The Build A Droid pack-in premiums give collectors something to celebrate. It gives one or two extra figures per wave at no additional cost, and Hasbro chooses to pick droids that aren’t necessarily in the forefront of the Star Wars universe. R5-A2 is one of these said droids, and it is a wonderful addition to the toy line. For one, it is an Original Trilogy character and two; it is a droid. And we love our droids, don't we? This figure doesn’t necessarily fit the definition of a basic figure because you won’t find this figure on its own card back. The droid is assembled via multiple pieces found in the packages of select basic figures. And Hasbro has promised us this is the only way these droids will ever be able to be assembled. Per Hasbro, these figures will never be made available to the public as whole figures like in a box set or on a single card back. While anything is possible, we tend to believe them with this claim, and we will err on the side of caution and get them the way Hasbro has intended. Besides, we are “one of everything” collectors, so it works out very well. R5-A2 comes to us in four separately packaged pieces when you purchase the four required basic figures from the A New Hope wave released in early 2009. It is neat to create a Build A Droid figure from the same source as the basic figures from where the parts come. And this is a rare exception because Hasbro explained that the Build A Droid choices are separate entities on their own and not part of the wave theme. The Build A Droid series is arguably the best pack-in ever that our Star Wars action figures have seen. We challenge you to think of a better premium than something that gives us an extra droid (or two) when you purchase a brand new wave of Star Wars figures. Getting a whole other figure across the basic lineup is a huge benefit of being a Star Wars collector and a wonderful “gift” from Hasbro. Some of you loved the freeze frames, some of you loved the coins, and even some of you are enamored of the holographic figures from The Saga Collection (which we do not fully understand). But no other add-on has created such thunderous excitement and static buzz than these awesome droid factory parts!
While so many of the droids are background characters, many have been seen hogging the front of the scene even if they are only strolling by the action on the screen. Hasbro continues to pick the obscure characters, but we suspect that more and different types of droids are on the way to us. And from what we know, the pool of figures that Hasbro will choose these Build A Droid figures from is almost endless, and we have much more to look forward too if the line sustains this pack-in, which we hope will go on for a while. R5-A2 can be found walking right across your screen in one of the earliest Mos Eisley scenes, right before the sandtroopers interrogate Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi about when they purchased R2-D2 and C-3PO. This scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope is loaded with many other droids. Will we see them immortalized in the Droid Factory line? We hope we will indeed see others because there are so many cool astromech droids to choose from when it comes to this film. R5-A2 is replicated from the film very well, but we have to wonder why he is so brilliantly orange and antiseptically clean when he has been trudging through the dirty Mos Eisley streets covered in filth. If you look on the backside of the cards that house R5-A2's parts, you will see that Hasbro originally intended this droid to be a bit dirtier than how it turned out. We are a bit upset by this. If there was one droid that needed to be decorated with a dirty paint job, R5-A2 is it. And while he is unfortunately wholly pristine, we nonetheless still think it looks great and fits in our collections like a glove. We’ve wanted this droid for years, and now it is here! Although he is colored in a fulgent orange with details shaded in a darker maroon or red, the contrast of the two colors complement each other wonderfully and mimic the ones used on the prop from the film very, very well. So the design and faithfulness to the character is spot on, it's just that the droid is too pure when it should be covered in dirt and damage.
We are hoping that additional R5 units from the Build A Droid series keep coming. R5 units are favorite characters of collectors, and we believe that we will never tire of them. Perhaps it’s because we get them so infrequently in the basic figure line, R5 units are highly desired, and it thrills us every time a new one gets announced. While rumors abound about what the next droids will be, R5 units seem to be the ones that will indeed be making a return appearance. We hope they remain a mainstay in the action figure line. Their unique design and overall look round out dioramas beautifully and add character to toy collections. So far, all the droids have been excellent choices, but it seems there are still quite a few R5 units and many other types of droids Hasbro can investigate and add to this medium. There have been some whispers from some collectors that Hasbro is a cash cow and making those who would not buy all the figures in The Legacy Collection now buy them to assemble the pack-in droids. To them we say, there are so many ways to get your parts. But, this is what collecting is all about too. The thrill of the search and the hunt, trading, buying, and selling are all valuable components of being a Star Wars collector. Or make it easy on yourself and just buy them all. You can check collector forums and meet others who have the parts you need. Visit eBay regularly, as collectors are selling their extra parts. Many collectors open up multiple figures and will be sure to rack up unneeded and extra parts and want to depart with them. In the meantime, be sure to collect all the parts for R5-A2. It is a truly special Episode IV droid which helps to create the never before made vintage line that we one day wish to complete. R5-A2 brings us that one step closer. We love R5-A2, and we know you will too. And you most likely have it and are enjoying him if you bought wave 5 of The Legacy Collection. And if you didn’t, then shame on you.