Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 1,020: R2-D2

R2-D2 Coruscant Sentry
Saga Collection 1 Basic Figures
Item No.:
Asst. 84851 No. 84645
Number: #0214
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Includes: Kouhuns Assassin Centipedes
Action Feature: Push button for lights and sounds
Retail: $4.99
Availability: April 2002
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: The ever-faithful R2-D2 is utilized to guard Senator Padme Amidala. Always resourcful, R2-D2 sounds an alarm when an attempt on her life is made by an assassin droid that inserts kouhuns assassin centipedes into Padme's sleeping chambers. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's back yard.

Commentary: This R2-D2 is one of Hasbro's finest hours in terms of appealing to a wide audience. While its articulation was lacking, it had "Try Me!" packaging-- the first-ever such packaging for a basic Star Wars carded figure-- which invited kids and parents to push the button and hear their favorite little robot beep and light up. This delightful feature is one Hasbro was very proud of, according to a conversation I had with the brand manager folk way back at Celebration II. They have good reason to be proud, it's not every day you can do something to make a 3 3/4-inch action figure stand out as a star in the retail space.

The figure itself is, by collector's standards, nothing special. The dome is not articulated, the third leg doesn't retract, really the main reason to buy it is the two Kouhuns Assassin Centipedes. The beeping is cool, but the 2004 Dagobah and 2005 Revenge of the Sith releases (the latter of which has been in Saga Legends ever since) have better sound effects and a better grade of materials used in their production. This figure is a neat evolutionary step in the tale that is the R2-D2 action figure, so it didn't age particularly well. I won't say "avoid" but prepare to be underwhelmed.

Collector's Notes: The body of this figure was reused to create every electronic beeping R2-D2 that would follow, which actually made for quite a few figures. The 2002 release, pictured here, had a weird white plastic issue which caused a greenish yellow film to cover the figure. This can also be found on various Amidala and Clone Trooper figures in 2002 and 2003, and can be cleaned off with a damp cloth. Usually, anyway. The discoloration is extremely common if you kept the figure in a cool, dark place or in a dusty warehouse.

Day 1,020: May 12, 2009


Ben Carthage said...

The noise and lights features on this toy were so effective I know several people who do not collect toys at all who just fell in love with him and had to have one; almost everyone I knew at the time had one in their cubicle or in the computer room at home.

Jerry Cann said...

Isn't this the same figure as the Electronic Power F/X figure from '97?


Adam16bit said...

Nope-- this has different deco, different electronics, and different "feet" for starters.