Released September 2004
Reviewed by Adam Pawlus
Photography by Michael Sullenger
Reviewed on November 10, 2004
Can you say "misfire"? The score for the Vintage Original Trilogy Collection tallies another mark in the questionable column with C-3PO, a figure that, in the past, was Hasbro's golden boy (no pun intended.) Almost every new release has been an improvement and a high point of the line, from October 1995's POTF2 release until-- arguably-- the flashback figure that hit stores in early 1999. This new release actually has fewer points of articulation than that 1995 edition.
This figure is packaged with no accessories of any kind.
He has a nice pose, a good body paint job, but a pathetic five points of articulation and, on the one sample I've seen in person, crappy eyes. And that kills it.
This may be the first-ever Star Wars figure that, when viewed from the side, is infinitely superior to other releases. He looks great-- he could be walking, or arguing with R2-D2, or just gesturing wildly. From the right or left, this figure can do no wrong. As long as he doesn't have to sit.
With no restraining bolts on his torso and a lot of grime, he looks like he just came in from Tatooine's vast sandy plains. The grime and muck look spectacular, except there seem to be a few globs in the eyes. As you can see here, they can get quite large. In the case of my review sample, they're looking off down and to the side, one at about 6 O'Clock and the other at about 4 O'Clock, if you know what I mean. That doesn't look good, it makes the character look cartoony and while his stiff face always gives off a permanent look of surprise, this doesn't help bring that emotion to the front of the face in a good way.
The sculpt of the head is spectacular, though, as is the body. This is in part to a refinement in the sculpting process which Hasbro and Kenner artisans have been working at since 1977. The other part is because there's no articulation save for the sub-standard five joints, there's no legit waist joint to make use of here. The detail is exquisite, and for a $5 figure, would be a real winner. For $10, though, you'll be left wondering why it was $10 and since it's obviously the cheap figure of the assortment, why it was shortpacked.
There's a lot to like about the figure, and if you find one (hah) with a good face (hah hah) you may very well love it. Placed in a Sandcrawler next to R2-D2, this figure looks right at home. Facing you in any way, shape, or form... and it isn't exactly great.
None. Zip, zilch, nada. What did you get from them? Bupkis!
While the first series and Yoda all included packaging that resembled their first cardbacks, Darth Vader resembles the original ESB packaging from 1980 instead. (This was, if you forgot, the same basic look as the ANH cardback but with the new logo.)
The front of the cardback is, basically, just the same as the 1980 cardbacks. I don't much feel like combing over the part numbers and such to check for differences, but it's certainly close enough to be acceptable. It strikes us as odd, though, that Hasbro is going with the later movie titles instead of the originals. With the A New Hope photo, you might as well make it an A New Hope package, right?
The back of the card is somewhat lame, using similar graphics to those used on other OTC products. It would be nice to have a vintage-esque lineup of the new VOTC figures instead of just the four from that movie. It's OK, but nothing too special.
The clamshell is nice, and it's taped shut to avoid people... I guess buying it and returning a 1978 figure in its place. There's an embossed Star Wars logo on the back, and you could probably cram any old vintage figure in here if you open your VOTC figures and happen to have other real vintage figures in need of star case type storage. The case is too shallow for anything but vintage figures, or perhaps thinner, early POTF2 and POTJ figures.
I especially like the embossed Imperial and Rebel logos on the top of the clamshell. All in all, it's good packaging, but the regular OTC style impressed me a little bit more. It should be noted that this figure does not have a choke hazard warning on the clamshell, which is good-- because it has no small parts, after all.
He's new, he's hot, and he has very rarely been seen in stores. While he is still shipping (supposedly for a while longer), you're in for a hunt, or a trip to your favorite dotcom store.
ANH vintage figures resulted in two winners and two losers. So far, the Empire tally is one winner and two losers. C-3PO won't feel like a good use of your money even if the paint on the eyes turned out right because there's really nothing to him-- no removable limbs, no bonus knee articulation, nothing.
The figure is notable for having a fairly non-standard pose for the character. Most have bended elbows and are completely flat if pushed over on a table, this one has slightly bent knees. It also has amazingly well-sculpted parts, be sure to take a good look at the palms of his hands if you want to see what the phrase "attention to detail" means. Or better yet, don't, because the fact that a figure can have parts that are glorious and parts that are horrendous all at once is too much to handle.
Our review sample was obtained from Entertainment Earth in November 2004.