Thursday, July 13, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,046: R2-D2 (The Retro Collection)

 R2-D2 (Kenner Style)

The Retro Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure Shop Disney / Hasbro Pulse Exclusive Set
Item No.:
Asst. F7649 No. F7649
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: n/a
Includes: Jawa, Tusken Raider, C-3PO, Death Squad Commander, Obi-Wan Kenobi
Action Feature: Clicky dome
Retail: $69.99
Availability: May 2023
Appearances: Star Wars

Bio: The Star Wars Retro Collection features design and detailing inspired by the original 1970s Star Wars figures and eatures original figure design and detailing! Continue your collection from a galaxy far, far away. (Stolen from the marketing copy. Packaging has no bio.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Amazon now! 

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Commentary: You can't turn back the clock - even a well-preserved figure may flake, or yellow, like my original R2-D2 which I've kept in a dark closet for years but still seems to have aged a bit. But the new one, for now, is perfect. The chrome is so shiny, the sticker is so white, everything about him is absolutely perfect. Now that this mold exists, I have to wonder if we'll get his pop-up lightsaber or sensorscope variants. Or R5-D4. Or some repaints we never got in the 1980s.

Since this was a popular figure, older fans had one and it probably showed a fair amount of wear and tear. That's why you need this new one, even though it's goofy. This R2-D2 has one big blue eye instead of a black eye with a blue square around it. The various lights look like a knock-off of the real design, with lights and panels that look a lot like he did in the movies - but also, if Remco put it out as Droidy McDroidface, I think you could make a case for the dome being legally distinct. But not the body. R2-D2 has two legs that look fairly close to what you saw on screen, if simplified, and no third leg. This means you flipped him over and pretended he was a cannon when you were a child.

The sculpt is a little different, but it looks as good or better than the original. The blue chrome paint is perfect, and the panels seem sharper. The leg detail might be softer, but it didn't seem so to me. With only three joints he's clearly overpriced, but it's cheaper than buying an original. With a clicking chrome dome and rotating legs, it's perfect - and you can't beat perfect. I love that he comes with C-3PO in the same package, because you're going to want both. The unique form really exemplifies what Kenner was doing back then - pretty good figures, off-model.

Now that Hasbro released the original, I'd love to see them do variations on it - for example, a retooled dome that maybe took inspiration from the 12-inch Kenner R2-D2, or an added third leg like we got from the Droid Factory or Stan Solo's range. I'd even love to see a new "retro" X-Wing with a working R2-D2 socket, since the only original ship to have one was the Return of the Jedi Y-Wing Fighter. But that's not why we're here - we're here to talk about the blue-eyed, bald-spot, off-model dome that was R2-D2 to kids of the original Star Wars generation. It's the real deal, even if it looks like it was made by someone who only tangentially saw the movie.

I know this figure is probably not going to hold up to time - I've seen what happened to my originals over the years. But it's nice to have a perfect one right now, especially for a price that doesn't make me cringe. I hope Hasbro considers reissuing this R2-D2 to mass retail as a single figure, as I assume they could sell a lot more of them. You'd buy it. It's great. Don't miss this set.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Hasbro Pulse.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,046: July 13, 2023

1 comment:

Mark2d2 said...

I really was pleased with how well this Retro Figure came out. He and Threepio were both worth the wait. I am also highly amused by the familiar droid face that popped up in the recent trailer.