Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,865: R5-D4

R5-D4 Droid Set
The Vintage Collection  Target Exclusive Special Action Figures Set
Item No.:
Asst. 32976 No. 32976
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Death Star Droid, Power Droid
Action Feature: Pop-up bad motivator, removable third leg
Retail: $14.99, $24.99, $26.99, other (varies)
Availability: July 2012
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: These three, together with R2-D2, were captured and transported by the Jawas in the sandcrawler across the Tatooine Desert. R5-D4 was originally purchased by Luke. The power droid was first seen in the sand crawler dungeon together with a gleaming silver Death Star Droid.  (Taken from the set's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' photo area.

Commentary: This was one I was waffling on including, but I did because R5-D4, despite being a repack of a 2006 figure (which used the "vintage" R2-D2 body and has the working bad motivator) was painted just sharply enough to say that it was a noticeable improvement.  At first glance it's very similar to The Saga Collection release, as it comes from the same basic tooling.  If you get in a little closer, though, you can see how the eyes and silver parts are painted.  The 2006 release was smudgey and had some slop around it, specifically on the silver parts.  You might not even notice the difference unless you have them side-by-side, but it was one of the first things I noted when I got this new version in my hand.  It's striking how much cleaner it is, but if you didn't collect the 2006 line you probably don't care.

While still not a 100% perfect miniaturized version of the movie prop, it's definitely improved.  A blue "stripe" just below the silver ring on his neck would be great, and I'm not 100% sure if the back of the figure is accurate but then again, I don't much care as much.  (If Hasbro leaves off a paint app on the back of a figure I wouldn't even realize was missing to save a few cents, I'll live.)  Still, it's good, the level of deco precision is hugely improved, and that makes this figure arguably worth the purchase-- especially for variation hunters.   As far as I'm concerned, I'll buy pretty much any R2-D2 or astromech droid with a significant change with a smile, since this was sold in a 3-pack with the MB-RA7 I wanted a duplicate of and a new mold Power Droid, I was all set.  For $15, this set is a droid lover's dream.  For $20, it's not bad.  For $25 or more... wait for a sale.

Collector's Notes:  The "Droid Set" and "Villain Set" actually started appearing at Target stores before Hasbro officially announced them in July of 2012.  The kicker was that the announcement said they would be available in October, which, obviously, isn't quite accurate.  You can find a video review I did of all 3 figures below, or Mike's Galactic Hunter review here.  Once more, the Power Droid is new, the Death Star Droid is a repack of the build-a-droid from 2008, and R5-D4 here is a hugely improved redeco.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,865: August 7, 2012


pursuit agent said...

Yeah, it's missing the red panels on the back. Just like every Hasbro version. When even Kenner got it right on their original figure, you know someone is being lazy on the research...

H-Bomb said...

I like this version (although I'm not sure how I feel about the glued-in panel from the VOTC R2 versus them just using the body from the B.A.D. and "Vintage" R5), and honestly the missing red paint on the panels on the back don't bother me much...not like missing holster thigh-straps on Han Solo figures does anyway. This set is a winner, along with the "Villains" set with Snaggletooth (miscolored ankle joints and all). While I would like to see all the original Kenner characters and a few never-released ones done on actual "Vintage" cards, I would be fine to see the "Vintage" line ultimately condense to these 3-packs...so long as they keep repacks-with-new-molds to a minimum.