STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)
Remember last week’s Speeder Bike review, where I mentioned setting up an entirely different review completely by accident and getting further than I’d like to admit into it before realizing my mistake? Wanna see what I started reviewing? What could possibly be more exciting than that edge of your seat Speeder Bike review? Gotta be honest, dear reader, it’s not actually that much more exciting, because it’s just another R2 variant. It’s not like there were a metric ton of those or anything. But, my subconscious was apparently more on board with this review than last week’s. Let’s see how it did, I suppose.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
R2-D2 was part of the 1997 “Electronic Power F/X” sub line of Kenner’s Power of the Force line. The main purpose of the line was to replicate some of the cool battles from the original trilogy with all of their cool effects….and then there was also this somewhat mundane “R2 while he was wandering through the desert in that one scene in the first movie” figure. People were just lining up for this one, let me tell you. The core R2 figure isn’t anything super special. He has a few features that are new, but also trades out a lot of stuff that had become standard. He’s about 3 inches tall and has a whopping 2 points of articulation, at the top of his two main legs. He lacks the ankle joints of later figures, of course, but also loses the up and down movement on his third leg, as well as lacking the ability to move his head dome. These changes are due to his main “F/X feature”, which is a lights and sounds gimmick. Press the center of his body, and his eye lights up and there are some beeps to go along with it. It’s okay, but it’s hard to say it’s worth losing all of the posability. Additionally, it results in some loss of crispness on some of the sculpted details, which is another iffy trade off. His paint work is actually not terrible. He’s appropriately grimy for having been rolling through the desert, and he even has the more proper flat silver that most figures at this point lacked. Of course, it might be an unexpected side effect of the more single-piece construction, I suppose. All of the Power F/X figures included a rather elaborate base piece, which added to their features. R2’s is of some rocky Tatooine terrain. The piece has an arm built into the base, which has a magnet built into the end of it, which catches R2 by the piece of metal in his third leg’s foot. This allows R2 to be moved back and forth somewhat seamlessly, although it doesn’t work overly consistently. It’s kind of nifty, though.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Unsurprisingly, R2 was a figure that excited me all that much as a kid, and was subseqently one that I never had much drive to own. I had every other Power F/X figure before this one…so, of course this is the first one I’m reviewing, right? Honestly, that’s because he was a rather recent addition (picked up at the same time as the bike, in fact), which made him rather easy to grab and review quickly. Yes, sometimes what I’m reviewing is based on me being lazy. I’m sure it shocks you to your core to find this out.