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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,165: Chewbacca (The Black Seres)


CHEWBACCA What a Wookiee
The Black Series   Basic Figure
Item No.:
Asst. A5077 No. A9111
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #11
Includes: 2-piece bowcaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: May 2015
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: Chewbacca stands with his friends Han Solo and Luke Skywalker at a ceremony to regcognize the Rebel Alliance's victory at the Battle of Yavin.  (Taken from the figure's first release packaging. Later releases have no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary:  After writing literally thousands of action figure reviews, I very rarely am surprised by Star Wars 3 3/4-inch figures.  Hasbro has fallen in to a fairly predictable pattern of crowd-pleasing figures with 14 figures and a good sculpt - with many reusing parts whenever possible.  Chewbacca was one that surprised me a bit - not only because he had a new head, but because it seems to have really changed up his look and feel.  He has really dark brown fur on his thighs, but also the interior of his hands are painted.  The bandolier paint is a little sloppy, but it's all silver rather than alternating between lighter and darker ammo packets.   Do you know what that means?  This is the actual update to 1978 Chewbacca.  The head is right, the bandolier is right, and it's just a little weird.  The eyes are good, the fur on his head is good, and there are no bizarre highlights to weird you out.  If you're building a display of "the best update" to the original 92 96 99 movie action figures, this should be your go-to Chewbacca.  It makes uses of the best-yet body (effectively the 2004 Vintage one) with a new head and new deco.   You'll like it.

This isn't to say it's perfect - mine had some bandolier slop, and the waist joint is weak.  If you make him sit, it's very easy to pop him in half at the middle.  It's just as easy to pop the joint back into place, but this sort of "feature" sort of kills the fantasy, given you just killed him.   Chewie has no problems holding his weapon with both hands, although the weapon has the little piece in the front that may fall out if you aren't careful.   As an advocate of never painting/gluing/changing your figures, I'm considering adding a dab of Krazy Glue to keep it in place.  I won't, but I'm considering it.

I assume we'll get a better version for The Force Awakens, but as far as "let's update the original Kenner figure" goes this should be one you track down.   He looks angry and he doesn't have weird streaks.  You're going to have a hard time improving on it, and these little changes shows me that Hasbro really does care about a lot of those strange little details that appeal to older fans.  The unfortunate thing for them is that it means I now expect them to do this with more figures.   Figures like a Power Droid, or Imperial Dignitary, or Bespin Security Guard.   I'm happy with this Chewbacca remake, and now that Hasbro basically nailed it I hope they also do us a solid and retire this body construction as it has provided the basis for multiple Chewbacca toys since 2004.  Let's see what's next, shall we?

Collector's Notes: I got this online - you can probably score one for $13-$15.   I've seen it in stores, too.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,165: July 28, 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,164: Mosep Bineed (The Black Seres)

MOSEP BINEED Figure Debut
The Black Series   Basic Figure
Item No.:
Asst. A5077 No. B1060
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #18
Includes: Blaster
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $12.99
Availability: June 2015
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: No bio due to new multilingual packaging.

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary:  As we move along, the number of figures that are genuinely "missing" from the original films dwindles.   Remakes of other characters are like the cereal we have to eat before getting to the prizes that are the likes of Mosep Bineed  - the first new Cantina alien sculpt since Dr. Evazan's 2012 remake, and the first all-new Cantina alien since 2011.  Hasbro is being stingy with these now.   Mosep is recognizable to older fans for a variety of reasons. Maybe you saw him on a trading card, or as "Jabba the Hut" in the Marvel comics.  The mold lends itself to an awesome quick-and-easy repaint, should Hasbro decide to go in that direction.   (Fantastic Comic-Con exclusive, right there.  Throw in a blue-faced Takeel.)   Fans of the 1990s Expanded Universe may know him as Jabba's accountant, who retroactively stood in for the crime lord on certain occasions.  It's a goofy retcon, but that's how long-running franchises deal with continuity errors.

Hasbro nailed it.  This figure's pretty awesome, going above and beyond what a good Cantina Alien needs to be good.   Rocker ankles will amaze you on this 4-inch tall figure, while ball-jointed shoulders, elbows, and knees are more or less normal.  Swivel wrists and a swivel waist are joined by a swiveling neck, making this figure equal to or better than the last few Mos Eisley aliens - and certainly better than the ankle-free Ree-Yees.  My only real valid complaint about this figure is the Collector's Dilemma - is it more important to have a super-articulated figure with the "skirt" tunic piece which restricts hip movement and renders a figure unable to sit, or is it better to mar the sculpt a tiny bit to add some cut joints in there so the figure is a worthwhile toy?  You know my answer - I think the figure should be capable of sitting - but as the figure is capable of standing upright at a bar, I can't say it's a bad figure.   It would be nice to fit him in a vehicle, though.

Mosep's tiny blaster fits well in his hand, and his hands may pop off easily - such is a problem with the current construction of figures over the last few years.   Don't be surprised if they pop out - but when they do, take a moment to admire the sculpting.  The glossy black hands have buttons on the underside of the gloves, painted silver - you may never notice them.  A silver ring is painted on the front, and that should be as recognizable as the silver belt buckle with the little pip next to it - just like your Imperial Officer figures.  With a different torso, this body would make a fantastic basis for future Imperial Officers, provided you don't need them to sit.  The folds in his fabric outfit and the glossy boots are wonderful, and it's nice that Hasbro makes their remaining few aliens excellent as they get made.   A long, light grey mane of hair matches what may be the biggest mustache to ever grace a 3 3/4-inch action figure, and his tiny black eyes are expertly painted.

When I first read the comic books, I thought "Man, that guy would make a neat figure."  I never thought we'd actually get one, and here we are!   If you're an old guy, buy this.  If you're a new collector, start your Cantina collection here.   And if you don't know what the fuss is about, you should be similarly put off by the fact that someone has reviewed thousands of these dumb things.   With all the remakes, and the new movies, the days of us getting new-to-toy characters in every wave - or every year - is something we can't count on anymore.   It may sound trite, but count your blessings - this is a big one as far as my interests go, and I am happy to finally have a figure I never actually thought I'd get to own.

Collector's Notes: I got this online - you can probably score one for $13-$15.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,164: July 24, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,163: R2-Series Astromech Droid Grey and Green (not R7-A7)

R2-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Grey Dome with Green Markings, a.k.a. R7-A7
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: May 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 is a "realistic" version of R7-A7, sold as an R2-Series Astromech Droid at Disney parks as part of the second wave.   It's roughly the same price as the original animated release on the secondary market.  The interesting thing about it from a collecting perspective beyond it being a debut in the "movie" style is that of authenticity.  Fans are given a choice - do you use the central maroon color leg to match the body - as this is the only figure that can pull it off - or do you go with the cartoon-accurate grey central foot?   That's pretty obnoxious, so maybe be real nice to the people at the parks and they'll let you take both.   This little fellow's dome has wonderful light green markings and a pair of light blue markings on his face.  The back of the head has a single red box, with most of the various panels remaining in unpainted grey.  The central "cap" panel is unpainted and has the hole for a hat that you all know and love.

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 maroon plastic body has grey and silver markings, and really doesn't work well with any of the other domes.  Heck, even with the "correct" parts it's still somewhat weird to look at with the other colors of feet.   The back of the body is largely bare, save for two painted silver details.  

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 maroon plastic with grey and silver highlights but with grey feet with maroon 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.   It's unique, I'll give it that.

The central grey (or maroon) foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the 2012 batch had silver markings around the bottom of the foot.   I would assume the foot may be gang-molded with the body, as there are grey bodies as well.   There's no real reason to have maroon central feet, so it's sort of infuriating.  Do you go for authenticity, or part completism?

If you got the "Vintage" 2012 Ahsoka, you'll want to get her a droid.  This is it - and man, are we overdoing it on the droids.  And I like droids.   25 in a year - over 2 months - is excessive.  There's a rumor of a third wave this year and I pray it doesn't come to pass mostly because I'm having difficulty enjoying the ones I've got.  I still need to secure R4-D23 and the Holographic R2-D2 this year, in addition to any surprises we don't know about yet.  I appreciate this figure ticks one more off the "made in animated style but not movie style" list, of course I'd be willing to bet we will never see all the figures from The Clone Wars in "realistic" style.   I like this colorful droid, and if you can swing it I'd say go get it.    It's cool.  You'll like it.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,163: July 3, 2015

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,162: Stormtrooper (First Order - The Black Series 2015 SDCC)

STORMTROOPER First Order
The Black Series   San Diego Comic-Con International Exclusive 6-Inch Figure
Item No.:
No. B3720
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Art book, pistol, rifle
Action Feature: Blaster holster, of sorts
Retail: $25.00
Availability: July 2015
Appearances: The Force Awakens

Bio: Shock troopers clad in white armor first appeared on the galactic stage during the opening battles of the Clone Wars.  Clone Trooper armor became iconic almost immediately, its stark white design stood for hope that peace and stability might be restored to a galaxy at war, but this dream of peace died with the Republic, and the Empire that rose to take its place imposed order by any means necessary.  Soldiers within the Grand Army of the Republic were given a new name: Stormtroopers.  As the former protectors of galactic peace mercilessly crushed resistance across the galaxy, their white armor came to symbolize oppression and the indomitable power of the Emperor's will.  Yet the tyranny of Imperial rule sparked rebellion, and the stormtrooper legions were scattered in the aftermath of the Empire's fall.  Now, the rise of the First Order ushers in the next chapter in the Stormtrooper's legacy as a new era of ruthless brutality begins.   (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Get one at Comic-Con, or HasbroToyShop.com next week if you're lucky.

Commentary:  I was having a hard time with this one.  Obviously getting my hands on the new First Order Stormtrooper early is a cause for great celebration, because this is the "sneak preview" figure for the new movie.   Unless Hasbro has a surprise exclusive assortment that managed to be kept silent - and given the way things have been going, this wouldn't surprise me - here's your only new movie figure until September.   It is expected he will be rereleased with only packaging changes later, making this item most flippable if you're one of those terrible people.   If what you're looking for is glowing unlimited praise, I don't believe that I will give it to you - but I can say that this figure improves visually on his troop predecessors while losing a bit of mobility in the process.  The look is really beautiful and boxed collectors have a real winner on their hands here. The white plastic deco is so shiny and the silver and black paint details are mostly quite clean.  So much so, I daresay I'm taking it for granted. 



The box retains the bland line name from previous 6-inch releases, but the sleeve and die-cuts reveal some cool stuff.  An extended bio on the spine and a booklet seem to hint that someone may have meant for this to be a bigger set with more figures at one point, but we don't know that.   Everything fits together nicely and the package presentation is so good it's kind of a shame that Hasbro won't adopt it for the main line just yet.  Hiding a little product catalog in the book nook and keeping compartments for the accessories make it feel absolutely wonderful, and if presentation is everything than this figure is, indeed, everything.

The reality is that presentation is a good start - the real question you're all asking is what new wonders does this figure have in store for you, right?   Here's a surprise - it's a lateral move.

Despite heavy advances in articulation with the start of this line in 2013, this figure rolls back a few of them.  Wrists turn, and the double-elbow joints we've come to enjoy on troopers have been replaced by a single ball-hinged elbow with limited movement.  Getting both hands on the gun is a little tricky because you don't get a 90-degree bend on the elbow - it's kind of unfortunate to see troopers, of all things, with less arm movement in a line that is (let's be honest) about collectors posing figures on shelves and never playing with them again.  You still get rocker ankles and double knees, though, plus a swell ball-jointed helmet and the wonderful mid-torso waist joint allows for many fun poses.  The lack of biceps may bother you, but so far the elbows seem to be mostly doing the trick for arm movement.  Except for the wonky elbows.

I should highlight that one area Hasbro improved this figure dramatically is in hiding the articulation.  I don't think this is going to be immediately obvious to anybody, but the various pins and pegs we've seen before are largely invisible.  There are no more white pins in the black body glove regions, and the elbow joints are all internal - so you lose movement, but you improve on looks.  I didn't even realize the wrists were bend-and-swivel at first - they managed to cram that part in the forearm, and it really can move in and out a tiny bit.   It's easy to lash out on the elbows - I just did, and will do so in the future - but everything else shows evidence of a lot more careful thought and planning than before.   The range of motion on most joints is very good, and the figure can even sit on a desk or a small chair with no problems.  Seeing how Hasbro usually handles articulation, I think that means they're giving more than a little thought to this mold's future reuse and potentially even more vehicles in this range.

My favorite feature of the figure is his holster.  Rather than include a black pouch, there's a ridge on the right thigh that has a slot to plug in either of his two guns.  I love it - true to the movie or no, it's just so gosh darned handy to keep the figure with his weapons.   He can hold one gun, and store the other.  It's brilliant, and a nice piece of relatively simple toy engineering.

I haven't even gotten to the design yet.  Not being intimately familiar with the final full suit of armor yet myself, all I can say is I love it.   When I first saw the leaked helmet design, I was immediately taken with how it looked like it came from Star Wars' future as I might have envisioned it in 1987.   This would be right at home adjacent to early Lazer Tag toys, except it's far more interesting to see the changing mouth connect to the eyes with quasi-Alice Cooper streaks down the cheeks.  It's much smoother than other designs, with slightly bulkier ankles and various greebles that I assume serve some unknown purpose.  There are rods on his shins - why?   I have no idea.   His belt feels almost off-the-shelf with more visible black on the sides of pouches not unlike the case you use to carry your Nintendo 3DS. You know the one.

The back of the helmet is totally smooth except for a black stripe connecting to the front, which is somewhat unsettling.  The back of the armor is similarly smooth, with a black dot for the "OII" pattern we've known on our troopers since 1977 forming the focal point on a design that would have been at home in a 1989 Z Gallerie shop at your local mall.  (They had lots of black and white back then.)   It's really strange to see some of the design choices up close - fingers are black on the outside with white on the inside, and the guns have a ton of white on them.  I don't know if this is because of some military combat strategy, aesthetics, or because it makes the toys easier to make if they aren't black in the movies.  The design looks very similar to the original rifle, but the smaller pistol doesn't seem overtly Imperial.   Maybe it's very First Orderly, I don't know enough about their style yet.

I don't feel inspired to army-build but I do think I'd be happy to see other repaints or disguised characters in this armor if such things make sense as the story is concerned.

Collector's Notes: I got this one from Hunter PR. You will most likely get one from eBay, HasbroToyShop.com, or via barter for one of your kidneys.

--Adam Pawlus

 
 
 



Sample courtesy Hunter PR.


Day 2,162: July 2, 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,161: Darth Vader (Dagobah Test - The Black Series 2015)

DARTH VADER Dagobah Test
The Black Series   Basic Figure
Item No.:
Asst. A5077 No. A8058
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #07
Includes: Mask piece, lightsaber, cape, removable head
Action Feature: Removable mask
Retail: $12.99
Availability: May 2015
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back

Bio: During his training on Dagobah, Luke duels an apparition of Darth Vader, but is shocked to see his own face inside the helmet, not Vader's. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Commentary:  This figure I'm going to take two perspectives - one as "Is this a good item?" and one as "does this item need to exist?"   Darth Vader figures are an important part of the Star Wars marketing machine - my feeling is that, on the whole, your success is entirely based on if you have one for sale.  No Vader?  People don't care.  He must be in rotation, and 3 3/4-inch Darth Vader figures are being updated on a regular basis. 

The last The Black Series release was based on the 2005 Evolutions Darth Vader, and so is this one - except as far as I can tell, this one has fewer new parts.  The hands and body all seem to be basically the original figure, and now there's a new cape and a new head.  The chest deco is improved, still being basically the same as the 2013 The Black Series torso.   With 14 points of articulation, there's really no getting past the fact that Hasbro is saying "We basically got it right 10 years ago, so here it is again with a new head sporting an action feature."  The helmet sculpt unto itself is pretty good - the mask fits over fairly well, but you can see a glimmer of the flesh paint through a crack in the helmet.  The form fit is very obvious - you can see the cracks in the helmet - but I'm pretty sure the intent of the figure is to pop off the figure's head at the neck peg and leave it on the ground. 

It pops out without too much fuss, and in my case the figure decapitated itself while removing it from the bubble.  His left hand has no problems holding his lightsaber, but when fully assembled this Darth Vader looks a little wonky - my sample tilts to his left a bit, plus the neck seems overly long compared to other Darth Vader figures I own (all of them).  The cape design is different from most, in that the silver fake "chain" holds the neck in place rather than a piece of black elastic.   Overall Hasbro made a decent remold of one of their greatest achievements for the character, but by now you may have as many as a half dozen (slightly) different takes on Dagobah Vader including the variations.  It's a very decent figure and if you don't already own a blown-off-head-Luke-faced-Vader, this is a perfectly good one.   I would probably steer you toward the Dagobah Battle Packs, or the pretty slick 2001 original.   If you got the 2013 figure which also used this body, you should be all set.

Having said that, I don't need it.  At all.   It's not really a big improvement, and I think Hasbro probably wasted resources adding the new head when they could repackage a previous release and it'd sell to the carded crowd.  It would also sell to the "I just want a Darth Vader" crowd.   For a company that reminds us regularly of their need to conserve resources on a collector's line, I get annoyed when I see them spend money here - and come up with something that isn't very good - when they could just as easily do nothing and sell a ton of them in a new package.   Hasbro had great success repackaging the 2013 Mission Series Darth Vader a few times, and you never see it hang - the same would be true here.   They're just flushing money down the toilet on a figure that I don't think collectors will appreciate upon removal from the packaging.  You've basically got this one, and the Evolution set versions cost about the same and come with 2 or 3 more figures.  That long streak of complaints is basically me shaking my fist at a cloud, though, because we all know Hasbro cannot make a Darth Vader figure on an individual card that will not sell very well and probably outsell every other figure in the wave.

With that in mind, I put it to you like this - if you have every Darth Vader, why stop now? Get this one.  If you just want one, keep in mind that the body for this release has been used as the basis for a few others.  I strongly suggest you get those first, mostly because they offer more for your money.  If you're at a store and you want a figure for your desk at work, and this is the only Vader you see, you can do worse.  But don't by it for a kid if you can get the Evolution pack online for $17-$20 instead, and honestly you should just buy that for yourself too.  This is great if you need to buy something because you have to buy something, but it does show that Hasbro may need prodding with how it allocates its development resources during a drought.

Collector's Notes: I got this one from Entertainment Earth, and I saw some case residue last weekend - unsold Stormtroopers were at Toys R Us already.   Good hunting!

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,161: May 29, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,160: R2-Series Astromech Droid Blue and Yellow (not R8-B7)

R2-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Blue Dome with Yellow Markings, a.k.a. R8-B7
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 is a "realistic" version of R8-B7, sold as an R2-Series Astromech Droid at Disney parks.   It's cheaper than the original animated release on the secondary market - although not by a lot - plus it's effectively a make-good on an unproduced Astromech that Hasbro showed us back in 2012 as part of the aborted The Legacy Collection redux.    With a dark blue dome, the yellow plastic needs to be applied a little more thickly than usual to show up well - it more or less works.  There's a little slop and some areas where the blue comes through, but other than that it all turned out pretty nicely.  It's not the cleanest paint job - you can see some more overspray here than on others, thanks to the bright color of paint - but at least you can easily tell who this is supposed to be.

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 grey plastic body has blue and yellow markings, most of which are painted well - light colors of paint on a black or dark plastic tend to show flaws more easily, and this is no exception.  The back of the body is virtually undecorated save for one blue and silver design near the bottom of the body - there's not much there.   All of the action is on the front of this one.

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 grey plastic with yellow and blue 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.   It's worth noting that the foot adds an extra swipe of silver, and this wasn't present on the original version of the figure that Hasbro showed us back in 2012.

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

The figure very closely resembles Hasbro's unreleased figure, save for the fact that it uses these newer molds instead - the yellows, reds, and blues are mostly exactly where they were originally.  (Some flourishes were added to the legs.)   So if you are a fan of "lost figures," this one is certainly close enough to that missing astromech to fit the bill.  This figure should go great with the Mace Windu in The Clone Wars armor released around the same time, and I'm pretty pleased to see more figures from the cartoons done up in the "realistic" style.  I'm sure we'll never see everybody done that way - you can thank the cool clones and aliens for that - but at least we have one more to add to the stash.  I'd suggest trying to examine these in person to see if you can find the best paint job, but for all I know this is as good as they get. And that rounds out the first wave of Droid Factory 2015!

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.   The "partner" from the unreleased 2012 wave of figures remains unproduced - that's R5-X2, if anyone is keeping track.  That droid was made by Tomy as an RC figure, but not as a traditional Hasbro action figure just yet.

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,160: May 28, 2015

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,159: R2-Series Astromech Droid White and Yellow


R2-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID White Dome with Yellow 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:  You might think you don't need another R2-Series Astromech Droid - you'd be right - but this one looks really different.   White domes on the rounded R2 model are pretty uncommon, so this one really stands out with its shiny, egg-like form.   (And it looks like more white ones are coming.)   The two-tone black and silver projector pops nicely, as does the red dot under the black eye.   There's really nothing too stand-out-ish here, other than the fact that this is a color combination we've never seen as a toy and unless I'm mistaken, we've never seen this color combo anywhere.   I really appreciate seeing more new dome colors out there, particularly when they really stand out as distinctive takes on popular breakfast foods.   It blends in on a shelf of astromech droids, but alone it stands out as something visually distinctive.  It also doesn't match many of the other bodies too well.

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.

I really like this one because it's so clearly different than the other 100+ droids I've already bought.   I don't have any white droids with round domes that I can recall white droids with the R2-D2 template on a white dome that I can recall, and now I do - so I look forward to seeing what's next, and I hope that these little buggers don't get into the hundreds of varieties.  Because from the look of things, we're getting pretty close.

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

--Adam Pawlus


Day 2,159: May 27, 2015