Star Tours Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.: No. ???
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
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: 100%-derived Expanded Universe astromechs have been increasingly common since 2006, and this R7-Series Astromech Droid is spawned from a design which first hit plastic back in 2008. The body and dome are similar to Hasbro's R7 droids from that era, but R7 legs were not sold at the Disney theme parks. As such, it's unique in that the coloration is across the board different than what you would've purchased in 2008, which was a black dome with more of a green-tinted yellowish-marked body.
The yellow/orange dome looks great, and it's pretty unique in the world of droid collecting. R5-A2 is somewhat similar in color, and unless I'm forgetting one none of the R2 units have come out with this color yet. (The dome in Yoda's Attack Fighter is sort of close.) I really like how this one pops, the yellow paint surrounding the triangular red eye is fantastic, and the silver lines just sort of fade into the background. Star Wars is not generally known for its bright and chipper colors, with few exceptions, so figures like these are more likely to pop on your shelf than, say, another white-armored trooper. It's unfortunate that the figure is so hard to come by, but I will say it's one I'd probably have shelled out for had I not been able to get one through conventional means, i.e. kicking and screaming and begging and pleading with people who are no doubt scared of the man-child.
Collector's Notes: I checked eBay when I was writing this, and this build was available - bundled with a purple R3 droid - for about $33 shipped. I consider this to be an overwhelmingly reasonable price. The heat seems to be leaving the droids a bit on the secondary market, so if you can get one for $20 delivered (or less) it's a pretty good deal. I know they sell for $12 at Disney World. I realize this isn't cheap. But when you factor in things like a) admission to Disney Hollywood Studios, b) parking at said theme park, and c) travel to that part of Florida, a $10 per figure "convenience fee" is actually not at all bad. If more droids come out in this line, and I hope they don't, I'd be delighted to get away with only having to pay an average of $22 per robot rather than having to network or worse, actually travel to Florida.
Day 2,032: March 28, 2013