Episode I Royal Starship
Item No.: No. 84146
Includes: Giant freaking vehicle
Action Feature: Light-up projector
Availability: Fall 1999
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: R2-R9 was an R2-series astromech droid. This droid, along with most other astromech droids on Queen Padmé Amidala's ship, was destroyed when it tried to fix the deflector shield generator while escaping the Trade Federation blockade of Naboo. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)
Image: Adam's desk.
Commentary: Some fans liked the fact that the (at the time) biggest-ever new vehicle in the modern line included an exclusive and then-nameless Astromech Droid later called "R2-R9." Some loved the fact Hasbro had a brand new droid sculpt that really was miles ahead of the previous R2-D2 toys. Others were annoyed that you had to pay $100 to get it. Both were right. This figure was the first-ever "super articulated" astromech that wasn't R2-D2. He had a retractable third leg, all three jointed ankles, and moving shoulders in addition to the swivel dome without any action features to muck up its appearance. Even better, it had a light-up projector, rather than a light-up eye, making it more authentic than pretty much any figure to follow in that capacity. I was enamored by the fact that Hasbro actually made an R2 unit with a big black eye for once, so this was a fast favorite for me. Heck, I still dig it, even though better sculpts have been made and the character/appliance has been one-upped. He's still cute.
Collector's Notes: This mold, in the state used here, was never reused or repainted. This droid was remade using different molds later on, but this particular version is unique. The droid isn't really worth a high price, but if you want one by itself it should set you back about $15-$20. The entire vehicle, with the droid, is closer to $100. I suggest getting the whole thing if you bother at all. It's interesting that this is similar to the going rate in 1999-- the ship was $100 and people sold just the droid for $20. It's actually somewhat disappointing.
Day 1,388: October 8, 2010