Released June 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on June 4, 2004
The basic mold behind Hasbro's newest R2-D2 has been in circulation since 1997 when the very first electronic R2-D2 was released. The figure has been redesigned for Attack of the Clones and now is re-redesigned for its appearance in The Empire Strikes Back.
This figure is packaged with a base.
This version of R2-D2 uses a modified Power FX torso along with the arms used for the likes of R2-Q5.
While it seemed at first we would just be getting an altered version of the 2002 R2-D2, it turns out Hasbro made more modifications than expected, making this more than a mere repaint.
The large eye lights up red, which is interesting because this part of R2-D2 never lit up on screen. The dome is the same sculpt as before, as is the body, which means it isn't exactly 100% accurate. The legs come from the new template Hasbro's been using for Astrodroids, meaning this fits in a lot better with the other releases.
The sculpt brings nothing new to the table, as it's really recycled parts minus the third leg. While it would be nice to have something like a retractable third leg or head articulation, the electronic gimmick makes this difficult if not impossible and as such, we take what we can get. The deco is dynamite, looking just like he was spat out of a swamp. As that's how it should look, this is a good thing.
This set includes a base as well as a number of electronic sounds.
The new Dagobah wave has a new base, which is great until you realize that three figures have this same base and they don't connect especially well. I was hoping I could line up the treestumps, but no, that was not doable. It's a bit of a shame to not have unique swamp bases, especially as seeing all the care and detail that went into 2003's Geonosis and Tatooine bases, but you take what you can get.
The figure, in early reports, was said to have one sound effect, his "scream" when he was launched out of the swamp monster. It turns out that this is the sound you get when pushing the button all the way in, by pushing it in just a little or tapping it, you can get a number of sounds, accompanied, of course, by a light. He can do happy, sad, inquisitive, and all sorts of little emotions. There are easily a half dozen sequences of sounds, and it's a blast to set him up next to the AOTC version, push their buttons, and make it look like they're arguing. (Or so I'm told, I don't do such childish things myself.) It's possible that most of the effects on the toy will allow him to recreate almost all of the Dagobah sequence, but I don't much feel like checking.
Ladies and genltemen, boys and girls, behold. This is it. This is the cardback you've wanted from the start.
There's a lot to the packaging, surprisingly. The double-border is just like the original Kenner packaging, and the black background is also very similar to the old toys. Also, the font of the name plate is similar to (if not the same as) the old days. Beyond that, there aren't a lot of similarities to the old days. Instead of a big photo, there's a background showcasing the environment that character belongs in, and I'm surprised Hasbro made three different Dagobah backgrounds. Yoda and Spirit Obi-Wan share the same background image.
The back of the card is completely new, but quite colorful and striking. It's a departure from the past few years, but it's a welcome improvement and something I'd like to see more of in the future.
The nameplate for the figures is a sticker, and the plastic bubble is grooved so it fits snuggly in place and won't be off-center. Customizers will probably have a field day with this packaging, as there are a lot of generic elements you can easily change out andcreate a package that's very specific to your tastes.
Lastly, the Jedi Master Points have been eliminated.
As of today, this figure is not yet available in the USA, but looking at future assortments he should be really easy to get and shipping for a good long time.
While nobody will make a case for this being Hasbro's ultimate R2-D2, it's a noble effort and a must for any Dagobah diorama. The noises are surprisingly great, and the new arms makes this figure fit in better with his Astro-cousins. While it's far from perfect it is a lot of fun, so be sure to drop five bucks on one when you see it.
Our sample was obtained from some guy in May 2004.