I call this figure my muddy buddy. For many of us, the Genndy Tartakovsky Clone Wars microseries is the best piece of entertainment to come from the prequel era by a wide margin. Amazingly, that microseries is now fourteen years old. Some of you reading this might have never watched it. If you haven’t, buy it right now, watch it, and come back here. Don’t talk to me until you do! Seriously, it’s wonderful and if you find yourself suffering from Star Wars fatigue, it will recharge your batteries. You don’t have to watch long to spot this character, as it appears in the very first episode. One last bit of background before jumping into the review: “hawkbat” is strictly gibberish in the Star Wars universe as they have neither hawks nor bats. It would be as if the U.S. Army had a Falumphalumph Division. Statistically speaking, a “falumphalumph” has to be a real creature somewhere in the universe.
The figure itself is a repaint of 2005’s Evolutions Clone Trooper1. In 2007, which was still the pre-universal super articulation era, that sculpt was grand. But at the time of this review, that Clone Trooper sculpt has been firmly supplanted by the VC45 Clone Trooper which is the preferred sculpt for repaints going foward. In addition to the proportions being a tad too squatty, the 2005 sculpt lacks the premium articulation we’ve come to expect for our troopers and Jedi. This figure does pass the test for super articulation, but we’re a spoiled lot. Whereas the later sculpt from 2011 features ball joints at the wrists and hips, the Hawkbat Clone sports swivel articulation in those areas. The result is a Clone Trooper that is a little less posable than we’ve become accustomed to with more modern releases. Still, it bears repeating that this is a super articulated figure, and is highly posable.
Where this figure earns its distinction is in the deco. The lower half of the figure and the poncho sport mud paint applications from the rainswept battlefield on which the character appears. The gray coloration of the mud is accurate to the source. While it could be argued that the paint applications lack subtlety, it is true to the source once again. The included DC-15A blaster rifle features a distinctive silver design. The monochromatic rifle is a tick below what we would come to expect later when the accessories received distinct paint applications. The weapon is also a tad on the rubbery side. This all combines for a nice, if somewhat dated, figure which lands an above average score of six out of ten. That fact that the Hawkbat Battalion Clone Trooper has been made at all is a bit of a gift from Hasbro. If there is the equivalent of a “deep background” Clone Trooper, this is it. While “never say never” is the standard approach to Clone Trooper upgrades, it’s hard to envision Hasbro ever going back to this source. This is it. If you need it for your collection, you’ll have to dip into the secondary market, but don’t hesitate. The supply is limited.
1 source Paul Harrison from Jedi Temple Archives