#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.

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#1432: R2-D2

R2-D2

STAR WARS: POWER OF THE FORCE II (KENNER)

“R2-D2 is a tripodal computer repair and information retrieval robot, or astromech droid. As an R2 unit, he is equipped with navigational starfighter interfaces, plus extensive sensor packages and numerous devices to facilitate in-flight repairs: laser arc welder, circular saw, grasper arm, and fire extinguisher. He communicates through information-dense chips, beeps and whistles and seems to take pleasure in causing anxiety for his neurotic companion, the protocol droid C-3PO.”

More Star Wars?  Really?  Listen hypothetical reader, I have a lot of Star Wars figures, and I can’t just stop reviewing them for three months every year just because there’s a big explosion of new product.  That would be insane.  Almost as insane as writing an action figure review every single day for the rest of my life.  Moving on.  One major player absent from all of the new stuff I reviewed was astromech droid R2-D2, who for the second time in a row has been left out of the initial product launch for a Star Wars film.  Fortunately, I have a whole back catalogue to fall back on.  So, here’s an R2 figure.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

R2 was released in the first assortment of Kenner’s Power of the Force II line in 1995.  While later R2s in the line would go for more scene-specific looks, this one is just a standard R2; no special bells or whistles.  The figure stands about 3 inches tall and he has 3-ish points of articulation.  I say “3-ish” because in addition to joints at his head and the tops of his legs, R2 also has an extending middle leg, which I guess is *sort of* articulation.  This was the first time an R2 figure got the extending leg.  It’s still sort of in a prototype stage, and isn’t as cleverly designed as later models, but it works well enough.  R2’s sculpt was new to him, and it’s not bad.  Most of the important details are there, and they’re nicely defined.  He does end up a little skinnier than he’s usually depicted, but with all the wonky proportions that were going on in this line, I think it’s safe to say that R2 got off pretty easy.  R2’s paint is passable, though not without a few flaws.  Let’s start with the head: the vac metalizing, though inaccurate to the film, is certainly a cool feature, and helps him stand out.  Of course, as is usually the case on vac metalized pieces, some of the overlying paint has had a fair bit of chipping.  The body was mostly molded in white plastic, and, as you can probably see from the photos, it was pretty prone to yellowing.  The overlying paint is fairly decent overall, though it’s important to note that the’ve left off one of the blue stripes that makes up R2’s “face.”  I only just noticed that while writing this review, actually.  Now I’ll never be able to un-see it; the sacrifices I make for these reviews.  R2 included no accessories, but he does have a pretty nifty light-piping feature in his head, which illuminates his eye when you get the light just right.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

R2 was a gift from my parents, I believe on a Valentine’s Day?  Since I was never much for lots of candy, they tended to get me a small figure of some sort instead, and that was R2.  This was my first R2 (and I believe one of my earlier Star Wars figures in general), and he’s really the only one I had until well into the 2000s.  Like the rest of the line, he shows his age, but he’s a fun figure, and certainly not bad for the time.

Guest Review #0045: Princess Leia Organa & R2-D2

LEIA & R2D2

FORCES OF DESTINY

Heyo! Welcome to another review by yours truly, Super Awesome Girlfriend. Today, I’ll be reviewing the Leia and R2D2 combo pack from the Hasbro Forces of Destiny line.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

This Leia figure is based off her Hoth costume in the beginning of Empire Strikes Back. It’s one costume that rarely ever makes it onto an action figure, which is a shame because it’s a cool one. Her more common costumes are her white robes from A New Hope and her slave outfit from Return of the Jedi, those aren’t terrible costumes but I’m really glad the Hoth one is a first for this line. Anyways, I digress.

This figure stands at about 11 inches tall with 22 points of articulation and like all the others in this line, one of those points is in her waist and is slightly restricted in movement. All the pieces that make her up are unique; expect maybe the head which she might share with the other Leia in this line. Most of the figure’s outfit is sculpted into the mold, except her vest and shoes.

The hair is realistic looking and tries to emulate the style from the Hoth scenes from Episode 5. Not gonna a lie, but it looks a little weird to me. I know it’s hard to do that style exactly, especially with all that hair, but it throws it off a little for me. However, I doubt a lot of kids, who are the target audience, are going to care that it’s not quite right. Her arms, torso, and legs are sculpted to look like her snow suit, including wrinkles, divots, and various padding. The detailing on the snow suit is pretty cool; on some of the pads you can see little bits to suggest stitching, the pants wrinkle and puff out like they were shoved into boots, and she even has some wrinkles on her gloved hands. Her vest is made of some thin fabric sewn together is some places. On the vest is a printed on little panel of buttons that did Lord knows what and has a stimulated diamond pattern. Lastly her boots are made of a softer, more flexible plastic and still reminds me of Polly Pockets. The boots aren’t super detailed but you can see the straps and where it folds and wrinkles from the straps.

The figure’s paint is pretty simple and alright, there wasn’t really much to paint. There’s a little bit of white on her neck, but I barely notice it unless I’m staring at it super hard. Her face looks really nice and I’m happy that they kept it simple; they kept true to Carrie Fisher and didn’t try to elongate her lashes through style or make up.

Like all the other figures in this line, Leia comes with a couple of accessories. The first is her gun, which isn’t painted and all the detailing is in the mold. It looks pretty cool and appears to be one of the more detailed guns of the line…weird. It has a scope, ribbing, and various tiny little doodads and thingies to make it look like a legit Star Wars gun. Her other accessory is R2D2, who has three points of articulation. His legs are completely unrestricted movement and his head can spin around. He stands at about 4 ½ inches tall and his detailing is in both the mold and painted. The sculpt is pretty good and it even includes little details that people normally wouldn’t notice, like various little bolts, fans, and thinga-doos. The paint leaves little to be desired. Not all the various areas are painted in, some places the paint went over the line, there’s various blue smudges and areas that don’t have enough paint. Overall, the paint could’ve been a lot better.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I got this Leia on Force Friday even though she had been out for a while by then and wasn’t one of the main draws that day, but Ethan was getting a lot of stuff and I decided to grab this figure while we were out. I’ve always really liked Leia, she was one of the first princesses I was exposed to as a child. When I was two my parents took me to a rerelease of Empire Strikes Back and even though Yoda was my favorite character then (or so my parents claim; apparently I wouldn’t sit still when he came on and I continuously giggled), Leia was my favorite princess and I think she’s shaped a lot of my preferences for female characters. She was such a cool, charismatic, strong, yet soft individual that I wanted to be like her and not Cinderella, Snow White, or Aurora. I’m excited to have this figure in my collection and I can’t wait to get the other Leia in the line. Even though the R2D22 isn’t the best, he’s still a cool character and will keep BB8 company!

#0785: C-3PO & R2-D2

C-3PO & R2-D2

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

C3P0&R2a

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.