I’ve been wanting Black Series figures of Echo and Fives as ARC Troopers for a while, so I was very happy when Hasbro announced Echo. Can my enthusiasm for the character withstand a hefty price increase and an annoying Target Exclusive scavenger hunt? Let’s take a look at Echo and Hawk!
The packaging is a throwback to a time where I was not collecting Star Wars figures. I dropped out of 3.75 figure collecting around the time of Revenge of the Sith and really didn’t watch The Clone Wars with much attention until I did a rewatch after Star Wars Rebels re-ignited my love of Star Wars. I have no nostalgia for the packaging and I don’t think it’s particularly cool, so I really just see five bucks per figure that goes straight into the trash.
Echo comes with two blaster pistols, a smaller rifle, a larger rifle, and a removeable helmet. The guns should be familiar to anyone collecting clone figures and look like appropriate re-use. The pistols fit nice in the holsters, but the left hand doesn’t have a trigger finger which is extremely annoying. We’ve been asking for years for these dual wielding clones to get two trigger finger hands, so it is irritating to see this yet again.
The helmet has nice detail, but seems a bit overlarge. The viewfinder does articulate, but it is a little bent right out of the box. It’s bent in the above photos, but I was able to straighten it out a bit.
Hawk comes with the medium clone trooper blaster. I’m not sure what else he should have come with, but it feels a little light. I would like a blue-colored muzzle flash effect for my clone troopers.
Hawk uses an older Clone Trooper body with the double elbows and knees. It looks to me like the torso is unique because his shoulder armor can fit into the grooves in the shoulder sockets. The neck also has a ball and socket where the neck attaches to the figure and at the head.
Echo feels like a mostly new body. I think maybe the lower torso, thighs, and the upper arms could be re-use from the more recent clone trooper because he has the swivel/hinge elbows and knees from that figure. The head has a nice Temuera Morrison likeness. The extra armor, pauldrons, and pack are sharply sculpted and all glued down solidly to the body.
The articulation is pretty typical of the clone figures of their respective generations. The double elbows on Hawk are re-used from the Rex figure, so they do have better than 90 degree bend. Having both style of clone figure in hand, I do have to say, as much as I hate the swivel/hinge knees usually, it actually works better here than the regular double hinged knees because the thigh armor allows for no forward movement unless you turn the leg to the side. The knee pad still looks wonky when you do that, but at least he can move his leg forward more and get a deeper stance. Reviewing these figures and the Bad Batch figures in such close succession has highlighted how frustrating the hips are on these clone figures are to me.
The skirt for Echo is plastic, but the belt is a separate plastic piece and both are fairly soft plastic, so they don’t get in the way of leg movement much.
The paint is okay, but both clones could definitely use a wash or some more battle damage hits. I think Echo’s helmet doesn’t have a glossy enough finish to match the rest of his armor, but the face printing is very effective if a little glossy. I also don’t love the silver-ish plastic on the viewfinder. One weird aspect of Hawk is that his black under-armor pieces are actually a dark blue. It’s easy to miss, it is so dark, but seems like a bizarre choice.
Overall, I like Echo a lot, but I’m more neutral on Hawk. I’m glad to add Hawk to my 501st grouping of figures, but there are others from that group I would have preferred to get sooner like Tup, Fives, Heavy, Jesse, Vaughn, or Kix, so he especially feels like a bad deal at that higher price point. We’ve expected that a price increase was inevitable at for the $20 action figure lines, but coupling that with the $5 up-charge for the exclusive packaging really feels like adding insult to injury and I do have to wonder about if marginally good figures like Hawk cut it at that price.