R2-D2 (Electronic Lights and Sounds)
Hasbro
Released June 2005
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on August 3, 2005

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Never one to let a good mold go to waste, R2-D2 returns with electronic beeps and whistles. Originally, it was said he had "Mustafar Sounds," but any fan with a trained ear can tell you each and every sound comes from the original trilogy-- there's beeps from Jabba's Palace and all sorts of locales you'll surely recognize, so even if you only collect Trilogy toys, this is one you should keep an eye out for, push the button in the "try me" packaging, and go from there.

The figure includes no accessories.

Sculpt/Articulation/Gimmicks/Paint

The same basic mold has been used several times to make this R2-D2, so you might have a similar figure in your collection right now. In 1998, there was a PowerFX R2-D2 with a magnetic third foot. In 2002, the mold was retooled for Attack of the Clones to have articulated feet and no magnets, which was again retooled in 2004 for OTC release, removing the third leg.

This is based on the 2002 release.

One of the most popular items at retail-- at least in our findings-- tends to be R2 units. Even Hasbro employees have told us the magical power of try-me packaging when it comes to R2-D2 figures that beep, so surely, this time, they made sure to use an old mold, but new sounds that are sure to grab your attention. Press the blue rectangle with the silver bits on his... "torso," and he comes to life, lighting up and beeping.

While the sounds are indeed awesome, there's really nothing new to see here. If you have the 2002 version, it's just like that, minus the assassin bugs. The paint is a little different than before, but barely different enough that you'd be likely to notice. If electronics don't float your boat, this is not a figure for you-- you're better off sticking with the VOTC version of the robot.

Accessories

If you can call it an "accessory," you get an instruction sheet. No stands, no tiny little hats, nothing.

Packaging

New for 2005: the flaming head of Darth Vader. Enjoy it while it lasts, it'll be gone before 2006.

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.

Availability

In stores now-- or so the claim goes. Most figures from the new movie tend to sell quickly unless they're new Collection 2 releases like Zett Jukassa.

Fin

This is a figure that will sell you on one or two things, those being your love for movie-authentic original trilogy R2-D2 sounds, or your immediate need for a new R2-D2 action figure. His third leg does not retract, and his dome does not turn, so if you don't like electronics this is not your best bet. If you do, or if you need an R2-D2 for a kid, this is an excellent release you should snap up before it's too late.

Our review sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in June, 2005.









 
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