History of the 501st Legion: 2006

At some point in late 2005 / early 2006 a blue clone trooper figure appeared in Japan stores featuring the title "Vader's Legion." This may seem a coincidence, but the bottom of the package left no room for doubt: amid the Japanese lettering, it read "501" in the description. I can only guess they had not secured permission from us yet to use our name and found this description a good compromise.

In July of 2006 Hasbro released a limited edition action figure featuring the 501st Legion stormtrooper! The figure was an exclusive buy at Comicon in San Diego. But Hasbro arranged for 501st members to get their hands on copies of the figure that didn't include the Comicon signage.

In August 2006 Hasbro released another 501st figure, this time the blue-striped clone troopers seen in Episode III. This was part of their Greatest Battles of Episode III collection. This was a nice touch, because not only did it tie the 501st with the scene in the movie with which we were credited, but it completed the connection between the clone troopers and the stormtroopers - the 501st covered it all! Much thanks to Mr. Depriest from Hasbro who helped make this a reality.

2006 also saw Gentle Giant Studios release a deluxe 501st Special Ops clone trooper bust. The advert read: "ROTS Mini Bust - DELUXE 501ST SPECIAL OPS CLONE TROOPER $49.99
When Anakin Skywalker succumbed to the dark side and swore loyalty to Darth Sidious, the newly arisen Emperor assigned his apprentice the best the galaxy had to offer. For Vader's inaugural mission to raze the Jedi Temple, the Emperor provided him with a legion of elite clone troopers. Their distinctive blue-marked armor set them apart from the other ranks. Bust features interchangeable arms and accessories. Designed in 1/6 scale - Stands 8 inches tall."

Another figure announced during the Comicon convention was the 501st Clone Trooper Vinyl Super-Deformed Figure by Medicom Toy Corporation. The advert read: "Medicom has designed and produced one of the most unique Star Wars collectible lines, the Japanese style vinyl super-deformed series (Vinyl Collectible Dolls). The 501st Clone Trooper stands roughly 8-inches tall, and the stylized caricature sculpture captures the menace, but cuteness, of the Episode III Revenge of the Sith Clone design perfectly." Now we're cool enough to have a cute figure done of us. Nice.

Pandemic Studios presented the 501st with an award given to all the members of the game's development team. The award recognized the 501st as a part of the team and saluted all the 501st Legion has done for the Star Wars community. The official letter read:

"Dear Albin, Included is a signed copy of Battlefront 2 and a trophy we made for members of the team. We wanted you and the entire 501st to share in the success of the game. We really appreciate the dedication and effort you guys put in every day to make a difference in people's lives.

While in Edmonton Canada last week I ran into some members of the 501st in full gear while at a mall. They exhibited the same good-natured attitude I've found from everyone in the organization that I have met. Just wanted to let you know.

Hope you enjoy the game and that you all enjoy the trophy. You deserve it. (let me know how I might go about getting my hands on some TK armor if you get a chance!)
Thanks again,
Eric Giz Gewirtz and the Battlefront 2 Team"