Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Star Wars Figure of the Day: Day 3,127: CZ Series Communications Droid (Gold, Droid Factory)

CZ SERIES COMMUNICATION DROID Gold with Silver Head Highlights
Star Tours Droid Factory Customizable Figure
Item No.:
Manufacturer: Disney?
Number: n/a
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Removable limbs
Retail: $12.95
Availability: April 2017
Appearances: n/a
Bio: The CZ-series communications/business droid was a droid series produced by Serv-O-Droid, Inc. The CZ-series was released as Serv-O-Droid began to wane in its position as a dominant droid manufacturer. (Stolen from Wookieepedia.)

Image: Adam's photo lab.

Availability: Click here to buy it at eBay now!

Commentary: I don't deny that as I get older I take the hobby for granted a bit, but I still get excited by some things. The Gold CZ Series Communication Droid is fun because it's unique. There are so many figures we get these days where you can pick it up and say it's a lot like a figure you already own, but not this one. While Hasbro has done a CZ-4 droid, that was an oddity - Disney did them in other colors and they made some interesting choices along the way. This gold version uses the same parts as the other Disney droids I plucked from the bins, with very limited paint.

Articulation would be excellent for 2008 - but this figure came out in 2017, so swivel hips and shoulders were a little old-fashioned at that point in time. Swivel wrists are fine, and bend-and-swivel wrists, knees, and elbows made it a decent figure. The neck swivels, and there's a nice pivoting waist joint. While a new figure could add articulation, these droids work well as being slightly stiff. Anthony Daniels and the other performers had severely hindered movements, so figures that can't sit easily make some degree of sense. The hips only swing forward about 45 degrees, and you don't need a protractor to measure the disappointment. Unless you just want him standing around, in which case he's perfect.

As the CZ droids are known mostly from their filthy on-screen appearances, a shiny non-vac gold finish brings out a lot of detail and ribbing you don't normally see. What's particularly amusing is that the details look more like something out of the 1960s - if this came out of Mel Birnkrant's sketchbooks, it would fit in with other midcentury droids. The ribbing on the torso and arms really stand out nicely, and I wish we could see more of this figure so customizers could fill in those chest panels like some sort of stained glass window. It's a nice, angular, weirdly blocky look that would be right at home with any of a number of toys that predate The Transformers. If this were in Adventure People, I guarantee you that the toy snobs would be telling you how great it is and how you're a monster for not having one next to your Opticon.

Deco is light, but good. The figure has a painted midriff that you probably won't notice thanks to the chest hanging over the painted colorful wires, but at least it's there. Disney went the extra mile by painting black dots for his eyes plus subtle silver detail around the face like a mask. It's really striking, and very un-Star Wars-y. Given the dogmatic adherence to classic designs in the Disney era, I'm absolutely delighted that once on a while, we get a figure that looks like it might not necessarily have come out of the same old design aesthetic. This is fancy.

Looking on eBay, very few come up for sale and he's about forty bones if you can find one. The sick thing is that I should be decrying this as highway robbery for a figure you had to assemble yourself, but we live in an era of $17 Hasbro figures. Is $40 outrageous for a figure that had a $100 cover charge, parking fees, and possibly an airline ticket or rental car involved? Probably not. I don't have to like the price, but this is absolutely one of the most charming gold and silver droids you can get that look like it came from an unlicensed fan film you never saw. If you have a chance to get it at a fair price, failing to do so is a mistake on your part.

Collector's Notes: I got mine from Disney Hollywood Studios. Thanks Shannon!

--Adam Pawlus

Day 3,127: April 23, 2024

No comments: