I have watched all the Star Wars films (including Clone Wars) and have shopped for Star Wars toys more times than I can count, but somehow the existence of the ARF Trooper has eluded me. Apparently, ARF Troopers or "Advance Recon Fighters" are stealthy Clone Troopers who act as scouts and carry out surprise attack missions. You learn something new everyday . . .
The topic of the ARF Trooper arose when I asked our 8 year old son what he was thinking about being for Halloween this year. At first he was sure he wanted to be a ninja, but then while we were browsing the Star Wars costumes on Wholesale Star Wars Costume Club, he saw the Kids Deluxe ARF Trooper Costume and was overcome with excitement. He passed over a Darth Vader, a Luke Skywalker, an Obi Wan, and even a Darth Maul costume (which was pretty darn cool looking) for this one. I was doubtful at first, but when I saw the costume in person, I had to admit that he made a good choice.
(Click any photo to enlarge)
Last year, our son just fit his size Medium costume, so I opted for a size Large this year. I was nervous about it being too large, but it actually worked out well. The sleeves were the perfect length for his arms, but the rest was several inches too long for him. Although it is difficult to see in my photo, the costume consists of foam pieced armor, so it is important that the armor hits at the right places around his hips, knees, and ankles. This was fixed very easily though. I simply belted the costume using one of my son's regular belts and bloused the excess fabric out over the belt. The belt is completely hidden under the fabric and the breastplate.
The utility belt that came with the costume was also large for our lean son. It is foam around the front and sides, but is a stretchy fabric in the back where the two ends tie together. At the tightest, the belt would still slide down. How I fixed this was to cross the belt in the back and brought the ends around to the front. I tied the ends together and tucked the knot under the foam part of the belt. This seem to work out great and it is not noticeable at all.
The part of this costume my son was most excited about was the helmet. It is made of light plastic, but is a full helmet that covers the head completely. It was also slightly large on him, but not so much that it would tip and look very crooked. He did, however, become hot very easily. I suspect this is due to the holes being far lower than where his nose and mouth are located. Hopefully, the October weather will be cool and crisp, so this will not be an issue.
Overall, I am very pleased with this costume. We added our own toy blaster and I have ordered a pair of Rubies Clone Trooper gloves to complete the look. The Wholesale Costume Club price for this costume is just $24.96, while it retails for $49.98.
Thank you to Wholesale Costume Club for providing a complimentary product sample for us to base this review upon.