Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 1,396: R2-D2

R2-D2 Arena Battle
The Legacy Collection Target Exclusive Geonosis Arena Packs 2010
Item No.:
Asst. 97645 No. 97652
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: 6 of 6
Includes: C-3PO figure
Action Feature: Pop-out claw arm, tow cable behind figure, light-up clear eye
Retail: $12.99
Availability: Ocotber 2010
Appearances: Attack of the Clones

Bio: The Jedi Knights rush to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, Anakin, and Padme from execution. The Jedi brandish their lightsabers against the Geonosian warriors and the massive army of battle droids, super battle droids, and droidekas. All hope seems lost that any Jedi will survive this battle, then Yoda arrives with an army of clone troopers. Although many Jedi are lost that day, others survive this climactic battle that ushers in the Clone Wars. (Taken from the figure's packaging.)

Image: Adam Pawlus' kitchen.

Commentary: I thought this R2-D2 was the new smaller size, but it turns out it's a heavily modified "vintage" mold as far as I can tell. The removable third leg and original arms are the same as the 2004 release, but the body and dome have seen some reworking. The figure is covered in a light dusting of rust-colored Geonosis dirt, but aside from that looks like most R2-D2s on the market. The head swivels and can "reel in" a hook from the back of the figure which you can tie around C-3PO's head to drag it around. In the front, there's a new panel that opens on the right to reveal a different claw arm than you've expected. In short, this figure feels like a movie version of the 2008 animated-style The Clone Wars R2-D2 action figure, but with fewer accessories.

Two particularly notable details on the head are the lack of a periscope and the heavily changed deco. No longer is it chrome but, like the 2009 Sandcrawler R2-D2, this one has brushed silver. His head doesn't have a red light but rather a blue one, and the central eye is, oddly, clear. At first I thought it might be a light-up mechanism or something, but it's just a botched light-up eye port design. Clear plastic doesn't look good and I really have no idea why Hasbro elected to use it.

R2-D2's body has been heavily modified, with a highly detailed compartment on his back to house the hook and a lightly detailed one on the front. Both have a bunch of silver "stuff" in there which resembles panels, wires, bolts, and what have you which does add a little more oomph to the figure. One detail on the body that bothers me a little is that it seems the two blue designs right under his head are spaced further apart than usual. Just a smidgen-- like a millimeter or two-- but it does give it a slightly different look. Hasbro's track record with Attack of the Clones-specific R2-D2s since 2003 have been wonky, but this one is an improvement. While not perfect, it's quite good, and fun to mess with-- had that central eye been blue or black, I'd probably rate this one much more highly, but it isn't necessarily any better looking than any R2-D2 already on the market, and the animated one has more features. Still, it's nice, and the companion C-3PO figure is also really slick.

Collector's Notes: The 2009 sets sat around for about a year. It's unlikely the 2010 sets will too, but well, history says you don't need rush to get these. An all-new R2-D2 body will be showing up any week now based on Return of the Jedi so you may not want to jump on this one unless you, like me, wanted the new C-3PO really badly.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 1,396: October 20, 2010


The Busy Jedi said...

I really had to have the Threepio as well. I was really actually quite surprised that the Artoo had so much new tooling done to him. I can't say I'm completely disappointed with it, but some of the details, like the eye port and the colour of the processor indicator light, kinda make you wonder what was going on at Hasbro when they were finalising the design. Still, this was really the only set I wanted and I'm glad I got it. The Artoo is fun and the Threepio is AMAZING!!

Jerry Cann said...

To be fair, that indicator light alternates between blue and red, so it's not really inaccurate.

Philip Ayres said...

I'm still waiting for a decent R2D2 using the mould introduced for the ROTS R4 units