Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 2,181: R5-Series Astromech Droid Black with Silver and Orange

R5-SERIES ASTROMECH DROID Black Dome with Orange Markings
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: May 2015
Appearances: Return of the Jedi

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 2012 series and 25 domes in the 2015 batch so far.  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 lab.

Commentary:  This figure is essential, because it isn't.   If you're like me you love the idea of the Empire having vast troves of troopers and droids you never got to see, and the R5-Series Astromech Droid plays up the idea of another "off-camera" droid.  It's basically R2-Q5's body with a new dome - and there are quite a few changes from previous black R5 droids, including the 2012 Disney one and R5-J2.   The bodies are all totally different, but the dome is notable in that he has very bright silver eyes, orange panels on his "neck" and on the top of his dome, plus a wild silver border on top of his head.  I don't see this much - OK, ever - and it'll be hidden by the hats.  It's cool, though, and it gives our plastic pal a much brighter disposition.

The body of this configuration was retooled from the pre-2015 editions.  The lower holes on the R2 body were removed, so you can't make a four-armed droid anymore. You'll note that the little boxes in the middle of the body are now painted with silver vents, rather than black with silver outlines.   The black matte plastic body has orange markings, plus a couple of silver boxes for good measure.   It works well with other domes in the collection, of which three.  By and large the paint applications mimic the Hasbro Power of the Jedi R2-Q5.   Other than those vents,  you won't see a difference.

Each leg is new - actually, it's only one leg.   Disney had issues keeping enough matching right and left legs during the 2012 run, so I'm sort of happy that they found a clever solution to the issue.  This pair of legs is black plastic with silver markings where the toe wires used to be present.

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

Because it's new enough - for droids, a new dome is enough to get me excited - I like this one.  There's really no reason to skip it unless you're experiencing droid rage.   It's different enough from previous models to be compelling, while also totally fitting in with the army you've built.  Get one, you're worth it.

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

--Adam Pawlus

Day 2,181: August 25, 2015

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