#2468: C-3PO with Removable Limbs

C-3PO w/ REMOVABLE LIMBS

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

A short stay on Bespin’s Cloud City left protocol droid C-3PO dismantled and dependent on his Rebel companions.”

There’s a bit of difficulty in Star Wars lines to offer decent variants of a handful of the characters, specifically the ones whose designs don’t really change throughout the movies.  For instance?  C-3PO.  He’s got the exact same design in all three of the original films, so any OT-based line definitely has a little trouble differentiating.  Fortunately, there’s at least one solid gimme for a 3PO variant: removable limbs.  Yep, if you want to really want a good Empire variant of 3PO, all you gotta do is make those limbs removable for his encounter with the Stormtroopers in Cloud City.  The vintage line started things off, and Power of the Force II followed suit, with the figure I’m taking a look at today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

C-3PO with Removable Limbs was added to the Power of the Force line in 1998, and was the line’s third variant of 3PO, following the initial release and the Purchase of the Droids variant.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation…or at least he should, though the waist joint on mine definitely isn’t moving.  Stylistically, the sculpt on this guy is really similar to the revamped 3PO sculpt from the Purchase set.  Much like the various nearly identical Farmboy Lukes produced later in the line, the two sculpts aren’t really the same, but are virtually indistinguishable for the most part.  The main difference between the two, aside from the whole “removable limbs” thing, is the lack of restraining bolt on the upper torso.  Also, there’s the removable limbs.  Those are a difference, too, I suppose.  They come off pretty easily, though the way they attach does ever so slightly impact the posability a little bit.  You can still get full range out of them, but they might need to be popped out and repositioned for some poses.  Like the “Purchase” figure, this 3PO’s color scheme starts out with the vac metalizing again, but this one takes the grime even further than that figure did, making for what is probably the dirtiest of the PotF 3POs.  I’m not entirely sure why the Empire version would be the dirtiest, but I guess it could be worse.  3PO is packed with a cargo bag, perfect for placing him in and allowing him to be carried on Chewbacca’s back.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t have this 3PO figure as a kid, but I remember seeing him on the back of the packaging, and always kind of wanting him to do the whole “carried on Chewy’s back” set-up.  I never did get it as a kid, but it was definitely on my short list when I started filling in the holes in my collection.  He’s pretty darn nifty.

Thanks to my friends at All Time Toys for setting me up with this guy.  They’ve got a decent back stock of Power of the Force, and other cool toys both old and new, so please check out their website and their eBay Store.

#2286: C-3PO

C-3PO

STAR WARS: GALAXY OF ADVENTURES (HASBRO)

C-3PO presents an interesting conundrum for toy makers.  He’s undoubtedly one of the most distinctive characters in the franchise, and certainly most fans are down for a toy of him.  That said, he’s never been particularly action-oriented, so he’s maybe not the easiest sell to kids.  If he’s produced in the same numbers as other main characters, he lingers, but if he’s under-produced he goes for silly money.  How do you distribute such a character?  Revision cases are, for once, not a bad solution.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

C-3PO joins Han as one of the two new figures in the second series of Galaxy of Adventures.  He’s only in this assortment right now, and given how things tend to work with 3PO, I wouldn’t be shocked if this is all we see of him for the time being.  3PO had essentially the same look for all three of the original trilogy films, and that’s the one that this figure goes for, which is a decent enough choice.  The figure stands a little under 5 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  That’s a lower articulation count than the usual, due to the lack of elbow joints.  Admittedly, not even the initial Black Series version had those joints, so I can’t fault them for leaving those joints out here.  3PO is sporting another new sculpt for this line, and is again playing into the style of the line as a whole.  He’s not super different from how he usually looks, just a little more svelte in the limbs and lower face.  It’s kind of halfway between Clone Wars and Droids.  It certainly gets all of the appropriate elements to sum up the character, though.   If I have one minor complaint about the figure, it’s that his neck is a touch long for my taste, but beyond that, it’s another strong sculpt for the line.  3PO’s coloring is predominantly handled via molded plastic, which works fine, and is certainly better looking on a stylized figure like this than it would be on a more realistic 3PO.  The only paint is on the eyes, the wires, and the undersides of his hands.  It’s all pretty good on mine, but I know the eyes have been pretty wonky on most samples.  3PO doesn’t have any accessories, but he does have one of the most involved action features of the line.  Pressing the button on 3PO’s back sends his head, legs, and left arm flying off, as if he’s just been blasted to parts.  Given how frequently 3PO gets knocked apart, this is certainly an appropriate feature for him, and it works pretty nicely, without impeding his actual playability too much.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got 3PO at the same time as Han, again courtesy of Max.  I was definitely more interested in Han, but I’m loving the line enough to want to pick everything up right now, and 3PO was along for the ride.  He’s a little more gimmicky than most of the line, but it works for him, and he’s still a very fun figure.

#2278: Chewbacca & C-3PO

CHEWBACCA & C-3PO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

Encountering a Stormtrooper in Cloud City, C-3PO was blasted at point blank range and his limbs were scattered.  Chewbacca gathered the parts of the protocol droid and partially reassembled him.”

Remember when I was talking about C-3PO’s late entry into The Black Series, just three days ago?  Well, lucky him, he’s gotten not one, but two exclusive figure releases right on top of each other.  I suppose he’s just finally getting the due he deserves.  While the last figure was based on 3PO’s most recent appearance, this one goes back to the original trilogy, and gives us a dedicated Empire Strikes Back 3PO.  You can’t really have an Empire 3PO without a proper Empire/Jedi Chewy to carry him around.  So, one-two-boom, here they are, in one convenient Amazon-exclusive package!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Chewbacca and C-3PO are, as noted in the intro, are an Amazon-exclusive pairing, which was listed for pre-order shortly after Force Friday and started shipping in November.  The two are packaged in a box that’s similar in size to the deluxe-size package used for Grievous, which is a lot smaller than previous two-pack boxes.  It makes this feel a little less like a two-pack, and more like a deluxe Chewbacca that includes 3PO as an accessory.

CHEWBACCA

For his first (and previously only OT-based) Black Series figure, we got Chewy based on A New Hope.  While his look is more or less the same in all of the original films, there were some slight changes in his look from A New Hope to Empire, mostly to do with how the hair on his head sat.  For the later movies Chewy was all about “bangs” game.  We got our first taste of a Chewy with bangs on the Target-exclusive Solo-based figure, but those weren’t *quite* right for a vintage Chewy, and he had the wrong bandolier.  This one aims to be the definitive secondary Chewbacca.  He stands just shy of 8 inches tall and he has 27 points of articulation.  Like the last Chewbacca, this one borrows heavily from the first Black Series Chewbacca.  This one gets yet another new head and upper torso, but keeps the standard bandolier that the Solo version ditched (hence the need for a new upper torso with only one bandolier imprint, rather the the v-shape of the Solo release).  While I had some issues with the mold when it debuted, at the very least, the mold quality has improved, and so now the parts sit better together, making for a better looking figure overall.  The new head’s the main focus of the figure, of course, with the slightly looser hair on his head, as well as a more relaxed expression, which feels more in line with Chewy’s more reserved status as the trilogy progressed.  I liked the improvements of the Solo sculpt a lot, but this does even better, and makes for the most cohesive Chewbacca sculpt to date.  The paintwork on this figure largely a match for the Solo version, which is a plus, since that was a solid paint-app.  The transitions are much more subtle, and the eyes are more lifelike than the original Chewbacca, resulting in a much more natural-looking take on the character.  As a late-in-the-movie version of the character, this Chewy is after he’s lost his bowcaster.  So, instead of that, he’s got a stolen Imperial blaster, borrowed from one of the proper Stormtroopers.

C-3PO

Ho boy, it’s another C-3PO.  It’s been days.  Days, I tell you.  As noted in the intro, this guy is based on 3PO’s appearance in Empire.  It’s not really much different from his appearance in the previous film (which is what the first Black Series figure was based on).  The color of the foot changes, and he’s a little messier.  In terms of construction, he’s using the same combined 3PO/4-LOM set-up as the 3PO I looked at three days ago, but this time around he gets the relaxed 3PO hands, instead of the posed 4-LOM hands.  It’s still a good sculpt, so I’ve got no complaints.  The paintwork follows the Target-exclusive’s lead, going for a slightly duller gold, which looks a bit more movie accurate.  In contrast to the very clean 3POs we’ve gotten previously, this one’s also got some serious dirt and grime, no doubt gotten when he got all blasted apart.  The main gimmick to this guy is the ability to pop his arms and legs off, simulating the major damage 3PO takes while in Cloud City.  In order to complete this look, he also has wire attachments that connect to each of his joints to replace the missing limbs.  They don’t really stay in place, but they do the job, and they look convincing.  He also has a net bag for Chewy to carry him in, completing the whole look.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always dug this particular set-up for these two characters, with the Star Wars Saga release being my go-to Chewbacca for years, and the Applause plastic statue thing being literally the only one of those things I ever owned.  I’ve also been jonesing for a proper Empire/Jedi Chewy, since we had the rest of the main cast from Empire.  Needless to say, I was on board for this set when it was first shown, and I was definitely happy to get this pair from my parents for Christmas.  I’m very happy with both figures included, and they’re my default versions of both characters.

#2275: C-3PO & Babu Frik

C-3PO & BABU FRIK

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES (HASBRO)

C-3PO longs for more peaceful times, but his continued service to the Resistance keeps him on the frontiers of galactic conflict.

A tiny, well-regarded droidsmith, Babu Frik can modify virtually any droid, regardless of the security measure protecting its systems.”

Since his later than others entry into the line, C-3PO has been steadily racking up quite an assortment of Black Series figures for himself.  Though his look may not change all that drastically throughout the majority of the films, Hasbro has nevertheless seen fit to give us as many of the character’s minor tweaks as they can.  He wound up getting at least one figure for all three of the sequel trilogy films (though the Last Jedi figure was only available through Disney’s Galaxy’s Edge park expansion), with his appearance in Rise of Skywalker providing his latest offering, alongside the minuscule droidsmith Babu Frik.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

C-3PO and Babu Frik are a Target-exclusive Black Series offering, which started hitting about a week or two before the movie arrived in theaters last year.  The set depicts 3PO as we saw him in much of the promotional material before the film, carrying Chewbacca’s bandolier and bowcaster, and sporting red eyes, as opposed to his usual gold tones.  These two things don’t happen at the same time in the final film, but then again, the figure doesn’t require him to be doing everything at once either, making his more of an all-encompassing Rise of Skywalker 3PO.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 23 points of articulation.  This 3PO is a combination of the first 3PO and the improved protocol droid arms from 4-LOM, meaning he can bend his arms.  This same change was also seen on 000 and the Galaxy’s Edge 3PO, so it was really just expected here.  He gets a new head, sporting a removable backing, allowing for his internals to be revealed, just like in the movie.  I’m always skeptical of features like this, lest they not fit properly when popped back into place, but 3PO’s head remains together fairly securely, and I must admit the feature looks pretty darn cool.  Beyond that, the construction on 3PO is the same as the first figure, which means it’s a very nice looking sculpt, and was very posable even before the addition of the improved arms.  The paintwork on 3PO is pretty decent all around.  He is again a flat gold, rather than vac metalized, which I still don’t mind all that much.  The gold isn’t quite as bright as the first 3PO, which seems more accurate.  He also gets some small silver piping on the arm joints, which we’ve not seen before, as well as the expected extra detailing on the back of the head.  The most notable change, though, are the eyes.  Like Dryden Vos, they’re therno-sensitive. At room temperature, they’re a standard gold, but when cold, they turn a bright red, like his eyes do briefly in the film.  It’s a nifty effect, even if I don’t see myself getting a ton of use out of it.  3PO is packed with Chewbacca’s bandolier and bowcaster, both borrowed from previous figures, as well as a whole nother figure, Babu Frik.  Okay, I say he’s a whole figure.  That’s perhaps a slight stretch.  Babu is certainly more of a figure than I had anticipated; I fully expected an unarticulated mini-figure, but to my surprise, Babu sports ball joints at the shoulders and waist.  He’s also got a moving visor, so he can properly work on the back of 3PO’s head. Certainly he is far more impressive figure than I’d initially expected.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

This pair was another gift to me from my in-laws.  I’d expressed a moderate interest in the pair prior to the film’s release, but wasn’t sure what to expect.  After seeing the movie and quite enjoying Babu’s sequence, I was quite happy to open these two up Christmas morning.  I was even happier when I actually took them out of their box and discovered just how playable Babu was.  Definitely a fun little offering, and a great choice of exclusive.

#2177: Purchase of the Droids

UNCLE OWEN LARS, C-3PO, & LUKE SKYWALKER

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Under attack by an Imperial Star Destroyer, protocol droid C-3PO and his partner R2-D2 safely escaped a battered Rebel capital ship and landed on the desert planet of Tatooine. Soon after, the droids were abducted by scavenging Jawas and sold to Owen Lars for use on his desert moisture farm. Luke Skywalker, nephew of Owen and a Tatooine youth, remained unaware that his uncle’s purchase of C-3PO and R2-D2 was to help launch one of the most pivotal destinies the galaxy had ever known…his own.”

Alongside its cast of very colorful lead and background characters, Star Wars also has quite a selection of quite average, not particularly colorful or unique in the slightest characters.  For the most part, these characters are rather easily overlooked by merchandising, but there are a few of them who are a touch plot relevant, such as Luke Skywalker’s aunt and uncle.  This poses the question:  how do you handle toys of these figures?  Kids aren’t exactly going to be lining up to buy a sort of paunchy middle-aged guy in a robe.  What sells him?  Colorful main characters of course!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Uncle Owen, C-3PO, and Luke made up the “Purchase of the Droids” set, part of the 1997 assortment of the Cinemascenes sub-line of Kenner’s Power of the Force II.  The set is based on, stay with me here, the scene where they purchase the droids.  I know, crazy.

UNCLE OWEN LARS

Man, where’s all the toy love for curmudgeonly uncles?  What’s that?  Nobody cares about them?  Well that’s…pretty accurate, I guess.  This isn’t the only time Owen’s seen action figure form, but it was the first, because there just wasn’t time to fit him into the vintage line.  I know, we were all very sad.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and he has 6 points of articulation.  Owen sports an all-new, all-average-looking sculpt.  Perfect for the character!  He’s a bit more pre-posed than other figures from the same period; his right arm in particular is bent and angled in a slightly strange fashion.  I’m not entirely sure what they were going for there, and there’s really no pose it looks natural in.  The likeness on the face is about as good as any of these likenesses were.  He’s identifiable as the character he’s meant to be, and that’s really the main point.  Owen’s paintwork was a little more experimental than others from the line.  It’s a bit murky, but I guess that’s sensible for a guy who lives on a desert planet.

C-3PO

And here begins the slight tweaks for the major players.  There are actually a surprising number of 3POs in the Power of the Force line, though this is only the second one I’ve personally reviewed.  It’s worth noting that this one is actually pretty different from the first one.  He’s been brought more in line with the proper proportions for the character from the film, rather than the more stylistic interpretation of the first figure.  They also sharpened up the detail work a bit, and even added the restraining bolt that the Jawas placed on him when he was captured.  3PO’s paint work starts out with the same vac metalizing as the predecessor, but this one also gets a bunch of dirt and grime, depicting him as he looks after wandering Tatooine for a bit.  It’s definitely a unique look for 3PO and helps him stand out a bit from the other takes on the character.

LUKE SKYWALKER

By 1997, Power of the Force was just beginning to be neck-deep in Luke Skywalker figures, specifically of the “Farmboy” variety.  This figure would be the first of a whole bunch of Luke figures that would draw from the same base figure with a handful of changes here and there.  He was our first instance of the majorly slimmed down version of Farmboy Luke, which would later be used for no less than five separate versions of the character.  It’s not bad for a standard Luke, especially if it was your first time picking up one of this style.  I don’t have much to say about in light of having all of the other five.  He’s the one that comes in this set.  That’s his unique selling point.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Though I didn’t have this set growing up, I remember that my cousin did, and it was one of the things that was left at my grandparents’ house, meaning I would frequently get to play with it when he wasn’t around.  I don’t know what happened to them in particular, but I picked up this one from Yesterday’s Fun over the Christmas holiday last year.  It’s more part of my drive to complete the line than to own any one figure in the set, but it’s one of the few Uncle Owens, and I do have to admit I quite like the 3PO.

#1781: Concept R2-D2 & C-3PO

CONCEPT R2-D2 & C-3PO

STAR WARS: 30TH ANNIVERSARY COLLECTION (HASBRO)

“Ralph McQuarrie was commissioned by George Lucas to create several paintings. This scene depicts R2-D2 and C-3PO in a desert landscape. Even in this early rendering, Threepio already has a somewhat startled look, and Artoo reveals traces of his spunky nature.”

Prior to the versions of the characters we’ve all come to know and love so well, the Star Wars characters were handed to illustrator Ralph McQuarrie.  McQuarrie created distinctive versions of the characters that have stuck with the fanbase all these years later, even though they were in some cases very largely changed for the final product.  McQuarrie’s best remembered image is the confrontation between Starkiller and Vader, but not far behind it was his desert landscape, featuring the characters that would become R2-D2 and C-3PO.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

R2 and 3PO were released as an exclusive two-pack at Celebration IV in 2007, where they helped launched the 30th Anniversary Collection.

R2-D2

Perhaps one of the least changed of the McQuarrie designs (barring perhaps Vader), R2 was still a tripodal little trash can droid.  His basic silhouette is more or less the same, though McQuarrie’s design was a little chunkier and had a few more attachments.  A lot of the specific elements of this design would later be worked into Rebels’ resident astromech, Chopper.  The figure is about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 13 points of articulation.  He’s actually more compact than he initially appears.  He’s about 3/4 of the size of your usual R2 figure, but he’s certainly not short on detail work.  The steampunk nature of the design translates to a sculpt that Hasbro’s sculptors clearly had a lot of fun with.  I think my very favorite part is the pair of arms at the front, which nicely fold into his mid section, helping to recreate R2’s signature “face”.  Rather than his classic white and blue colors, the McQuarrie R2 design serves as a more natural counterpoint to 3PO’s golden finish, being a gunmetal grey and silver combo.  It actually makes for a pretty striking look, and the work on this figure is actually way better than you might expect from a straight silver figure.  There’s plenty of accenting, which helps to bring out all of the cool details in the sculpt.

C-3PO

McQuarrie’s C-3PO is probably one of his most remembered designs.  I think it’s largely to do with the decidedly more feminine nature, and that it bears more than a passing resemblance to the robot Maria from Metropolis.  It’s a really cool throwback to one of sci-fi’s most classic designs, which definitely gives it a leg up in my book.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 16 points of articulation.  3PO exists in this kind of weird cross roads of articulation.  Hasbro was really just starting to learn how to articulate these guys, so you kind of get this weird mix, where the elbows, mid-torso, and ankles have a great range of motion, but then the shoulders and hips are just basic cut joints, and there aren’t any knees at all.  The knees in particular are odd, since the design has natural breaks for them and everything.  Odd choice.  Still, the figure’s not as limited as you might think.  The sculpt actually takes a little bit of a departure from McQuarrie’s illustration, and plays more into the Maria side of things.  I’m not opposed to this, though, and I think this ultimately makes for the better overall figure design.  3PO’s coloring is rather similar to the final film design, being gold, from head to toe.  It’s even more prominent on this design.  The figure’s molded in a goldish plastic, and sports some brown accent work, which generally pairs off well with R2’s paint.

Though neither figure in the pack includes any character-specific extras, but they do include one of the 30th Anniversary coins, which features some of McQuarrie’s artwork embossed on it.  I never got super into these, but they’re certainly nifty.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

As I noted in my review of the Concept Han Solo, I’ve always been intrigued by the McQuarrie Concept figures.  They’re a lot of fun, and some day, I’ll get around to putting together a whole set of them.  I think these two are nearer the top of my favorites, though I gotta say, I was expecting to like 3PO the most, but it was R2 that ended up being my favorite of the two.  Regardless, these are two very well put together figures.

This pair isn’t part of my personal collection (yet), and were instead loaned to me by my friends at All Time Toys.  These two are available through All Time’s eBay store front, should you be interested in owning them for yourself.  And, if you’re looking for other toys, both old and new, please also check out All Time’s full eBay store front, and take a look at their webstore at alltimetoys.com.

#1635: C-3PO

C-3PO

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“Designed as a protocol droid, C-3PO’s main programming function is to interact with human society. He is an interpreter fluent in over six million galactic languages, specializing in the areas of etiquette and translation – especially important during diplomatic missions. To aid in these tasks, he is equipped with microwave and olfactory sensors, photoreceptors, vocabulator speech units, energy transducers and broad-band antenna receivers. He was programmed with an elegant, human sounding voice, but more often than not C-3PO is heard whining and bickering with his companion, the astromech droid R2-D2.”

Hey, the Solo product officially dropped yesterday!  Yay…I guess?  I’ve not yet actually gone out and started tracking all of that stuff down, but I do have a metric ton of *old* Star Wars stuff to review.  I’m continuing with the Power of the Force theme I’ve had going for a little while now, and taking look at C-3PO!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

C-3PO was part of the first series of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line, hitting shelves in 1995.  He’s the third version of 3PO in the 3 3/4 inch scale, following up on the two from the vintage line.  As his design remained essentially the same for the entirety of the Original Trilogy, this figure serves to represent all of those appearances.  He stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 6 points of articulation.  For 3PO, this was really about all the movement he’d ever need.  The figure’s sculpt is a fairly decent recreation of his film design.  As with all of the figures in this line, he was given a slight stylistic change-up, but it’s definitely more minor here than it was on other figures from the same assortment.  Compare him to, say, the first Han from this line, and you’ll see that he’s far less dramatically pre-posed and has his overall proportions far less changed from reality.  There’s actually a rather impressive level of detail on this figure’s sculpt, even managing to show through the vac-metalizing process and everything.  Clearly they had learned from their  experience with the vintage line.  Interestingly, though it wasn’t a selling point as it would be on later figures, this figure’s legs can be popped out of their sockets with relative ease, allowing for his slightly disassembled look from Empire.  Sure, it’s not 100% accurate, but it’s a fun little extra.  Though the figure is vac-metalized, that doesn’t mean he lacks paint like his vintage counterparts.  He gets the proper detailing for all of his wiring and such at his mid-section, a first for a 3PO figure.  The only minor issue with this figure’s paint is his right lower leg, which is gold like the rest of him, instead of its proper silver color.  Since the upper and lower leg were all one piece, there was unfortunately no way to do this correctly while still maintaining the shiny finish.  3PO included no accessories, but I’m not sure what you’d actually give him.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I had 3PO growing up.  I don’t actually recall where he came from.  Shameful, I know.  Over the years, I ended up losing one of the legs, so a replacement was in order.  I ended up finding a second one at Yesterday’s Fun while vacationing with my family over the holidays.  As far as 3PO figures go, there are certainly better ones out there, but this figure’s actually held up a lot better to the test of time than many of his compatriots.

#1210: C-3PO

C-3PO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

c3pobs1

Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series has been running almost 5 years now, and over the course of that 5 years, we’ve gotten the main look for just about every major character from the Original Trilogy.  However, one major character has been pretty consistently absent: C-3PO.  Now, obviously, with a character like Threepio, it’s not a question of if he’s going to be made, but rather when he’s going to be made.  You don’t just willy nilly leave out one of two characters to appear in every film in the franchise.  So, when his name popped up as one of 2016’s upcoming figures, no one was really surprised.  Well, that is, not until they saw the figure, standing there in all his red-armed, The Force Awakens-glory.  Why would the first release of this much anticipated character be what is undoubtedly a one-off look?  It turns out Hasbro had more up their sleeve, and a regular Threepio found its way to release.  I’ll be looking at that figure today.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

c3pobs2This C-3PO figure is Walgreens’ 2016 Star Wars: The Black Series exclusive.  This has been a point of contention for a lot of fans, since many of them think this Threepio should have had the main retail slot, and the Force Awakens figure should have been made the exclusive, citing the second version as a less necessary variant.  While I can’t argue with that, I can sort of understand why the figures ended up the way they did.  In 2015, Walgreens got stuck in the Emperor’s Wrath Darth Vader as their exclusive, and sales on him were pretty soft.  With that in mind, I can easily see Walgreens pushing for a higher profile exclusive.  On Hasbro’s side, I can see them feeling that Threepio might be more easily acquired for some fans as an exclusive item shipped in solid cases of himself, as opposed to being stuck in a revision assortment of the main line, which may or may not get put out (I can attest to having seen more of this guy out in the wild than I’ve seen of his red-armed counterpart).  In addition, Threepio has traditionally been a slower seller than the rest of the main characters, a fact Hasbro is likely banking on.  Ultimately, it’s not the ideal solution, but it’s workable.  The figure stands 5 1/2 inches tall and has 21 points of articulation.  Early reports had me worried that this guy wouldn’t be very posable.  The final figure lacks any elbow joints, but this ends up having little effect on the posability, and the rest of the joints offer a more than serviceable range of motion.  Threepio’s sculpt is shared with his Force Awakens version, but is otherwise totally new.  It’s a very strong sculpt, and does a really solid job of capturing Threepio’s basic design.  There’s a lot of really sharp detail work, and he’s definitely one of the best figures in the line in terms of working in the articulation.  The arms do seem a touch long when compared to the legs, but it’s only barely noticeable, and far from the worst case of this in the line.  Threepio’s paint is pretty decently handled; Hasbro let fans know from the get-go that this figure wasn’t going to be vac-metalized like many of the smaller Threepios have been.  Some fans were a bit let-down by this, but I find myself not minding that much.  While the process is fine on smaller figures, it can rob a sculpt of a lot of its best details, and on larger, more articulated items, it can also be rather susceptible to damage.  I was happy to see they opted for gold paint instead of gold plastic, as it allows for a brighter sheen and a more consistent application of the color.  The only part that seems a bit odd to me is the eyes; rather than the usual flat yellow, they’ve been done with three white dots on each eye.  It’s not terrible looking from far away, but looks quite strange up close.  Threepio includes no accessories, which is a real letdown, especially since there are technically no new sculpted pieces here.  The communicator from the Death Star would have been nice, especially since they already have the tooling for it. Oh well.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

News broke on this guy back around Rogue Friday, and I pretty much immediately started looking for him.  I didn’t have much luck, but on a hunch, I stopped at a slightly out of the way Walgreens on the way home from grabbing some dinner last month.  He wasn’t in the proper action figure aisle, but I remembered that a lot of Walgreens stores had a separate Star Wars end display, and, sure enough, there he was.  Odd choice of distribution aside, this is a really good figure, easily the best Threepio that Hasbro’s put out.  Hopefully everyone that wants one can get one!

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#1135: C-3P0

C-3P0 w/ EWOK THRONE

STAR WARS: THE SAGA COLLECTION

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For the third day of Star Wars week, I’m actually jumping back a little.  No, not back to the vintage line, or even the ‘90s revival, but rather to the post-Revenge of the Sith line. Hasbro’s license actually went up for renewal not too long after RotS’s release, and there was some discussion (admittedly, not *a lot* of discussion, though) as to whether they were really going to pick the license back up, or if Star Wars toys, now without a steady stream of new movies, had run their course.  But, Hasbro and Lucasfilm renewed, launching the whole franchise encompassing Saga Collection.  Today, I’ll be looking at one of the earlier figures from that line, C-3P0!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

c3po2C-3P0 was released in 2006 as part of the Star Wars: The Saga Collection line.  He was figure 42 out of 74, so he hit a little past the line’s halfway point.  He’s based on Threepio’s appearance from the Original Trilogy, specifically the scene in Return of the Jedi where the Ewoks believe him to be a god.  The figure stands about 3 3/4 inches tall and has 9 points of articulation.  He comes from a period when the line was just starting to produce decently articulated figures, and it’s worth noting that he’s actually the very first Threepio to feature moving knees (though, it’s likely that the only reason he was given them was so he could sit properly in his chair).  This version of Threepio had an all-new sculpt.  I can’t say for certain, but I’m fairly confident this one got used at least a few more times, too.  It’s a pretty decent sculpt, and certainly does his design justice.  There’s a lot of nice detail work, where really makes him feel like an authentic recreation of the character, and he looks far more accurate than even the RotS version, released only a year prior.  The paint on this figure is mostly reliant upon the vac metalizing, to give him the proper shiny finish.  They even got the silver for his right shin correct!  He’s still got actual paint for all the important details, such as the eyes, mouth, wiring on his torso, and even the black on the undersides of his hands (a detail very frequently left out).  There were two variations of this figure’s knees.  He initially shipped out with two gold knees, but later figures (including mine) had knees that matched the lower legs.  It’s a small detail, but does make a noticeable difference.  Threepio was packed with the wooden throne constructed for him by the Ewoks (with removable carry poles), a Saga Collection display stand, and a little holographic Han Solo.  There were 12 different hologram figures, each available in both red and blue, included with all the Saga Collection figures, and packed in at random.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Threepio here was a slightly early birthday present from my pal Phil.  Last year he got me Maria from Metropolis, so it’s only fitting that this year he’d give me a character famously inspired by her (it’s entirely possible this was not intentional on Phil’s part.  He tends to give me something either Star Wars or robot related, so Threepio showing up isn’t that far-fetched).  He may be a decade old, but this is still possibly the best version of Threepio Hasbro ever put out!

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#0785: C-3PO & R2-D2

C-3PO & R2-D2

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

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A lot of the merchandise for The Force Awakens has focused on the film’s newest characters. This has been met with some apprehension by a portion of the fanbase, who don’t want to invest a lot of money on characters they know nothing about. Fortunately, not everything is based on the new characters, so classic fans have a number of “safer” options, such as today’s focus figures, C-3PO and R2-D2.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

C-3PO and R2 are part of the first series of two-packs from Hasbro’s current Star Wars: The Force Awakens line. They’re one of two sets of figures in this particular assortment to actually come from The Force Awakens, though even they only just barely qualify.

C-3PO

C3P0&R2bFirst up is the panicky, overly emotional golden boy of the franchise, C-3PO, human-cyborg relations. The figure stands 3 ¾ inches tall and has the now standard 5 points of articulation. To be fair, the reduced articulation is actually a lot less of an issue on someone like 3PO, since he’s not the most agile character to begin with. 3PO shares his sculpt with the recently released Mission Series Tantive IV Two-Pack version of the character, which seems reasonable enough, since his design hasn’t really changed. It’s a pretty good representation of the character, and it has some nice detail work, especially on the arms and the one open section of wiring on his midsection. So, old sculpt, old design, old character. What makes this figure The Force Awakens-inspired? Paint. For the most part, he’s just the usual gold, but now he’s got a funky red left arm. Why? I have no idea, but there it is. On the plus side, it looks like he finally got his silver leg replaced with a proper gold one, so he’s not too patchwork. The paint is fairly decent overall, though the eyes are a little wonky. If you have the option, you might want to look through a few sets to find the one with the least wonky eyes.

R2-D2

C3P0&R2cAnd here’s R2, the one single character in the entire franchise whose look never changes. But he really needed another figure, I guess. Plus, it’s not like you can release a 3PO figure without him. That’s insane. R2 is about 2 ½ inches tall and has 3 points of articulation. That’s kind of lackluster for R2, since it means he can’t even properly do one of his signature poses. Not that it matters, since he doesn’t have his third leg. Like 3PO, R2 also shares his sculpt with the Mission Series version. It’s a reasonable enough, I suppose. The details on the legs are a little soft, but not terribly so. In general, he looks like R2, which is the main point here. Unlike 3PO, the paint doesn’t really do much to set R2 apart from the previous figure to use the mold. It’s just fairly basic R2 paint. It’s fairly cleanly applied, so that’s good, but it would definitely help the figure if he had some sort of wash to help bring out the details of the sculpt. As is, he feels a little bland. This R2 is different from the last one is one way: accessories. Yep, this guy comes with a pair of missile launcher that can be attached to the top of his legs. Something tells me these won’t actually be showing up in the movie, but at the very least they do match R2’s overall aesthetic, and the missiles are actually kinda neat.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I didn’t really set out to find this pack or anything, but I saw it a few times at my local Target, and thought it was vaguely interesting. Then I realized I hadn’t actually bought a C-3PO figure since the POTF2 version from the 90s, and felt kinda bad, so I grabbed this set the next time I saw it. It’s certainly not the most exciting thing to come out of the new movie. 3PO’s got some merit, being slightly different from previous figures and being pretty well put together all around. R2 on the other hand, doesn’t really have much to offer, and is a “meh” figure at best. I’m kind of assuming most people will be getting this set for 3PO.