Coruscant, and through a life of hardship, he eventually found his way into Joker Squad. Ready to jump head-first into battle, he has his eye on the enemy and his blaster aimed right at their heads!

Hondo Karr, rumored to be an ex-Mandalorian, is as proficient with his blade as he is with a blaster. Surprising for a Stormtrooper, this anti-authoritarian loose cannon is a bit of a mystery. Can he be trusted with the future of the Empire?

Anson Trask, fresh out of training, is the "noob" of the group. Having just been assigned to his first mission, this soldier is ready to fight alongside his squad mates against a worthy foe-- a group of defectors!

So what do I think of these figures? The head sculpts are excellent, but that doesn’t save them – they suck – big time. Their arms seem a bit too long or their legs are too short – I can’t decide which. The blasters are soft bendy plastic and are just crap. Jes Gistang’s big weapon is a repurposed HEAT Viper’s anti-tank weapon. The overall articulation is decent but just not over-the-top impressive.

The biggest problem is that they are short! Plus they are nowhere near as cool as Clone Troopers. Not even close!

“You clowns replaced us? Seriously?”

“Hey, baby, what’s up?”

“Aren’t you a little short for Stormtroopers?”

The fate of these five Stormtroopers no longer lies with the Empire. Their heads will be reused on GI Joe bodies, unsure right now on how they are going to be used, but the head sculpts are just too cool to waste on these lame Stormtrooper bodies! I should be able to fill the Stormtrooper helmets with putty and stick them on the bodies to make some generic troops.

Just an idea!