C-3PO (Tatooine Escape)
Released December, 2003
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on January 14, 2004
While not the first action figure scaled Escape Pod, C-3PO (Tatooine Escape) is definitely the best. Removable cross sections, an opening hatch, tons of detail and some other moving parts make this a great accessory. And as an added bonus, there's a figure inside!
This figure is packaged with a vehicle that can be dismantled, just like the figure.
Not only is it new, it's big and it's a fairly cheap $10-$11.
Does he look familliar? Good. The same mold was used to create the AOTC Deluxe C-3PO, and as such, he can be dismembered and all that good stuff. Even the neck has the wiring from the old mold. As such, not surprisingly, the parts can be swapped between figures, so customizers or bored kids, you've got some fun to be had here.
The head is the same as the old head, minus the magnet. Plus, of course, the paint job is new. The overall look is good, and the paint brings out the detail of the sculpt nicely, but it isn't quite a step in the direction of being a more authentic looking figure. The coloring may remind some of the Brazillian C-3PO from a decade and a half back, but with more brown coloring. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be there for the sake of defining the sculpt, or if it's supposed to be dirt or grime of some sort. As such, it can be a little awkward from up close. If the brownish coloring was a little lighter, or was seen from a distance, it really makes the figure look great. As such, don't stick it in front of your mug.
The figure's paint job seems very similar to the AOTC-3PO (ain't that clever?), with the dirt appearing in many of the same places and some of the same wires being painted the same color on his midsection. Of course, this is probably just because you only have so many places to cram dirt on a toy.
As far as the sculpt goes, it was changed in one very significant way, namely the hole in his back is now gone, but you can tell it was filled in a little awkwardly-- one of the panels extends out a little further than it should. Also, the plastic used is much softer than previously seen on C-3PO action figures, so be careful when popping this one's arms out.
This set includes an Escape Pod, which many fans have been clamoring for since the old days. The first Escape Pod was packaged with the vintage Land of the Jawas playset and was a completely different toy.
The vehicle's sculpt is great. It has a moving hatch to allow figures to be put inside, and it has moving boosters on the back. The pod comes in four pieces, and can be disassembled for whatever display or battle-damage purposes you may have.
The pod holds two figures, and R2-D2 is not included. As far as vehicles go, it doesn't do much, but it will flesh out your Tatooine desert shelves nicely.
This toy comes in an extra large, extra thick Saga-style cardback. The design is fairly identical to that of the basic figures, but it's bigger. It would have been nice to have had it be just a little more distinctive, though, but I should also note I'm not a big fan of the gold-striped late-2003 Saga packaging anyway.
These figures have been appearing pretty much everywhere Star Wars figures are sold. If you can't find one, make a few more stops, and you'll see several.
It's a neat piece for an interesting price. The same figure (more or less) was offered at the same price with a Battle Droid and a piece of Droid Factory in 2002, but I'd say this is better because it's a classic trilogy set and it includes an accessory that we haven't seen in this scale for over two decades. Should you get this? Of course you should! It's well worth the money and the only way it could be better is if they designed it with pegs to plug the figure(s) inside without a problem. That, or maybe include an R2-D2 as well.
Anyway, be sure to get this one. You won't be sorry.
Our regular sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in December 2003.