#2629: C-3PO & R2-D2

HOLIDAY EDITION C-3PO & R2-D2

STAR WARS SAGA (HASBRO)

“Hasbro and Lucasfilm Ltd. are delighted to present, for the first time, this Star Wars Holiday Edition commemorative. Inspired by the artwork of renowned artist Ralph McQuarrie, this specially designed set captures the imaginative vision of McQuarrie’s art in collectible 3-3/4″ action figure scale. Our gift to you, this piece is a distinctive addition to any Star Wars collection. May the Force be with you, and happy holidays.”

It’s Christmas once again, which means it’s time for me to churn out another festive review!  After years of purely Christmas-themed items, two years ago I took my first look at a rather popular toy concept: the festive variant.  You’d be surprised how much mileage  you can get out of shoving a Santa hat on a popular character.  From 2002 to 2005, Hasbro made it a point of doing this very thing with the Star Wars characters once every Christmas season.  Their very first offerings were a natural pairing, C-3PO and R2-D2.  I’ll be looking at them today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

This pair was released in late 2002 as a Walmart-exclusive offering.  Officially, they’re part of the then running Star Wars Saga line which was launched for Attack of the Clones, but the packaging doesn’t bear any sort of notation of that.  This was very much its own standalone release, originally intended to be a Star Wars Fan Club offering, but ultimately re-purposed.

The first of the two figures here is 3PO, clad in a Santa Claus get-up, or at least the hat and jacket of one.  The figure stands 3 3/4 inches tall and has 5 joints, but it’s really hard to classify any of them but the neck as actual articulation.  The arms and legs both end up pretty restricted by the design of the jacket.  He’s a bit pre-posed, in the same way that any 3PO is pre-posed, though, with his arms held slightly aloft and bent.  The fake beard is permanently attached to his right hand, as though he’s about to put it on, I suppose, though how he’s going to get his arm up to his face is anyone’s guess.  The detailing on this figure is rather on the softer side, especially for the era of figures he was a part of.  It’s not like it’s bad, though, and it has a sort of artistic merit to it.  Plus, as a standalone piece, it’s not quite as imperative it matches the rest of the line.  Speaking of matching, let’s discuss the paint, and it’s whole not matching thing.  So, at this point in the line, 3PO figures were always vac metalized.  This figure follows that…for the head and legs.  Unfortunately, vac metalized plastic doesn’t hold large quantities of paint very well, so painting the jacket over it wouldn’t have gone very well.  Their solution was to paint the hands and what we can see of the chest a flat gold…and it’s pretty obvious.  I can’t really fault them, because their hands were tied.  Maybe if they’d done a cloth jacket instead?  It’s not the end of the world, though.

Pairing off with 3PO’s Santa impersonation, we also get R2 doing his best Rudolph.  The figure is 2 1/2 inches tall and has 3 points of articulation.  He’s built not from an R2-D2 figure, but from 2000’s R2-B1…for reasons, I guess.  The mold’s lack of the usual third leg was something of a shame, but not the end of the world.  The figure gets a new head-dome, which has been decorated with a rather hastily applied pair of antlers.  I dig that these are deliberately designed to look kinda tacky; it’s a nice touch, acknowledging the kitschy nature of the set.  R2’s paint is less compromised that 3PO’s.  Mostly, it just keeps to the standard R2 paint scheme of the time.

In addition to the figures, the set also included a little stand and backdrop which replicate the holiday card they’re based on, as well as a copy of the holiday card itself.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I never much got into these seasonal figures as a kid, and my parents didn’t shop much at Walmart, so I never really saw this pair.  It wasn’t only years later that I knew of their existence, and felt the need to pursue them (I’ve got holiday reviews to write, after all).  I ended up getting this set when one was traded into All Time earlier in the year.  I then had them sitting there unopened for about eight months, until I finally cracked them open for the purposes of this review.*  Are these figures great?  Nope, but they sure are a bunch of kitschy fun.

*Full disclosure: I wrote this review a year ago before replacing it at the last minute with Crackshot for last year’s Christmas review.  Hope you enjoyed it this time around.