R2-KT Imperial Droid
30th Anniversary Collection Shared Exclusive
Item No.: No. 26795
Includes: Trading card, Heart of Gold (intangible)
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Summer 2007
Bio: R2-KT was created in 2005 to honor Katie Johnson, a very special little girl who tragically passed away from brain cancer on August 9, 2005 at the age of seven. Her father, Albin Johnson, is the founder of the 501st Legion, a Star Wars costuming fan club that performs charity work around the world. Katie had a special wish: to visit Walt Disney World. Through the generosity of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Katie's wish was granted. Then one more special dream came true. Katie's sister, Allie, was inspired one day while watching Attack of the Clones, in which R2-D2 watches over the sleeping Padme. Allie thought how great it would be if Artoo could watch over Katie while she underwent treatment, and for the droid to be named "KT" after her sister. The R2 Builders Club made Allie's idea a reality by creating a unique R2 unit especially for Katie. The 501st Legion approached Hasbro with the idea of producing a figure to commemorate R2-KT. This inspired Hasbro and Lucasfilm to help make more wishes come true for children like Katie. hasbro and Lucasfilm together are donating $100,000 in Katie's memory to the Make-A-Wish Foundations of South Carolina and San Diego. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.
Commentary: The R4-G9 mold never looked more charitable! Combining charity with fan love of nifty repaints, R2-KT was sold as a shared exclusive in the Summer of 2007, showing up places like the Fan Club and HasbroToyShop.com's booth at Comic-Con International. It's cute, and another unusual figure in that it has English on the actual action figure. (A distinction shared with a few droids from Star Tours and the 2006 501st Legion Stormtrooper exclusive.) As a figure, it takes the best currently available R2-D2 mold and paints it pink with a few added markings. The figure itself is unique in that there's very little pink in Star Wars, and the main reason most fans will want to buy it is because of the Make-a-Wish connection-- which I fully support. I like it because not only was it for a good cause, but it's a strange little figure and a rare instance of a fan-developed character having been made as an action figure by Hasbro-- which almost never happens. As repaints go, it's creative and well worth adding to your collection.
Collector's Notes: So far the figure has never seen a rerelease-- it was a one-shot deal, so hopefully you got yours. If you didn't, you probably should-- it's a cute addition to any collection.
Day 545: November 2, 2007