Thursday, March 28, 2024

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,120: R5-D4 (The Mandalorian, The Vintage Collection)

It's Sort Of Like the 2011 One You Forgot You Bought

The Vintage Collection 3 3/4-Inch Action Figure
Item No.:
Asst. F6878 No. F7322
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Number: #303
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Removable limbs and dome
Retail: $16.99
Availability: October 2023
Appearances: Star Wars: The Mandalorian

Bio: A battered astromech droid, R5-D4 has had a long operational span bouncing around various owners on Tatooine for decades. Now, he resides in Docking Bay 3-5 of Mos Eisley Spaceport in Peli Motto's employ. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at Entertainment Earth now!

Click here to buy it at Amazon now!

Click here to buy it at eBay now!

This R5-D4 comes on a The Mandalorian cardback, but is probably better in our Lars Homesteads or Sandcrawlers from the original Star Wars. It's a bit of a pill to swallow at $16.99, as somewhat similar droids were made from build-a-figure parts as far back as 2008 and 2009, as a bonus on a $7.99 figure. You, like me, may have also forgot that R5-D4 [FOD #1,607] was released in The Vintage Collection way back in 2011 for just over half the price, but without the same paint job. It is, as I have been fond of saying, just different enough to make you mad. This 2023 release lacks The Mandalorian-specific deco, but does add the missing red panels on the back of the 2011 release. So it's better, but it's not the Mando edition you want yet. If you're expecting a more old-school version of the droid, I think you'll be happy with the quality.

Get this one to open, get the 2011 one to leave carded.

Much like The Black Series one we recently got, this figure doesn't have the streaming-specific scoring burn marks for the bad motivator on the dome or the restraining bolt on the body. But it does have more and better paint overall! The blue and silver vents are painted, but there are no silver stripes on the feet. No big loss, really. The deco is, otherwise, quite similar with painted silver eyes and greeblies, the red panels and boxes, plus a nice splash of painted dirt. It's not a match for what you saw on the show, but it's better than what we got for the 6-inch scale droid.

For those who have been here too long, this droid is the same basic scale of the astromechs we got starting around 2005 to now - it doesn't use the smaller R2-D2 bodies we saw in Saga Legends during their dalliance with 5-jointed figures, nor the bar R2-D2 we got a few times since 2010. Honestly I would have liked to have seen them play with that tooling, especially if it meant we could have a pop-up motivator play feature. Hasbro is not very big on play features any more, as it seems a small number of vocal collectors are ashamed of the fact that they collect toys and mustn't have fun with their playthings. At least this version has a head you can pop off, removable limbs, and a third leg - and there are rolling wheels, too. I don't find the wheels particularly functional, as they could never roll freely across a table, but they're there if you need them.

 For those of you who have been here forever, there have been other build-a-droids with red R5 parts - like Porkins' R5-D8 droid at Toys R Us, customizable droids at Disney theme park bins, The Saga Collection R5-D4 (which got tweaked barely and put in a 3-pack with a Power Droid and Death Star Droid for Target), and many others. Most of them share these proportions and build, so if you already have a build-a-droid that looks like R5-D4, R5-SK1, or the one with the remote control, you may have something similar. Expectations are everything, and this is a good figure in what I would say is the wrong packaging. It'll sell just fine as R5-D4 is a requirement for fans of the N-1 we got last year, but it's not quite right if you want his newest look. Hasbro is the company that got us to buy dozens of versions of Darth Vader, which are basically the same, because they paid attention to movie-specific details like red lenses, or different gloves, or changes in the cape or chest lights. They are less detail-oriented with the lack of changes to R5-D4 here, but at least they made a better build-a-droid version of Skippy for your 1977 dioramas. You are absolutely not going to feel like this figure is worth the money at the suggested retail price, but it's not like a 3 3/4-inch R5-D4 has been on shelves for years.

Releases like this really make you wonder about The Vintage Collection as a whole, sometimes we just get figures reissued with the same number and updated deco, and sometimes they make basically the same figure with the same tooling again and assign it a new number. And yet, somehow, there's still no Sim Aloo Imperial Dignitary, and our Bespin Guards were made out of Han and Lando parts. Like those, this is, for now, the best that you can get. Maybe we'll see another attempt later, perhaps in a gift set, or at a theme park. It is, as so many figures are in the last couple of years, OK. Newbies should love it, lifers will ask "don't I already have this?"

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Entertainment Earth.

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,120: March 28, 2024

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