Thursday, May 17, 2007

Figure of the Day: Day 376: Battle Droid

BATTLE DROID C-3PO with Droid Factory Assembly Line
Saga Deluxe Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 84859 No. 84899
Number: n/a
Includes: Blaster, removable limbs, assembly line, C-3PO figure
Action Feature: Use accessories and magnet in head to "swap" droid heads!
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Spring 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: Departing Tatooine on his first adventure, C-3PO joins Anakin, Padme, and his new counterpart R2-D2 on a rescue mission to save Obi-Wan Kenobi. The worrisome droid gets into trouble while helping them investigate a mysterious droid assembly plant. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' TV trays.

Commentary: Is it good? Is it bad? Fans argue about this Battle Droid a lot. Originally, it wasn't meant to be a stand-alone figure, but part of a "Droid Factory" deluxe figure set with C-3PO where you could swap all of their parts-- in short, it was a fun toy. It included a crane with magnets on it so you could "remove" and "swap" their heads to result in the robotic chaos you saw at the end of Attack of the Clones. This droid itself was a brand-new mold at the time, with only five points of articulation, but lots of removable parts-- you can pop off his head, arms, legs, and backpack and stick any or all of them on the C-3PO torso. In short, it's a toy first and a collectible second.

If you need ball joints, scores of articulation, and battle-damage, this is not a figure for you. But if you don't, this is a great figure-- at the time, it was also the very best Episode II C-3PO, and technically still is since the only "better" one was this figure modified only slightly. But I digress, we're talking about the Battle Droid here. It's a good figure, will stand up and not topple over due to gravity, has a "blast effect" for its gun, and the gun can plug into its backpack. While the Episode I Battle Droid mold is my favorite, this one ranks in at #2 just because it doesn't feel too rubbery or topple over due to its cruel mistress, gravity. Plus its Droid Factory display base is really cool. This is part of one of the best Deluxe figures Hasbro has ever done, so why not pick it up when you see it next time?

Collector's Notes: Bits and pieces of this figure were reused later, and this figure was also modified for later releases-- for example, only the first release (seen above) had the magnet in his head. After the 2-pack, in 2006, Hasbro re-released the C-3PO with the head and backpack (and gun) of this figure. Later in 2006, Hasbro released two of these figures in a pack, but in "Kashyyyk" deco. In 2007, Hasbro will release the same 2-pack in new colors, like tan, maroon, and in various degrees of battle damage. The original deluxe 2-pack wasn't a strong seller, though, and I picked up a few at a grocery store on clearance for $2 each just because I wanted more Battle Droids. As such, you can assume correctly that I like this figure. On the secondary market, this droid and C-3PO and the whole package is worth about $1-$7, meaning it's worth LESS than original retail. This is disgusting when you consider that the C-3PO from this set with a Battle Droid head and backpack sold for $7 under The Saga Collection and will again sell for $7 under Saga Legends. Fans are much better served by buying older figures from eBay than reissues in times like this.

Day 376: May 17, 2007

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