R2-D2 Astromech Droid
30th Anniversary Collection Basic Figures
Item No.: Asst. 87500 No. 87236
Includes: Removable jets, fire burst, coin
Action Feature: Twist dome to extend, retract leg; combines with Super Battle Droid
Availability: Spring 2007
Appearances: Revenge of the Sith
Bio: Given to improvisation, which is itself a unique trait for a droid, R2-D2 has fought his way out of more sticky situations than most. From unorthodox uses for his arc welder to jets of highly flammable lubricants, this little droid always has a trick or two just beneath his chassis. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Image: Adam Pawlus' TV tray.
Commentary: Considering that there's really only one R2-D2 in the entire span of 6 movies, it's pretty amazing that Hasbro has been able to crank out multiple versions over the years based on updated aesthetics and new action features. Right now, this is my favorite of them-- I have one I keep on my desk at work next to me so I can futz with it at all times, and I have another one at home. This R2-D2 is a twist on the R4-G9 mold, which is considered to be the best astromech base mold out there today. The body and head are basically the same, but the legs are retooled to have sockets in which you can plug two little pop-out rockets which have blue flames on them which, as you may recall, allow him to "fly." This added feature also allows him to plug into a giant flame jet piece, which you can see in the picture. It's actually really cool, and a similar idea was to be employed in an ultimately unreleased Titanium Series R2-D2. The figure itself has a jointed dome, jointed "ankles" on all three legs, jointed "hips," and of course the third leg which pops down.
Where the figure really excels is deco. I mean, wow. All Hasbro had to do to make a good R2-D2 with this mold-- which they haven't done yet-- was to leave it white, add some silver and blue, and call it a day. Not content to be just another redeco, Hasbro managed to add all sorts of flame- and mechanical fluid-based deco which really brings the little guy to life. If you already have a dozen different R2-D2 figures (as roughly one or more was made, on average, per year since 1995), it's a refreshing take on the figure that really goes beyond "R2-D2 with some snow on his feet" or "R2-D2 with grass stains." if you're sick of droids, or R2-D2, this won't win you over. As a fresh take on a character that's been done to death, though, this is a real winner. It's almost a shame it's no longer in circulation. I hope Hasbro brings it back the next time we get a reissue assortment so other fans can snag it and give it a second look, because it's a lot of fun to play with and I love the optional accessories. It's so much better than the Hoth and Endor versions we've had released recently.
Collector's Notes: This figure was released in early 2007, and shipped for a short period of time afterward. R2-D2 also came on an "Ultimate Galactic Hunt" package, which had gold foil highlights and a gold tone coin. It's pretty slick and not too hard to get for cheap these days.
Day 714: April 19, 2008