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Friday, May 22, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,157: R6-Series Astromech Droid White, Black, and Red


R6-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID White Dome with Black and Red Markings
Star Tours   Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2015
Appearances: n/a

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations.  As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.   There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch.  While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights.  This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:  My favorite shape of the new, post-movie domes is the R6-Series Astromech Droid and this is a colorful new one.   I'm not sure that the red body is the best possible match for him that could ever be, but as far as the second wave goes there's really no more appropriate fit than this one, so let's go with it.   The dome is the same mold as last year's round, except now the panels are slightly different - now you've got a mix of red and black markings rather than purple or yellow.   If you don't have an R6 mold, this is as good as any thanks to its unique blending of the trapezoidal cake that is an R5 dome with some of the "facial" details of R2-D2.  This makes it cuter, with a big eye and the little "face" bits but with some tweaking and new colors.   As a new droid, it doesn't have a lot of weight behind it and its appeal to you will largely come from if you think it looks cool.  I do.
The body of this configuration was retooled from previous astromech torso pieces.  The lower holes on the R2 body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore.  The body color is very similar (if not identical) to R5-K6, who is in a box somewhere.   The black and white boxes are pretty much the same, although a small detail on the back and bottom of the droid is now absent.  (No huge loss.)   There are a few minor changes given the time difference and the mold, but they did a fine job of trying to replicate that hard-to-find design in this format.

Like the other legs, the new "universal leg" returns here without the wires to make it obvious where the front or the back is.  Black "toe" panels on the front give it a little personality, but it still lacks the dots and rods on the upper part of the limb and features retooled copyright information to excise any indication of these being Hasbro products.  As such, I say it's debatable if these are Hasbro, Hasbro-compatible, or what.  The white "band" above the ankle is now silver, so it's a little more subtle than before and of course the wires are now absent.

The central red foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the R5-K6 figure had some black markings on the foot.  Unless you read or write columns like this one, I assume you wouldn't notice or care.

Since we know R6 droids will appear in The Force Awakens - but which ones, we are less clear - this figure might be worth getting as a tangent for that series.  We don't know which droids (if any) will get figures before Hasbro focuses on the next next movie, so getting an R6 droid of any flavor is, at worst, an off-camera purchase.   I love droids so I'll buy them all, and this one is a perfectly decent sum of its parts - but if you have any from the last round, this is hardly essential.

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.  This is the only R6 droid in the first 2015 assortment.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,157: May 22, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,156: R5-Series Astromech Droid Red and Black (not R5-K6)

R5-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Red Dome with Black and Silver Markings, a.k.a. R5-K6
Star Tours   Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2015
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations.  As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.   There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch.  While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights.  This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:  This R5-Series Astromech Droid is, for all intents and purposes, a make-good on the hard-to-find R5-K6 from a few years ago.  The gift set was very expensive thanks to it getting short distribution at some odd venues, including electronics stores and gift shops.  (I actually stumbled on quite a few.)  Point is, he's hard to get - and now Disney has a new version of him you can cobble together using parts out of their bins.  The dome is different than the 2009 figure but it's certainly a close enough replacement given the asking price of the gift set these days.  The red dome has the same black "U" pattern on the face, with the various silver bits being in basically the same place.  The antennae are now missing, but the little white trapezoids are there in a slightly different form.   The mechanism is gone in favor of the hat hole, but overall this is pretty close to the original.

The body of this configuration was retooled from previous astromech torso pieces.  The lower holes on the R2 body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore.  The body color is very similar (if not identical) to R5-K6, who is in a box somewhere.   The black and white boxes are pretty much the same, although a small detail on the back and bottom of the droid is now absent.  (No huge loss.)   There are a few minor changes given the time difference and the mold, but they did a fine job of trying to replicate that hard-to-find design in this format.

Like the other legs, the new "universal leg" returns here without the wires to make it obvious where the front or the back is.  Black "toe" panels on the front give it a little personality, but it still lacks the dots and rods on the upper part of the limb and features retooled copyright information to excise any indication of these being Hasbro products.  As such, I say it's debatable if these are Hasbro, Hasbro-compatible, or what.  The white "band" above the ankle is now silver, so it's a little more subtle than before and of course the wires are now absent.

The central red foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the R5-K6 figure had some black markings on the foot.  Unless you read or write columns like this one, I assume you wouldn't notice or care.

If you missed R5-K6, this is a much cheaper alternative.  Which is kind of disgusting, as the last version got you 2 Rebels and a small vehicle for $25.   If you love your droids, and I hope you do, here's another chance to get one of the scarcer robots in the line at a price that, while not great, is certainly better than fifty bucks.  There's really no other way to configure these parts into something pleasing (other than the R6 dome, which we'll examine shortly) so go ahead and get this one.

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.  This is the only R5 droid in the first 2015 assortment.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,156: May 21, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,155: R2-Series Astromech Droid Silver and Blue MK II (not R2-D2)


R2-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Silver Dome with Blue Panels MK II, a.k.a. R2-D2
Star Tours   Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2015
Appearances: Many

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations.  As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.   There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch.  While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights.  This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:  This R2-Series Astromech Droid is why you're probably here - you wouldn't care about R2-D2 repaints if you didn't love R2-D2, and for all intents and purposes this figure is R2-D2.  It's not even the first R2-D2 on the build-a-droid chassis - by my count there are at least 3 now - but this one has a slightly different shade of blue and some newly tooled parts.  The dome is the same form we're used to (or the changes are minor enough), with a bunch of subtle deco changes.  The blue is now more metallic, the red dot is moved a bit, the little boxes on the front are now outlined in blue, but it really gets interesting on the back.  Compared to the previous Disney model (pictured here) you'll see the 2015 version has a red dot on the back as opposed to the 2012 one's yellow, plus a little detail on the side is boxed around rather than filled in.  Minor stuff - but it is worth noting as yet another minor difference for the dome for those of you who really do want everything.  And now let's recycle more of a previous review.


The body of this configuration was retooled.  The lower holes on the R2 body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore.  The body color is roughly the same as R2-D2, but the various panels are decorated differently now.   The side of the body under the arms now has blue stripes.  The hexagon on his left side is now just silver, while the previous version was blue.  A similar change was made to the back of the figure.  The "ladder" on the front of the droid is now silver, having previously been blue.  Also, the panels are sculpted slightly differently - if you put them side-by-side, you'll notice the large rectangles on the sides of the front of the body are different depths than the previous release.


Like the other legs, the new "universal leg" returns here without the wires to make it obvious where the front or the back is.  Silver "toe" panels on the front give it a little personality, but it still lacks the dots and rods on the upper part of the limb and features retooled copyright information to excise any indication of these being Hasbro products.  As such, I say it's debatable if these are Hasbro, Hasbro-compatible, or what.

The central white foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the 2012 batch had silver markings around the bottom of the foot.

You don't need this figure.   You do not need this figure.  But maybe you love droids, and like me you're going to buy any new build-a-droid parts just because.   It's not different enough to warrant your attention in most cases, but if you see every droid change as a worthwhile addition to your stable you know you need it - which is sort of frustrating.   I see droids like clones - a difference is worthy of another purchase - but unless you see unique lights or changes to the blue as "different" you can probably just be happy with the 2012 Walmart gift set version or the 2012 Disney release.

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,155: May 20, 2015

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,154: R2-Series Astromech Droid Black and Gold (not Goldie R3-S6)

R2-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Gold Dome with Black Panels, a.k.a. R3-S6 "Goldie"
Star Tours   Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2015
Appearances: The Clone Wars

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations.  As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.   There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch.  While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights.  This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:  This R2-Series Astromech Droid is something of an oddity because, as of this assortment, many of the figures are obviously meant to represent specific droids.   This one was released as a cartoon figure a few years ago, but with this dome and the body parts you can actually make R3-S6 for yourself!  I'm really pleased with this.   The figure's dome looks pretty good, and unlike  the body it's a dead-ringer for the show.   The gold-on-gold panels are now merely gold, but the black equator around the head remains, as does the red interior to the black holographic projector on his face.  They did a nice job here, molding the head in gold and painting it in gold just to make sure it looks good.   Whoever did this understands how to make a good toy better.

The body of this configuration was retooled.  The lower holes on the R2 body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore.  The body color is black, and with a few exceptions it's pretty close to R3-S6.   The two panels under the dome are now gold, instead of glossy black like on the TV show.  I think this looks better, but you may disagree.  Other than that, it's pretty much on the mark - it even has a couple of gold panels near the third leg, like the previous cartoon figure has.  Also, the panels are sculpted slightly differently - if you put them side-by-side, you'll notice the large rectangles on the sides of the front of the body are different depths than the previous release.

Like the other legs, the new "universal leg" returns here without the wires to make it obvious where the front or the back is.  Gold "toe" panels on the front give it a little personality, but it still lacks the dots and rods on the upper part of the limb and features retooled copyright information to excise any indication of these being Hasbro products.  The sides of the feet are silver with a gold design in the middle, which actually makes them a little more colorful than the original design.  Gold and black stripes on the shoulders are similar to the original designs, and as such should be pretty agreeable to anyone wanting a movie version of this character.

The central black foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the 2012 batch had silver markings around the bottom of the foot.

If you love The Clone Wars you just gotta get this one.  You're going to  love it.  It's just a little different from the animation model, but not enough to make me angry or demand a redo.  Should Hasbro try it again and we get a more accurate one, that's still fine by me - I can do something cool with these parts.   Nice job, Hasbro.  (Or at least I think it might be Hasbro engineering...)

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,154: May 19, 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,153: R4-Series Astromech Droid Blue (MK II)

R4-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID White Dome with Blue Panels MK II
Star Tours   Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2015
Appearances: n/a

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations.  As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.   There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch.  While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights.  This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:  This R4-Series Astromech Droid was, at first glance, not new.  I was surprised to find out that the pattern painted on the dome was actually new and different from the previous release.   You'll notice that the colors are basically the same, but the blue patterns and shapes are significantly different.  The trapezoids on the left of his "face" are replaced by an "A"-shaped pattern which we've seen on other R4 units.  His head has a nifty pattern on top, rather than a blue hexagon.  Much more color - including some additional silver - has been added to teh backs and sides of his head, as have additional silver markings.  At first glance it looks like more of the same, but with a side-by-side comparison it's a shockingly different figure.   Even the holo emitters are different - the original version has them painted black for the "lens," while the new version is blank silver.  As an added bonus, the lip around the bottom of the dome - previously unpainted - is now decorated blue.

The body of this configuration was retooled.  The lower holes on the R2 body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore.  The body color is roughly the same as R2-D2, but the various panels are decorated differently now.   The side of the body under the arms now has blue stripes.  The hexagon on his left side is now just silver, while the previous version was blue.  A similar change was made to the back of the figure.  The "ladder" on the front of the droid is now silver, having previously been blue.  Also, the panels are sculpted slightly differently - if you put them side-by-side, you'll notice the large rectangles on the sides of the front of the body are different depths than the previous release.



Like the other legs, the new "universal leg" returns here without the wires to make it obvious where the front or the back is.  Silver "toe" panels on the front give it a little personality, but it still lacks the dots and rods on the upper part of the limb and features retooled copyright information to excise any indication of these being Hasbro products.  As such, I say it's debatable if these are Hasbro, Hasbro-compatible, or what.

The central white foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the 2012 batch had silver markings around the bottom of the foot.

Mark II of Blue R4 is textbook "just different enough to make you mad."  The head is different enough to be a can't-miss figure for those of us looking to build a stable of droids and want somethint that, on a shelf with other robots, actually does look just different enough to be obviously different, and not like a variation on R2-D2 where you get a slightly different shade of blue, or the red light on his dome is now blue or something.


Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.  This is the only R4 droid in the first 2015 assortment.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,153: May 15, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,152: R3-Series Astromech Droid Silver

R3-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Clear Dome with Silver Markings
Star Tours   Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2015
Appearances: n/a

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations.  As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.   There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch.  While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights.  This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:  This R3-Series Astromech Droid is really good.  I just wish I had better foresight as to how good it was before I asked my friend to get me droids - it's the perfect dome for this or any series.  The clear colorless head has silver markings, making it the perfect match for pretty much every single body.  It looks good on literally every body I've tried so far - it doesn't clash and it isn't ugly.

The body of this configuration was retooled.  The lower holes on the R2 body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore.  The white plastic body has silver and yellow markings, most of which are painted well.  The back of the body is similarly decorated with a ton of yellow panels highlighted with silver paint - few of the other figures have quite this much deco.   It's one of the best of the batch.   I'd love to see this pattern done in other colors as well.

Each leg is new - actually, it's only one leg.   Disney had issues keeping enough matching right and left legs during the 2012 run, so I'm sort of happy that they found a clever solution to the issue.  Each foot has been redesigned so it's the same on the front and the back.  It combines elements from both the front and the back of the feet of the first ones, while retaining the wheels and dropping the wires.  As such it isn't perfect, but it's pretty good.  This pair of legs is white plastic with yellow and silver highlights.  I should also note that the arm was retooled so that the "rod" and "dots" on each arm have been removed and the "shoulder" has been smoothed out.

The central white foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the 2012 batch had silver markings around the bottom of the foot.

As domes go, the clear R3 head is the best in breed just because it's so versatile.  I'd buy a sack of these if I could.  It makes a better R3-M3 dome, and it would be a good base for your future customs.  If you can, get this one.

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.  This is the only R3 droid in the first 2015 assortment.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,152: May 14, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,151: R9-Series Astromech Droid Silver

R9-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Silver Dome with Black Markings
Star Tours   Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2015
Appearances: n/a

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations.  As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.   There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch.  While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights.  This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:  The slightly squished R9-Series Astromech Droid seems like he was designed for this dome to fit on his matching body - it's a nice one.   A sparkly grey plastic dome was lovingly slathered with silver metallic paint, black markins, and even a little red light off to the side.  I daresay this is the best R9 dome you can buy, and given that there are only four so far that's not a huge stretch.  This one really does look like he fell off of a movie set, and it works great with one of the bodies.

The body of this configuration was indeed retooled.  The lower holes on the body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore.  The white plastic body has silver and black markings, most of which are painted well.  This sample is a little off on the rectangles on his left-hand side, but there's still a lot of silver to appreciate.    The back of the body is similarly decorated with a ton of black and silver paint - few of the other figures have quite this much deco.   It's not plain, I'll tell you that.

Each leg is new - actually, it's only one leg.   Disney had issues keeping enough matching right and left legs during the 2012 run, so I'm sort of happy that they found a clever solution to the issue.  Each foot has been redesigned so it's the same on the front and the back.  It combines elements from both the front and the back of the feet of the first ones, while retaining the wheels and dropping the wires.  As such it isn't perfect, but it's pretty good.  This pair of legs is white plastic with black and silver highlights.  I should also note that the arm was retooled so that the "rod" and "dots" on each arm have been removed and the "shoulder" has been smoothed out.  Each foot is molded in black plastic, with silver on the sides.  It's quite distinctive and fits in perfectly with the body and its black, uh, "butt."

The central black foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the 2012 batch had silver markings around the bottom of the foot.  It gets the job done.

If you don't have any R9 droids - and even if you do - be sure to buy this one.   The pieces all mesh together perfectly and I don't have anything bad to say about it.  If you read me often, you know that's rare - so get it!  Well, OK, it's hardly essential but it's such a perfect configuration of parts that I can't

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.  This is the only R9 droid in the first 2015 assortment.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,151: May 13, 2015