R1-G4 (Tatooine Transaction)
Released February 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on May 19, 2004
Rarely do a few months go by where Hasbro doesn't release at least one figure that will leave lots of fans scratching their head and asking "So, who is that?" The latest figure of this nature is R1-G4 (Tatooine Transaction). Much like BoShek before him, R1-G4 is a character from A New Hope made in small numbers that will sell to hardcore collectors and otherwise sit. Of the figures from his wave, this was the one I saw the most while my local stores received them, selling out long after Luke and R2-D2 from Jabba's Palace.
This figure is packaged with absolutely nothing.
Early rumors for R1-G4 had the figure named as "JAWA WITH RIG-4" which confused a lot of people. Once you figured out what R1-G4 was from context and a little help from Google, you thought "hey, a Jawa and a droid, that's a nice combo." Later, you realize there's no Jawa, it's just the Droid. Is it worth it?
For those who don't know what R1-G4 is, it was one of the many junky droids sold by the Jawas at the Lars Homestead in the original Star Wars. It's an old model astro droid, before concepts like "mobility" were introduced. What does it do? That would be nothing.
Since the figure has few moving parts and a large, round "foot," there was no need for a stand or for holes for pegs that a stand may offer. This is unfortunate in a way, as it would be nice if Hasbro could be consistant about holes for stands. As you can see, it does sport a false tread which shows how it was probably designed to move around. Which is to say, slowly.
The head looks like a severe mutation, or a crossbreed of the Tinman from The Wizard of Oz and the robots from Lost in Space and Forbidden Planet, as does the rest of his design. The various bits and pieces sticking out of his body make the design appear as if someone said "hey, here's a pile of garbage and no electronic lights, now make a robot out of it." From this point of view, it's a nifty looking figure with some reasonable robotic elements and if you really want to get down to business, yes, there are even some things that look vaguely like what would eventually come on the Swiss Army-like R2 through R5 series of Droids. You've got a dome, some retractable hooks, stripes around the dome... uh... wires...
The paint does a good job of making it look fairly old and beat, although I daresay it could be a little more convincing as a piece of desert salvage. This is probably best achieved by sandpaper, but as I don't want to ruin my R1-G4 nor do I plan on buying an extra for this purpose alone, I won't be doing that.
There is very little to be found here in the way of moving parts. You can see some claw hands in a few of our images, and these "arms" are extendable-- barely. They can move in and out about 1/4", and that's it-- they don't rotate, and there's nothing for them to hold. The only other moving part can be seen around the single "foot," there's a yellow stripe about 25% up from the ground that encircles a very stiff joint. This allows the figure to tilt up and down a little, but our sample only barely budges and as such we're assuming it was not meant to rotate 360 degrees.
Basically, what you have here is a prop/statue with all the play value of the Treadwell droid packaged with Aunt Beru back in 1999. That isn't to say it's bad, of course.
This set has no accessories, but here's an artist's interpretation of what it would look like if it came with a Jawa.
As you can see, it's very tall.
For 2004, the late-2003 revision is still being employed. More of the same, folks.
Figure distribution in 2004 is random and spotty, but I've seen this one come and go to numerous stores. There are no plans to include it in the OTC later this year that we've heard of, so at the moment keep your eyes peeled.
So far, this seems to be the shortest shipped figure of 2004 and rightly so-- odds are if it were easily found and widely available, it just wouldn't sell.
This doesn't do anything. No really-- all it does is stand there. In a way, it's a shame this figure wasn't the pack-in with the Sandcrawler, because it would be a really nice extra. As a little "statue" for $5, it's neat and droid fans, those who love obscure characters, and the likes of me will love it. Once you take it out of the package, that's it-- you've done pretty much everything you can with it.
Interestingly enough, this is the second R1-G4 toy. The first was part of Galoob's old Droids figure set with pseudo-Action Fleet scale robots.
Our regular sample was obtained from Target in April 2004.