R2-A6 Astromech Droid Pack Series II
The Saga Collection Entertainment Earth Exclusive
Item No.: Asst. 87055 No. 87057
Action Feature: Twist dome to extend or retract third leg
Availability: January 2006
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: Assists fighter pilot Ric Olié during the Battle of Naboo. (Taken from the figure's box.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' carpet.
Commentary: The droid R2-A6 held the distinction of being one of very few figures released by Hasbro as a 12-inch figure and then not being made as a 3 3/4-inch figure almost immediately. Bespin Luke came out about a year before his smaller counterpart, but R2-A6 saw release in the larger scale in 1999. The smaller figure wouldn't be made until 7 years later, and that's because it was requested by an online store's goofy new employee as a part of an exclusive set. (Which is awesome that it turned out OK.) Of all the astromechs in the exclusive boxed sets, this is one of about three that I'd say turned out as good as or far, far better than I could have hoped for. It isn't my favorite, but I can't argue with quality. There are so many tiny details on this figure that don't appear on other repaints of R4-G9 that it's really quite stunning. Around his holographic projector, there's a gold line. His big eye is painted black, and despite being the same colored plastic, Hasbro actually took the time to paint the center circle on the top of his dome green as to match the other panels. (Often, they leave it black.) There's a big yellow dot on the back of his head, and his non-vac metal silver dome looks gorgeous. Really, this R2-A6 is everything I want in an R2-D2 but I still haven't got it. Since the figure is form Naboo, it's appropriately clean, the paint colors are sharp and vibrant, and the white parts are pretty gosh darned white. Usually I can find a nit to pick or some detail I'd like to have seen done better, but here, I can't say that would be true. Hasbro nailed it, and as such, I can't say anything bad about it. Other than it belongs to Ric Olie, the other balding space pilot from the Star Wars saga.
Collector's Notes: Sold out, not yet reissued, and not expected to be. There's really no good reason to put this guy out again unless Hasbro comes up with a Naboo fighter with a droid socket or something. (They won't, I'm just saying.) The larger R2-A6 holds the distinction of being the only R2 unit other than Hasbro to be made in the larger size. (R5-D4 being the only other astromech made in that scale.) Interestingly, the large R2-A6 has a vac-metal dome, a feature the larger R2-D2s do not. The little guy now goes for about $10 on eBay if you can find it.
Day 961: February 18, 2009