R2-N3 Royal Starship Droids
Discover the Force Walmart Exclusive Battle Packs
Item No.: Asst. 38606 No. 38608
Includes: R2-D2, R2-R9, R2-B1, display stands, die, cards, droid harness
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: January 2012
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: Astromech droids repair the Naboo Royal Starship. The shield generator and hyperdrive are damaged while escaping the Trade Federation's blockade of Naboo. The droids fix the generator, but the hyperdrive is too badly damaged. The ship is forced to land on the remote world of Tatooine to find a replacement part. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' photo area.
Commentary: For pure story reasons, R2-N3 is the only "new" droid in this set even though he's basically a dead-ringer for R2-A6, a 2006 Entertainment Earth exclusive. I didn't even know the other green droid had a name until I got this figure, and at the time I write this up in early April Wookieepedia didn't even have an entry for him yet. The figure is very similar to R2-A6, except he uses the build-a-droid mold rather than the R4-G9 mold and has a few significant paint changes. The most obvious change is that the eye has a small circle light directly underneath it, and Hasbro neglected to paint one on R2-N3. Another is that his holo projector lacks the gold ring from R2-A6. R2-A6 is more vibrant and has more color on him, but R2-N3 seems to have more paint applications and a crisper sculpt with a much cleaner paint job. Some R2-A6 samples seem to have a tiny bit of color bleed going on.
If R2-N3 had the missing circle under his eye, I'd say he was the better droid. As it is, he's just pretty dang good and a worthy substitute for a missing R2-A6 in your collection.
Collector's Notes: The set was a late arrival and the last time Walmart had late exclusive arrivals, they showed up at clearance stores like Ross or TJ Maxx or Marshalls. As such, if you don't find one at Walmart, don't panic! More have been showing up. The first ones showed up on line in January of 2012 and most people never saw them until at least March if not April... and for all I know you haven't seen them yet either. But as always, with exclusives, patience tends to pay off.