Friday, August 1, 2008

Figure of the Day: Day 818: R4-D6

R4-D6 Astromech Droid
The Legacy Collection Droid Factory
Item No.:
Asst. 87730
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a, parts are accessories which come with other figures
Action Feature: Collect the parts to build R4-D6
Retail: n/a
Availability: July 2008
Appearances: Star Wars

Image: Adam Pawlus' toy shelves.

Bio: R4-D6 was an R4 astromech droid painted a dark blue. It was owned by the Galactic Empire. R4 patrolled the halls of the first Death Star. (This is actually the bio for R4-I9 as seen on Wookieepedia.)

Commentary: For years, fans have been asking Hasbro to make a build-a-figure. For years, fans have been asking for more droids. Today, both requests have been answered with R4-D6, one of the first two mass-release build-a-droid action figures. This makes these figures unique, because, well, you can't actually buy this figure in any complete state except from fans who have put it together themselves. At press time you can't buy it whole in any way, so the only way you'll ever see a complete one in person is at a convention display, at a friend's, or in your own collection if you open your figures. If not, consider yourself hosed.

So once you put it together, just how is it? Mostly excellent. Hasbro thought about this as not just a project to assemble, but as a construction toy. Under the dome is a bunch of bits and pieces which, if you used a clear dome, could be clearly visible. The third leg doesn't have any weird tabs to rub off over time, and it slides out easily. Each side leg has an articulated foot, and the wires like we've seen on every droid since R4-G9 and the vintage R2-D2 became the basis for all new astromech droid action figures. In short, this guy is going to fit right in with the best of the best. The one strange thing is that there are large gaps between the legs and the body. I assume this is so it's easier to remove the limbs, but visually, it's a little funky.

The coloring is good, the completed figure is sturdy, and has a variety of sockets so you can goof around and make your own weird robots. For example, there are additional holes on the body so you can add arms and/or legs. Take a look at some pictures involving droids you can make using the parts used to create this very figure. It's a lot of fun, I must say, and it makes me wish I'd end up with tons of extra parts and pieces of each droid to make my own creations. Sadly, Hasbro seems interested in phasing out parts with every wave, turning these into collectibles rather than another great plaything. It's a shame, as this is a fun toy.

Collector's Notes: First up, let's talk naming. According to numerous resources, the dark blue droid with the deco of the build-a-figure profiled above is named R4-I9. I'm not entirely clear where (or if) the all-black R4 unit appears in the movies. So in a way, this figure is the real R4-I9, but it's called R4-D6. (Sort of like how R2-D1 and R2-D3 were renamed R2-M5 and R2-C4.) As such, I'm about 99% sure that this figure exists mostly to correct an error from a few years ago, but that almost doesn't matter since the name of the toys tends to trump the names in the print materials. During the development of the Astromech Droid Pack Exclusives, it turned out that the names of the droids were, in fact, not set in stone. Despite numerous robots having established names in print approved by LucasFilm, new ones were invented for these robot packs. As such, it's entirely possible droids, like this one, are part of a snowballing naming inconsistency issue.

Assembly Notes: These are the parts you need and, at press time, the figures you need to get them:
Dome & center leg: Battle-Damaged Darth Vader #GH3, Chewbacca #BD3, Imperial Evo Trooper #GH4
Body: Imperial Evo Trooper #GH4, Leektar & Nippet #BD4
Left leg: Han Solo #BD1, Kashyyyk Trooper #GH2, Commander Gree #GH1
Right leg: Kashyyyk Trooper #GH2, Luke Skywalker #BD2

--Adam Pawlus

Day 818: August 1, 2008


Philip Ayres said...

You can't really go wrong with Astronmechs.

Now if they put one of each of the bodies - R2 etc and R7, one of each of the domes - R2, R3, R4, R5, R6 & R7, a centrol leg and 2 pairs of side legs - with and without boosters - out in a pack I'd buy them.

They could repaint ad nauseum and I'd still buy them

Sean W. said...

If you read the rest of the article on R4-I9 on Wookiepedia it says an identical droid appears in the hangar on Yavin. The specific scene is where Luke is urging Han to stay and fight. Maybe that is who R4-D6 is; one of teh numerous droids in the hangar. That is where I plan on putting him.