R-3PO Wal-Mart Exclusive
30th Anniversary Collection Droid Factory
Item No.: Asst. 12980 No. 87816
Number: 3 of 6
Includes: Han Solo, piece of C-3PX
Action Feature: Removable goggles fit on eyes, hat
Availability: May 2008
Appearances: The Empire Strikes Back
Bio: The Alliance's command center on Hoth includes the diverse tactical expertise of the impetuous Han Solo and the protocol droid R-3PO. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)
Image: Adam's toy room.
Commentary: While Hasbro went all-out making new astromech droids starting in 2008, it seemed protocol droids were slated for a few retreads along the way. Straight-up repaints of C-3PO have been exceedingly rare since the modern line kicked off in 1995, so getting a second take on R-3PO was something of a surprise. This version was based on the 2006 C-3PO Endor Throne mold, minus the accessories. Molded in red plastic with a dark wash, the figure has about 8 meaningful points of articulation which makes him a little stiff-- appropriate for the type of character. His hands aren't designed to hold anything, and personally, I prefer the even stiffer 2004 release's paint job and sculpt, but each is good for slightly different reasons. I'll take any droid repaints I can get, and since the 2008 R-3PO (pictured) is redder than the 2004 one, they're practically different characters.
This figure is brighter, with yellower eyes and less paint on the arms, making it a more vibrant, more articulated release. The other more muted one seems more at home on Hoth, but both are good for different reasons. I mean, we can never get enough protocol droids right? They could crank out yellow or blue ones and I'd be all over it.
Collector's Notes: These sets are still pretty reasonably priced, and I'd suggest picking them all up just to get C-3PX. The other Droids, Jedi, and other figures are a lovely bonus.