Monday, July 24, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 79: R2-D2

R2-D2 Naboo Escape
Power of the Jedi Collection 1
Item No.:
Asst. 84445 No. 84259
Number: n/a
Includes: Force File
Action Feature: Rolls on wheels under the feet
Retail: $6.99
Availability: Summer 2000
Appearances: Everything, more or less

Bio: R2-D2 is a heroic, tenacious and extremely well-built astromech droid. Owned by the Royal House of Naboo, R2-D2 has been assigned to the Queen's Royal Starship because of his outstanding performance record. (Taken from the figure's Force File.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelf.

Commentary: When he first came out, this version of R2-D2, despite his lack of articulation, was considered to be the new favorite. He had the best sculpt, no weird "blue eye", no action features, and by and large he's still one of the best looking. His only articulation can be found at his dome and legs, so three joints aren't exactly a big improvement-- but he looks great! Look at that battle damage! And check out the proportions-- and the lack of chrome! In its day, this figure was one of the best, but it would eventually be trumped (in principle) by the Vintage edition in 2004-- although there's still a few fans that would say there's still room for improvement, and that room can be had with a redeco of the R4-G9 mold. But I digress. This figure is great in that it has wheels but by and large, as toys go, he's been lapped by subsequent R2-D2 figures. So at this point, we're sad to say unless you collect them all, you can pass on this one unless you want R2-D2 with no light-up features, in which case this one is the absolute best overall.

Collector's Notes: This figure was reissued a few times, albeit with a variation. In 2003, he was recarded on the blue Saga Collection without the battle damage, and in 2004, as part of the Original Trilogy Collection. He was almost the R2-D2 packaged with the Early Bird Kit in 2005, as early prototypes shipped with the "clean" version of this mold for some reason. He's quite easy to get, though, and for fans of R2-D2 who want them all, this is one well worth tracking down as it's simple and nicely done. Also notable: this figure was released in 2000, and Hasbro didn't release another new R2-D2 until 2002 for Attack of the Clones, which itself was a retooled POTF2 figure. The next all-new sculpt R2-D2 would be the questionable Droid Factory Flight version released in the beginning of 2003. For those keeping score, this means 2001 came and went with no R2-D2 figure in circulation except for the odd leftovers of this release.

Day 79: July 24, 2006

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