Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,155: R2-Series Astromech Droid Silver and Blue MK II (not R2-D2)

R2-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Silver Dome with Blue Panels MK II, a.k.a. R2-D2
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: Many

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 R2-Series Astromech Droid is why you're probably here - you wouldn't care about R2-D2 repaints if you didn't love R2-D2, and for all intents and purposes this figure is R2-D2.  It's not even the first R2-D2 on the build-a-droid chassis - by my count there are at least 3 now - but this one has a slightly different shade of blue and some newly tooled parts.  The dome is the same form we're used to (or the changes are minor enough), with a bunch of subtle deco changes.  The blue is now more metallic, the red dot is moved a bit, the little boxes on the front are now outlined in blue, but it really gets interesting on the back.  Compared to the previous Disney model (pictured here) you'll see the 2015 version has a red dot on the back as opposed to the 2012 one's yellow, plus a little detail on the side is boxed around rather than filled in.  Minor stuff - but it is worth noting as yet another minor difference for the dome for those of you who really do want everything.  And now let's recycle more of a previous review.

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.

You don't need this figure.   You do not need this figure.  But maybe you love droids, and like me you're going to buy any new build-a-droid parts just because.   It's not different enough to warrant your attention in most cases, but if you see every droid change as a worthwhile addition to your stable you know you need it - which is sort of frustrating.   I see droids like clones - a difference is worthy of another purchase - but unless you see unique lights or changes to the blue as "different" you can probably just be happy with the 2012 Walmart gift set version or the 2012 Disney release.

Collector's Notes: I got this from my pal Shannon who was cool enough to get me a set from Disneyland.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,155: May 20, 2015

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