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30 (77-07)

R2-B1 - TAC - Basic (30 51)

Name: R2-B1
Collection: 30 (77-07)
Number: 30 51
Source: The Phantom Menace
Availability: December 2007
License: Hasbro

Review_R2B1TAC01 Review_R2B1TAC02 Review_R2B1TAC03 Review_R2B1TAC04
Review_R2B1TAC05 Review_R2B1TAC06 Review_R2B1TAC07 Review_R2B1TAC08

Character Profile

Model

Astromech droid

Status

Services Queen's starship

Instruments of Choice

Multiple repair tools

Characteristic

Casualty of combat

An astromech droid on Queen Amidala’s Royal Starship, R2-B1 is one of the droids that tries to repair the ship’s damaged shield generator. As the starship attempts to get through the Trade Federation blockade, R2-B1 and another droid are destroyed by enemy fire, leaving only R2-D2 to complete the task.

Is it wrong to love a figure that is so wrong even though it still feels right to love it? Well, that is exactly how we feel about R2-B1. First immortalized in plastic in the waning days of the Episode I line in 2000, the figure didn’t offer much to collectors that we didn’t already see in pretty much every R2-D2 figure that preceded it. But as time went on, many collectors wanted this colorful droid updated. That dream became a reality in the 30 (77-07) line thanks to a need to fill seven spots for the delayed The Force Unleashed figures. R2-B1 wasn’t a completely perfect or definitive update, but it is good enough and certainly better than the 2000 figure (by a landslide). The yellow is softer and the blue is bolder and the combination makes for quite a sweet update. Unfortunately something went awry with its dome. And it was a goof that Hasbro is sorry ever happened. Something in the recipe for the dome color was left out so instead of getting a dulled metallic finish, we got a shiny light or faded gray color instead. But with all of the other enhancements made to this little astromech droid, we think that the dome color issue can be overlooked a little bit by collectors. (But just by a little bit. We hope that Hasbro will perfect this figure at some point.)

R2-B1 and TC-14 were two figures that were both not so easy to find in the Episode I line. Hasbro rectified this years later in the 30 (77-07) basic figure lines. R2-B1 obviously got a coveted spot in the basic figure line, while TC-14 was a fans’ choice winner in the Saga Legends tournament hosted by Rebelscum.com. So it was quite cool to get these two droids together again in a new collection. R2-B1 is a repaint of 2005’s ROTS R4-G9 Sneak Preview (4 of 4) mold, a fan favorite mold by the way, and has been repainted to match the coloring of the droid we saw very briefly in The Phantom Menace. And thankfully Hasbro also included the accessory that came with the original 2000 figure, the droid harness. Despite the 2007 figure’s larger scale, it can fit in the harness perfectly well. Hasbro must have unwittingly incorporated some forward thinking technology into the harness because it works like a charm. And because the R4-G9 mold is such a remarkable sculpt, many of the fine details on R2-B1 have been included for this release. The different plates on its body are now correctly decorated and in accurate scale. Also of note, the light ports on the dome have not been colored. The 2000 figure has these correctly decorated, but the 2007 figure does not. Apparently the dome had some major issues at the factory level, didn’t it? Whether you can get past the dome issue or not will be your decision, but this droid looks pretty great as is.

R2-B1 is a perfect example of a figure that had little screen time yet remains a fan favorite droid. We think a lot of it has to do with the solid non-white color of the droid. We see so many astromechs in white with colorful details and it’s quite a bit less frequent to see droids in full color. If you haven’t been keeping track, we have nearly all the droid’s updated from the sequence in Episode I when Queen Amidala’s Royal Starship was under attack by the Trade Federation. R2-D2 has seen multiple upgrades throughout the basic figure line and R2-R9 got updated in the 2006 TAC Commemorative Tin Collection Episode I set. And now we have R2-B1. All we need to see made (for the very first time) is G8-R3 which we suspect should be coming down the pike any time soon. We have always been big fans of the repack/repaint waves that Hasbro seems to be doing annually now. They are a great placeholder for updates desperately needed to the classically modern figures like R2-B1 and at the same time save Hasbro quite a bit of money on tooling costs so that they can focus their bottom line elsewhere. To say that this update to R2-B1 is not necessary would be quite egregious. This droid did need to be updated and we are thrilled to have him in our collections. We hope you share a similar sentiment.

Collector Notes

R2-B1

Status: R2-B1 is a rework of 2005's ROTS R4-G9 Sneak Preview (4 of 4) figure. The harness is from the original 2000 EI R2-B1 (Astromech Droid) figure.

Articulation Count: 7 points

Articulation Details: swivel dome, 2 swivel legs, 2 swivel ankles, sliding third leg (activate by rotating dome), swivel third foot

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: harness

Date Stamp: 2004

Assortment Number: 87648/87500

UPC: 653569287124

Retail: $6.99

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

30 (77-07) Wave 9 (Wave 7.5)
Darth Vader (30 48)
Clone Trooper (7th Legion Trooper) (30 49)
Clone Trooper (Hawkbat Battalion) (30 50)
R2-B1 (30 51)
Naboo Soldier (30 52)
Rebel Vanguard Trooper (30 53)
Pax Bonkik (30 54)

Added: June 28, 2010
Category: 30 (77-07)
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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