The Geonosian-made Super Battle Droids were something of a surprise back when Episode II came out, being tougher and more ruthless than their cheaper cousins. They were also much less memorable because they absolutely lacked any hint of a personality.
Still, that did not deter me from getting a few of them as they came out in the various Star Wars lines Hasbro has made over the years, up until they made the animation-styled ones for the Cartoon Network show Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Right from the start, I disliked profoundly the more stylized design, which portrayed the SBDs as spheres with limbs. Most other droid design in the series were closer to their realistic versions in varying degrees, but the SBD seemed to me overtly stylized for no good reason.
Rather grudgingly, I got a hold of one such SBD, mostly for archival purposes (meaning, I had a few bucks burning a hole in my pocket and nothing better to spend them on). In any case, I now see that I was wrong to have ignored these figures for so long.
The SBD has a lot of vents and panels sculpted on every surface, and the figure feels good in hand, being fairly bulky and taller than most humanoid characters in the Clone Wars line.
Articulation is fairly limited, which was one of the reasons I had to skip these guys a few years ago but overall, the SBD does fine with just:
• Floating torso.
• Pegged hinge shoulders.
• Pegged hinge elbows.
• Swivel hips.
A sparse articulation count, but not all that bad for a droid designed to be more of a mobile weapons platform than an infiltrator. The legs are sculpted rather thin, but the material is sturdy enough to keep the figure standing up despite the top-heavy droid design.
As for paint, it is reduced mostly to a heavy shading wash applied over the dark gray plastic. The vents at the back seem to have received an airbrushing to simulate carbon scoring, but the only touch of color is the red circle painted on the SBD’s chest plate.
Since this droid IS a weapon, I was not expecting it to come with any extra weaponry, but Hasbro saw fit to include a pair of projectile launcher attachments for the forearms, of the pull and release kind. These accessories work reasonably well with the included plastic missiles. As usual, also included are a gray plastic display base, a die cast in blue plastic and the stats card for using the figure in the Galactic Battle card game.
I guess my main point of contention with this release of the Super Battle Droid is that it is a rather dull-looking action figure. I don’t think anyone that saw a bunch of these guys dangling from the pegs would have felt immediately compelled to buy one of them, but underneath the gloomy appearance these are pretty solid action figures.