C-3PO (Protocol Droid)
Released April 2005
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on April 1, 2005
There aren't many figures in this line that are more or less the same design used in 1977, but one of them is the gilded protocol droid C-3PO. While I'm not entirely sure at this stage in the game, it appears that he's fully gold in the new film, meaning that this may be the first ever C-3PO figure without a silver shin that's actually fully authentic to the movie.
The Oscar-like robot includes a base, presumably of Mustafar.
Few rehashes get me excited as this one did from the early pictures. Is it possible Hasbro did a C-3PO with appropriate coloring, great eyes, and the right colors?
After nearly a decade, there's not a lot you can do to make C-3PO different. You can detach an arm, change the level of dirt, tack on a restraining bolt, or add articulation. Apparently Hasbro still doesn't want to add articulation, but they did find out you can paint the eyes and, surprise, not make it suck.
He... isn't sloppy! He's even better than the Vintage version from 2004 which shouldn't have been possible, but hey, now you can get a much better C-3PO for much less money with even less effort. Score one for Hasbro. The only downside with the head is that... um... I'm looking for one. Can't find it yet. The sculpt is great and the way they painted him makes him burst forth with personality. He's a happy robot! This could be the definitive version of C-3PO, and I think that I'd like to get this one in multiples for dioramas were I needing C-3POs for that purpose.
The figure has no action feature-- listed. He can be taken apart easily, as can many Revenge of the Sith toys. You want to pop the head off? Go right ahead. I'm not convinced it was meant to pop apart, but it does-- so be careful and you can use him for all your dismembered droid desires.
The sculpt is great, with lots and lots of detail. I think this has more than any previously made version of the droid, except for the hands-- it looks like his thumbs broke off. They didn't, it's just how the figure was sculpted. The palms of his hands were nicely detailed, with a mix of black and gold bringing out the fingers, just like the back of the knees. The knees, we should add, have various wires painted on in white and red, making these legs the most detailed once again.
Articulation is also the best yet, but what does that require? So far, the most articulated C-3PO had six joints. This one has six, but one's slightly different-- this time around, the waist has a sort of ball joint. Instead of twisting right and left, it can also twist up and down a little. This gives him a lot more personality, so he can bend over a little more and scold R2-D2 or what have you. He can't sit particularly well as the hips block movement to some extent, and sadly he still has no knee joints. He's still the best that there is, though.
There aren't many lava bases yet, so I can't say what this is going to connect with. I'm hopeful that, like the 2002 Arena, this can combine with the Mustafar playset but it's anybody's guess at this point. There's a lot of color and paint on the base, actually more than several C-3PO figures have had in the past. It's weird and probably a spoiler, but I had no idea C-3PO might appear anywhere near a volcano. It could be a red herring, but who knows-- I still like it, and since C-3PO stands fine on his own you won't necessarily have to leave it with him.
New for 2005: the flaming head of Darth Vader.
This is a very ornate package. Despite being somewhat generic across the line, there are numerous layers at work here-- there are two cardboard inserts in the front, a plastic tray, and stickers all over to make this really stand out. The end result is a busy, flaming design you just can't ignore. It isn't as gee-whiz or gosh-golly cool as the packaging used for the Original Trilogy Collection but it looks like the most expensive cardback Hasbro has done to date and the new egglike bubble is a huge departure from the previous two decades and change of product from Kenner and Hasbro. The bubble is much like that of the G.I. Joe figures (two- and three-packs) from 2003-2005 in that the bubble wraps the card, hugging it, where it is taped in the back. This allows you to remove a figure a little more easily, although the folks at Hasbro secured it in more places so you'll probably rip most of these getting the figures out.
As of today, this figure is just becoming available in the USA-- depending on where you shop. It should be everywhere on April 2, 2005.
Get it. That's all. Just go buy one, it's great, easily the finest C-3PO in quite some time.
Our review sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in 2005.