Monday, March 11, 2013

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,019: Blue R8-Series Astromech Droid

R8-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Blue Dome with Silver Panels
Star Tours Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
No. ???
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $10-$12
Availability: 2012
Appearances: n/a

Bio: These figures do not have specific packaging or configurations.  As such, we will be treating each dome as a unique "figure" as that part is the most plentiful.   At this time there are 25 domes and while Hasbro sometimes seems to indicate they are not Hasbro product, they do have Hasbro copyright markings and as such we are classifying them under the Hasbro banner.

Image: Adam's photo hole.

Commentary: I'm not sure exactly when Star Wars action figure collecting went from a pleasant weekend hobby to a nigh-impenetrable mega-collection requiring a Sherpa and several thousand dollars to wade through an average year, but here we are.  The bad thing about a line this big is that about 50% of it is probably skippable, which you did not know when you made many purchases.  The good news is that Hasbro and its partners really cranked out some weird and awesome stuff like the Blue R8-Series Astromech Droid, another theme park exclusive available at Disney Hollywood Studios because screw you and your love of this hobby.

Applying Mr. Potato Head science to a galaxy far, far away was a fantastic idea that should never, ever have been executed because (at least this is my hunch) it's irritating about as many people as it delights.  Believe it or not, I actually am of the school that any and all newly manufactured action figures should probably be pretty common at least for a little while, because I get no kick out of owning a figure that you can't ever hope to find.  The $100 Disney cover charge stings too, but dagnabbit this is a nice figure.  The dark blue plastic body can be used for several droids, but it looks particularly lovely with this eyeless R8 dome. The yellow sensor and the silver panels pop nicely, as do baby blue lights off to the sides.  The silver color seems a little off, perhaps it would have looked more retro in a basic white.  (The black and white R8 dome looks particularly 1970s.)

This chipper little fellow looks wonderful and has typical Droid Factory/Build-A-Droid articulation with movement at 5 points.  The paint is applied mostly quite nicely, silver seems to be tough to do well and over time tends to be one of the paints that is likely to rub off easily, so be careful when you get yours.   Should fate smile on you and afford you a chance to buy one, do so.  It's a fun little figure.

Collector's Notes: As this figure is assembled at Disney Hollywood Studios (pending part availability) it's tough to say if you can hope to get one easily, samples on eBay go for $30 or so.  I realize I'm a real grouch when it comes to this concept, and it's in part because I have to assume more money could have been made making these a retailer exclusive, or perhaps a blind-packaged figure in the Easter section at Target, or some other, third thing.  Good day.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,019: March 11, 2013

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

According to wookieepedia, the R8 unit has the same body as the R7. I think that is why the R7 and R8 domes each came in yellow, blue and black, to match the yellow, blue and black R7 style torsos.