Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Figure of the Day: Day 24: C-3PO

C-3PO Vintage Original Trilogy Collection
Original Trilogy Collection Vintage Collection
Item No.:
Asst. 85213 No. 85236
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: $9.99
Availability: Fall 2004

Bio: C-3PO (also spelled See-Threepio, called Threepio for short) was a protocol droid—a droid specifically designed to interact with organics. Threepio's TranLang III Communicator module combined with his AA-1 VerboBrain allowed him to be "fluent in over six million forms of communication." He was also equipped with "over thirty secondary functions". C-3PO was generally seen with his counterpart, R2-D2, a small, wheeled astromech droid. His main function as a protocol droid was to assist with etiquette, customs, and translation so that meetings of different cultures ran smoothly. In his time, C-3PO loyally served over forty masters. He hated adventure and space travel, as they often resulted in him coming out on the wrong end of a fight, losing parts, and having them reattached. His motto was, "We're doomed!" (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' Early Bird Kit display. While cheap, the amusement factor of this display base seemingly knows no end.

Commentary: In the history of the modern toy line, few characters incite as much panic as C-3PO. In 1995, he was the 11th of the first 11 POTF2 figures, being shipped long after the "super rare" Princess Leia figure. Both Leia and C-3PO are tough sells today, and in 2004, when Hasbro made this "vintage" version, he was packed at 1 per case and was a real nightmare to find. While he's not dirt cheap, the hype wore off, and people realized they were sold an inferior sculpt with little articulation and, for the eyes at least, questionable deco. The pose for C-3PO is unique and quite interesting, if you look at his profile as he stands, the figure has a fair amount of personality. It's just so hard to get past a mere 5 points of articulation and oddball dots on his eyes which seem to be painted in the wrong location. The silver leg and dirt deco are excellent, and the sculpt, overall, is quite good. It's just that this figure has had greatness before it (regular OTC C-3PO) and right after it (ROTS C-3PO), and with his higher price and lesser articulation, this one just came around at the wrong time. (We at least hoped for removable limbs.)

Collector's Notes: First released in 2004, recent data indicates he will return in a "DVD Pack" gift set at Wal-Mart in September of 2006. This is not confirmed and comes only from early photographs-- Hasbro has swapped out figures on these gift sets before and will no doubt do so again. Aside from that, this figure was only available in this reproduction Empire Strikes Back packaging, and looks better as a carded collectible than it does as a toy. This isn't to say it isn't a decent toy, but the packaging and the packaged figure is nicer to look at than the figure itself.

Day 24: May 30, 2006

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