R4-I9 Imperial Forces
Saga Toys "R" Us Exclusive
Item No.: No. 26798
Includes: Display stand, additional figures
Action Feature: n/a
Appearances: Star Wars
Bio: R4-I9 was an R4 astromech droid painted a dark blue. It was owned by the Galactic Empire. R4 patrolled the halls of the first Death Star. (Stolen from Wookieepedia. This information is not necessarily correct. Tech the controversy, droid brothers.)
Image: Adam's desk.
Commentary: Is it a Rebel, or an Imperial? With R4-I9, it seems either Hasbro or Lucasfilm screwed up. Basically, there have been enough errors where I'm willing to say that nobody has their story straight on R4-I9 and R4-D6 [FOTD #818]. There have been errors made in either backstory, identification, or perhaps other things too. What you need to know is that both are pretty cool, and the molds used to make each are different.
R4-I9 was made based on the R4-M9 mold from 2002, except it's black and silver now. It looks really great, and is articulated at the dome, the feet, and at the... shoulders? I'm never sure what to call these limbs. Since it was a pre-2004 figure, the body is a little bit taller and thinner, and the details aren't as precise as they were on the new bodies introduced from 2004-2009. So in other words, there's a little room for improvement, but odds are Hasbro won't have a reason to take the current build-a-droid R4-style body and paint it in this color. (But if they do, I'm buying.) The deco is great, the detail is good, but the real question is concerning if this droid belongs to the Rebellion or the Empire. There's room to fudge the facts, and since droids are basically appliances, there's no reason any one droid couldn't appear in pretty much any scenario.
Collector's Notes: The set also includes a Stormtrooper, Darth Vader, and AT-ST Driver. R4-I9 himself was reissued in 2007-2008 as part of the 30th Anniversary Collection line of Saga Legends, and as such can be had for a reasonable price. As far as I can tell the two droids are identical. It's different enough that I suggest you make sure you own a black R4-I9 in your collection. This mold was reused to make several other cone-headed droids over the years up until about 2006.
Day 996: April 8, 2009