Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Figure of the Day: Day 1,091: C-3PO (Coin Edition)

C-3PO Toys "R" Us Exclusive
Power of the Force Millennium Minted Coins
Item No.:
Asst. 87504 No. 87792
Manufacturer: Kenner
Number: n/a
Includes: Display stand, coin
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Summer 1998
Appearances: Star Wars

Image: Adam Pawlus' couch.

Bio: The Star Wars Mint is officially re-instituted with this limited edition series! New gold-colored coins feature character images from the classic silver-colored coin release-all with brand new reverse-side stampings specially designed for this exclusive commemorative offering. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Commentary: Sometimes Kenner really did a great job, like with this C-3PO. It's so good, that when Hasbro made a "Vintage" figure in 2004 and also reissued this figure on a basic card, it was pretty obvious that this was the better of the two. Aside from some more paint to bring out the eyes, this is really about as good as C-3PO figures got until the 2005 Revenge of the Sith release, and by today's standards this one is still pretty great. The design is based on parts of the Purchase of the Droids C-3PO (1998) and Removable Limbs C-3PO (1998), minus any action features or unique dirt deco. At first it looked like it was just the 1995 figure with new paint, but a ton of tiny sculpting refinements show that Hasbro did a bang-up job in making sure that this was one of the finest and most authentic movie-based C-3POs of its day. Little details, like incorporating the silver shin, definitely helped make this figure stand out against what we saw in the first couple of decades of C-3PO toys.

The coin and premium deco were this figure's selling points, because in its day basic figures were $6 and Hasbro had to do something to justify them. The coin itself was the front of the 1985-era coin with a new reverse side, which unfortunately didn't include any of the biographical information but rather incorporated a fairly generic design with lightsabers and a few words that looks like it could have been cribbed from any crappy fan web site circa 1997. Unlike some of the other figures in this line, the figure was genuinely the reason to make this purchase.

Collector's Notes: The MMC figures were pretty haphazard in their distribution-- some cities had tons of one, but none of another. C-3PO and the Emperor were kinda tough to come by in my neck of the woods. The same C-3PO figure was later reissued on the basic packaging of the Original Trilogy Collection line in 2004, without the coin. It was also used in the Saga-era "Hall of Fame" assortments. My advice to you regarding the purchase of this figure depends entirely on how many C-3PO figures you need. If you can get a cheap OTC one, I'd say that's the way to go.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,091: August 19, 2009

1 comment:

Jerry Cann said...

Yeah, this was the go-to shiny Threepio for many years, with the Purchase of the Droids the choice for a dirty version. I love the Build-A-Droid protocol sculpt: the proportions are fantastic, and the articulation really brings some Anthony Daniels zen to it. I'm really hoping that Hasbro finds a way to give us a Threeps using it.