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The Vintage Collection

R5-D4 - TVC - Basic (VC40)

Name: R5-D4
Collection: The Vintage Collection
Number: VC40
Source: A New Hope
Availability: February 2011*
License: Hasbro

* Wave 5 of The Vintage Collection was available through online retailers in January 2011

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R5-D4 is absolutely one of our most favorite astromech droids in the Star Wars galaxy. And because of this love, we are very protective/defensive how this droid gets realized into 3.75” scale plastic. As collectors, we have seen this droid go through quite a metamorphosis that ranges from an absolutely horrid design (the 1996 POTF2 “attack” figure) all the way to the amazing repaint/retool (the glorious 2006 TSC figure). And you would think that in this modern day and age that the 2011 The Vintage Collection would bring us the best version of R5-D4 yet, but unfortunately it has not. This of course doesn’t mean that R5-D4 (VC40) is a bad figure, but it is a far cry from the near-perfect 2006 TSC R5-D4 (SAGA 032) with the stunning paint job, pop-up “bad motivator” and overall better head/dome. And we really can’t be too harsh on the new R5-D4 figure either. It’s a repainted Build A Droid figure (R5-A2 and R5-C7 are the predecessors of this sculpt) and the droid parts that compose him were part of a pack-in premium that we to this day are sad to see go away. So it’s quite easy to be found of the new R5-D4 while still being disgruntled that the “better” version wasn’t updated and chosen for release in The Vintage Collection. Hasbro is finding new ways to include the awesome Build A Droid figures into collectors’ hands (like this figure and the Defense Of Hoth TARGET exclusive), but we’re not sure if they should be replacing better versions of “already” made characters.

To be quite frank, all Hasbro needed to do to the 2006 TSC R5-D4 was paint the back panels properly and one or two details in the front and we would have had a definitive R5-D4 action figure (in The Vintage Collection packaging no less). The Build A Droid figures are great, but some of the aesthetics leave more to be desired. And an inferior sculpt (those glaring extra holes which are inherent to all astromechs in the Build A Droid series) coupled with a paint job that Hasbro has still neglected to update accurately to the droid’s appearance in the film (R5-D4 is still missing the red back panels), R5-D4 has a little ways to go before we can call it definitive. (To date, only the Remote Control R5-D4 figure has this back panel details correctly applied to it.) But to be fair, Hasbro has made advancements with the 2011 figure by correcting one error that The Saga Collection figure had. There is a thin blue panel directly underneath the head of this droid and Hasbro has managed to capture this detail in part on the paint operation for the Build A Droid release. This detail is important and helps make R5-D4 pop out more than he already does. As a Build A Droid figure, R5-D4 rocks. But as a premium The Vintage Collection figure? We cannot consider R5-D4 that at all. With so many R5 units in A New Hope, perhaps it would have been a decision to go with an astromech that hasn’t been done before in the basic figure line.

When comparing the 2006 figure to the 2011 figure, we don’t see a true need for another R5-D4, especially one that is made up of Droid Factory parts. Again, we hope we are not implying this is a bad figure because it isn’t. We’re just not sure how necessary it is. One thing we can tell you is that R5-D4 looks amazing on the vintage card back. And that almost makes the bitterness of R5-D4 being a Build A Droid figure much sweeter. To date, we are now up to five unique R5-D4 figures (including the 1979 vintage figure and the remote control figure) in the 3.75” scale line. That is a lot of representation over the years for R5-D4. And for those of you who collected Hasbro’s 12” line, there was even a 12” version of R5-D4 (which still holds up well today). This droid has always made Y-wings look all the better and there are some great unofficial (and perhaps official) Expanded Universe takes on his role in the universe. Rumors abound that his motivator was sabotaged by R2-D2 to ensure R2-D2 would be safely delivered to Obi-Wan Kenobi. We tend to believe that may just be the case. Besides, R2-D2 has quite the passive-aggressive nature. With all of his gadgets, he seems capable of anything. But back to R5-D4, this is a fun droid to own especially if you’re crazy about the Build A Droid parts. R5-D4 is nicely painted and we must give credit where credit is due, but we really hope that we see the 2006 figure updated correctly soon instead.

Collector Notes

R5-D4

Status: R5-D4 is a repaint of the Build A Droid R5 unit sculpt, previously released as 2009's TLC R5-A2 and 2009's LC R5-C7.

Articulation Count: 5 points

Articulation Details: swivel head, 2 swivel legs, 2 swivel ankles

Accessory Count: 1

Accessory Details: removable third center leg

Date Stamp: 2008

Assortment Number: 30240/97568

UPC: 653569621638

Retail: $7.99 USD

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

R5-D4

The Vintage Collection Wave 5
Yoda (VC20)
Clone Trooper (212th Battalion) (VC38)
Luke Skywalker (Death Star Escape) (VC39)
R5-D4 (VC40)
Stormtrooper (VC41)
Han Solo (Yavin Ceremony) (VC42)
Commander Gree (VC43)

Added: February 13, 2011
Category: Vintage Collection, The
Reviewer: Paul Harrison
Score:
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