Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,079: R4 Droid (Advent Calendar 2022)

R4 DROID Droid Cosplay
Star Wars Droid Factory
Item No.:
Manufacturer: Disney
Number: n/a
Includes: Silver BB droid, Nutcracker R5 droid, Gold R4 droid, Giftwrapped Power Droid with bow, Elf R6 Droid with hat, C1 Drpod
Action Feature: Comes apart
Retail: $69.99
Availability: August 2022
Appearances: n/a   

Bio: All different types of astromech droid populate the Star Wars galaxy. Each droid is different and has their own unique personality and colors. Open up the Sandcrawler to reveal and build 6 new droids to celebrate along with them for 25 days this season. May the Force be with you... and your droids!" This droid is optimized to function in the sparsely settled, unspoiled frontier world of Vandor. Join R6-SNO on their adventures throughout the galaxy! (Taken from the packaging. Yes, the one quotation mark and reference to R6-SNO, who is not included, was on the box in three languages.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Commentary: Life is confusing when you're not sure if you're in on the joke. This Advent Calendar R4 Droid came out last year (and returned this year) with no name on the box or its web site - it's just called "R4." They make special mention to not name-check Christmas, as some companies are known to do to broaden the potential sales audience. Many of these are sly nods to various stories and tales from pop culture surrounding the holiday, with designs that evoke elves and nutcrackers and more. But this one? I don't get it. I also went looking at other reviews, which all seemed to go out of their way to not identify what this was. So what is it? I don't know, but I like it.

At first the colors reminded me of B-R72, a hulking yellow beast with claw hands and a massive head - but it's not bright yellow, our R4 friend is more gold. It sort of looks like a DHL mascot, but it's not, and there's a red equals sign on the dome plus metallic red highlights. And silver highlights. One commenter said it might be a golden bell with ribbons, but I don't think I buy it. It' weird posting thousands of toy reviews and picking up something that I recognize - a Star Wars droid - clearly formulated to be a joke of some sort, and I don't get the joke. Is it based on some British holiday tradition I don't know? A snack treat? I have no idea, but the color layout is unique with lots of big red panels. It's not gingerbread, but I guess it could be a riff on those ball ornaments that come in metallic colors. I swear this isn't a troll for comments, but does anyone know what they were gunning for here? "Ornament" seems to be a cop-out answer, but it worked for Rung.

If Hasbro or Disney or Lucasfilm dropped this in a scene somewhere, you'd probably not immediately think it's a holiday tie-in. Or at least, I wouldn't - I would totally believe some Republic senator might have a gold and silver robot with red highlights to bling out and show off. There's a big black eye, plus silver soles. It's a nice design and I suppose it would look great under a miniature tree, or by a gingerbread house, or in Jabba's Palace. He doesn't not belong there, right?

At $70 you get 6 droids in a box - that's about $12 each, or just under before taxes. It is not an amazing deal, but a single robot is $15 now, which is a less amazing deal. If you like all the designs I think you can grit your teeth and say that it's worth it. I personally had issues spending $28 per 6-inch Hasbro Holiday The Black Series figure because it adds up too quickly all at once, and $70 for a bunch of robots - some of which aren't really all that Christmas or Winter Holiday-specific - I can live with that. Or rather, my ignorance allows me to live with that. This set isn't really essential at all, but the gimmick is fun and I like droids that don't cost me a lot of money. And that's a big part of it now - am I getting my money's worth, or is someone trying to make me think "more expensive" means "value" in some sort of way that isn't how words work? I think Disney did a fairly good item at a fairly good price here, and I like it enough - despite being confused by it - to recommend it to anyone who doesn't want to avoid things like an elf robot. I admit my sense of whimsy is bent at this age.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from some guy on eBay for a lower price!

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,079: November 7, 2023


Jeff L. said...

Great review, as always. Just wanted to share you are missing a part that helps explain what the droid is supposed to look like!

The droid should come with a ribbon accessory that fits into its head. When the ribbon is on, it looks like a vintage golden bell ornament you'd hang on a christmas tree!

Jeff L. said...


That's the image to help you see the complete package!

Jason said...

Yes I think the consensus for this droid is a bell. The one that still baffles me is the chopper droid - It seems to have suspenders maybe? woodsman?

Adam16bit said...

I see gold and think "bell", but I see an equals sign in a box and think "What?" If anyone finds any authorial confirmation I'm all ears - the pieces get mixed up on official shots, and I could see the bow just as easily being gift wrap Gonk's hat.

Mystery Crate said...

The R4 that you show is bright yellow. All the other images of this droid on every other site, be it a retailer site or a collector site, shows a golden R4. I think that you have an anomalously bright yellow R4.

Jason said...

The equals sign on his head is a remnant of recent animated R4 designs. It's a little box graphic thing that is on other Disney BAD R4 heads, though a little more pyramid-like in shape.