The Vintage Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.: No. F7789
Includes: Scope can be removed
Action Feature: Pop-up scope, retracting third leg
Availability: October 2022
Appearances: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Bio: R2-SHW was an R2 series astromech droid that served in the Alliance to Restore the Republic during the Galactic Civil War against the Galactic Empire. In 0 BBY, it flew in a T-65B X-wing starfighter with General Antoc Merrick, the leader of Blue Squadron, during the Battle of Scarif, in which the Alliance engaged the Empire above the planet Scarif in order to try and steal the plans to the Death Star superweapon. (Stolen from Wookieepedia. There is no on-pack bio.)
Image: Adam's photo lab.
Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!
Click here to buy it at Amazon now!
A figure like this has very little that it needs to do. You and I will no doubt depart opinions here, reader, but R2-SHW need only be a plug for an X-Wing's socket. The utterly stunning paint job on Antock Merrick's X-Wing demanded a droid, and if Hasbro gave us the simple 3-jointed R2-D2 mold in these colors and just plopped it in as a freebie (it was a $5.99 mol) I assume most fans would be satisfied - this isn't a figure that needs ankle joints or a third leg, but we get them. And a sensorscope, and an opening datalink arm thing. And wheels. And ankles. It is surplus to requirements, and a great metaphor for where we are now. These are no longer toys, but preemptive answers to hypothetical complaints fans will have that it wasn't even more tricked-out. And the funny thing is, the figure may suffer slightly for it.
They did a decent job here, and as far as I can tell this is the first any only full-body reference for the previously nameless character made to the public - so I assume it's right. Modelers seemed to guess on the color based on some comments they red somewhere, so we may be looking at a situations where fans influenced the final product. (It's happened before in some other lines when someone's DeviantArt page gets accidentally used for a deco sheet. If you see me in person, ask me about it.)
It is hard to not be cynical since Hasbro has now raised exclusive (and shared exclusive) retail price over basic figures. This figure started life in late 2010 as a $10 R2-D2 toy with a drink rack, a lightsaber hilt, removable drinkware, and a drink dispenser. It was a small figure for the price, but the gear made up for it - now Hasbro removed the gear and marked it up 170%. While I am interested in having this specific droid, and they did a good job making a repaint of a character nobody really saw on-screen, but it hurts to be charged more for less figure. This is the kind of thing we used to get as wave filler when it came time for an annual repaint wave, and that sort of thing - at a regular price - was exciting and fun. We just got this mold as the Droids cartoon deco R2-D2 - with a big metal coin! - for $1 less as a Target exclusive. Rogue One fans will no doubt want this, as will droid junkies, but I can't say I feel good about what it costs.
Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.
Day 2,974: November 3, 2022