Welcome to another entry in our The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six column. Hasbro recently made a commitment to collectors that they will be “focusing” on characters in The Vintage Collection that fall under “The Ninety Six” banner. If you’re new to this, it means that for every classic Kenner figure, there needs a modern counterpart. Between 2020 and 2021, Hasbro’s made an admirable effort by focusing on these characters. But there is more work to be done and we’ll figure out where we are step by step.
We’re right in alignment with Hasbro in our vintage Kenner database. There are 21 figures under the STAR WARS banner, 29 figures under THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK banner, 31 figures under the RETURN OF THE JEDI banner, and 15 figures under THE POWER OF THE FORCE banner. (Sy Snootles, Max Rebo, Droopy McCool, and Blue Snaggletooth brings the number to an even 100 figures.)
Read our assessment, and then be sure to add your thoughts into the comments. Let us know if you agree or disagree. If you’re a customizer, show us your custom definitive figure in the comments as well! Who knows? It might give Hasbro some ideas.
Is there a definitive modern counterpart to 1978’s SW Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) figure?
2019’s THE VINTAGE COLLECTION Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (VC149) figure.
Has Hasbro added this character’s card art and figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION?
Yes. Hasbro made Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) official in THE VINTAGE COLLECTION with 2019’s TVC Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) (VC149) figure. Both the card art and the figure meet the conditions of what a modern counterpart is.
Does THE VINTAGE COLLECTION release completely satisfy the modern counterpart to 1978’s SW Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) figure?
Yes, but it’s also arguable. The revised Build A Droid tooling is a more than fair representation of an R2-series astromech droid. Hasbro upgraded the tooling by filling in the lower “holes” on the body first seen on 2017’s SW [TLJ] R2-D2 Force Link figure. This TVC version of Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) comes with a paint job not entirely representative of A NEW HOPE. But it satisfies the requirement, both with the card art and the figure.
If Hasbro didn’t release the figure yet, do we have a near-definitive to the definitive release of this character that can be added to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION with little updating?
There are many other versions of Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) ranging from clean to dirty and each has its charm and complements various displays.
What does Hasbro have to do so we can check off “Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2)” from our Vintage Vs. Modern checklists?
There is essentially nothing more Hasbro needs to do, except for correcting the font on the nameplate and giving the figure a paint job that is wholly Episode IV-specific. Although Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2) sustains battle damage during the Battle of Yavin, perhaps a “clean” version of the droid would have worked best here.
The year and years elapsed (through 2021) since we last had this character in classic Kenner packaging?
2019’s TVC Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2). 2 years ago.
1978’s SW Artoo-Detoo (R2-D2). 43 years ago.
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