Welcome to another entry in our The Vintage Collection: The Ninety Six column. Hasbro recently committed 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 there needs a modern counterpart for every classic Kenner figure. 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. Today we assess R5-D4.
Just a few notes: We’re right in alignment with Hasbro in our vintage Kenner database with the count. 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 bring the number to an even 100 figures.)
Read our assessment, and then please add your thoughts to 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 1979’s SW R5-D4?
2011’s THE VINTAGE COLLECTION R5-D4 (VC40).
Has Hasbro added this character’s card art and action figure into THE VINTAGE COLLECTION? And is it definitive?
Yes. Hasbro released 2011’s THE VINTAGE COLLECTION R5-D4 (VC40) figure as part of a repack/repaint wave in early 2011. Unfortunately, Hasbro decided to use the Build A Droid figure, complete with lower body hole attachments. Collectors were generally disappointed that Hasbro didn’t use 2006’s THE SAGA COLLECTION R5-D4 (SAGA 032) figure instead. Coincidentally, Hasbro released the 2006 version of R5-D4 in the 2012 TVC Droid Set Special Action Figure Set.
Does THE VINTAGE COLLECTION release completely satisfy the modern counterpart to 1979’s STAR WARS R5-D4 figure?
It’s debatable. THE VINTAGE COLLECTION R5-D4 (VC40) figure is missing the red details on the back panels. Hasbro has yet to produce an R5-D4 figure with this important detail. Should they ever decide to re-release the figure, they should ensure they add these missing paint operations.
If Hasbro didn’t release the figure yet, do we have a near-definitive or definitive release of this character that can be added to THE VINTAGE COLLECTION as a straight repack, repaint, or with little retooling to update it?
There appears to be an even split among collectors on which R5-D4 mold they prefer. And we may never agree with each other.
What does Hasbro have to do so we can check off “R5-D4” from our Vintage Vs. Modern checklists?
We have a definitive modern counterpart already. But as previously mentioned, if they decide to re-release this figure in THE VINTAGE COLLECTION, they should spend some time ensuring that the paint operations are complete and screen-accurate.
The year and years elapsed (through 2021) since we last had this character in classic Kenner-styled packaging (vintage or modern)?
2011’s TVC R5-D4 (VC40). 10 years ago.
1979’s SW R5-D4. 42 years ago.
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