R2-R9 Astromech Droid
The 30th Anniversary Collection Tins
Item No.: Asst. 87154 No. 87220
Number: 1 of 6
Includes: Removable third leg
Action Feature: Twist dome to raise/lower sensorscope, glowing central eye
Appearances: The Phantom Menace
Bio: One of five astromech droids assigned to the conveyance of the royal personage of Naboo, R2-R9 displayed the characteristic bravery of his model when he trundled out onto the exterior of the hull of the Royal Starship, only to be obliterated by a turbolaser blast. (Taken from the figure's box.)
Image: Adam's coffee table.
Commentary: R2-R9 was previously made as a toy whose mold had never been re-used, and was the very first "new" astromech droid to be made as a toy since R5-D4 in 1979. This new version is a repaint of, technically, the Early Bird Kit R2-D2 which itself was a reissue of the Vintage 2004 figure with the door glued shut. The figure has rolling wheels, articulated ankles, and everything you can basically hope for out of a droid of this nature. It's a little disappointing that they didn't go with the R4-G9 sculpt, as the glued-in-place panel isn't very aesthetically pleasing.
Collector's Notes: The original "Royal Starship Droid" (which was initially nameless) was sold with a $100 vehicle, and by himself, commanded a princely sum on eBay. Even though this tin set is a little expensive, it's probably a better solution to fans wanting this droid in their collection. It also comes with Darth Maul (Evolutions), Obi-Wan Kenobi (POTJ with a new cloth cloak, communicator, retooled belt, and blue lightsaber) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Jedi Master, with new cloak and a different head.) As far as "bank for the buck" goes, this is one of the better Prequel-based tin sets. The droid itself is the biggest reason to pick it up, with Darth Maul a close second.
Also notable was the bio-- this is the first I have read of only five Astromechs serving on board the Queen's ship. I'm not entirely sure if this is correct. Finally, this is the first-ever release of this mold with a "brushed" silver head and not the vac-metal version. Here's hoping this means R2-B1 and R2-D2 will be made this way soon, too.
Day 195: November 17, 2006