PROTOCOL DROID — HOLIDAY EDITION
STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)
“Protocol droids like C-3PO are vital in smoothing differences encountered by the many farflung cultures interacting on a regular basis throughout the galaxy. Most are humanoid, like the company they keep.”
‘Twas two nights before Christmas and all through the house, Ethan was reviewing something festive two days before the actual holiday because both Christmas Eve and Day fall on the weekend this year, and he’s not doing reviews those days anymore. Okay, maybe that version’s not quite as catchy as Clement Clarke Moore’s. But I still think it’s got potential. Look, the point of it all is that I’m gonna do this whole holiday cheer thing. I’m cheerful, dang it. So, please look at this overly commercialized cash grab product review as proof. For the cheer. And the jolly. Perhaps even some whimsy. Since 1978’s “The Star Wars Holiday Special,” the Star Wars franchise has been cashing in on the holiday cheer, though on the toy side of things it’s a more recent development. Hasbro had a solid run of one-off holiday offerings in the early ’00s, but took a bit of a breather, before returning to it in 2020 with a whole mess of themed figures under their Black Series branding. They were each exclusive to a different retailer, and were generally a bit of a pain to track down, so I avoided most of them. This year’s follow-ups, however, included a Fan Channel offering, and so I’m taking a look at a delightfully festive Protocol Droid today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
The Holiday Edition Protocol Droid is one of the five 2022 Holiday Edition offerings for Black Series. He’s a Fan Channel exclusive, and started shipping out in early November of this year. He’s apparently got no official name, which, if I’m honest, feels like a missed opportunity. Why no fun little in-joke with the naming? For shame. Oh well. The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 21 points of articulation. In contrast to the most recent Protocol Droids we’ve gotten from The Black Series, the Holiday Protocol is built on the first iteration of the C-3PO mold. It’s generally not a bad mold, but this older version means that this release lacks the added elbow articulation that all figures post 4-LOM have gotten. It’s a little bit of a bummer. Not the end of the world, but a bummer to be sure after getting the improved arms on so many figures. In order to mix things up and go just a tad more festive with the mold, the Holiday Protocol gets a scarf piece, courtesy of Lando. Beyond that, the change-ups are all paint. This guy’s been done up in a variety of red, white, and green, which all feels appropriately festive. On one hand, I’m a little sad we didn’t get any of the ugly sweater patterning that the troopers have been getting, but on the other, I can appreciate this one going with a different angle. I do really like the striped “socks,” and this printing on the scarf is certainly a lot of fun. Each of the Holiday Edition figures is packed with a smaller companion, and in the case of the Protocol Droid, it’s a re-decoed BD-1, who’s been done up to match the Protocol Droid. He’s the same mold as the Fallen Order releases, which is honestly a pretty great mold, and he’s probably my favorite thing about this set.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ve passed on the other Holiday figures up to now, since, as I touched on in the intro, I didn’t really feel like hunting them down. This year was pretty much the same deal, but since this one was going through Fan Channels, I had the opportunity to get one through work. I don’t know that he’s really my preferred of this year’s offerings, but he was easy to get, and that’s really what matters, right? The main droid’s okay. He’s kitschy and goofy, but that’s what I expected. BD-1 kind of steals the show here, but that’s just kind of the history of that mold, now isn’t it? And that’s all I got until after the holiday. Have a good one everybody!
Thanks to my sponsors at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure for review. If you’re looking for toys both old and new, please check out their website.