R2-D2 with "Holographic" Princess Leia
Power of the Force CommTech Figures
Item No.: Asst. 84185 No. 84199
Includes: Leia holographic figure
Action Feature: n/a
Availability: Fall 1999
Appearances: Star Wars
Image: Adam Pawlus' toy room.
Bio: While repairing his new droid R2-D2, young Luke Skywalker unwittingly short circuits its recording system, causing a holographic image of the young Princess Leia to appear. She implores the help of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and then disappears as quickly as she emerged. (Taken from the figure's cardback.)
Commentary: Few figures caused as much hysteria as this R2-D2. Not only did it have a rare variation, but it was shortpacked like crazy-- I actually never saw one of these in a retail store. It was, for the time, the best-ever R2-D2. Its articulation was the best ever, there were no wonky gimmicks to screw it up, it had a restraining bolt (a first), and it had a useful little bonus figure of Princess Leia. In short, it was perfect, or as perfect as you could get for the time. Everybody wanted one, but nobody could get it. This caused the secondary market price to shoot through the roof, leading a lot of collectors to throw up their arms in frustration and either pay the $50+ asking price, or just quit. Personally, I just waited it out until someone was kind enough to sell one for a fair price.
By today's standards, this one is pretty neat, but not fantastic. The main flaw is the central eye, which seems small and placed incorrectly as far as the "face" is concerned. There's a little sticker on the face (mine fell off) which adds to its personality, plus the dirt on his feet turned out nicely. This R2-D2 had a retractable third leg, jointed ankles, a swiveling dome, and the standard arm joints. In short, no astromech body has exceeded it in terms of articulation, which goes to show Hasbro was indeed capable of greatness a decade ago, even though some fans think anything older than a year or two is trash. It's not a perfect R2-D2, but as Hasbro still seems to be trying to make that figure, this one is certainly good enough to add to your collection. The most distinctive element on this figure is not only does its big eye light up, but so does the holographic projector on his face. This is the part of his face that should light up, as it does so in the movies. The big central eye-- as far as I can tell-- never lights up. So kudos to Hasbro for more or less getting this feature right for once, and, so far, never again. (Unless you count the Royal Starship astromech droid pack-in figure.)
Collector's Notes: This was a figure that defined the phrase hard-to-get in his day, and while it seems very few were produced compared to the rest of the line, its price went down as time went on. The mold was never reused, but other, newer R2-D2 figures caused this figure to be less desirable as time goes on. It's still super-cool and you should get one if you have the scratch, despite its flaws.
Day 778: June 22, 2008