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The Black Series

R2-D2 - TBS [P1] - Six Inch Figures (#04)

Name: R2-D2
Collection: The Black Series
Number: #04
Scale: 6"
Source: A New Hope/Attack Of The Clones/Revenge Of The Sith/A New Hope/The Empire Strikes Back/Return Of The Jedi
Availability: August 2013
License: Hasbro

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R2-D2 is a plucky and loyal astromech droid that takes part in many of the momentous events in the galaxy.

"Beep BEYoop whyEET bip beep boop!"

We genuinely applaud Hasbro’s efforts for the first wave of The Black Series 6” line. But perhaps they got a little overzealous with trying to give collectors a sampling of too many differing Star Wars characters’ body types in the inaugural wave. Figures like Luke Skywalker and the Sandtrooper are without a doubt stellar, but it seems that things were much too rushed with R2-D2, or perhaps more likely, too many shortcuts were taken which have affected the final aesthetics of this larger-sized action figure. R2-D2 changed in the 3.75” line with 2010’s TVC R2-D2 (VC25) figure and he was made smaller than ever before. However, a significant amount of new but accurate detail was added to the figure that hadn’t been achieved up to that point. The scale was reduced much to the chagrin of collectors. Yet Hasbro has defended their position on this issue in multiple ways, from shrinkage issues to an intended reduction in scale. (Feel free to pick which excuse you find most fitting.) Now that The Black Series 6” is here, Hasbro chose to bring R2-D2 into the first wave. Obviously a great character for any scale, it would have been better if Hasbro revisited the way this figure was created because it still needs to go through a learning curve before collectors will deem the sculpt as perfect. And at $19.99, trust us when we say that collectors are going to want perfection immediately. We can’t keep buying the same characters in this scale until Hasbro gets it right. They need to arrive “without issue” at street date, and not for a second release.

We don’t mean to digress, but bringing up The Vintage Collection R2-D2 (VC25) figure is important when looking at The Black Series 6” figure. After all, that figure has a horizontal front panel that opens up, so why doesn't the bigger action figure have this? The first thing you’ll noticed is that Hasbro brought forth the same approach to the larger-scaled figure that they did for the TVC figure. Again and sadly, R2-D2 is too short for an astromech droid and some of the details translated as being too rushed. R2-D2 doesn’t sit nearly high enough next to The Black Series Luke Skywalker (#01) figure. It’s a shame, because it’s likely Hasbro won’t correct the scale issue and collectors probably wouldn’t want to pay for another stab at R2-D2 either even if Hasbro made him the correct height. We know we wouldn't appreciate that gesture. A more expensive action figure should show off better deco and much greater accuracy, but there are some aspects of the figure where it's clear that Hasbro headed in the reverse direction. Sometimes shortcuts just aren’t worth it. Hopefully Hasbro won’t go ape-crazy and release one new astromech droid after another utilizing this sculpt. Otherwise we’re going to slowly but surely build a squad of ill-proportioned droids in the 6” collection. Another big issue for R2-D2 is the deco. Hasbro release very deceiving prototype images of R2-D2 and had they prepared one in the production phase as they did for the prototype phase, collectors would have been in for a real treat. But R2-D2 lacks all important deco like washes to provide shadowing, clean and defining lines for the panels on the body as well as the dome, and a properly formed dome. Something happened to the shape of R2-D2’s dome a little bit and it looks a tad off now. Even the utility tools in his body cavity that are revealed when you open the front panels looks too small. R2-D2 definitely fails on multiple levels.

R2-D2 does succeed however in the light of his accessories (which come in the form of double digits by the way). Three separate dome panels are removable and allow the collector to attach a unique utility tool or accessory inside the cavity that they cover. Choose between R2-D2’s sensorscope or periscope and Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Knight lightsaber from Return Of The Jedi. R2-D2’s leg panels are also removable. You can switch them out for extended booster rocket jets to recreate his appearances from Attack Of The Clones and Revenge Of The Sith. Clearly you can see that The Black Series 6” R2-D2 can be sourced to every last film in the Star Wars saga. It’s the Swiss army knife version of R2-D2 representative from multiple scenes across the films. It’s hard to pick one film to based this action figure. The back of the box has a sketch of the scene where Princess Leia is hiding the plans to the Death Star in R2-D2, which would make you assume that this version of R2-D2 was inspired from Episode IV. And he is. But he also comes with accessories that can only source him to the other films as well. If Hasbro was smart, and opinions will absolutely vary here, they could have made movie specific (six different types) multiple R2-D2s or OT/PT specific multiple R2-D2s (a much more palatable two types) to make things a bit clearer from a collector standpoint. But no matter how many accessories you itemize with this figure, there are still foundational issues that will always exist if Hasbro returns to this sculpt. We hope the remedy it before releasing another astromech or there might not be any hope to get this right.

Collector Notes

R2-D2

Status: R2-D2 is an all-new figure.

Articulation Count: 17 points

Articulation Details: swivel dome, 2 swivel shoulders, 3 hinge-jointed feet, 6 wheels, slide-out third leg, 2 opening front panels, 2 hinge-jointed utility tools

Accessory Count: 10

Accessory Details: 2 removable leg panels, 2 removable booster rockets, 3 removable dome panels, sensorscope, periscope, Luke Skywalker's lightsaber

Date Stamp: 2013

Assortment Number: A4304/A4301

UPC: 653569864905

Retail: $19.99 USD

Market Value: Click here to check the latest prices based on Click here to check the market value on eBay! listings.











R2-D2

 

The Black Series (6") Wave 1
Luke Skywalker (#01)
Darth Maul (#02)
Sandtrooper (#03)
R2-D2 (#04)

 
Added: August 17, 2013
Category: Black Series [Phase I], The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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