#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.

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#1210: C-3PO

C-3PO

STAR WARS: THE BLACK SERIES

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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.