2013 Darth Vader Lava Line Look Mission Series Tantive IV
Item No.: Asst. A5228 No. A5234
Includes: R2-D2 figure
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: December 2013
Appearances: Star Wars
Bio: R2-D2 and C-3PO escape from the Rebel ship Tantive IV as it boarded by Darth Vader and Imperial Stormtroopers. The Droids flee the ship in an escape pod that falls to the remote desert planet Tatooine – and puts in motion an adventure that will change the galaxy forever. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam's photo lab.
Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!
Commentary: While I'm generally quite pleased with this particular format, I'd be lying if I said C-3PO met my low expectations. He's slightly less poseable than the 2004 Original Trilogy Collection Vintage take on the figure, which also had five joints. While Hasbro's Mission Series sculpt is way better and gives the droid a ton of personality just standing there, it comes up short as a toy simply because the hip joints are restricted. C-3PO barely can bend a few degrees forward, and can still stand on his own two feet while "completely" bent down. It's pretty unfortunate - Hasbro can do better, and has done better here. As a toy, it's not so great. But as a display piece? This is a winner - just keep an eye on the head deco before opening it.
In my formative years, I often read that R2-D2 and C-3PO were the keys to the saga - the original trilogy is largely told through their eyes, and I read that they would be an important part of the prequels. It's odd that this is the first time the pairing ever got sold as a 2-pack in a non-exclusive format, but here we are. C-3PO's golden paint is similar to the 2010 Vintage version, in that it's not shiny. C-3PO's arms and neck rotate freely, plus he's got a silver right shin. The one place Hasbro has tripped up a lot on this character is his head, as most figures over the years didn't have painted black dots in his eyes - this one does, and some samples are looking up, or down, or in the wrong direction. My sample is nicely centered and while it looks good, it might have looked better had Hasbro elected to use a different color of paint or a different technique to decorate him.
The figure spectacularly fails The Landspeeder Test, and is unable to fit in any vehicle require sitting. Maybe he'll be at home in the AST-5, CAP-2, or PDT-8, but he won't be driving Luke's car or sitting down in the hold of the Millennium Falcon. For diorama fans this may be a great choice - good custom fodder, too. You could have this one stand around Jabba the Hutt and it's a perfect fit. Since the character is usually seen standing and not sitting, I'll guess most people who buy it won't care that he can't sit. As a kid I would frequently put R2-D2 and C-3PO in vehicles together, so C-3PO having the ability to sit and drive around has always been important.
While C-3PO does not meet my low standards for this series, he does stand well and will look good on a shelf, on your desk, or in a playset. The sculpting is good, the deco is fine, it's just that the engineering could use some work. I was under the impression that this line was meant to foster strong connections to the 1978 toy line, which means sitting. Ah well. Perhaps Hasbro will retool him on a future release, or give us a shiny metalized version down the road. I'd be game, but for now this two-pack will probably delight more kids than adult fans.
Collector's Notes: I got this from Entertainment Earth in early December. I have not seen it in stores yet.
Day 2,072: December 31, 2013