Friday, May 15, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,153: R4-Series Astromech Droid Blue (MK II)

R4-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID White Dome with Blue Panels MK II
Star Tours   Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Head, 2 legs, torso, central third leg, optional hat
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $12.99
Availability: April 2015
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.   There were 25 domes in the first 2012 series and 11 domes in the 2015 batch.  While Hasbro had said they didn't design the first batch, they included Hasbro copyrights.  This batch does not - markings read "© DISNEY" and "© LFL" as well as "China" on each leg.

Image: Adam's photo dump.

Commentary:  This R4-Series Astromech Droid was, at first glance, not new.  I was surprised to find out that the pattern painted on the dome was actually new and different from the previous release.   You'll notice that the colors are basically the same, but the blue patterns and shapes are significantly different.  The trapezoids on the left of his "face" are replaced by an "A"-shaped pattern which we've seen on other R4 units.  His head has a nifty pattern on top, rather than a blue hexagon.  Much more color - including some additional silver - has been added to teh backs and sides of his head, as have additional silver markings.  At first glance it looks like more of the same, but with a side-by-side comparison it's a shockingly different figure.   Even the holo emitters are different - the original version has them painted black for the "lens," while the new version is blank silver.  As an added bonus, the lip around the bottom of the dome - previously unpainted - is now decorated blue.

The body of this configuration was retooled.  The lower holes on the R2 body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore.  The body color is roughly the same as R2-D2, but the various panels are decorated differently now.   The side of the body under the arms now has blue stripes.  The hexagon on his left side is now just silver, while the previous version was blue.  A similar change was made to the back of the figure.  The "ladder" on the front of the droid is now silver, having previously been blue.  Also, the panels are sculpted slightly differently - if you put them side-by-side, you'll notice the large rectangles on the sides of the front of the body are different depths than the previous release.

Like the other legs, the new "universal leg" returns here without the wires to make it obvious where the front or the back is.  Silver "toe" panels on the front give it a little personality, but it still lacks the dots and rods on the upper part of the limb and features retooled copyright information to excise any indication of these being Hasbro products.  As such, I say it's debatable if these are Hasbro, Hasbro-compatible, or what.

The central white foot for this (and all the other) colors is now unpainted, while the 2012 batch had silver markings around the bottom of the foot.

Mark II of Blue R4 is textbook "just different enough to make you mad."  The head is different enough to be a can't-miss figure for those of us looking to build a stable of droids and want somethint that, on a shelf with other robots, actually does look just different enough to be obviously different, and not like a variation on R2-D2 where you get a slightly different shade of blue, or the red light on his dome is now blue or something.

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.  This is the only R4 droid in the first 2015 assortment.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,153: May 15, 2015

1 comment:

David W. Carr said...

Thanks for all the detail you provide Adam. This is a lot to stay on top of! MTFBWY.